NBC’s Today: Still No Coverage of Venezuelan Distress

In the past 48 hours, the socialist President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, has installed a new national assembly (made up of his own supporters and relatives) in order to bypass his political opposition, and begun rounding up and jailing opposition leaders. In response, the United States has imposed a new round of sanctions against Maduro himself. So far this year, more than 140 people have been killed in the escalating political violence in that nation.

Yet in all of 2017, NBC's Today has yet to utter a single word about the misery wrought by Venezuela's socialist, and increasingly dictatorial, government. To their credit, this morning ABC and CBS both ran full reports – ABC’s Martha Raddatz called the latest developments "ominous" -- while all three broadcast evening newscasts on Monday night at least noted the dramatic developments.

On Good Morning America, Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz called these latest developments “truly an ominous turn following the disputed election that gave President Maduro nearly unlimited powers, an election that the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. has called a sham.” After running footage allegedly showing opponents of Maduro being rounded up and jailed, CBS This Morning correspondent Manuel Bojorquez noted that “their arrests do confirm the fears of the opposition here, and many in the international community who believe that President Nicolás Maduro would use this weekend's vote to rewrite the constitution as a pretext to jail, suppress, and otherwise silence the opposition.”

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Good Morning America’s 83 seconds of coverage was more than what the broadcast had given to the topic all year up until this point (56 seconds total). Meanwhile, ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News both ran news briefs (21 and 25 seconds long, respectively), although World News Tonight continues to avoid using the words “socialism” or "socialist." CBS had the most comprehensive coverage, with 3 minutes and 56 seconds total between CBS This Morning and CBS Evening News.

During his World News Tonight report, anchor David Muir mentioned that the election gave Maduro “almost unlimited powers,” but then seemed to downplay Maduro’s power grab by saying that “President Nicolás Maduro celebrated his victory as a mandate from the people, but the U.S. calls him a dictator.” He then went on to observe that “Venezuela has been sinking into political chaos under his leadership.”

For a full breakdown of ABC, CBS and NBC’s coverage of Venezuela in 2017, check out this report on the topic, published just yesterday: https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/mike-ciandella/2017/07/31/nets-barely-notice-venezuelas-vote-dictatorship

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