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Chavez government charges US is backing protests

Reported by Chrish - June 1, 2007 -

There were several slick misrepresentations in the segment today 5/31/07 on The Big Story regarding the licensing of television station RCTV. President Hugo Chavez denied their licensing renewal and there have been protests for a couple of days, though there were none today.

Introducing the piece, Gibson again referred to democratically-elected Chavez as "the nation's dictator" and said he "yanked the nation's oldest anti-government TV network off the air." Of course, the most egregious journalism crime here is calling President Chavez a dictator, which FOX has done repeatedly. Gibson's placement of adjectives, "oldest" modifying "anti-government", makes it sound like it's been "speaking truth to power" all these many years, but Bart Jones reports that it shifted from political satire to activism:

"...after Chavez was elected president in 1998, RCTV shifted to another endeavor: ousting a democratically elected leader from office. Controlled by members of the country's fabulously wealthy oligarchy including RCTV chief Marcel Granier, it saw Chavez and his "Bolivarian Revolution" on behalf of Venezuela's majority poor as a threat."

Gibson said that Chavez is preparing to "ax" another "opposition channel," Globovision (a cable channel). Adam Housely, the only US reporter in Caracas, said that Vice-president of the National Assembly is blaming the CIA and the US State Department for backing the protests in Venezuela much like the coup attempt of 2002, and she was defiant and belligerent, in other words, Chavez.

This continuing coverage of protests in another country would not be so noteworthy if FOX covered similar occassions in this country. For instance, the National Conference for Media Reform, held in Memphis in January where over 3,000 progressive media people, from lowly bloggers to movie stars to world-class journalists to presidential hopefuls gathered, got barely a mention on FOXNews.com ("Memphis, Tenn. _ Bill Moyers, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Jane Fonda speak at the 2007 National Conference for Media Reform. Through Jan. 14.") and no coverage that I recall on FNC. Ongoing weekly protests around the country are completely ignored. So why does FOX care about the unrest in Venezuela? Because it gives them another opportunity to mischaracterize Hugo Chavez, who openly defies BushCo.