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Venezuela's RCTV: Sine Die and GOOD RIDDANCE!

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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 09:29 AM
Original message
Venezuela's RCTV: Sine Die and GOOD RIDDANCE!
May 28, 2007
http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_stephen__070528...
Venezuela's RCTV: Sine Die and Good Riddance

By Stephen Lendman

Venezuela's RCTV: Sine Die and Good Riddance - by Stephen Lendman

Venezuelan TV station Radio Caracas Television's (known as RCTV) VHF Channel 2's operating license expired May 27, and it went off the air because the Chavez government, with ample justification, chose not to renew it. RCTV was the nation's oldest private broadcaster, operating since 1953. It's also had a tainted record of airing Venezuela's most hard right yellow journalism, consistently showing a lack of ethics, integrity or professional standards in how it operated as required by the law it arrogantly flaunted.

Starting May 28, a new public TV station (TVES) replaces it bringing Venezuelans a diverse range of new programming TV channel Vive president, Blanca Eckhout, says will "promot(e) the participation and involvement of all Venezuelans in the task of communication (as an alternative to) the media concentration of the radio-electric spectrum that remains in the hands of a (dominant corporate) minority sector" representing elitist business interests, not the people.

Along with the other four major corporate-owned dominant television channels (controlling 90% of the nation's TV market), RCTV played a leading role instigating and supporting the aborted April, 2002 two-day coup against President Chavez mass public opposition on the streets helped overturn restoring Chavez to office and likely saving his life. Later in the year, these stations conspired again as active participants in the economically devastating 2002-03 main trade union confederation (CTV) - chamber of commerce (Fedecameras) lockout and industry-wide oil strike including willful sabotage against state oil company PDVSA costing it an estimated $14 billion in lost revenue and damage.

This writer explained the dominant corporate media's active role in these events in an extended January, 2007 article titled "Venezuela's RCTV Acts of Sedition." It presented conclusive evidence RCTV and the other four corporate-run TV stations violated Venezuela's Law of Social Responsibility for Radio and Television (LSR). That law guarantees freedom of expression without censorship but prohibits, as it should, transmission of messages illegally promoting, apologizing for, or inciting disobedience to the law that includes enlisting public support for the overthrow of a democratically elected president and his government.

In spite of their lawlessness, the Chavez government treated all five broadcasters gently opting not to prosecute them, but merely refusing to renew one of RCTV's operating licenses (its VHF one) when it expired May 27 (its cable and satellite operations are unaffected) - a mere slap on the wrist for a media enterprise's active role in trying to overthrow the democratically elected Venezuelan president and his government. The article explained if an individual or organization of any kind incited public hostility, violence and anti-government rebellion under Section 2384 of the US code, Title 18, they would be subject to fine and/or imprisonment for up to 20 years for the crime of sedition.

They might also be subject to prosecution for treason under Article 3, Section 3 of the US Constitution stating: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort" such as instigating an insurrection or rebellion and/or sabotage to a national defense utility that could include state oil company PDVSA's facilities vital to the operation and economic viability of the country and welfare of its people. It would be for US courts to decide if conspiring to overthrow a democratically government conformed to this definition, but it's hard imagining it would not at least convict offenders of sedition.

Opposition Response to the Chavez Government Action

So far, the dominant Venezuelan media's response to RCTV's shutdown has been relatively muted, but it remains to be seen for how long. However, for media outside the country, it's a different story with BBC one example of misreporting in its usual style of deference to power interests at home and abroad. May 28 on the World Service, it reported RCTV's license wasn't renewed because "it supported opposition candidates" in a gross perversion of the facts, but that's how BBC operates.

BBC online was more nuanced and measured, but nonetheless off the mark in key comments like reporting "Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Caracas Sunday, some to celebrate, others to protest" RCTV's shuttering. Unexplained was that Chavez supporters way outnumbered opponents who nearly always are part of rightist/corporate-led staged for the media events in contrast to spontaneous pro-government crowds assembling in huge numbers at times, especially whenever Chavez addresses them publicly.

BBC also exaggerated "skirmishes" on the streets with "Police us(ing) tear gas and water cannons to disperse (crowds) and driving through the streets on motorbikes, officers fired plastic bullets in the air." It also underplayed pro-government supportive responses while blaring opposition ones like "Chavez thinks he owns the country. Well, he doesn't." Another was "No to the closure. Freedom." And still another was "Everyone has the right to watch what they want. He can't take away this channel." BBC played it up commenting "As the afternoon drew on, the protests got louder." The atmosphere became nasty. Shots were fired in the air and people ran for cover. It was not clear who was firing" when it's nearly always clear as it's been in the past - anti-Chavistas sent to the streets to stir up trouble and blame it on Chavez.

BBC's commentary ended saying "The arguments highlight, once again, how deeply divided Venezuela is." Unmentioned was that division is about 70 - 80% pro-Chavez, around 20% opposed (the more privileged "sifrino" class), and a small percentage pro and con between them.
http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_stephen__070528...


