FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Coup Plotters

by Jack McCarthy

“With yesterdays resignaton of President Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would be-be dictator.”

“Hugo Chaves Departs”,
New York Times editorial, 4/15/02

“…the violation of of democracy that led to the ouster of President Hugo Chavez Thursday night was not initiated by the army but Mr Chavez himself.”

“Venezuela’s Breakdown”,
Washington Post editorial 4/15/02

The annual Pulitizer awards have already been handed out but the two glittering editorial gems quoted above remind us there should be a journalistic equivalent for the worst movie awards given out each year just before the Oscars.

If they did, no doubt the dubious distinction this year would be shared by the two compulsive sermonizers on Democracy, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

These sanctimonious editorials in praise of the overthrow of Democracy in Venezuela rival “Freddie Got Fingered” for bad taste and just bad everything.

The two self-regarding papers of “record” wasted no time in parroting the official line from Washington and Caracas following the Orwellian announcement of Chavez’s “resignation.”

And both were shining the Venezuelan coup plotters jack boots before the ink on that phony “resignation” was even half dry.

You almost wonder if they weren’t written before the coup.

The rank hypocrisy is so obvious it’s almost a waste of time to even point it out.

Imagine if the during the cold war the Soviet Union had announced that Lech Walesa, under house arrest and unseen by anyone for 24 hours, had “resigned.”

Nay, only recall the guffaws of the U.S. press when the soviet coup plotters announced that Mr. Gorbachev wasn’t feeling well and would no longer be available to serve in public office.

Of course the Post and the Times weren’t alone in pissing on Chavez and welcoming the coup with editorial arms wide open.

Most of the sheep-like press, print and television, baa-baaed in complete harmony at the patently ridiculous story that Mr Chaves “resigned” and Democracy had been restored.

Imagine the nervous shuffling which must have been going on in the editorial rooms of the Post and the Times after it became clear that–no small thanks to constitutionalist military personnel, the Venezuelan masses, most of the rest of Latin America and the world at large– that Chavez not only didn’t resign, but would soon be back at the helm.

Most galling is the dishonest and patronizing tone like this nugget from the Washington Post editorial.

” If Venezuela is to avoid a similar hangover(referring here to other populists overthrown by military regimes unsettled by populism), it must shape a transition that eases rather than accentuates the country’s political polarization, and its next government must act aggressively against the poverty and iequality that Mr. Chavez exploited but failed to relieve.”

The Times and the Post love to chide revolutionaries for exploiting those whose miseries they “fail to relieve.”

It reminds me of the old National Lampoon parody of Irving Howe and Dissent magazine.

The Lampoon described Howe as a socialist who supported all revolutions “except those which actually occured.”

When all is said and done, who needs Don Rumsfield’s Ministry of Un-Truths, when we have the New York Times and the Washington Post?

Jack McCarthy is CounterPunch’s Florida correspondent. He lives in Tallahassee. He can be reached at: jackm32301@yahoo.com

Jack McCarthy is a writer in Tallahassee, Florida. He can be reached at jackm32301@yahoo.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 23, 2017
John Wight
Trump’s Inauguration: Hail Caesar!
Mark Schuller
So What am I Doing Here? Reflections on the Inauguration Day Protests
Patrick Cockburn
The Rise of Trump and Isis Have More in Common Than You Might Think
Binoy Kampmark
Ignored Ironies: Women, Protest and Donald Trump
Gregory Barrett
Flag, Cap and Screen: Hollywood’s Propaganda Machine
Gareth Porter
US Intervention in Syria? Not Under Trump
L. Ali Khan
Trump’s Holy War against Islam
Gary Leupp
An Al-Qaeda Attack in Mali:  Just Another Ripple of the Endless, Bogus “War on Terror”
Norman Pollack
America: Banana Republic? Far Worse
Bob Fitrakis - Harvey Wasserman
We Mourn, But We March!
Kim Nicolini
Trump Dump: One Woman March and Personal Shit as Political
William Hawes
We Are on Our Own Now
Martin Billheimer
Last Tango in Moscow
Colin Todhunter
Development and India: Why GM Mustard Really Matters
Mel Gurtov
Trump’s America—and Ours
David Mattson
Fog of Science II: Apples, Oranges and Grizzly Bear Numbers
Clancy Sigal
Who’s Up for This Long War?
Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail