Venezuela and the Objectively Bias Mainstream
The recently-elected Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, has been taking a lot flack from the rest of the world since his presence in politics. Noted critics have been President Bush, the Catholic Church, and even his own citizens. The fallacious and prejudicial claims are usually along the lines of Chavez being dictatorial or restricting the freedoms of his people. It is a mystery that these voices of authority are unable to do the slightest bit of research. In fact, the past seven years in Venezuela have been the most democratic in its entire history: There have been eight elections or referendums; Chavez received 56% of the popular vote – While President Bush only received 51%. Maybe brilliant criticism only arises from imminent threat.
Now the Chavez administration is being besieged once again for the deaths of 3 children with venezuelan-canadian citizenship. The children were allegedly abducted on their way to school and held ransom for a sum or $4.5 million, which the parents were unable to accumulate in time. Protestors in Venezuela have flooded the streets to complain about the violence and corruption within the country. One protestor was quoted:
"Chavez always criticizes the United States and talks about thousands of innocent people killed in Iraq, but what about the thousands who are killed here?"
Even the victim’s mother joined:
''I want to say to the leader of the republic that by passing over this and failing to give importance to the torture and killing of four people, among them a child with paralysis, I, Gladys Diab, publicly announce: I abhor you.”
Newsflash: People are not only dying in Iraq. Someone please educate this poor fellow and weeping mother on the presence of violence in the entire world. Yes, innocent people are dying in Iraq, Venezuela, and guess what: everywhere. It’s not that wanting a safer place to live is an unreasonable request; it’s just that things could be considerably worse. Perhaps this outraged young man and mother would prefer to live in the United States where the per capita homicide rate is 51% higher(1)? And furthermore, who ever said the killings did not have importance? Just because the killings occurred does not mean they were not important. The irony of the situation is that two journalists were killed while trying to cover the protests. What better way to protest against violence and homicide than with violence and homicide?
Well, I think that we can at least cut the protestors some slack because of emotion, but not so much for the mainstream media. Now don’t get me wrong, I think the media is absolutely necessary to the maintenance of a strong society. But our media is doing a piss-pore job. After reading some 10+ articles on the protests, there was a disturbing similarity between quotes and supporting statistics for each of the articles: Most stories simply republished quotes verbatim and used identical stats in identical places. What kind of reporting is going on here? They are publishing and republishing watered-down garbage and attributing fresh reporting to it. I could have sworn I saw Fox emblem behind Anderson Cooper the other night.
And by the way: Where are the alternative views? Where is Hugo’s response (actually a couple of rare articles had some)? Why does nearly every network and media outlet bow to the whims of the ignorant global consensus of the equation Chavez=Evil? Now correct me if I’m wrong but, isn’t the media supposed to challenge the assumptions of the power structure? Forget the pseudo-scientific notion of ‘objective journalism’ already and do your frickin’ jobs! I’m sick of hearing substance less news drivel attempting at some pie-in-the-sky dream of professionalism at the expense of information quality. Sure people are upset at the killings, but are things truly getting worse? Oh wait that was mentioned…as the very last thing (they got better from 2004 to 2005 by the way).
I love reading the news about Hugo Chavez. It highlights the double standard used by journalists and major media outlets throughout the world. It would seem that having a balanced article is only used when it serves the views of the mainstream. The major media fosters greater deceit with its claims to ‘objective journalism’ than does an editorial columnist spreading hate-speech. It is the claim to be ‘balanced and objective’ that misleads the public. A lack of forthrightness and hidden biases within the mainstream media creates a greater disservice to people than anything else. Through minute alterations in how a story in focused or presented, the media shifts the consciousness of thousands, if not millions, of people. The public does not decide if the media has already made the decision.
If you really want balance to your news then immediately read some non-violent socialist propaganda. It may take years, but once you earn that doctorate in Marxist studies, the balance needle may finally wobble towards zero. Or otherwise come read some more of my future articles; I may even throw in some facetious cynicism. Either way with all this dangerously ignorant rhetoric bouncing around, I’ll see you at the apocalypse in no time.
1. Stats for Venezuela found at CIA World FactBook and taken from Homicide rate cited in an article referring to the child killings. The U.S. Stats found at Infoplease.