Photo: EFE retrieved

As a 90s kid, I can remember some of the moments that made my weekend mornings, as I woke up on Sundays and walked to my parents bedroom to say “bendición” and “good morning.” My dad usually asked me to go buy the newspaper, some milk and two loaves of bread, while he and my mom caught up with the news on TV. Simpler times during which Radio Rochela, Loco Video Loco, and later Aló Ciudadano on Globovisión kept us company while (sometimes) also informed.

Today, 11 years after Hugo Chávez’ had his revenge on Marcel Granier by closing RCTV, we can see the real value of freedom of speech for chavismo.

Many years will pass before another Venezuelan kid experiences being a Sunday messenger. According to the SNTP (the union of national journalists), since Maduro took office, more than 40 newspapers around the country have closed their doors, seven of them just on the first trimester of this year, all because of the centralized paper distribution. The government refuses to allocate materials for those newspapers it finds troublesome. Those still running have chosen to go from a daily edition to a weekly edition, and it won’t be long before they go monthly. What about the workers? Maduro might be the Presidente Obrero, but everyone working in those newspapers face the daily fear of unemployment, only to stay at the mercy of the government and its CLAP.

The government refuses to allocate materials for those newspapers it finds troublesome. Those still running have chosen to go from a daily edition to a weekly edition, and it won’t be long before they go monthly.

On 2018 alone, more than 60 attacks towards journalists have been reported, eliciting chavismo’s total indifference, which is no surprise since 42 out of those have been made by the government’s security forces.

The sad thing is that we’ve become so accustomed to this that those who want to inform themselves must go to Twitter, unreliable as it is. We started 2018 with 69 less news outlets, of which 46 were radio stations, including 92.9 FM and 100.1 FM, who were openly against the government in a harmless, humorous way; three others were TV stations. The rest were newspapers.

The issue is more dangerous than it appears. According to Miguel Henrique Otero, exiled owner of El Nacional, all these abuses go further than just a measure to scare and threaten individual journalists and free thinking, it’s actually a process to eliminate private news media entirely. If you don’t have information, then you don’t have tools to defend yourself, and without tools, there is no resistance.

Not even one week after these past elections, CONATEL continued its crusade against the media which justifies its existence, because God forbid that you have a personal opinion on the political situation, or some criticism on the regime’s agenda.

“Remember that we can’t talk negatively about the elections or Maduro’s legitimacy as president, or we could be taken off air.”

The first attack was against Globovisión, a TV station taken by representatives of the regime, losing the spunk and drive that used to make it popular. It continues to broadcast interviews with political figures, but guests have to encase their thought process under a series of rules so the channel isn’t sanctioned by CONATEL. In this case, it was Luis Alejandro Ratti, ex presidential candidate, who said (live) that the results of May 20 were fraudulent and full of tricks, vices and manipulation by Mrs. Lucena and Mr. Maduro themselves. Because it was a third party’s personal opinion, Globovisión got a Cease and Desist from CONATEL, threatening with harsher measures if they continue showing that kind of material. Mind you, before any of these shows start, Globovisión mentions that the views and opinions of the guests are their own.

This happens on the radio too, by the way; I’m tired of listening to Nelson Bocaranda saying every day to his guests “remember that we can’t talk negatively about the elections or Maduro’s legitimacy as president, or we could be taken off air.”

And just recently, El Nacional was punished for content on its social media, El Nacional Web. According to Maduro’s iron fist, the site, which posts interviews of people on the street, “spreads messages (to portray) this government as illegitimate and incite and promote hate. Again, it may be a third-party opinion, but if it hurts chavismo’s delicate sensibilities, you’re out.

Truth is, we are losing ground. An already powerful regime is trying to control what we think, what we feel and what we say, in an Orwellian slide where, eventually, two plus two equals five.

We have to win before our minds are no longer ours.

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73 COMMENTS

  1. “If you don’t have information, then you don’t have tools to defend yourself, and without tools, there is no resistance.”

    Which is why during any coup or military invation one of the FIRST things they go for is the radio and television facilities.

