Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive!
CounterPunch’s website is one of the last common spaces on the Internet. We are supported almost entirely by the subscribers to the print edition of our magazine and by one-out-of-every-1000 readers of the site.
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:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 26, 2016
Diana Johnstone
The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Against Russia
Robert Crawford
The Political Rhetoric of Perpetual War
Howard Lisnoff
The Case of One Homeless Person
Michael Howard
The New York Times Endorses Hillary, Scorns the World
Russell Mokhiber
Wells Fargo and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival
Chad Nelson
The Crime of Going Vegan: the Latest Attack on Angela Davis
Colin Todhunter
A System of Food Production for Human Need, Not Corporate Greed
Brian Cloughley
The United States Wants to Put Russia in a Corner
Guillermo R. Gil
The Clevenger Effect: Exposing Racism in Pro Sports
David Swanson
Turn the Pentagon into a Hospital
Ralph Nader
Are You Ready for Democracy?
Chris Martenson
Hell to Pay
Frank X Murphy
Power & Struggle: the Detroit Literacy Case
Chris Knight
The Tom and Noam Show: a Review of Tom Wolfe’s “The Kingdom of Speech”
Weekend Edition
September 23, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Meaning of the Trump Surge
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: More Pricks Than Kicks
Mike Whitney
Oh, Say Can You See the Carnage? Why Stand for a Country That Can Gun You Down in Cold Blood?
Chris Welzenbach
The Diminution of Chris Hayes
Vincent Emanuele
The Riots Will Continue
Rob Urie
A Scam Too Far
Pepe Escobar
Les Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes, Obfuscation and Propaganda in Syria
Timothy Braatz
The Quarterback and the Propaganda
Sheldon Richman
Obama Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior
Libby Lunstrum - Patrick Bond
Militarizing Game Parks and Marketing Wildlife are Unsustainable Strategies
Andy Thayer
More Cops Will Worsen, Not Help, Chicago’s Violence Problem
Louis Yako
Can Westerners Help Refugees from War-torn Countries?
David Rosen
Rudy Giuliani & Trump’s Possible Cabinet
Joyce Nelson
TISA and the Privatization of Public Services
Pete Dolack
Global Warming Will Accelerate as Oceans Reach Limits of Remediation
Franklin Lamb
34 Years After the Sabra-Shatila Massacre
Cesar Chelala
How One Man Held off Nuclear War
Norman Pollack
Sovereign Immunity, War Crimes, and Compensation to 9/11 Families
Lamont Lilly
Standing Rock Stakes Claim for Sovereignty: Eyewitness Report From North Dakota
Barbara G. Ellis
A Sandernista Priority: Push Bernie’s Planks!
Hiroyuki Hamada
How Do We Dream the Dream of Peace Together?
Russell Mokhiber
From Rags and Robes to Speedos and Thongs: Why Trump is Crushing Clinton in WV
Julian Vigo
Living La Vida Loca
Aidan O'Brien
Where is Europe’s Duterte? 
Abel Cohen
Russia’s Improbable Role in Everything
Ron Jacobs
A Change Has Gotta’ Come
Uri Avnery
Shimon Peres and the Saga of Sisyphus
Graham Peebles
Ethiopian’s Crying out for Freedom and Justice
Robert Koehler
Stop the Killing
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail