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Thu Oct 11, 2012, 01:32 PM

New York Times Coverage of Venezuelan Election Was Poor

New York Times Coverage of Venezuelan Election Was Poor

By Michael McGehee | NYT eXaminer | October 8, 2012

Hugo Chávez won his third straight presidential election this past weekend, and as the New York Times correspondent William Neumann put it in his latest article, “Chávez Wins New Term in Venezuela, Holding Off Surge by Opposition,”: “Though his margin of victory was much narrower than in past elections, he still won handily.” By more than 10 percent, Chávez defeated center-right candidate for the Justice First party, Henrique Capriles.

The problem with Neumann’s article, and his pre-election article “Fears Persist Among Venezuelan Voters Ahead of Election” is that he said nothing about Capriles’ campaign while providing considerable space to hearsay and accusations he, and Times editors, didn’t back up with examples. What resulted was clear cases of anti-Chávez hysteria and poor journalism.

In Neumann’s pre-election article he wrote that “polls diverge widely, with some predicting a victory for Mr. Chávez and others showing a race that is too close to call,” but he offers no examples of these “too close to call” polls. When the Center for Economic and Policy Research looked at available data they found that “Capriles a 5.7 percent probability of winning the election.”

And just as Neumann doesn’t provide any examples of those who have “anxiety” about ”a new electronic voting system that many Venezuelans fear might be used by the government to track those who vote against the president” there are no examples provided of “any government workers” whose names “were made public after they signed a petition for an unsuccessful 2004 recall referendum to force Mr. Chávez out of office” and subsequently ”lost their jobs.” This claim has been circulating for nearly ten years, and if Neumann has proof it occurred he should certainly share it. That would be more newsworthy than the unfounded fears of unknown persons...

http://www.nytexaminer.com/2012/10/new-york-times-coverage-of-venezuelan-election-was-poor/

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Reply New York Times Coverage of Venezuelan Election Was Poor (Original post)
MinM Oct 2012 OP
MinM Oct 2012 #1

Response to MinM (Original post)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 01:54 PM

1. BTW were approaching the 35th anniversary of Carl Bernstein's great Rolling Stone piece...


After leaving The Washington Post in 1977, Carl Bernstein spent six months looking at the relationship of the CIA and the press during the Cold War years. His 25,000-word cover story, published in Rolling Stone on October 20, 1977, is reprinted below.

THE CIA AND THE MEDIA

How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up

BY CARL BERNSTEIN

In 1953, Joseph Alsop, then one of America’s leading syndicated columnists, went to the Philippines to cover an election. He did not go because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went at the request of the CIA.

Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services—from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go‑betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without‑portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring‑do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full‑time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations...

http://carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php

Also the Joseph Alsop that Carl refers to would have been 94 today.

CIA and the Media, by Carl Bernstein 10/20/77 Rolling Stone

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