    The Cubans are masters at this. They will make great noise about “freedom and liberty” this and that, all the while preventing any contrarian viewpoint from being disseminated. And should these sources of information get shut down? Blame it on X, Y or Z for failing… but not the Marxists. They spin it like they are doing the public a great service by shutting down a source of “fake news”. And of course, they do it for The People.

  2. You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. Abe Lincoln said it best and especially in this age of information. Smart phones and social media and memes are tearing down ignorance and the truth will prevail. I think that there are less and less people everyday being fooled by all of this.

    • Buddy, smart phones, memes, and social media are draining away the lifeblood of robust, properly funded independent journalism, and turning the population into a mass of distracted, socially isolated, narcissistic idiots who reside in thousands of little echo chambers mostly consumed with self generated nonsense.

      • Disagree. Smart phones and instant media are the new paradigm. The liberal bedwetters in “professional journalism” and their sycophants are wringing their hands that they cannot control the direction of spin any longer.

        God, what fun it was to watch “Gunga” Dan Rather cringe when the “pajama media” took him down.

          • @Canucklehead

            “I’m assuming that when you go for surgery, you would prefer some guy operating out of his basement for free. Because as we all know, surgeons can make mistakes, and there are bad surgeons out there.”

            Logical fallacy: stupid elitist straw man.

            The irony is that by putting it forward, you overlook the reason why surgeons are so accessible and have gotten moreso when they were once rarities. Practitioners of a near magical art.

            The answer was medical knowledge and education becoming more widespread, less exclusive. More avalible to the hoi polloi: that’s why in the millennia or two since Hippocrates’ school the average librarian has far more medical knowledge at his fingertips than Hippocrates could have imagined.

            Likewise with schooling from Aristotle’s Academy. And ironically one of the big obstacles that popped up time and again was elitism. That such and such were not fit to be taught. Could not be trusted to heal. And so on.

            “Similarly, why not go for Acme Do It Yourself News? We don’t need experts or trained people telling us what is going on in Venezuela, right? We can just ask El Guapo, Ira and MRubio at his bodega what’s up. “

            You try and say that mockingly, but you are actually correct. And as such gut your own point.

            News is vitally important, and experts- when competent and honest- are valuable.

            But news is ultimately a luxury, particularly professionals. And the chances anybody will instinctively know the economic history of- say- MiddleOfNowhere, Podink County are rare.

            That’s why it helps to the

            And how the heck do you think experts become experts? Especially before training became standard or was imperfect?

            Yeah. A lot of that comes from working off of your own experiences and knowledge.

            Need I point out that the VERY BASIS for professional training is the idea of getting complete neophytes to be familiar with a new experience?

            There’s a reason new MDs start by dissecting animals. But now you’re trying to argue that we should completely ignore people who have been cutting and skinning animals for generations because they don’t have the right credentials.

            By which logic the Wright Brothers would have been ignored.

            “Their wives can fill in the details from their Twitter feeds.”

            And why shouldn’t they?

            What matters is if the details are TRUE. Not whence they came.

            “And really, what loss to Venezuela of its independent mainstream media, right It was all an elitist enterprise run by educated liberals hobnobbing with capitalists who never worked a day in their life, right?”

            You don’t seem to get it.

            Let me put it this way:

            INDEPENDENT MEDIA IN VENZUELA WAS EASIER TO THROTTLE BECAUSE THERE WERE WEAKER TRADITIONS OF INDEPENDENT, AMATEUR JOURNALISM!

            Do you get It?

            “ Now that that’s all gone, the real information can get through with no liberal marxist elitist filter. From El Guapo, Ira, and MRubio. We’re set!”

            No, we aren’t set. But we can make do.

            Do you get it?

            With only a relative “handful” of Professional Journalists, Chávez and co could make a list, check it twice, and go around looking for who was naughty or nice to them.

            It is relatively easy for a bunch of bureaucrats backed up with thugs to come to a major enterprise like RCTV and the public figures who headed it and shut them down.

            It is MUCH HARDER for them to kick in every door from Caracas to Columbia looking for laptops with Tor browsers, underground presses, or handwritten pamphlets.

            “In fact, maybe we don’t need Caracas Chronicles, because its mostly just Venezuelans telling us what to think, and they’re sort of liberal, or MUD, or just screwed up because they are part of Venezuela. We’d be better off all together in a little chat group: white North American guys with Venezuelan spouses angrily talk about Venezuela and agree on everything. In other words: The Truth!”

