The CNN Excuse (Third Update)

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Oh,the irony: Maduro complaining that CNN doesn’t cover his messages… while CNN covered his address live.

As the domestic media blackout continues, the government’s media hegemony has taken to targeting international news outlets. Last week, Colombian news channel NTN24 was summarily taken off of Venezuelan cable TV for covering the protests wrong.

That wasn’t all: yesterday, Nicolas Maduro announced that CNN will be dropped from all cable and satellite TV unless “…they rectify their coverage (on Venezuela)”. We’re past keeping up appearances about free speech and stuff. NTN24 set the stage: from now on, if you don’t toe the line, you can’t even go on cable – it’s that simple.

Still and all, there are some particular questions on the CNN case that need to be raised:

  1. If CNN is doing the same that NTN24, why didn’t the broadcast regulator, CONATEL suspend it inmediately? Why bother with threats and procedures?
  2. CNN (specially its Latin American affiliate CNN en Español or CÑN) is not covering the events around the clock like NTN24 was. Yes, the Venezuelan protests is one of the main news stories, but the channel has not changed their normal programming. Other stories like the Ukraine crisis or the North American summit in Mexico have also received attention but their regular shows like documentaries, showbiz or sports are running as usual.
  3. CNN has interviewed government officials, including Vice-President Elias Jaua, PSUV deputies, international supporters like Ignacio Ramonet and there was even a debate last night between pro-government and pro-opposition students. Also, CNN has simulcasted transmissions from the State Media System (SIBCI) like press conferences and cadenas. So, if they want to say their voices are not allowed there, they’re not telling the truth.
  4. If CNN is creating so much trouble for the government, so what does this say about Telesur, the international news channel created and funded mostly by the hegemony years ago? So, this can be said that such channel has been unsuccessful in its own coverage. In the end, all that effort (and money spent) has been in vain.

The thing is that Mr. Maduro, Information Minister Delcy Rodriguez and CONATEL Director-General William Castillo believe than by shutting down CNN, they will be able to pull abroad what they’re pulling here at home.

It’s true what Quico said that the international media has come late in the game, but as CC friend Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez wrote in a recent post for Foreign Policy, the censorship has somehow backfired.

UPDATE # 1: CNN en Español has reported that their correspondents in Venezuela have had their official press credentials revoked. Their main newsanchor Patricia Janiot has left the country after Maduro’s threats. At this time, the channel is still broadcasting on cable and satellite TV carriers.

UPDATE # 2: The South American correspondent of Deutsche Welle TV Marc Koch publicly denounced that authorities in Caracas harrassed him and force him to erase all material recorded.

UPDATE # 3: CNN en Español is off the hook, for now. Maduro demands from them “equilibrium”. Perhaps he should lead by example and allow the very same thing in Telesur and the rest of the State Media System.

29 thoughts on “The CNN Excuse (Third Update)

  1. Please, just read El Comercio and Peru 21. There is tremendous support for the Venezuelan Opposition in Peru and those newspapers are getting the hard truth out. Peruvians do not want Chavismo to enter Peru.

  2. That debate with the students is probably why he wants CNN shut down. Even an idiot like him would understand how embarrassing it was to the regime and its supporters.

  3. Well, wait a minute, …wait a minute. You say there’s willful breaking of the law taking place in Venezuela? You say the constitution is being shredded by scoundrels who have no respect for any law? CNN out! NTN24 out! Wow! You don’t say. OK. OK. Let me get my wallet out here and call an attorney I know. She’ll fix em! She’ll roast their chestnuts in a court of law. You betcha! Got her business card right here. I can’t make out those last four digits. Er, ah, does anyone have Eva Golinger’s home phone number?

    • Eva Golinger is a Venezuelan-American attorney and editor of the Correo del Orinoco International, a web- and print-based newspaper which is FINANCED by the VENEZUELAN government

  4. lets end this media blackout, I encourage you all to participate in this live debate (Emi Duarte from CC will be participating too). Leave a video testimony of your opinion on the violence we are living in Vzla, the aggressive media blackout or whatever you consider important for the world to hear and tune in at 1:40 pm Cracas time (1:10 NY) here:
    http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/crisis-in-venezuela-violence-erupts/5304c4e6fe344473ec000037

    • Explanation: He washed his fake military uniform with the whites and now all his whites are bright green. That’s what happens when you use get your military uniform from the costume shop and never actually served.

    • I think Ahmed Shihab-Eldin of HuffPost Live was kinder to Eva than was Christiane Amanpour of CNN, in an interview of Eva, after Chávez died. Back then, Eva’s wish for verification that Chávez was not inoculated with cancer cells, was so out there, it deserved the ‘esta-mujer-está-verdaderamente-loca’ scorn by Amanpour.

      Eva seems to be trying on the veil of moderation. Pero aún así, le sale la cabecita idealista. Poechiita.

  5. Congratulations Emiliana, Daniel, and Girish! Great job all of you!

    Eva’s stated (political) “independence” is disingenuous, given her editorship of the international version of the government-backed Correo del Orinoco. From the safety of her Park Slope apartment, where she lives, after leaving Vzla to deliver her child (no Vzlan hospital was good enough for her, nor was the Vzlan nationality for her son), she desperately tries to hang on to the tattered coat-tails of chavismo, finding any excuse to promote its legacy, while keeping an astute eye on the promotion of her ‘literary’ glorifications of the late Hugo Chávez. For this “resentida social” by proxy, no thanks to her mom psychological profile, a parrot fittingly squawks in the background, during Eva’s verbal input.

  6. Chavismo will only “enter” Peru, if the local conditions are ripe for it. I’m a little off topic here, but time and time again, people give Chavez way too much credit for “spreading” Chavismo around the hemisphere True, there may have been checks here and there, but ultimately individuals countries – be it Ecuador, Peru or Bolivia – have their home grown conditions that account for the level of political volatility, social unrest and resource nationalism present.

  7. Telesur didn’t fail in transferring public wealth to Chavista loyalists. Which is the ultimate purpose of most every Chavista enterprise.

  8. I just watched the debate: Emiliana, you were awesome! Thanks!

    I did find it interesting that Eva seemed to make a difference in her support for Chavez, and the Revolution, and her support for what has happened since. I detected some hesitancy and uneaseness in flat out saying she supported Maduro.

    In a recent article in Aporrea by Mr. Socialismo del Siglo 21 Heinz Dieterich he declares “La 5ta República ya es pasado.”

    Have we reached a tipping point?

  9. Here in Ireland there are still a lot of (ironically mostly middle class) people buying into the Chavista narrative of Chavez the socialist hero.

    As such there’s an ignorance reflex to immediately claim that anti-government protests are the machinations of “International Oil Companies” strangely this isn’t the opinion of the two Ex Pat Venezuelan’s I’ve met here.

    There is a grating desire in the world to buy into such false narratives for the delusional reward of one’s own hero complex.

    And the regional line from Mercosul seems to be a dual condemnation of the violence and the protests as if they were were one and the same thing which must also serve to neutralise any impetus towards more extensive critical coverage of events.

    The Truth is just less popular….

  10. CNN has been mostly ignoring this in the US and they haven’t been attacking Maduro, this is about something else entirely.

    CNN has a history of being told what to publish.

    Eason Jordan wrote an op ed in the NY Times titled, “The News We Kept To Ourselves” where he admitted that CNN lied for Saddam Hussein in for years to be able to stay in the country.

    That’s what this is all about,.
    Maduro might have made a mistake, he should have done it in quiet because now they might have to pretend they don’t like lying since he made it public.

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