NYT’s still got it…

The New York Times’ sprawling investigation into corruption at Wal-Mart de México (and the subsequent Bentonville cover-up) is worth reading for the intrinsic pleasure of seeing a ghastly corporate fuck-up dissected in minute, forensic detail.

It’s also worth reading to remind ourselves of what Investigative Journalism – properly resourced, and taken seriously – can do. Clinical in its precision, methodical about rendering the twists and turns of a complex investigation easy to understand, scrupulous about linking to source materials, it just makes you think…what would happen if somebody set David Barstow loose on a guy like Eladio Aponte Aponte?

56 thoughts on “NYT’s still got it…

  1. My 9 year old gasped at your use of the f word, then attempted to read the sentence, the cheeky one.
    Great piece of investigative reporting. The kind that will be specially needed in a post-Ch era to uncover all the ‘guisos’ of the ‘robolution’.
    Hope you decide to go back and do it. It seems to be your call. All the best.

    • yeah, too bad about the f words, or rather, the collateral damage in this blog. Sometimes 9-year olds have more sense than adults.

      • Collateral damage!? wtf!

        Sometimes, words need to be used for their meaning. Often, say, clusterfuck is the most appropriate (even correct technical term!) to describe a situation, e.g. “the Aponte Aponte case unveils the big clusterfuck that is justice in Venezuela”

        Quico maybe you could say fuckorino, fuckee or many of the other derivatives of fuck? Variety is the spice of lice! Also, there is:

        • Nestor,

          people say bad words for their supposed shock value, although they no longer shock because they have become so overly used…..and often when people think of themselves as shocking they also think that shocking others makes them look cool :)…….

          if not they usually have Tourettes syndrome

        • look, nestor, f words have the power to (a) relieve frustration in those whose vocabularies are limited, or (b) shock when used by those who need to be perceived as being cool, as fp notes.

          among more serious elements, you may find occasional usage, in private, but by and large, that usage is judicious, osea, used sparingly.

          By not frequently resorting to f words increases your market share, for obvious reasons. Lack of usage, in public, also increases your (moral) authority. It’s a win-win. Unless you’re the late George Carlin. It’s elementary, my dear.

  2. Nice piece, Toro. I agree 100% we desperately need that kind of journalism. Now: how come it was a journalist employed by Eligio Cedeño, of all people, the one who interviewed Aponte²? Was it just the one who decided to seize the opportunity, thus just chance, or did DEA/Aponte² decide it should be that journalist?

    • Kepler, I was wondering the same…maybe the lack of proof for many of the accusations was also decided before the interview. I wonder if this interview was just a way for the DEA to see how the government (or corrupts within the government) reacted ans see how many rats would abandon the ship. The government has not denied the accusations…has only repeated the word traitor like 1,000 times and try to link Aponte^2 to the opposition.

    • My read is this. Sometime before the April 3rd summons, and likely through a go-between, AA declares his interest in singing to the DEA. He knows it’s the only way he can save his skin, or in his euphemisms: clean his name, reputation and dignity.

      I doubt that the connection between the DEA and AA, was made overnight. I think it was percolating for a few months.

      The responsible parties at the DEA already have a dossier on the issues of shady justice and undetermined wealth in Venezuela. One contributing member to their data base was an earlier fugitive (a bolibourgeois once mixed up with Chávez’ daughter) and amateur videotaper, Eligio Cedeño. Did the DEA help him or inspire him to obtain a TV broadcasting license? I’m not sure. But we now know that on November 2, 2011, five months before AA was picked up by the DEA, Eligio Cedeño opens SoiTV,

      My take is that the DEA and Eligio Cedeño know full well the trauma of fleeing one’s country for unknown territory. They know about a fugitive’s dazed reaction, the accompanying anxiety, depression and confusion, all of which could last months, if not a few years. They know that choosing a hardball *investigative* journalist would upset the apple cart and cause the subject of the interview to be more confused. Besides, there’s no time. A softy is chosen for the task at hand.

      This logic of dealing with traumatized subjects would likely not crop up in journalism school, if it could even be understood by the fresh young faces not living in a shady autocratic state. It takes having “been there” or being exposed to that experience, to know what’s required. Or, at the very least, it demands the ability to do some basic role playing, and to put oneself in another’s shoes.