            Once again, you seem to wantonly decide Not to get it.

            The truth is, we don’t need CC. Not even the people who do CC. Now, we- and Venezuela in particular- DO NEED outlets like CC and the people who manage it.

            But individual organizations can be shut down or destroyed. Individual people can be killed, imprisoned, or disappeared. There are tons of mass graves filled with indispensable men and women.

            What matters more is who is willing, who is able to carry on. Would it be nice to have people of exquisite training, expert knowledge, great credentials, scrupulous honesty, and great bravery?

            Yeah but not everybody starts out there.

            Ergo there is no shame on “settlingL for others.

        • That was a moment to remember. “Even though the documents may be forgeries, the conclusions based on them are nonetheless true.”

          Professional journalism at its finest.

          • I’m assuming that when you go for surgery, you would prefer some guy operating out of his basement for free. Because as we all know, surgeons can make mistakes, and there are bad surgeons out there.

            Similarly, why not go for Acme Do It Yourself News? We don’t need experts or trained people telling us what is going on in Venezuela, right? We can just ask El Guapo, Ira and MRubio at his bodega what’s up. Their wives can fill in the details from their Twitter feeds.

            And really, what loss to Venezuela of its independent mainstream media, right? It was all an elitist enterprise run by educated liberals hobnobbing with capitalists who never worked a day in their life, right? Now that that’s all gone, the real information can get through with no liberal marxist elitist filter. From El Guapo, Ira, and MRubio. We’re set!

            In fact, maybe we don’t need Caracas Chronicles, because its mostly just Venezuelans telling us what to think, and they’re sort of liberal, or MUD, or just screwed up because they are part of Venezuela. We’d be better off all together in a little chat group: white North American guys with Venezuelan spouses angrily talk about Venezuela and agree on everything. In other words: The Truth!

          • “We can just ask El Guapo, Ira and MRubio at his bodega what’s up. Their wives can fill in the details from their Twitter feeds.”

            I was going to make the comment that I don’t come here trying to represent myself as a journalist. Instead of going through all that, it’s easier for me just to say, fuck you, you asshole.

          • Canuck, I don’t have a clue what you’re trying to say.

            On the life of my children, what you wrote is so obtuse, I can’t figure it out at all. Except to say…

            What the hell is your problem with white people? It seems to be a constant theme of you and your hero Trudeau. Most absurd…

            Where do you get the BALLS to question MRubio’s spin on things. Questioning mine, I can understand, because I don’t live there now.

            BUT HIM!?

            Are you a TOTAL moron?

            I guess so, but then again, I knew this months ago.

            So, I’ll echo MRubio’s comments. Go fuck yourself you idiotic Canuck…drop dead…go fuck yourself again…and drop dead again.

            You’re a closet Chavista.

          • Canuckles is just an angry, old, white guy whose sense of entitlement is threatened by the democracy of the New Media.

            Oh, for the good old days when professional journalists were protected by monopoly, and never had to suffer the indignities of being questioned by mere common folk.

      • “Independent journalism” was systematically killed by marxists decades ago. See the NYT’s Duranty affair (1922 – present).

      • “Buddy, smart phones, memes, and social media are draining away the lifeblood of robust, properly funded independent journalism, ”

        This is pure, elitist nonsense like the kind spewed out by the so called “proper” journalists in an attempt to justify their continued lofty existences without the consummate quality of performance.

        “Buddy”, the “lifeblood of robust, properly funded independent journalism” was drained away decades ago when it suffered from overinstitutionalization, over-academization, and a shift in the balance between those people coming out of the Journo Schools versus those rising up from the streets. Don’t get me long, there were PLENTY of problems with the Gutter Press (I would know, I routinely read through historical examples of them in order to get flavor for historical events) It also doesn’t mean the new system was incapable of producing quality journalists.

        But it DOES mean that having everybody go through similar educational doctrines, increasingly coming from a similar milieu, was ripe for producing a monoculture. And monocultures of any kind are ripe for corruption and bias.