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net .

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Steve Lendman News and Information Hour on TheMicroEffect.com Saturdays at noon US central time.

Authors Website: http://www.sjlendman.blogspot.com

Authors Bio: I am a 72 year old, retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.



:toast:
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 09:32 AM
Response to Original message
1. Fox News Beware--You're Next!
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NYCGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. No, they aren't. Free speech is absolute. I may not like it, but Fox has as much of
a right to exist as Air America Radio does.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. They have no right to the airwaves, and they participated in the
Bush coup, therefore, you are out of excuses.
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deadmessengers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Conservative opinions are just as important as ours
"Although I disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say it".

I think it's incredibly important to our society to have a diversity of opinions in the public realm. And yes, that means that Fox News has just as much of a right as AAR to be on the air. You may disagree (and I certainly do) with what they're saying, and that's our absolute right to do so, but it's still important not to censor the views aired there based on content.
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. That's right they did help STEAL the presidency!
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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. And how exactly did they do this?
Edited on Mon May-28-07 12:45 PM by Flatulo
As I recall, they were the first to call the Florida elections for Gore, before hundreds of thousands of (predominently republican) voters in the Panhandle had voted.

I further recall that the election was decided by a Supreme Court decision.

I'm not trying to be fresh here, but I really want to understand why you think this media outlet was complicit in the outcome of the presidential election.
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. Bush's COUSIN called the election BEFORE the votes were counted..
He was on FAUX. Because of that all the other MEDIA WHORES backed down.
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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Ah, I had forgotten that. Still, all the networks screwed up that nite...
First they called the election for Gore based on exit polling. Then they declared that it was too close to call. Fox called it for Bush at 3:00AM with 85% of the votes counted. This turned out to be the closest thing to what was actually known about the count.

Did you know that Germany and other countries have outright banned exit polling? I think it's a good idea.

I mean, if the exit polls are so accurate, then why even have an election? Let's elect our leaders by a poll - NOT.
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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. Minor nit, but aren't they cable and satellite-only?
They have hundreds of local affiliates, but they do not carry the national feeds.

I apologize if I am wrong about this.
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dave_p Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. I agree that they have the same right
Edited on Mon May-28-07 10:14 AM by dave_p
But nobody has any absolute right to public channels. Poor broadcasters have to make way for better ones when something better's available, or standards will never improve.

They can both clean up their act or go, so far as I'm concerned, though I recognize AAR's an honest attempt to redress the balance rather than the source of the rot. Neither's compatible with the fairness doctrine, and without the domination of broadcasting by hysterical, lying, unaccountable corporations we wouldn't need AAR. For that matter I think Randi & co be only too happy to be able to shut up shop and declare a justified "Mission Accomplished".
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murdoch Donating Member (658 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. If free speech is absolute...
then how come the TV channels in the US are all controlled by billionaires?

Even PBS has what are, but are not called, commercials for ADM, ExxonMobil and Coca-Cola between shows.

Ask the cable technician who tried to install Hezbollah's TV station satellite feeds for people about freedom of speech. He is in jail now. Of course Hezbollah is a terrorist organization...for the United States. Outside of Israel, the US, the UK and its dominions, only Holland considers Hezbollah to be such, out of all the countries in the world.

The idea that an attempt to crack open the airwaves from the billionaires who have complete control of all of it is an attack on free speech is a joke. The people trying to allow free speech are rotting in jail right now, for trying to let people hear the point of view of a people the US government is giving billions to kill every year,
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. Only free speech for the rich is protected in the US, now that
we've abandoned the constitution and the legal system.
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NYCGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. 
hundreds of thousands.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. For Pennies--and No Bribes Involved
Something to think about.
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killbotfactory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 03:29 AM
Response to Reply #2
19. Free speech is absolute unless they are nazi's, howard stern, or a tit
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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #1
11. Why is it that so many here want to silence the opposition?
If you cannot pursuade people with the power of your ideas, then either...

a) your ideas suck

or

b) your powers of pursuasion suck

Get better ideas or take a class in debating.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. Thank You, Herr Goebbels
YOUR powers of persuasion overwhelm me. Your ideas are another thing.
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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. What is wrong with using logic, reason, objectivity and education
Edited on Mon May-28-07 10:34 PM by Flatulo
to state one's case, instead of censorship? (I'm not saying Fox is objective - they aren't) But that doesn't mean they should be censored. They should to be countered with sound arguments.

Ahem, and name-calling is not a very effective way to influence people.
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mcg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-28-07 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
14. Venezuelans protest as TV station goes off air

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18903331 /
Venezuelans protest as TV station goes off air
Country's oldest private TV broadcaster was critical of the government

... Chavez accused the channel of poisoning Venezuelans with programming that promotes capitalism. ...

Chavez, who says he is steering Venezuela toward socialism, accuses RCTV of supporting a short-lived 2002 coup, violating broadcast laws and regularly showing programs with excessive violence and sexual content. ...

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