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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-11-10 04:31 PM
Original message
Misreporting Venezuela's economy
Misreporting Venezuela's economy
If you want a perfect illustration of media toeing the official line, look no further than the forecasts of Venezuela's economic doom

Mark Weisbrot guardian.co.uk,
Saturday 11 September 2010 17.00 BST

The bulk of the media often gets pulled along for the ride when the United States government has a serious political and public relations campaign around foreign policy. But almost nowhere is it so monolithic as with Venezuela. Even in the runup to the Iraq war, there were a significant number of reporters and editorial writers who didn't buy the official story. But on Venezuel, the media is more like a jury that has 12 people but only one brain.

Since the Venezuelan opposition decided to campaign for the September elections on the issue of Venezuela's high homicide rate, the international press has been flooded with stories on this theme some of them highly exaggerated. This is actually quite an amazing public relations achievement for the Venezuelan opposition. Although most of the Venezuelan media, as measured by audience, is still owned by the political opposition there, the international press is not. Normally, it takes some kind of news hook, even if only a milestone such as the 10,000th murder, or a political statement from the White House, for a media campaign of this magnitude to take off. But in this case, all it took was a decision by the Venezuelan political opposition that homicide would be its main campaign issue, and the international press was all over it.

The "all bad news, all the time" theme was overwhelmingly dominant even during Venezuela's record economic expansion, from 2003 to 2008. The economy grew as never before, poverty was cut by more than half, and there were large gains in employment. Real social spending per person more than tripled, and free healthcare was expanded to millions of people. You will have to search very hard to find these basic facts presented in a mainstream media article, although the numbers are hardly in dispute among economists in international organisations that deal with statistics.

For example, in May, the UN Commission on Latin America (ECLAC) found that Venezuela had reduced inequality by more than any other country in Latin America from 2002 to 2008, ending up with the most equal income distribution in the region. This has yet to be mentioned by the major international press.

More:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010...
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nosmokes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-11-10 04:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. but Chavez is a *dictator* doncha know.Even Obama says so. He was elected
twice but he's still a *dictator.*I wish someone would splain that to me.
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another saigon Donating Member (450 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-11-10 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
2. I wonder why the blackout on V's economic successes?
not! Here is an excellent reason why this and every other administration does not want to let the word get out on Hugo's success. SSHHHHHH, we little folks may want the same here.

-snip=

Venezuela has adequate foreign exchange reserves, is running a trade and current account surplus, has low levels of foreign public debt and quite a bit of foreign borrowing capacity, if needed. This was demonstrated most recently in April with a $20bn (about 6% of Venezuela's GDP) credit from China. As such, it is extremely unlikely to run up against a foreign exchange shortage. It can therefore use public spending and investment as much as necessary to make sure that the economy grows sufficiently to increase employment and living standards, as it did before the 2009 recession. (Our government in the United States could do the same, even more easily but that does not appear to be in the cards right now.) This can go on for many years.

Whatever happens, we can expect complete coverage of one side of the story from the media. So keep it in mind: even when you are reading the New York Times or listening to NPR on Venezuela, you are getting Fox News. If you want something more balanced, you will have to look for it on the web.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-11-10 05:39 PM
Response to Original message
3. Kudos for The Guardian for reporting the Truth.
The IMF (along with the US MSM) is NOT to be trusted when discussing ANY aspect of the Venezuelan Economy.
The Rich Old White Men running the IMF would like nothing more than for Venezuela to fail so they could get the greedy hands on Venezuela's Natural Resources and lock them away in "private" hands.
Chavez told the IMF to take a hike, and also undercut the IMFs plan to Privatize South America by providing funds to his neighbors so they weren't forced to hand over their Natural Resources to the IMF.

I wouldn't be surprised a bit to find that IMF money is finding its way into the hands of the "opposition" and the Right Wing guerrillas operating from protected bases in Colombia.

VIVA Democracy!
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-11-10 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
4. I agree with Weisbrot. Our entire corpo-fascist press has been in lockstep on anti-Chavez stories
for some time and has NEVER, not once, published ANY pro-Chavez or neutral stories explaining why the voters of Venezuela have elected and re-elected Chavez and his government, by big margins, in transparent, internationally monitored elections. It has been one of the most popular governments on earth. Believe me, I would have noticed on objective story on Chavez. I've been following this psyops/disinformation campaign for almost a decade. It is unrelieved. There are no exceptions. The New York Slimes, the Washitdownthedrain Post, the Wall Street Urinal, the Miami Hairball, the Associated Pukes, Rotters, the BBCons, et al, and all broadcast conglomerates, never report on, let alone explain, Chavez's popularity, his government's achievements and his positive influence in the region. One of the worst pieces of shit reporting on Chavez I've come across was on BBC radio! But the Slimes take the medal for most consistent, "in depth" hit pieces on Chavez--lengthy tomes of anti-Chavez 'news' from every angle. I have not seen anything like it except the WMD lies leading up to the Iraq War--with the Slimes also in the lead on that disinformation campaign--and it has made me very alarmed that Venezuela is our war machine's next oil target (along with other evidence).