        This alone wasn’t much of a problem. For most of their history a news outlet wore its biases more or less on its sleeve. Hence why you had the editorial board, politically aligned news sources (a trend that has continued to this day), and public endorsemeents. The issue was paradoxically when this increasing monoculture rammed next to an increasing attempt to be (or at least Look) nonpartisan and thus supposedly “objective.”

        You could probably date this to any old time you want, but there’s a reason a couple of the iconic examples of it come from the Vietnam war, with Cronkite’s infamous claim that we could not win after Tet while the mostly positive reports were coming in, and the incredibly slanted and dishonest coverage of the legitimate news that was the revelation of the Pentagon Papers.

        This is nothing new. Because if one wants to torture things into a narrative, news media has gone through several incarnations. Which feature atrophy, formalization, rejuvenation with the occasional bit of outright reinvention.,

        This all makes sense when you realize that at its most basic form, News “media” are Messengers and Callers- though my capitalization of the titles gives them a formality WAY beyond what they had in early humanity.

        Basically, things started with someone shouting the “News” or Political opinion in the most crowded and conductive area they could. Let’s call it the town square, though that too has issues. Which was coupled with the messenger’s role, to bring news to inhabited places where it could be shouted out.

        But at the beginning these two roles were not codified strictly, and were often merged int oa duty the average person was expected to do if nobody else was. We can see evidence of this in the History of the Pelopponesian War, where we’re told that a single man running from Piraeus to Athens (ergo acting as the Messenger) shouted to Athens that its’ Sicilian Expedition was defeated (hence acting as Crier). And while at first He wasn’t believed, more people came with the same news and they were.

        This seems to have started out as a basic expectation of a community’s citizens or members, and even a basic human instinct. If you watch a movie or TV show and you see someone running to their friends shouting “THEY’RE COMING”, that’s someone acting as a messenger-Crier.

        The problem with this, is that it’s really $hithouse. It’s hard to get informally trained people to deliver complex messages like government orders, and it’s also against the grain for them to deliver Secret reports. And there’s the chance that people who aren’t dedicated or trained for it will get ru down and skewered by enemy cavalry or otherwise waylayed.

        Hence why even before the Pelopponesian War in both Western Antiquity and China, you saw a system of actual messages (whether oral or written material ) for private consumption. Ergo a form of “news” taken outside the public.

        And you also saw dedicated systems of messengers- or runners- take up. People trained specifically to be reliable, hardened, and so on. To the point where eventually, states or communities began to consolidate these systems further. Of dedicated criers and messengers to deal with the rigors of travel the average civvie can’t be.

        As you might expect, tech and society has changed a LOOOT since then. But hard as you may find to believe it, this partnership fulfilled all the essential roles modern news media do.

        Those being twofold. Transmitting news between communities, and disseminating it to them.

        But the problem is simple. With dedicated criers and messangers under the ontrol of states like the Qin, Athens, or what have you, it also means that *their messages* can be as well. That they might’ve been the fastest on foot and the loudest and clearest of voice, but if given proper instructions they could Lie to their audiences, spinning things to help their patron.

        Hence, Formation, Consolidation, Professionalization, Corruption.

        Way back when in-say- Rome or the Han dynasty you got around this possible problem by having “private” people- mostly powerful leaders- get “private” criers, messagers, etc. But this just shifted the potential abuse from the state to the private entity paying for them. And we have some anecdotal stories about Crassus engaging in what would be caled fraud using his own.

        Technology and society have changed much. Particularly towards making the messanger almost obsolete and lowering the entry cost a lot. But they haven’t changed that fundamental fact.

        “HE who pays the piper calls the tune.” But so does the Piper. That’s a reference to the fact that those who play musical performers can dictate which tune is played, and to a lesser degree the same is true with heralds and messengers.

        And in today, the Dead Tree Media in the West looks like it’s going through another pattern of calcification and decay as it’s gotten a Bit too complacent, in addition to being a bit too biased and dishonest. That doesn’t mean all those in it are so, but enough are to lower the standards of quality to be publicly embarrassing. And open the door for non-specialist competition.

        For people to “hire their own messagers and criers” by getting on a blog (or commenting on a post) and sprouting their two cents to the world.

