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Thursday, November 01, 2007


The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth

There's a reason that second phrase is there, and that's because a half-truth can be awfully close to a lie. CNN reported earlier an AP story which describes how Venezuelan police today dispersed a student demonstration against changes in the Venezuelan Constitution. As far as I know the article contains "the truth" and "nothing but the truth." What it doesn't contain is the whole truth, because nowhere in the article or on the CNN broadcast is it made clear that these proposed Constitutional changes must be submitted to, and ratified by, a referendum of the entire voting population of Venezuela. Really, it doesn't get more democratic than that, but you'd never get that idea from hearing or reading this report.

Update: Interestingly enough, the complete AP story, published in the Miami Herald, includes the following sentence (albeit four paragraphs from the end):

To take effect, the reforms must be approved by voters in a Dec. 2 referendum.
Even more interestingly, that paragraph was removed by CNN from the AP article, even though the three final paragraphs, the ones following that important one, were left in. One might conclude that this was a deliberate decision by CNN to mislead its readers.

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