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Again with the ArsyTV...

pobrecitos-rctv-sambil.jpg

"Those poor little owners of Sambil and RCTV..." Hey, is that sarcasm I hear emanating from the slums?

Once more, the entire English-speaking media world has Teh Stoopid when it comes to Venezuela. Why else would even the Beeb misreport this?

RCTV International was among six cable channels shut for failing to carry Mr Chavez's speeches live as required.

Meanwhile, Vice President Ramon Carrizalez has resigned.

Mr Carrizalez, who also held the defence minister's post, said on Monday that he was stepping down, citing personal reasons.

"My resignation is not the result of any discrepancy with government decisions, and any other version about my reasons for resigning is false and malicious," he said.

Mr Carrizalez's wife, Environment Minister Yubiri Ortega, has also left her post.

Their resignations came as protesters, overwhelmingly students, took to the streets to oppose the decision to take several cable channels off air.

In the capital Caracas, police fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators who were trying to march on the headquarters of the state-run telecommunications agency.

"Freedom of expression is a right that we all embrace, and it must be defended," Alejandro Perdomo,19, told the Associated Press.

"One, two, three, Chavez you're struck out," demonstrators chanted, using sporting terminology in baseball-mad Venezuela to refer to a range of problems, including rising crime, the devaluation of the currency and electricity shortages.

In Merida, a pro-Chavez supporter was killed in clashes, officials said.

Notice some interesting things in there? I did:

1. They linked some unrelated things--namely, two (married) government ministers resigning for personal reasons--to the "closure" (which is actually only temporary and in line with Venezuelan law) of RCTV. Why? This makes it look as though the RCTV situation has unleashed a political crisis in Venezuela. (It hasn't, actually--it's a tempest in a teapot, but you'd never know it to read a typical English report!)

2. They only interview anti-Chávez students, and then in terms that make them look like they're in favor of freedom of speech (more on this bullshit later);

3. They don't devote more than a single line to the death of Yorsiño "Calcibón" Carrillo, whose name they couldn't even be bothered to publish. Yet they had no problem giving a name (and thus, a face and human status) to the anti-Chavista student, Alejandro Perdomo, who is still alive and unharmed. Doesn't that rather trivialize the death of Yorsiño Carrillo, or make it look as if his life is somehow worth less than that of Alejandro Perdomo? It does to me. Shit, even Reuters did better--albeit briefly so.

4. They're treating several unrelated, at times out of government control (such as the drought and the resulting need to ration electricity), irritating but hardly crisis-provoking problems as though these could be the downfall of Chávez. (They won't--his domestic popularity remains at 60% in spite of everything--but again, you'd never get that impression reading the anglo media.) In this, they're taking their lead from the oppos and their media mouthpieces--and the oppo students, who are always being trotted out as cannon fodder to make it look like something horrible and repressive is going on. Meanwhile, when a Chavista dies, it's treated as no biggie.

Some perspective would be in order, no? Well, fortunately, for that, you've got li'l ol' me.

Here's a little video showing just how much freedom of speech the oppos actually have when they claim not to have any:

An unauthorized oppo student demonstration arrives at the headquarters of VTV, Channel 8, the Venezuelan national public TV channel. They demand to be let inside, and in the end, five of them are. They get to speak personally with VTV president Yuri Pimentel. This is, by the way, unprecedented--Chavista students have never been allowed to speak personally with the presidents, managers or owners of any of the private, pro-opposition media in the country. But in the meantime, we get treated to some 20 minutes of oppo whining, overtalking of the channel's legal consultant (María Alejandra Díaz), and ear-torture about how horrible it is, how there's no freedom of speech, how Mario Silva (the host of the popular nightly program, La Hojilla) is calling for violence and should be taken off the air, etc., etc. ad nauseam.