        Does that make them more truthful or reliable than the Dead Tree media with its professionals? No. But they CAN be. And if you CAN be with much less overhead and comparable reach, you will be valid competition.

        The concept of freedom of the press and news givers is important, and even close to sacred (Hence “Gospel”, “Good News.”). But the idea that this can somehow transition it to meaning that the CURRENT crop of “newsgiving” organizations or people are somehow involuble, irreplaceable precious, and Never Ever EVER To be criticized or condemned is F***ing NONSENSE that should be UTTERLY discarded.

        “Newsgivers” are still people, capable of screwing up, being dishonest, being biased, and being unprofessional like any other. The onus is on EVERY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL IN THE BUSINESS to prove that they are NOT Those things. And if they can’t, there is no problem calling them out on it or shifting one’s interests accordingly.

        Which is why news organs have been viewed as halls of rakes, liars, and quasi-thieves for most of modern civilization.

        “and turning the population into a mass of distracted, socially isolated, narcissistic idiots who reside in thousands of little echo chambers mostly consumed with self generated nonsense.”

        Firstly: it’s more likely that the meme outbreaks were an effect of that rather than a cause. Of ADHD and declining attention spans breaking through the public as they tried to get more info at their fingertips, trying to deliver messages in bite sized, quickly digestible stuff.

        It’s not surprising that this is the generation after CGI became a thing in movies.

        Secondly: You wanna talk about echo chambers? It’s hard to get more of an echo chamber than lots of places of supposedly “higher academics” (which by the way are where journalists are now supposed to be trained), and of-say- CNN circa 1969. As there were fewer and fewer outlets of contact with the Hoi Polloi or

        Thirdly: While I generally view the fracturing of the Western attention span and the balkanization into echo chambers as a Bad thing, it does have SOME Uses.

        Namely that those echo chambers are small enough to avoid becoming institutionalized, and regularly BASH AGAINST each other. Which can help introduce sound from outside the echo chamber to them.

        And secondly: it means that the modern ADHD person has higher standards for punchy news, and LOWER standards for willful deception. It took incredibly little time- to use just one- for me to prove that Donald Trump was referring specifically to MS-13 with his “Animals” quote, just as I helped deflate this meme going around the conservative network in which Obama claimed all people should be subservient to an all powerful government (in reality he was positioning that as an opposing viewpoint to his own).

        This means I the Tubby internet Autist with way too much typing can outmaneuver THE VAUNTED, “PROPER”, SUPPOSEDLY ROBUST AND INDEPENDENT PRESS. Due to the logistics of it. And apparently I possess superior fact checking abilities to at least some editors from that milleiu.

        And if I can do that, how the heck do you think others will NOT notice that and take advantage?

        “Chavez led the new paradigm with his Twitter army.”

        Except that “new paradigm was borrowed wholesale from the MNR that the Castros began to cobble together in the early days of their dictatorship. And THAT was borrowed in turn from the “Red Guards” that the early Bolshevik party used.

        Difference of format does not mean difference of function, Canucklehead.

        • One day during the G.W. Bush campaign (1999) the morning NYT ran an editorial suggesting G.W. didn’t have the, “gravitas” to be President. By the end of the day, every other newspaper and TV evening news program was reporting on G.W.’s lack of, “gravitas.”

          The lazy, copy-cat journalism was so blatant and obvious that it became subject matter for news articles in-and-of itself.

          • Indeed. Well, to be fair to them there is going to be a kind of “Telephone” effect even in high quality, sincere journalism as one person hears a scoop from someone else, realizes what it is, and passes it on….while being molded by the source and whatnot they heard it from. And in turn molding the story for those that will hear it from them.

            Hence why I mentioned the role of the News-as-Messenger. And after all, some people will hear of good scoops or insights and want to incorporate them.

            But there’s that, and then there’s wholesale, sloppy homework copying.

            I think this one ditty quote that usually gets attributed to Patton says it best.

            “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”

            And “Professional, Robust” Journalism has gotten very, VERY used to thinking alike in its rarefied, increasingly insular air for a long time. It takes patience and time to break out and get a breath of fresh air, to double check, to stay moored to the outside.

            And as we know all too well, a lot of “journalists” don’t do that.

