If USA Today is presenting an objective record of the Chavez years, how on Earth did he win so many elections? By that score, Venezuela must also have an especially ill-informed populace–or maybe Venezuelans know a different reality.
New York Times reporter Larry Rohter turned in afactually challenged fact-check of Oliver Stone's new film South of the Border. So Stone and the film's co-writers Mark Weisbrot and Tariq Ali wrote a devastating rebuttal. A reader passed along a link to that piece to Rohter, suggesting that he "should be embarrassed" by his review. Unsurprisingly, Rohter would not seem to be embarrassed at all, judging his reply email, which FAIR has received: Dear Mr. Fuentes: Actually, it's Oliver Stone and company who need to heed your advice. I've been scrupulously honest in my reporting and writing, and they are [...]
It's not a huge surprise that a correspondent for a newspaper that supportedthe coup thatousted Venezuelan PresidentHugo Chavez would dislike a film that offers a more sympathetic view of Chavez's politics. That said, Larry Rohter'sreview (New York Times, 6/26/10) of the new Oliver Stone film Southof the Border still manages to surprise– mostly because Rohter's attempt to fact-check themovie is such a failure. Rohter's first big catch is this: Mr. Stone argues in the film that Colombia, which "has a far worse human rights record than Venezuela," gets "a pass in the media that Chavez doesn't" because of his hostility [...]
Mark Weisbrot had a good column in the London Guardian (10/23/09) about the highly circumscribed "debate" over the Afghanistan War (FAIR Action Alert, 8/25/09). He breaks down the lineup of a recent Meet the Press (10/11/09): Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, former Army general and drug czar (under President Clinton) turned defense industry lobbyist. In a news article on McCaffrey entitled "One Man's Military-Industrial-Media Complex," the New York Times reported that McCaffrey had "earned at least $500,000 from his work for Veritas Capital, a private equity firm in New York that has grown into a defense industry powerhouse by buying contractors [...]
Ousted President Manuel Zelaya hasreturned to Honduras, though not to office.Unfortunately, press accounts still manage to mangle the story behind his ouster, relying onthose who supported the coup to explain what happened. In today's New York Times (9/22/09): At the time of his removal, Mr. Zelaya was planning a nonbinding referendum that his opponents said would have been the first step toward allowing him to run for another term in office, which is forbidden under the Honduran constitution. Mr. Zelaya has denied any attempt to run for re-election. An Associated Press report appearing in today's USA Today (9/22/09) was much [...]
Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research had one of the most informative pieces I've seen on the Iranian election, published on WashingtonPost.com (6/26/09). Weisbrot examines the actual Iranian vote-counting procedures, and concludes that in Iran, "large-scale fraud is extremely difficult, if not impossible, without creating an extensive trail of evidence." Since votes are supposed to be counted at individual polling places in the presence of 14-18 witnesses, Weisbrot points out that "if this election was stolen, there must be tens of thousands of witnesses–or perhaps hundreds of thousands–to the theft. Yet there are no media accounts [...]