Incidentally, Mario Silva does not engage in "violent discourse", as the oppo kid who hogs the camera above is insinuating. I've been following that show for quite some time, and never heard him say anything to the effect that there should be violence against the opposition. He does, however, not hesitate to point out when the oppos are being violent and/or calling for the death of the elected president:

Here, for example, he shows how Globovisión censors its own reporting when something unflattering to the opposition crops up--namely, a journalist named Oscar Yánez (with white mustache) who makes overt death threats against President Chávez during an opposition media forum. As soon as the talking heads realize what's going on, they get ordered to talk over him. Then, when a woman named Daniela Bergami, general manager of RCTV, gets up on the podium and politely chastises Yánez for his inappropriate remarks, again they cut her off. And then, in the screen behind the talking heads, you can see Yánez get up again, grab the mike from the next speaker, and unleash a barrage of (unheard) insults against her. When the producers of the show realize what's going on, they remove the forum from the screen altogether and replace it with the show logo.

And that's not the only thing the oppo media does; they also use the airwaves to create terror where none exists, by reporting "violence" that isn't actually happening. Sometimes, the end result is unexpectedly funny:

Here, host Nitu Pérez Osuna gets her ideological rug pulled out from under her by a spokeswoman for the private Andrés Bello Catholic University. Pérez Osuna claims that a helicopter belonging to the Venezuelan national guard was firing against the students; vice-rector Silvana Campagnaro denies this, saying that there have been helicopters overhead monitoring the situation, but no shots fired. Other than a few students in the infirmary recovering from exposure to tear gas, there are no injuries to report. Pérez Osuna has to change her tune to one of reassurance, instead of the panic she had set out to create. To her credit, she does it seamlessly!

And finally, here's a little something you're definitely not going to hear from the media up here:

...namely, oppo students thanking the management at evil, wicked, state propaganda channel VTV for receiving them and engaging in friendly, polite discussions.

I'd say they got more than enough freedom of speech there, wouldn't you?

Comments

Question: How many U.S. right-wingers crying bloody murder over RCTV being shut down celebrated and popped their champagne bottles when Air America crashed last week? It's so funny with the far-right: Always in favor of free speech until they hear something they don't like.

Exactly.

And there's nothing they hate more in Venezuela than hearing Mario Silva use HIS freedom of speech to nail them at their own violent, censorious game.

I hadn't realized that Ramon Carrizalez and Yubiri Ortega are husband and wife, which makes (at least to my understanding) the "personal reasons" bit much more believable than I had thought at first. Carrizalez was a good person, though, and it will be hard to replace someone like him.

My own view about Mario Silva is that while he has his negatives (occasional stretching of evidence, sometimes tending to conspiracy theories, etc. etc., requiring you to be careful, as one should be with anyone else: not much more, not much less), he does a valuable service in rebutting the oppos, and often does it very well (at least often enough). As long as the Vzlan oppo is what it is, he has to stay on the air.

These people have a curious notion of "freedom of expression" too. I mean, hello, criticizing you is not "violence". Such idiots

This is standard proceedure, the bbc and other proempire media are always trying to contribute to an atmosphere of destablization through deveveloping and promulgating lies.

Allowing the rich and corporations to control the means of information is antithetical to democracy.

It's always the same thing with these people: Freedom of speech for me, not thee. (And by "me", they mean "my corporate masters.")

BTW, there's a terrific takedown of the Beeb's shoddy reporting here:

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/5084

The other funny thing there is that UCAB is a very anti-Chavez institution, as anti as they come, and yet the spokeswoman felt the need to get the record straight.

LOL--isn't the irony delicious?

I suspect Mario may have been onto something when he said that parents sending their kids to putsch-prone private universities like that should be ringing the phone off the hook, demanding their kids and their money back. Maybe they are!

BTW, last night's Hojilla is a treat:

http://www.vtv.gob.ve/videos-emisiones-anteriores/29179

Chavecito was on, expressing condolences for the two dead students; also to unveil his new vice-president, Elías Jaua--another good, hard-working guy who's proven himself capable. Something tells me Jackson Diehl's teeth are gonna fall out over this one.