  3. Francisco,
    Very nice piece (the NYT one). Although I don’t understand what is the big deal about Aponte Aponte’s interview. If you are going to demand that the journalist should be better, why not go all the way and demand that the politicians should be better? Or the judges? Or the business people? Why focus all the attention on the journalist?

    This monumental piece of journalism is brilliant and needed in places like Venezuela. But newspapers (a struggling industry) need to see returns on their investments when creating content. This piece must have taken a few months or even years to be written. The amount of man hours must have been extraordinary. But beyond that, is not the NYT stills has it, it is its audience (guys like you) are the ones that still got it and remain interested. The NYT has a access to a global audience and Walmart’s case attracts attention globally too. Not sure if that’s the case of Aponte Aponte. Also, the article about the disaster in the TSJ is there. We need someone to go there a go through those piles of emails and construct a story. Any volunteers? My guess is that first a financier will need to step up. Very few journalist do pro bono. Maybe a fundraiser is in order?

    Indeed, we need better journalist, but I wouldn’t stop in demanding that we get better journos. We need better entrepreneurs, better engineers and better judges. We also need great leaders that will lead by example and that will make the difficult decisions and not the convenient ones. We also need better followers that will understand why the difficult decisions are made and would be willing to endure a little pain while the country goes through the changes that it needs. Additionally, I don’t don’t understand why demand it when WE could be them.

    We need some many things and many of them we need them more urgently that incisive, witty journalist (IMO).

    • “Although I don’t understand what is the big deal about Aponte Aponte’s interview.”

      I think that that’s an unspoken point of Quico’s, that the Aponte interview is *huge*. Or, rather, it should have been. Another reader referred to it as “historic”. It lost its hugeness in part because of a missed journalistic opportunity.

      “If you are going to demand that the journalist should be better, why not go all the way…””

      I think you know the answer, that journalism is where quico makes demands, others in education, others in law. To each his own. But to take your own demand, the one about generalizing demands to ones needed “more urgently”, you seem to have missed demanding for the Aponte interview something that you acknowledged NYT has for its article: “it is its audience (guys like you) are the ones that still got it and remain interested.” I think that that’s an unspoken demand of Quico’s, that the audience (i.e., starting with the readers of this blog) appreciate the hugeness of the missed opportunity and increase their demand. Without the demand for greater quality, there won’t be greater supply of it, and this was a bombshell of an example.

      Taking it one step further, of all the things one can criticize of points made by Quico, is this the one you consider needed “more urgency”? Note that I don’t agree with that measure, I believe one sometimes delves into matters just because they came up, not because of priorities, but I just wished to mirror your argument to make the point as to one reason why I don’t believe in it.

      • Extorres,
        I agree with your last paragraph.Put out context the sentence that you start with seems like I think the scandal is not important. Ohh it is, I just think the journalist was effective “enough”. I disagree that the interview didn’t deliver an impact. It did. The press and media is all over it and the people in Caracas’s streets are also talking unstoppable about it. I also disagree that the opportunity has been missed. There is a lot of skeletons within the TSJ closet that need to be brought to the attention of the public. This interview, even if it was a total failure (which again, I believe it wasn’t) there is still “plenty of fabric to cut” from the TSJ’s shenanigans. And when a or if a properlly journalist work is done, it will still catch the attention of the media.

        But again, the issue here, as we can agree, is the audience. Regardless of the level of the report. It will be on the attention of the venezuelan public for 2 days and it will fade away. CAP was impeached not for the high level of journalism from JVR, it was because he had too many political enemies.

        • Rodrigo Linares, I don’t think we’re in much disagreement except wherever your arguments send Quico the message that hes shouldn’t have expressed his perspective the way he has. You say “effective ‘enough’ “, he seems to say “not”. That may not be what’s most important to you, but that’s the point Quico seems to be making. And he described what the journalist could have done it better, and why it upsets him that she didn’t, but instead of countering if he’s right about the interview or not, he’s getting pushback on whether he should have mentioned it at all.

          In your previous comment you even implied that one should only talk about what’s needed “more urgently”, which, if you think about it, would go down the slippery slope to only let us talk about a single thing.

          If you don’t think Quico’s posts/comments on this are so important, why do you think it’s getting so much attention. I have the feeling there’s much personal baggage being handled…

      • “It (the AA interview) lost its hugeness in part because of a missed journalistic opportunity.”

