Wednesday, May 30, 2007

RCTV aftermath

My last post on the RCTV case generated more comments in a single post than I think I’ve ever had, and there is a lot of food for thought. Today’s Associated Press story shows how confused the situation is.

--"I recommend (Globovision) take a tranquilizer, that they slow down, because if not, I'm going to slow them down," Chavez said in a speech.
I don’t know how to interpret this other than a demand for self-censorship and threat of retaliation if the demand isn’t met.

--Information Minister Willian Lara on Monday accused Globovision of encouraging an attempt on Chavez's life by broadcasting the chorus of a salsa tune — "Have faith, this doesn't end here" — along with footage of the 1981 assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II.
I haven’t seen the clip, but it definitely sounds fishy. This does not constitute a justification for censorship, but it seems irresponsible given all the tension.

--While Chavez made his speech Tuesday, thousands of students and opposition supporters marched to the offices of the Organization of American States, where they urged the body to take a stand chanting, "This is a dictatorship!"
If thousands of people spontaneously march in opposition to the government and are free to do so, then you’re not talking about a dictatorship.

--"RCTV was rubbish. Its programming was horrible, banal. Not even (the opposition) watched it," said Elena Pereira, an English professor at a state-funded university. "They want a reason to overthrow the government."
Everything I’ve seen says the opposite—many people loved it. Maybe it was rubbish, but people like rubbish.


Anonymous,  9:07 AM  

I just want to clarify a few things:

-- CNN was also threatened by Minster Lara

--I have seen the Globovision clip, not sure what they wre thinking (so considering the circumstances it seemed a little irrisponsible). I interpreted as Globo trying to get a response out of the govt.

--They were free to march to a degree, they were prevented from reaching the OAS for hours due to the police firing tear gas and rubber bullets. Mean while the police were protecting the pro-governtment student. So yes they did demonstrate but were repelled by police.

-- Protests were not limited to Caracas but took place around the country.

-- " English professor at a state-funded university" there are two types of state-funded universites. The one they are referring to here is was created by Chavez to teach the Bolivarian ideas. The other universities have been protesting against the RTV decission.

-- BTW, if you saw/read part of the Chavez's Cadena (ie. media blackout) it was very threatning as well as statements by the National Assembly members.

I have a bunch of links from the past few days linking to the differrenet events.

Anonymous,  9:43 AM  

Greg, I posted the Globovision clip. Courtesy of the state television station

Greg Weeks 10:15 AM  

OK, thanks. Everyone can check out the ad (which is pretty bad), Chavez's speech (which is mostly dull, but includes the quote I mentioned) and a few other things. I didn't see anything, though, that really changes the thrust of my original post.

Miguel Centellas 10:58 AM  

I agree that Venezuela is not an authoritarian dictatorship. But I think the evidence continues to mount that it is somethng of a "mixed" regime type. It's certainly one of those "democracy w/ adjectives" (at best a case of "illiberal democracy").

Anonymous,  1:35 PM  

Greg, about the Globovision clip.

Apparently, the whole clip was a summary of different news stories RCTV covered over it's 53 years including the moon landing, the pope being shot, etc... What the government media apparently did was use only the pope clip to suggesting globovision was suggesting Chavez be killed.

So in this context the Globovision is not irresponsible, but the govt. suggesting something that wasn't. Like they did with CNN.

Miguel Centellas 7:21 PM  

Randy Paul has a bit on the use of "semioticians" in the Globovision video controversy:

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