Apr
24
2009

Media Echo U.S. Gov't Attacks on Chavez

Images of the U.S. media's longtime foe, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, with Obama at last weekend's Summit of the Americas in Trinidad prompted some corporate reporters to take the unusual step of questioning the political motivations behind an official photo-op. On ABC's World News, Jake Tapper referred to Chavez's gift of The Open Veins of Latin America to Obama as a "stunt" (video available here). George Stephanopoulos questioned whether Chavez was not just posing with Obama in order to take advantage of Obama's popularity. "You have to wonder who would win a popular vote between Obama and Chavez in Venezuela […]

Apr
20
2009

Media Discover 'Obscure' Latin American Book

When Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave U.S. President Barack Obama a copy of Eduardo Galeano's book The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent at last weekend's Summit of the Americas, the corporate media appeared to be caught off guard. In its initial report, CNN (Newsroom, 4/18/09) appeared to be completely unaware of Galeano's classic 1971 treatise on the history of European and U.S. imperialism in Latin America, failing to correct Obama's initial mistaken belief that the book was penned by Chavez himself. Both CNN (CNN Newsroom, 4/18/09) and AP (4/19/09) contrasted the immediate […]

Mar
23
2009

The WPost's Salvadoran History Lesson

The Washington Post editorial page produced a remarkable editorial on Saturday (3/21/09) headlined "Victory in El Salvador." It's not surprising that the Post would try to argue that the victory of left-wing FMLN presidential candidate Mauricio Funes was not another sign that the region's politics are shifting to the left. No, in fact it was a blow to folks like Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez: "El Salvador's election was also a triumph for a system that Mr. Chavez has disregarded: liberal democracy." The Post didn't elaborate on that idea. They did, unfortunately, attempt to recast U.S. involvement in El Salvador's bloody […]

Mar
16
2009

Fox Host Mixes Up Enemy Chavezes

On this morning's Fox & Friends, the hosts were having a laugh about Mauricio Funes, the new president of El Salvador. Funes won as the candidate of the FMLN, the political party of the former guerrilla group–and he was once a freelancer for CNN. Ergo, Fox couldmake jokes aboutCNN's "communist" ties. One of the hosts (a substitute) tried to show that this was actually no laughing matter, since the FMLN "allegedly has ties to strongman Cesar Chavez." It takes the other hosts a little while to figure out that he means Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez–not the labor organizer regular host […]

Feb
15
2009

One Paper — Three Views on Term Limits

The author of an upcoming "people's history of the Bolivarian Revolution entitled We Created Him," George Ciccariello-Maher tells (CounterPunch, 2/15/09) an eerily "familiar" tale of one unnamed political leader who, after being "in power for nearly eight years," no longer feels the need to comfort his opponents, and his discourse radicalizes as his view of term limits shifts. Dismissing his opposition as rigid "dogmatists," the leader now insists on the need to change course flexibly to meet circumstances. True and sustained change, he argues, requires the continuity of his successful leadership…. Not without controversy, then, was the decision of the […]