        Really, ET? Really? Gee, I wonder why Petkoff, a journalist with decades of experience, isn’t decrying the quality of the interview/er?
        http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xqapi4_teodoro-petkoff-caso-aponte-aponte-es-el-escandalo-de-la-decada_news

        Btw, I don’t look up to Petkoff, but I most certainly share his observation. This interview is H-U-G-E. Frankly, it could only be topped by Chávez’ death. Speaking of whom, it’ll be interesting to see whether Chávez can still command the aura he has in the past, among the enchanted, when he returns. I predict some souring faces.

        • Yes, syd, really.

          Let me get this straight, while Quico is trying to get us to raise our bars to NYT’s bar height, is your counter to get us to lower it to Petkoff’s bar height?

          And isn’t the fact that Venezuelans need Petkoff to tell us that this Aponte interview is “H-U-G-E” an indicator that the interview didn’t demonstrate its hugeness on its own?

          I keep seeing baggage handling…

          • Obviously you were not around during the years of Toro’s love-ins with his Saint Teodoro. Years, I tell you. That’s what makes Petkoff’s comments (which I agree with) so ironic, in the face of Toro’s ad nauseum shrieks over the AA interview. I’ll leave you to digest that, but let me say that you have a pathological need to argue. I hope you put it to good use, by shoring your foundation with structure and logic, say, in law.

            • Syd, What’s wrong with FT having outgrown an admiration of youth?

              As to pathological needs, I’ll point out that you replied to my comment, not me to yours.

              Thanks, I guess, for the career advise you offer, but one of my chosen good uses for my “foundation” is coming to this blog’s comment section and making my comments.

            • you assume, to suit your needs, that FT has outgrown his long-term admiration for Petkoff. Enough said.

            • I did assume that FT has outgrown his long-term admiration for Petkoff, but not as you put it to suit my needs, as you assume, but by your phrasing which does not seem likely if you had intended to mean it was still ongoing. You stated that I was not around during the years of Petkoff admiration, instead of something to the effect that I am not around to see the still current admiration. Regardless, my bad, and yours to assume my intent, which you invariably seem to assume negatively, perhaps to suit your needs…

        • The interview is H-U-G-E because of the revelations made in it not because of the quality of the interview. In other words, it was huge in spite of the less than stellar job made by the journalist.

  4. Well, it looks as though I’m not going to see the questions that Toro would have posed AA. That’s too bad. I did so want to see that, for I’m sure Toro would be able to produce, in hindsight, brilliant questioning. Maybe he needs much more time to prepare. And that is why that commodity – Time – is just one missing and critical aspect in the attempted comparison between the investigative journalism of a NYT piece on Walmart-Mexico and that done by the pilloried journalist with SoiTV.

    Here is the reverse chronology, courtesy the Wall St. Journal, and what we know.

    April 19, 2012:
    AA is interviewed by US officials (in the US).
    April 18, 2012:
    SoiTV broadcasts the rushed production of AA’s interview by VV. (Juan Nagel scoops it for CC.)
    April 17, 2012:
    AA is picked up in an official US government plane from Costa Rica.
    On or about April 3, 2012:
    AA flees from Venezuela to Costa Rica, on the day he was to appear, summoned, before the National Assembly.

    Who’s asking for pears from the elm tree?

  5. (My words from previous post)
    After thinking about this- I realized Aponte^2 saying “I believe in the revolutionary process”- is very important.
    A. Aponte^2-is/was a goodchavista- however -isn’t he saying now that
    he no longer believes in chavismo? What better example for chavistas to
    ponder than that of an ex-Judge who realizes the destruction caused by
    CHavez- think about it. This may cause millions of Venezuelans to defect,
    give up their belief in “the revolution”.- Naturally, Madura et al – the parrots of Chavez come out and squack “Look, this is just a conspiracy against the
    revolution of Chavez”
    But, the evidence is there. The deaths, the expropriations, the destruction..
    This could/should be an avalanche against chavismo!
    I like the quote someone said “We knew it, but we did not REALIZE it”
    B.The leaders, the promoters of the “revolution” have blood on their hands
    lots of blood -blood from their own el pueblo this includes Chavez.

