Bugbear to All

Quico says: It’s remarkable to realize how much of the political life of Venezuela these days is about Globovision: an influence entirely out of proportion to the station’s coverage, both geographic and ratings-wise, that seems proportional to nothing so much as the scale of its demonization at the hands of the government.

This week, The Economist reviews the little-station-that-could’s travails in a write-up that brings a welcome Economist-style sense of balance to the whole affaire. Well worth a read.

Of course, in covering the issue, this blog has been basically centered on The Economist’s second-to-last paragraph, much more than on the rest of the story. To wit,

Globovisión has faults. Although its reporting is professional, its commentators are sometimes shrill and monotonous. Its owners abuse their power to choose which opposition voices are heard and which not. It is not much of an exaggeration to say, as government spokesmen do, that it behaves as if it were a political party. But contrast it with the government channels, which are both turgid and inflammatory, and it is a journalistic paragon.

There is, of course, much more to it than that, and I can fully grasp why, in writing for a worldwide audience, that graf ends up pretty far down the page.

But for a more Venezuela-centered audience, I feel that speaking forthrightly about Globo’s many and very serious shortcomings, from within the opposition fold, is a needed corrective against the tendency to lionize the fairly grubby, often self-defeating operation these guys run out of Alta Florida. The alternative is a kind of atavistic oligophrenia. I mean, things really have come to a head when the viejas del este start turning out en masse to be, essentially, volunteer tax collectors for the chavista state.

But there I go again, off on an anti-Globo rant. I really can’t help myself, y’know. Which is why it’s good, now and then, to step back and look at the bigger picture.