Chronicles of Lazy Journalism (or, Attn: @ReutersVzla )

A Capriles supporter consults on whether to celebrate Chávez's death with a '79 Crystal or an '84 Veuve Clicquot
A Capriles supporter consults on whether to celebrate Chávez’s death with a ’79 Cristal or an ’84 Veuve Clicquot

Let us unpack this bit from Reuters‘ Simon Gardner and Terry Wade (with an assist from commenter Lucía.)

“At one building in a wealthy corner of Caracas, people drank wine and whisky around a swimming pool, rejoicing at Chavez’s demise”.

Right, all six million plus people who voted against Chavez last October fit this profile. Nevermind that class A and B together (i.e., the segment of the population that could imaginably afford this sort of thing) make up 3% of the population, perhaps 870,000 people (not voters) total. Nevermind that at least 70% of Capriles voters are class D and E. Every anti-chavista greeted news of his death by ordering his butler to pop out a bottle of Veuve Clicquot.

It’s lazy, and it’s misleading.

Reporters: Please. Do. Some. F–ing. Reporting.

These pieces all follow the same, set formula. Poor person utters support for Chavismo. Professional person in wealthy neighborhood says opposite.

Why don’t you interview one of the many wealthy “revolutionaries” next time? Or one of the millions of opposition supporters who isn’t swilling whiskey or on their way to their white-collar job?

To be clear, not all international correspondents are created equal, and there has been some excellent reporting.

But if you want to talk about under-represented in the narrative…it’s the millions (many millions! accessible with just a little shoe leather!) of poor Capriles supporters across the country who so rarely make an appearance in these articles (or analyses).

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