  6. I agree with you, Quico. There is a need for serious investigative reporting in Venezuela. The problem is that in the last 13 years, Venezuela has been too radicalized for cold-headed serious reporting to take place. Venezuelan journalists, even serious ones, often take one stand and simply try, in the best case, to find points that confirm their beliefs and those of their readers. There is no questioning on what is perceived “your side”. Your side must be truthful and infallible by definition.Once, a foreign journalist told me that, in current Venezuela, he has learned to not trust anybody in matters of truth.

    So, my conclusion is that one cannot get serious reporting in such a polarized environment. And, as an interested observer, I just try to extract the facts. What are the facts in every story, not the perception, not my wishful thinking, but the facts. That is not easy, because very often, in Venezuela, even the facts are contradicted.

    • Bruni,

      I agree with everything you say but I am surprised a foreign journalist would trust anyone anywhere else at all. Would he trust German government officials? US government officials? Russian ones? Norwegians? Trust and truth in politics are delicate subjects…everywhere, even if more so in some places.

    • Aponte says that he had a Friday morni meeting in his office almost every week, attended by high level prosecutors, among others. This is in itself improper, and certainly gives rise to an appearance of bias in the system. Couldn’t someone ask Luisa Ortega if she was in fact present at Aponte’s office on the numerous alleged dates? If not there should be a paper/photographic trail of where she was. She should produce it.

      • To be more precise, what he said was that every Friday there was a meeting in the office of the Vicepresident of the Republic with the President of the AN, the President of the Supreme Court and the General Prosecutor, plus some of their subordinates. He said the he had been present in some of those meetings.

        • I remember that the Luisa Estela Morales president of the Supreme Court said that the division of powers weakens the state and that they should cooperate instead. She probably was referring to those weekly meetings.

          I also wonder if they were careful not to put anything that was discussed in those meetings in paper or if they were so sure of themselves that they left a paper trail. There may be documents, minutes or even notes that someone may have taken of those discussions.

  7. Off topic (for most):

    I just heard Bs.7k gets you on the seguro social payment plan, even if you’ve never worked. That’s minimum wage for life for a 7k investment. Should we get an investigative reporter (that’s the tie-in), or all jump on the bandwagon? Almost like cash distribution…

  8. To Mr. Nagel and Mr. Hernandez:

    Several days ago, there was an exchange with mr. toro in which he implicitly – because he couldn’t sum up the courage to do it directly – insulted me because I not only disagreed with his position but I also had evidence that he was being dishonest about the facts and stated so. Of course, exchanges can get heated and my skin can take them, provided that they are conducted with civility and respect.

    The exchange in question was the one regarding Brian Nelson’s book The Silence and The Scorpion. The credibility of the author was seriously undermined by the fact that he misrepresented himself as a Johns Hopkins University professor, when in fact he is or was a schoolteacher working in an institution supported by Johns Hopkins, not part of it. I read the book, of course, and found several disturbing facts about a piece that is merely a chronicle of those days and that reveals nothing new about those events. Nelson in his “Note to the Readers” states that he interviewed more than 40 individuals, including, according to him, Pedro Carmona and U.S. Ambassador Charles Shapiro. However, the names of these 40 interviewees appear nowhere in the book as such, except for a list of nineteen “Principal Characters.” When I reviewed the list, I laughed because it was clearly slanted towards the regime. Indeed, of the 19, eleven are or were associated with the government. I could only assume, not confirm, that he talked to those 19 people. Furthermore, in the whole book there is not a single quote of any of these people, thus he could just have written that he interviewed 400 individuals as well, because his intention is that we take what he says at face value. Nonetheless, my biggest objection towards the credibility of this book is that the author declared himself a convinced chavista even several months after April 11, 2001.

    I have been observing mr. toro behavior for some time and it appears that he cannot withstand disagreement, preferring instead sycophantic praise. Therefore, when people express disagreement, he resorts not only to ad hominem attacks but outright insults. For example: …”wakes up on the wrong side of the sanity spectrum” or “fucking prick.”

    In his last blog, he resorts again to the use of profanity. He may consider that adequate, but in journalism (I don’t even know if he is a journalist) that is clearly forbidden. For example, The New York Times Company Policy on Ethics in Journalism, states the following:

    A. On the Job

    A1. Our Duty to Our Audience

    17. As journalists we treat our readers, viewers, listeners and online users as fairly and openly as possible. Whatever the medium, we tell our audiences the COMPLETE, UNVARNISHED TRUTH AS BEST WE CAN LEARN IT. We correct our errors explicitly as soon as we become aware of them. We do not wait for someone to request a correction. We publish corrections in a prominent and consistent location or broadcast time slot.