          • @Lorenzo Also, as an old school gamer and Gamergater, in terms of “Copycat Journalism” – and probably of a younger generation- I really, really remember the “Gamers are Dead” thing. Big time.

            I mean, what are the odds that everybody comes up with that independently, or even while influencing each other, without marching orders?

          • “as an old school gamer and Gamergater”

            Gamergater, LMFAO , that discredits wathever you said next.

          • @“J.”

            “Gamergater, LMFAO , that discredits wathever you said next.”

            Logical Fallacy, Ad Hominem Dip$hiet.

            Learn it.

            This entire “logic” is terminally retarded. Because Joseph Goebbels was much, much worse than a Gamergater. He was a racist, perfidious, genocidal rat.

            But that did not change the fact that he was Right (or at least less wrong than almost everybody speaking publically) about the Katyn Massacre.

            Because the truth value of an argument is not dependent on who says it. So strategies like this will Always Fail.

            But then you probably think pointing out one journalist engaging in corruption means hating all women.

            I am more than willing to debate you any time, jagoff.

        • Turtler. I blurred through that. It vaguely looked, and read, like Noam Chomsky interpreted by a fourteen year old, paradoxically enough.

          • “Turtler. I blurred through that.”

            Your call, your loss.

            “It vaguely looked, and read, like Noam Chomsky interpreted by a fourteen year old, paradoxically enough.”

            Paradoxically fitting, since that was around the time I really started studying history: including Chomsky and his track record, including lies. Not sure if I should be offended or not, but hey. Life is short:

          • Engaging with Cnuckles is like trying to teach a pig to read. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. He just gets frustrated and plays the “you are white and therefore deplorable” card.

            Seriously, Cnuckles – you’d have more fun on Democrat Underground or something spewing about Russians and Trump. It is all Trump all the time. You’d really like it, and your fellow commentators will agree with your brilliance. Why bother here?

          • By the way Cnucklehoser, Some Russians are having their way with a Canadian goalie in game 3. Stadium full of red shirts right there in Washington DC cheering for Putin’s boys. Where the Fuck is Mueller? You should be outraged.

          • Canucklehead, with respect…there are two Chomsky’s; the one who invented Generative Tranformational Grammar and the one who was a cheer-leader for Marxist murderers. (Leonard Bernsteinish, kinda.)

            I suspect you don’t understand the grammar part but you embrace the murderer part.

  3. The first attack was the regular vilification of media outlets, individual journalists and media owners by the President from his bully pulpit. People cheered him on with his rhetoric against squalid media elites and the lying and dishonest coverage he got, and that did two things: it garnered the support of his followers to go further, and it introduced a chill on journalists and media outlets who were not inclined to be the willing targets of threats, violence and public abuse from a popular President and his fervent supporters.

    • Part 2.

      Listen, I know you hate Trump. And I know you pride yourself on getting most of your news from “established”, so called Robust and Reliable soruces. And I know this narrative- this MEME- is popular among those who would like to insulate said established media outlets from the repercussions of their own screwups and biases.

      But this is utter CODSWALLOP no matter how one looks at it.

      “The first attack was the regular vilification of media outlets, individual journalists and media owners by the President from his bully pulpit. People cheered him on with his rhetoric against squalid media elites and the lying and dishonest coverage he got, and that did two things: it garnered the support of his followers to go further, and it introduced a chill on journalists and media outlets who were not inclined to be the willing targets of threats, violence and public abuse from a popular President and his fervent supporters.”

      This is nonsense, no matter whether you’re using it to refer to totalitarian dictators like Chavez, Maduro, or Hitler, or democratic politicians like Trump.

      How do I know this?

      BECAUSE THEY CERTAINLY DID NOT WAIT UNTIL THEY BECAME PRESIDENT (or in Hitler’s case, Chancellor) in order to “attack” said media outlets.

      I know that KIND OF puts a dent in your nice, cliche narrative of Journalistic Victimization by THE POWAH, but it’s true.

      And even if we limit it to totalitarians, it is still wrong. The truth is, attacks and “regular vilification of Media outlets, individual journos, media owners, etc” is WELL AND TRULY down the road- nevermind doing it as Presidents- from where they started.

