« Evo shows his cojones | Main | Usually, I hate doggy clothes... »

Watch them spin this as "insanity"...

We just know that the mainstream Venezuelan and US media are itching to paint Hugo Chavez as "loquito", aren't we? Well, here's some more red meat for their attack dogs, courtesy of the Beeb...

The visit by the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Russia is taking the media by storm, with one news agency reporting he has attracted much attention with his "emotional and spontaneous behaviour".

"He calls Christ the first socialist in the world; George Bush an alcoholic; pro-Washington Latin American presidents poodles of imperialism", writes Andrey Yashlavskiy in the Moskovskiy Komsomolets daily.

The military paper Krasnaya Zvezda headlines its front-page article with a quote from the "charismatic" Mr Chavez: "I am a brother of the Slavs."

Channel 1 TV was impressed by Mr Chavez's arrival at Volgograd airport when he was offered a shot of vodka.

"The Venezuelan president demonstrated good knowledge of local traditions," the TV reports, "he drank the vodka from a Cossack's sabre and without eating anything."

The Trud daily is also fascinated by the "extraordinary and controversial leader".

"Hugo Chavez, an indigenous Indian with some African blood in his veins, whose speech is peppered with proverbs and vulgar slang, has a messianic quality, not uncommon in politicians with spice in their blood."

The Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid notes that Mr Chavez "took notice of Volgograd girls" and quotes him as saying: "I have always liked Venezuelan women, but looking at yours, I can see that I have lost a lot."

The paper adds that as he was saying this Mr Chavez put "the heavy hand of a Venezuelan peasant" on the girl's shoulder.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta prints what some Volgograd residents had to say about the Venezuelan leader.

They call Mr Chavez "a unique phenomenon", "a sensible but eccentric guy" - although very few seem to know much about Venezuela as some suggest it is either "a place in Italy" or "in Africa", or "a shop in central Volgograd".

They're gonna leap all over the bits with the added emphasis, I can just smell it; he'll be painted as a wacky, drunken lecher, as well as a tyrant. (Even Alternet, which should know better, has fallen into that trap by reprinting a repulsively spinny Foreign Affairs article saying as much, with scant evidence that Venezuela is indeed a "competitive autocracy", a nonsense term if ever there was one...at least, as far as Venezuela goes. If it were applied to the US, it might make more sense.)

Meanwhile, this is what passes for "serious" coverage in the Russian media. As you can see, it's no better than what you'd get in the "serious" mainstream media here:

The Kommersant daily prefers to concentrate on the political dimension to the visit, during which Mr Chavez is expected to sign arms deals.

"Venezuela gets armed with Russia" write Mikhail Zygar and Tatyana Dmitriyeva.

"Moscow expects bumper arms contracts from the visit," they say, while Venezuela's eyes are on "setting up an anti-American oil bloc".

"Thus Moscow, which has just hosted the G8 summit, shows once again that, when the chance comes, it may respond to criticism from the West by making a sharp U-turn towards the West's foes."

Um, newsflash, Kommersant: Chavez IS from the West. He can't be its foe. And he's not the US's foe either, no matter who paints him that way. In the end, the US will be its own worst enemy, as was ever the case. They don't need Chavez to trip them up; they've been rattling their own sabre so much that they'll fall on it in the end with no pushing from him.

Besides, I thought it was supposed to be a GOOD thing that Russia is now open to doing trade with the West.

I guess some Westerners are more Western than others, eh?

Comments

Excellent points. It seems as though the phrase "the west" has frequently been used ONLY to refer to the US and/or Western Europe. That phrase is used in a very myopic way, IMO.

Another myopically-used phrase these days is "self-defence". Apparently, Israel bombing the bejeezus out of Lebanese civilians counts as such, as does the US doing it to Afghans, Iraqis and God only knows who-all else, but Chavez replacing old armaments with no intentions of menacing anyone...doesn't.

More like some Westerners are whiter than others. That was just about the most thinly veiled racist statement I have heard, other than from Bush of course.

You are not the real West if you are one of those South or Central American brown people, I guess.

And yeah, look at the double standard this administration has when it concerns who is allowed to have what weapons. Pakistan has a REAL dictator and now has a plutonium plant. India gets nuclear technology directly from us now. But Venezuela buys some jets and small arms and everyone screams OMG! Socialist with a gun!

And just think: Chavez is also looking into peaceful uses for nuclear reactors.

Can't have THAT, noooooo...we want all those independent brown ingrates who won't bow down to Washington, to get cancer and DIE!

Meanwhile, India and Pakistan will probably bomb each other to bits, and no one says boo. Typical myopic BushCo! Say, maybe Dubya can negotiate for Pakistan to hand A. Q. Khan over to India. (snark)