    18. We treat audience members no less fairly in private than in public. Anyone who deals with our public is expected to honor that principle, knowing that ultimately our readers and viewers are our employers. CIVILITY APPLIES whether an exchange takes place in person, by telephone, by letter or by e-mail.

    19. We gather information for the benefit of our audience. Journalists at the Times Company, or on assignment for one of its newsrooms, may not use their position to make inquiries for any other purpose.

    20. Staff members or outside contributors who plagiarize betray our fundamental pact with our public. So does anyone who KNOWINGLY OR RECKLESSLY PROVIDES FALSE INFORMATION or doctored images for publication. We will not tolerate such behavior.

    If your blog had a Code of Conduct, you would have reacted promptly at mr. toro transgressions and indeed some form of sanction would have been applied to him for a behavior that clearly has no place in journalism and indeed in any other professional area. This has not happened, of course.

    I have participated in comment sections of many media in several countries and this is the first time that I have witnessed a “journalist” resorting to vulgarity in his “pieces” and insults against commenters. Very sad record for your blog. Of course, I won’t be posting comments here anymore for obvious reasons, knowing full well that I won’t be missed. But that is okay, there are plenty of places where I will be treated with the civility I and my fellow commenters always deserve.

    • Holy Jesus you’re a piece of work.

      1-Your original charge is false.
      2-You still haven’t found a single substantive thing wrong with Brian’s research.
      3-You don’t understand how a blog is different from a newspaper.
      4-I don’t have to be nice to you, and I refuse to be nice to you.

      • 1. and 2.: argue all you want, but the facts are very clear and you haven’t counter them with your own facts … ever!

        By the way: “Francisco Toro—A freelance reporter who was one of the few journalists
        to venture out during the news blackout on April 13.”

        Did you and Nelson seriously believe that every reader was going to swallow this nonsense?

        Worried about your credibility? You should be.

        3. Yes, I do, but you are still NOT EXEMPTED from a code of ethics:
        http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2007/03/call-for-a-blog-1.html

        4. This is not about niceness, it is about abusiveness and disrespect, big difference.
        Guess who is really the piece of work. I am ending this now, and signing off forever. You can keep up using foul language and insulting other people to death. You aren’t very bright, are you?

        • Johnny Walker, I’ve also been reading your comments for some time. I can attest to your rudeness and accusing me of not being smart, and calling out facts that I proved wrong, yet you won’t admit, all while calling me stubborn. One thing is clear, you project much, for example: your loss of credibility in pointless rants about things like “ducto sanguineo” where you demonstrate how stubbornly wrong you can be makes you project this loss of credibility on others. Since you are signing off forever, I hope you leave having learned at least that one aspect about yourself and stop projecting.

          • Okay. Read me out pal. I am a PHYSICIAN. You are not. I have only accused you of making yourself a fool for discussing things that you do not have the slightest idea about. I stand on this. As someone pointed out before, you only argue because you have a stubborn need to prove yourself right, though you are not. I am not projecting. There is NO ducto sanguineo. You have not proved anything wrong at all. Clearly, you are not teaching me anything about myself. You are simply stating to the world how stupid you are. This is the last time I will address you. You simply do not have the brain power to remain on perspective. I can tell.

            • OK, if we’re using the credentials tactic, I’ll point out that another physician was the one who used the term which you claimed no physician used. So, not only were you wrong about no physician using the term, we’re still tied one physician against another, so I did a search and found:

              Medical Dictionary Definition for Duct: A tube through which body fluids pass.
              http://www.hyperdictionary.com/search.aspx?define=duct

              Since I take it you would agree that blood is a body fluid, then blood duct would not be a term that establishes that a physician doesn’t know what he’s talking about if he were to use it.

              And from the rest of your comment, you just keep projecting; I think you realize you’re not as smart as you pretend to be, so you call others on it instead.

            • this is sad. and you teach, ET?? I’m not going to bother wasting my time educating you on non-physician aspects of your pathological argument. but let me say, your need to manipulate is spectacular.

