Al Jazeera for the People, the Beeb for Chavez


Hugo Chavez, Livingstone's favourite Marxist leader, has been up to his old tricks: threatening his political opponents and attempting to close down debate and democracy. This time, he has ordered the closure of the independent TV channel, Radio Caracas Television (RCT), which was founded in 1953.

Attacking RCT's coverage and protests opposed to its closure, Chavez warned:

"Enemies of the homeland, particularly those behind the scenes, I will give you a name: Globovision. Greetings, gentlemen of Globovision, you should watch where you are going... I recommend you take a tranquiliser and get into gear, because if not, I am going to do what is necessary."

Reading the story on the Beeb's website was rather like reading a press release from the old Commie himself. In contrast, Al Jazeera's coverage focused on what's actually happening -thousands of people, mainly students, risking their lives by standing up for basic human rights in the face of Communist attacks.

"Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right," US State Department spokesman Tom Casey said. "It's an essential element of democracy anywhere in the world." Quite so.

Perhaps when Livingstone is turfed out in May, he will get a plum job at Beeb and tell us how democracy and debate are flourishing in places like Venezuela?

5 comments:

David Allen said...

The Beeb should be renamed Guardian TV _ journalists in either organisation would feel equally at home in either place...
Al Jazeera isn't too bad _ at least when they aren't covering the middle east...

Graeme said...

well said Justin, and David. I noticed that Livingstone and even Jon Cruddas (Jon Cruddas!) are lining up to congratulate Chavez on his antidemocratic credentials ... why am I even surprised? praguetory wrote about Jon Cruddas and I mentioned it in my own, rarely troubled, blog, here.

Norfolk Blogger said...

RCT were the channel that doctored footage of riots when their was an attempted coup agaisnt Chavex 4 yes ago. They showed footage that showed police shooting at protestors first and Chavez supporters "starting" a riot and shooting at anti Chavez protestors. In fact, it was almost completely fictitious with the police being shot and and retaliating.

I watched a documentary (I think on Channel Four) some year ago about it and what some TV channels showed as discgraceful.

Still, it is wrong to close them down. Chavez is turning in to a ego maniac.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Isn't it odd. Iain dale gives Al Jazeera the thumbs up, and suddenly every Tory loves them.

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

I had Al Jazeera under favourites for as long as I can remember. This may surprise you but I hardly read Iain Dales site these days...