Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Venezuela In The Media

TeleSur English is out with an article about the year's worst coverage of Venezuela in which Joe Emersberger discusses some of 2014's biggest mainstream media lies about the South American Socialist country.

Rarely do you see any favorable news coverage of Venezuela, except in what is often called "Alternative Media," which I prefer to call Leftist media. The Right has an alternative media, but it's basically a blogosphere, some of which is dressed up as news sites, that does no original reporting and rewords already published opinions. The Right has the mainstream, or corporate media, which in this country is conservative in that it's very nationalistic, supporting with little question the US government, and which limits itself ideologically to what is acceptable to Capitalism and the Washington ruling elite that serves Capitalism.

The US senate, by the way, recently passed a sanctions bill against Venezuela, the rationale for which was taken directly from inaccurate mainstream media accounts of violent protests in Venezuela earlier this year.

Those protests, the aim of which was to destabilize the Maduro government, were organized by the Venezuelan oligarchy with strategic and financial assistance from USAID, an arm of the US State Department. That wasn't reported in the mainstream media, which cast the protests as a democratic uprising against a dictatorial regime. Around 50 people died in the protests, most at the hands of the protesters. Until late in the protests the US media was reporting that it was the government killing protesters when it was protesters killing police or government supporters who organized counterprotests.

 Many of the inaccuracies in the media were eventually corrected after a barrage of complaints, but the senate went with the original inaccurate reporting and blames the government for the deaths. New Mexico's two Democratic senators, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, voted for the sanctions. Whether it was because they had no idea what they were voting for, or whether it's one of those cases where they know they won't have to pay a price for doing the wrong thing, which is often the case, or whether there is some other reason, I can't say.

Incidentally, Emersberger, a Canadian union member who writes a lot for Leftist media, in his article mentions Rory Carroll, who I've written about before and who basically makes his living trashing Venezuela's Socialist government. For years Carroll was The Guardian's Latin America correspondent (but focused on hatchet jobs of Hugo Chavez) but he appears to have left The Guardian and now I see his Venezuela hatchet jobs appearing on other mainstream media web sites.

If you wanted a hatchet job done on Venezuela you'd go to Rory Carroll, so when National Public Radio's Steve Inskeep spent a week in Venezuela earlier this year sending back daily dispatches, who did he take along as his guide, and who did he interview? Rory Carroll.

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