And if you do a bit of research, you find out that there are a lot of good reasons why big majorities of Venezuelans have been supporting this government for ten years. You furthermore find out that Chavez is respected by other Latin American leaders, and is good friends and allies with many of them, including the presidents of Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay and Paraguay. Are the majority of Venezuelans stupid dolts? Is the president of Brazil a stupid dolt, and all these other leaders? Being led by the nose by a "dictator"? Or by an "incompetent"? (The contradiction in the rightwing "talking points" that pervade our press is never questioned, of course. Chavez can't control "street crime"? Some dictator!)

Not one even neutral article about Chavez. NOT ONE!

There are outright lies. And there are lies of other kinds, such as the black holes in 'news' stories where information should be. I've seen just about every kind of lying in our corpo-fascist coverage of Venezuela, including its utter distortion of Chavez's genuine popularity into this bogeyman "dictator" whom they can beat up on, without appearing to target their true victims--Venezuela's poor majority.

It's mind-boggling to see this groupthink in the western press. Imagine what it is doing to people on other issues--especially people who don't pay close attention to how the "news" is written or presented, like I do.

It offends me and appalls me. And it is very dangerous. I've certainly noticed this groupthink on another vital issue (besides the Iraq War and Chavez), and that is the alarming, fast conversion of our vote counting system, all over the U.S., to electronic voting machines run on 'TRADE SECRET' programming code, owned and controlled largely by ONE, private, far rightwing-connected corporation--ES&S, which just bought out Diebold--with virtually no audit/recount controls. They all pooh-pooh election fraud. They all IGNORE this gigantic "elephant in the room"--our loss of public control over vote counting. The U.S. public is FORBIDDEN to review this 'TRADE SECRET' code, and the audit/recount controls on it are laughable.

You could certainly argue that our entire democracy has been stolen, in every way that matters--corporate money control of who gets to run for office, corporate 'TRADE SECRET' control of who gets (s)elected, corporate lockstep control of the news media, corporate lobbyists writing bills in Congress and in state legislatures, a corporate resource war in Iraq, and more. And now these same malefactors are out to destroy Venezuela's democracy as well--if not by coup, as they tried and failed at, in 2002, if not by the oil bosses' lockout, to cripple Venezuela's economy in 2003 (which the Chavez government pulled Venezuela out of, with amazing success), if not by the USAID-funded recall election in 2004 (which Chavez won, hands down), and if not by this relentless, pervasive psyops, disinformation campaign, then how? What is all this disinformation FOR? Just dirty politics? Or is it the preliminary to Oil War II? And since the people who brought us Oil War I now have control of our election results, that is a vital question. What do they intend to use this 'TRADE SECRET' power to do?
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-11-10 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
5. But you see, Venezuela HAS to fail.....
If it doesn't, it might expose unfettered vulture capitalism as the destructive force that it is.



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txlibdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-12-10 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. We can no longer afford Capitalism
The world needs to move away from Capitalism and its duplication (triplification/quadruplification) of effort, wastefulness, and inequity.

Kill capitalism before it kills us all.
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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-11-10 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
6. They also "misreport" (think LIE or PROPAGANDIZE ABOUT) the media
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

A shame so many DUers believe the lies.
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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-11-10 07:29 PM
Response to Original message
7. I take issue with this statement
Since the Venezuelan opposition decided to campaign for the September elections on the issue of Venezuela's high homicide rate, the international press has been flooded with stories on this theme some of them highly exaggerated. This is actually quite an amazing public relations achievement for the Venezuelan opposition. Although most of the Venezuelan media, as measured by audience, is still owned by the political opposition there, the international press is not. Normally, it takes some kind of news hook, even if only a milestone such as the 10,000th murder, or a political statement from the White House, for a media campaign of this magnitude to take off.

Bullshit. I would bet Boner's annual tanning bed bill that the same people are funding our media AND the Venezuelan opposition. EVERY bit of news that looks bad on Hugo is published/aired here from coast to coast.
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mwrguy Donating Member (396 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-11-10 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
8. There are plenty of poeple on this very site who slander Chavez
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-11-10 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
9. Being in the midst of reading "The Shock Doctrine"
Yes, I know I should have read it sooner, but anyway...

It's become clear that the Establishment (politicians, press, corporate owners) doesn't give a damn about democracy.

Naomi Klein cites case after case where the introduction of Milton Friedman's "free market, free trade" either proceeded (Russia, Poland) or followed (Chile, China, Argentina) a period of severe political repression.

Note that the first thing the perpetrators of the anti-Chavez coup did was to dissolve the national legislature and the supreme court, suspend the constitution, and arrest Chavez and his cabinet, all in the name of "restoring freedom." (The filmmakers who made The Revolution Will Not Be Televised caught them on film making this declaration.)
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