Socialist Venezuela is in the midst of an historic economic collapse, but you’d never know it if you relied on the three network evening broadcasts for your news. On Monday, the country’s government issued a new currency to counter a record rate of 1,000,000 percent inflation, and none of the networks said a word. This followed the July 30 concession by President Nicolas Maduro that his administration’s “production models... have failed.” Again, the evening newscasts were silent.
HuffPost says baby boomers panicked by the popularity of socialism, just need to “relax.”
Senior political economy reporter Zach Carter declared “Socialism is Good Now,” on HuffPost July 29. At the same time, actual socialism was collapsing in both Venezuela and Nicaragua.
Venezuela's descent under Bolivarian socialist President and de facto dictator Nicolas Maduro has achieved yet another grim milestone. This time it's the return of polio, on top of other previously eradicated diseases including diphtheria, tuberculosis, measles, and malaria. The return of polio has caught the attention of some in the international press in the past few days, but only one of over a dozen related English stories found in early Monday afternoon Eastern Time Google News searches identified the nation or its leader as socialist. Also as of Monday afternoon, there was no coverage at major U.S. news outlets.
When people think of the liberal venom coming from MSNBC, many would single out Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow or Lawrence O’Donnell. But the 9am hour has quietly become another home on the network for angry rants. On Wednesday, guests compared Donald Trump to a dictator and somehow linked Trump’s White House speech on Tuesday to the assassination of Robert Kennedy.
During Sunday’s Good Morning America, ABC News’ cast of characters exposed just how politically petty they were when they actually complained about President Trump getting positive coverage when he brings American hostages home. Between Tara Palmieri’s sympathies for Venezuela in her report and Martha Raddatz’s huffing about Trump getting a “boost,” their reporting was downright obnoxious.
Media outlets been hyping the recent increase in retail gas prices to nearly $3 per gallon, and primarily pinning the blame on President Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear "deal." In 2012, when the price approached $4, CNN told readers that they "aren't as bad as you think," and that they weren't "a big drag on the economy" — and besides, according to the New York Times, "Gas prices are out of any president’s control."
Wednesday, CNN presented yet another story about Venezuela's implosion which did a fine job of portraying that country's human misery, this time in the oil industry. Unfortunately, it was yet another example of a story failing to mention its socialist form of government or even its leader, President Nicolas Maduro. Though such omissions have long been routine in establishment press reports, reporter Stefano Pozzebon's were particularly galling, given that the governments of Maduro and especially Hugo Chavez, his Bolivarian socialist predecessor, are entirely responsible for Venezuela's oil collapse.
As Venezuela's socialism-driven disaster deepens, the press's unwillingness to recognize its cause has gone from being "merely" negligent and outrageous to absolutely disgusting. This obvious failure, which is almost certainly conscious and deliberate, is present even when a journalist's work portraying the human element of the crisis is otherwise compelling. Such is the case with Ernesto Londoño's Saturday report at the New York Times about how refugees fleeing that country are overwhelming the ability of towns in northern Brazil to handle them.
The New York Times’ abject refusal to pin the socialism label on the failed and starving state of Venezuela is well-documented (as is the paper’s whitewashing of that and other tyrannical left-wing regimes). In the newest Times Sunday Magazine, writer Wil S. Hylton devoted nearly 9,000 words to fiery, often-imprisoned opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, “Can Venezuela Be Saved?” yet managed to totally avoid the word “socialism,” the idea that formed the root of the country’s present failures.
As Venezuela plunges deeper into humanitarian crisis, the broadcast and cable networks barely recognize its existence, while the print press, which during relatively tolerable times routinely celebrated the country's socialist government, is more reluctant than ever to use the S-word. Of six articles I found Friday afternoon about the horrid, deteriorating situation in that country, only one used the word — and that was only because it was about snap elections de facto dictator Nicolas Maduro has called for April.
On Thursday’s Morning Joe, New York Times columnist Bret Stephens was brought on to promote his December 29 column explaining why he still considers himself to be an adherent of the “Never Trump” movement. In spite of expressing his agreement with many of the Trump administration’s actual policy positions, Stephens argued that Trump’s poor personal character and harsh criticism of the liberal media and FBI/DOJ leadership is “systematically corroding, corrupting, and [...] destroying our culture of governance” and thus negates any of his key political achievements.
Any list of the year's most ignored news stories has to include Venezuela's frightening deterioration. This once reasonably prosperous South American nation is now in the grips of a brutal socialist de facto dictatorship which is moving inexorably to consolidate its control, accompanied by an utterly wrecked economy. Families cannot feed their children, and many are dying. The New York Times broke through the near-blackout on Sunday, but failed to mention the root cause of the nation's humanitarian catastrophe — socialism — until the third-last of over 100 paragraphs.