Monday, December 03, 2007


I always find Hugo Chavez to be a somewhat annoying subject because he's neither the Satanic Hitler as reflected universally in our media (and it's really creepy how much he's distorted) nor the Great Savior Of The Left. He's a left wing populist with an authoritarian streak, but no matter what they say it's "left wing populist" which makes the Villagers froth, not the authoritarian part. There are plenty of dictators around the world which get respectful treatment from our media, and the anti-Democratic authoritarian actions of our own president disturb them not at all.

But, in any case, it seems the dictator lost an election. Strange dictatorship indeed.

Anyway, watching US media coverage of Venezuela makes me realize that US coverage of foreign affairs is utterly corrupted by something. Still paying the piper. Who can forget this Orwellian NYT editorial?

Published: April 13, 2002

With yesterday's resignation of President Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator. Mr. Chávez, a ruinous demagogue, stepped down after the military intervened and handed power to a respected business leader, Pedro Carmona. But democracy has not yet been restored, and won't be until a new president is elected. That vote has been scheduled for next spring, with new Congressional elections to be held by this December. The prompt announcement of a timetable is welcome, but a year seems rather long to wait for a legitimately elected president.

After Chavez was elected in 1996 and re-elected in 2000, the New York Times cheers on a military coup which installed "a respected business leader" and hails it as a move signaling "democracy is no longer threatened."

They backpedaled from this editorial after the fact, but likely only because the coup didn't take and Chavez was returned to power.