ABC, CBS, and NBC have largely punted in covering the protests against the leftist government in Venezuela. Since Monday, only NBC Nightly News has devoted a full report on the demonstrations in the South American country. Altogether, NBC has aired just over two minutes of reporting on the story. Brian Williams also stood out for explicitly mentioning the political ideology of the regime: "Many...are feeling increasingly let down by the socialist government." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The network's Big Three competitors trail far behind in their coverage, with CBS only mentioning the protests during a 24-second news brief on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. The network's evening newscast, CBS Evening News, has yet to cover the story. ABC has devoted three news briefs on its morning and evening newscasts since Wednesday, for a total of 52 seconds of air time.
We're not always the biggest fans of CNN, but when they've provoked the ire of a leftist dictator, we have to give props.
Reuters is reporting that Venezuelan despot Nicolas Maduro is threatening to expel CNN reporters from his country for daring to, well, do their jobs and report the news (h/t TV Newser; emphasis mine):
The New York Times has been notoriously biased and wrong for a long, long time. On things large and small. The Old Shady Lady is at least consistent - if they want to advance Leftism, no facts shall impede them.
Their Ron Nixon is part of a century-plus-old pathetic tradition.
On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams heralded protests in Brazil "driven by economic injustice," followed by correspondent Mark Potter in Rio de Janeiro detailing the motivation: "Many in the crowds complained about rampant corruption, crime, low wages, and a lack of social services....As Brazil spends billions to build stadiums for next year's World Cup and the 2016 Olympics."
What Williams and Potter failed to mention was the fact that NBC is a beneficiary of the Olympics, having exclusive rights to broadcast the games. In 2011, NBC's parent company Comcast paid the International Olympic Committee $4.38 billion to continue to cover the Olympics from 2014 to 2020, with goal being "to use the Olympics as a way to raise its number of subscribers and the monthly fees they pay."
Previewing an upcoming story for NBC's Rock Center on Friday's Today, correspondent Ann Curry warned that tribes of the Amazon rain forest "are sharpening their spears and preparing their blow guns to fight Ecuador's new plan to auction as much as 8 million acres of the rain forest for oil drilling." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
She then cited Boston University biology professor Kelly Swing arguing that "America, a top importer of oil from Ecuador, shares responsibility for this coming conflict....And the toxic legacy of past oil drilling in other parts of the rain forest." A sound bite played of Swing declaring: "We're definitely guilty in this story."
Larry Rohter, who was perhaps the New York Times' most biased reporter during the 2008 campaign (beating some stiff competition) now works the foreign arts beat. In a Sunday Arts & Leisure profile of Pablo Larrain, director of the movie "No," about the 1988 vote that ended the long dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Rohter actually compared Pinochet indirectly to the Tea Party and the libertarian industrialists, the Koch brothers.
With President Obama's election win, the worldwide celebrations have commenced again. NBC's Today show documented as much as they possibly could on Wednesday morning.
Reporting from London, foreign correspondent Michelle Kosinski was tasked with narrating the story of how the election has been perceived and reported overseas. Eerily similar to four long years ago, jubilant residents from other sovereign nations were shown in a high spirits after a second term was guaranteed to Obama. [ video below, MP3 audio here ]
More sympathy from New York Times reporter Simon Romero for Lori Berenson, the American terrorist helper jailed in Peru, in a profile on Saturday’s front page, “Berenson Tries to Make Amends in Peru.” Romero attempted to make Berenson an object of sympathy, as he did in a profile earlier this year when she was released on parole.
Berenson was sentenced to life in prison in Peru in 1996 for being closely involved with the Marxist terrorists of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA). Berenson’s parole was greeted with public indignation, which Romero did his best to quell, calling her fiery claim at trial, that “There are no criminal terrorists in the M.R.T.A. It’s a revolutionary movement!” merely a “youthful outburst.” (Berenson was 26 at the time.) Instead Romero picked up on the angle of a poor, picked-on Berenson:
Naturally, the rejoicing over the surfacing Chilean miners can't just be a human triumph. At the Daily Kos, it's just another excuse for “Yomamaforobama” to unfurl a utopian laundry list of liberal dreams:
This is the ultimate example of humanity racing to better and save its own. This is what is so sorely missing from our everyday lives. No wonder that, when the forces of good and cooperation coalesce, we are so spiritually and morally exalted. Unfortunately, we see this altruism and coming together surface too often only after a disaster has occurred, i.e. 9/11, the Haiti earthquake, the Wall Street almost-meltdown, etc. Other areas that are screaming for our attention, in advance of a possible calamity, are basic human rights, equality in justice, infrastructure renovations, climate control, health care availability/coverage and education upgrades.
The biggest obstacles to the enactment of this list are the punishing theists of the Republican Party:
A lot of newspaper readers just scan the headlines quickly and choose only a few stories to read, even on the front page. Newspapers are often accused of tabloidish, exaggerated headlines. But sometimes, they do the opposite, with duller headlines that seem designed not to inform -- or offend.
The front page of Tuesday's Washington Post carried the headline "Va. driver had record of DUIs before fatal crash." Here's what it could have said: "Illegal alien had record of DUIs before fatal Sunday morning crash killed nun." The Post also bland-ified the headline inside the paper: "Driver had DUI record before fatal crash in Va." The caption for Carlos Montano on page A-12 also avoided his illegal status: "Carlos Montano, 23, is charged in the crash."
The story itself by Jennifer Buske and Paul Duggan didn't avoid the issue, so why would the headline writers try to dull down the story? It began:
Liberal director Oliver Stone revealed his anti-American bent on Monday's Good Morning America, praising the rise of mainly left-wing leaders across South America and even went so far to support Brazilian President Lula da Silva for "trying to strike to deal with Iran," wildly predicting "it's going to be like North Vietnam again" if the U.S. pursued sanctions against the country.
Anchor George Stephanopoulos interviewed the Oscar-winning director 44 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour. Stephanopoulos referenced how Stone has "tackled war, Wall Street, and the Kennedy assassination" and is now "taking on South America. He says our neighbors to the south haven't gotten a fair shake from the American media, and, armed with a camera, he's set out on a road trip to try to change that."
Before asking about Chavez, Stephanopoulos played a clip from Stone's documentary "South of the Border," which included a sound bite from CNN's John Roberts that gave the impression that the anchor was condemning the Venezuelan leader: "He's more dangerous than Bin Laden, and the effects of Chavez, his war against America, could eclipse those of 9/11."
Actually, Roberts, in the January 15, 2009 segment from his American Morning program, actually was reading a quote from a book by his guest, Doug Schoen: "Right off the bat, in the very front of the book, you quote Otto Reich, who was the former ambassador to Venezuela back in the 1980s, as saying that he's more dangerous than bin Laden and the effects of Chavez, his war against America could eclipse those of 9/11."
When Lori Berenson was jailed in Peru on terrorism charges over 14 years ago, she was a fiery young leftist from New York enmeshed in a shadowy Marxist rebel group, stunning a war-weary nation with her clenched fists and defiant statements in support of revolution.
Now that Ms. Berenson, 40, has been granted parole from a women’s prison in Lima, Peru’s capital, both she and the nation that imprisoned her have changed in significant ways. Though her past still looms large, prison officials and fellow inmates now talk about her baking skills, her teaching music to cellmates and her devotion to her 1-year-old son, Salvador.