            • Syd, you keep replying to me even when it’s not you to whom I was replying, yet you accuse me of the need to argue and manipulate… And you keep sidestepping so many opportunities to teach, as perhaps you could if you pointed out how I’m using a medical dictionary incorrectly, or how one physicians word to discredit another’s based on nothing other than a debatable use of a medical term is reasonable.

        • I have to agree with the points raised by JW. It is rare, on these comments, to come across, for the most part, the combination of mature reasoning and good content.

          Longer than JW, I, too, have wondered about Toro’s credentials in journalism. And from which journalism school he graduated, and when. These are reasonable requests in an era when the Web provides such bountiful opportunities for wannabes and those for whom misrepresentation means nothing.

      • Also he’s a troll. He just said you have no Code of Conduct here,get it?
        He said you have no COC

        • Okay, genius. Just explain to me why I am a troll. I cannot wait to hear you explanation, though I suspect i will be at a first grader level.

    • Johnny,

      I’m late to this debate, and I regret you feeling mistreated. However, there is nothing we can do about it. Each person on this blog has his/her point of view. That includes commentators and bloggers. On occasion, we have resorted to some sort of censorship or guideline, but policing that is time consuming and not worth the hassle.

      • it is very noble of you to state this. In fact, I truly enjoy your blogs and you comments. They are very balanced and one can perceive that they strive to be close to what the general consensus thinks it is the truth, whatever that is. I will be happy to provide – respectfully – my insight to your blogs and those of Mr. Hernandez. However, blogging entails some sort of responsibility. There has to be a code of ethics, so that if you abide by it no one can question your credibility. Just think about this. That is the way I want you remembered, guys. After all, we are all Venezuelans, right?

        • I can’t promise a code of ethics, but I’ll give the idea some thought. We’ll discuss the issue.

  9. Man, you’re overdoing it. You’re lashing out at that interview as if you were Verioska Velasco’s upset boss.

    One single post and its many comments were enough, then registered and revisited as much as it might be needed. But it doesn’t seem to be enough for the splinter you have in your mind. The word of ours I’m coming up with is: “Malpegarse”. And if I’m not mistaken, this is against the main purpose of this blog: Venezuela beyond the cliches. As administrator you could care less about these words but as a fellow Venezuelan you should like to tell it like it is.

    Incidentally, no kind of journalism, however featured, could spoil the outcome of U.S. justice in the Maletagate case and Franklin Duran’s trial. A simple statement of fact.

    • You’re right, of course, Gabriel. I’m having trouble letting go here. More than Verioska, what I’m upset with is reader responses that seem to just accept her standard of journalism as normal, or the best we could hope for, or at any rate good enough. Gah!

      I’ll let go now. Really, I will.

      • lol, the people who settle good enough win.

        I’ve mentioned in the past an architecture student that showed me his graduation project, a government building divided into four equal sections where people would go get their licenses, cédulas, passports, and certificados médicos. When I asked about the equal sizes, surprised that the four services would have equal space requirements, he answered almost angrily that this was just a graduation project, that it didn’t matter if it wasn’t realistic, it just had to be a good idea and a pleasant design. I was the one at fault for being more demanding.

        por eso estamos como estamos.

      • FT,
        I think most of us agree with you that the journalist work was not the best. It certainly wasn’t. The thing is that when that judge said what he said our brains were fixed on that! Not in the quality of the interview. What I found shocking, is that, instead of also being appalled by the judge’s statements, you were appalled by the journalist’s work (and made 0 comments about the judge)! And we are comparing here a journo vs a juez del tribual supremo de la republica! If the journo had been better it would have probably gotten more info out of him, maybe not. At this point it is all hypothetical. For the Venezuelan public and audience, the news are shocking. In fact only that question when he says that he was called and that his decisions were influenced by the president is enough for me to go condorito and fall back!

        Also following the Aporrea and government reactions was fascinating. No one denying the content but instead saying that he is a hero of the oppo or that he is a sapo!

      • And it is not that I want to go down the slippery path and say that journalism is a secondary priority. No. If we were talking about a journo piece perhaps describing the geenral’s murder (no one has come up to a theory for that one) or something, then OK. Fixate on the journo all you want. But in this case the what the judge said was so many orders of magnitude over the relevance that the quality of the journo might have had!

