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Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Venezuela fair and balanced

On Saturday, tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of Caracas in support of Manuel Rosales, the opposition candidate to Hugo Chavez. That march was covered in numerous papers (and, presumably, broadcast media). The BBC's idea of "fair and balanced" was presumably to mention in the very last sentence of the article that "Mr Chavez still enjoys a clear lead in opinion polls."

The very next day, a pro-Chavez march was held. It lasted for seven hours and was described by Granma as having "dwarfed" the Saturday march. Perhaps it did, perhaps you'll think Granma is exaggerating. But one thing is for sure. The coverage of the Rosales march dwarfed that of the pro-Chavez march. Because there wasn't any of the latter. None. As far as the American (and British and Canadian and other Western) public is concerned, it didn't happen. Though I'm guessing that it made a hell of a sound for something that didn't happen. Like the tree that fell in the forest, though, it's effects will be evident long after the event -- on election day and beyond.

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