        • Rodrigo Linares, as I said before I don’t think we disagree much at all. I am left wondering, however, where you would draw the line. Would you have agreed to mention the interviewer’s quality if a six yearold had been assigned to carry it out? If an alien lands on earth on his way to somewhere else, do we settle for a “good enough” interviewer just because the importance of a speaking alien is so many orders of magnitude over the relevance of the quality of the journo, or do we demand that on such a bombshell of an opportunity everyone step up to have the interview be up to par with the bombshell of an interviewee?

          I think it seems clear that the answers to these questions are subjective. I see where you stand, and I think yours is a reasonable and valid position. I just don’t see why you and others aren’t accepting Quico’s position without such a ruckus. His is also reasonable and valid.

    • “Man, you’re overdoing it. You’re lashing out at that interview as if you were Verioska Velasco’s upset boss.”

      Not even an upset boss would be so fixated on derailing the discussion over the CONTENT of an incredibly important event in recent Venezuelan history.

      I have long suspected certain mysogynistic tendencies in Francisco Toro. These appeared to manifest themselves with the bashing of Verioska Velasco’s work. Even his berating of the production quality was minimal, in comparison. In total, we’ve been treated to 10 shrieking diatribes among Toro’s comments and posts on the subject. And for what? Because all of a sudden, he’s after majestic results? Not really. For if the pursuit of excellence was the real reason for his diatribes, Toro wouldn’t berate me for expecting an MFA (terminal degree) in Creative Writing not to make critical typos on his promo sheet (and more importantly, not to craft his bio sentence so as to achieve misrepresentation — an area of fine tuning in the English language that beyond Toro’s capabilities, therefore, I didn’t mention it). So Toro, now selling himseslf as the great pursuer of excellence (in journalism), chides me with this nugget: Man, those are some high standards you have, Syd! I’d hate to see what you’d do to someone who falsely accused somebody else of identifying someone as a Professor at Johns Hopkins University…boy, wouldn’t want to be in *those* shoes once you got through with them.

      I now know that misrepresentation does not bother Mr. Toro (and boy, is that ever loaded, and he knows it). No, the reason for the shriek fest appears to be something completely different. We’ve all witnessed a certain amount of bitchiness from Toro towards a number of Juan Nagel’s posts, posts, that I might add, I have thoroughly welcomed for their BALANCE and lack of ego, as well as those from Geha. That is why I wonder if what’s REALLY in Toro’s craw the fact that Juan Nagel got the scoop of the decade, and Francisco Toro didn’t.

      Just wonderin … Not really.

      • Syd, you obviously have a hard-on for FT and love insulting him at every opportunity. Can’t you let it go and stick to commenting on the ultimate reasons we are all here? You are obviously an intelligent lady but sometimes you act like a schoolgirl with PMS!

  10. Now to Join the fray I do have to say that as a reader:

    1. I do miss investigative journalism which seems mostly dead in Venezuela

    2. Kiko, certainly the NYT wallmart article is very well researched, but that took months of not only the NYT investigation, but also extensive investigation and subsequent cover up by wallmart itself. Certainly $100.000’s were paid to run those investigations.

    3. Having said that it is indeed a good example of investigative Journalism I don’t think that is comparable in any way shape or form to the Aponte interview, which must have been cobbled in 12 hours. And yes I do believe there is great journalistic value in getting the story out there quickly so that we can understand what might be happening inside Chavismo an the Narco Generals. Perhaps you should have chosen better as a point of comparison.

    4. The full story can still be extensively researched and told. Hell a book can be probably written about it. Any takers ?

    5. All others. This is a blog not a Journal or TV channel. Whoever writes the Blog gets to say what ever they want. Even if you dont agree. SURPRISE. If you get offended by what you read the solution is simple. Stop reading it and write your own blog.

    Fun commenting to all.

  11. Ismael García makes a pretty good summary of the implications of the Apontex2 case in his program “Oido al Tambor” http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fRvCcUl237g It’s in Spanish, obviously. What do you people think of it?

    Hopefully, people in Venezuela are reacting to the scandal… who knows, maybe they will exceed expectations. Are Venezuelans too cynical to realize the importance of inquiring into them? Or are they just plainly unaware of these things, and absolutely don’t care?Just wondering…

Comments are closed.