      Firstly, they declare themselves and their ideology as members of the opposition, whether in public or (usually, due to the violent and totlaitarian natures of said ideologies) privately. After all, you can rarely get followers if you don’t at least start throwing your metaphorical hat around.

      Secondly, and this may overlap to some degree with the first (due to many recruits having known the Leader or Leaders before they began politicking), you start selecting your followers, and especially within your followers. You start looking for the roguish, the obedient, and the violent. Those who will do your dirty work of ILLEGAL VIOLENCE or terrorism. These are your SA, and SS. These are your Red Guards, and sometimes even your Central Committee. These are the coup plotters Chavez went to prison with.

      And while on some degree this is the product of the leader, in many other ways it is SELF-SELECTED BY NATURE OF THE IDEOLOGY. As the average Joe Blow Republican, Democrat, Social Dem, Christian Dem, or what have you ISN’T interested in signing up to be a legbreaker in what is now still a marginal totalitarian movement (that is likely still terroristic in nature).

      At least not yet.

      Now third: they begin to build the framework for delivering messages. What might have started as clandestine presses for a small cell of plotters becomes far larger and more publicly available. As does its reach. The focus on individually delivered speeches gives way to a focus on publication, and publication gives way to MORE INTENSIVE publication. Things like Lenin’s “Iskra” and Hitler and Goebbels’ “Der Angriff” go from one press basement affairs with circulations of a few hundred at most into major operations capable of churning out thousands. And THIS is important, because when the denunciations and villifications come THESE are the medium by which they will be disseminated.

      Now fourthly…. you think they begin to denounce media outlets now? NO!

      They begin to denounce SOCIETY IN GENERAL, and the GOVERNMENT IN PARTICULAR. That the way things are is corrupt, oppressive, uneven, selfish, or what have you. And thus deserves- nay Requires- to be Replaced. If not Overthrown.

      THIS, Canucklehead, is CRUCIAL. Why? Because it’s the point where this political organization begins to widely declare itself opposed to the form of government and society as a whole, and lays the foundation for its ideology. This stuff serves as the BASE FROM WHICH it will build off of to attack media outlets, with those attacks, insinuations, smears, etc deriving their origins From this wider attack on the government.

      And if you are doubtful about this, I kindly invite you to go dumpster diving into the bowels of Marxists . org where they archived vast swaths of Bolshevik party publications and transcripts- including stuff from their early days.

      To narrow it down with a laser focus because this material is toxic and too voluminous for even me to go through, let’s focus merely on the critical point of early and mid 1917. When the Bolsheviks were reestablishing themselves in Russia but hadn’t yet launched their Coup.

      “War and Revolution” comes before “An Outbreak of Credulity” and is much, MUCH more famous than the latter. The former consists of an overall attack on all Monarchist, Capitalist, Social Democrat, Constitutionalist, and Republican sentiment, in essence being a declaration and codification of Lenin’s thesis and an Invitation to World War on the lines of class.

      The latter is basically Lenin alleging and attacking what he might have labeled as what we would calle “Fake News.” But even THEN It’s notable that it centers mostly on attacks on “Fake News” supposedly coming from the Provisional Republic’s Functionaries, and on journalists Secondarily. Why? Because if you’re going to imitate Lenin and Trotsky and Stalin and co and slaver at the mouth denouncing journalists as evil capitalist running dogs in service to a corrupt government, you had better have taken the time to FIRST announce WHY Capitalism is evil, why the government is corrupt, etc. And THEN work from there.

      This is how ordered totalitarian groups proceed. Including the Chavistas. After all, totalitarians are Nothing if not

      Now that doesn’t mean that people will not throw barbs or even stones at news organizations. I know I do. But that doesn’t necessarily bode for a coming totalitarian tide. That’s the meme people attempting to cover their own arses or those of the so called “Legacy Media” get wrong. Condemnation- even HARSH- condemnation of the news media is common both by totalitarians and anti-totalitarians. And often times it is Valid, as media- being comprised only of fallible people- can fall victim to biases, ignorance, and so on. And some chilling effect can be healthy if it serves to mitigate abuses like the vilification of Pewdiepie as a freaking White Supremacist.

      What’s important- and the DIFFERENCE between people like Trump and Obama and Trudeau, and people like Lenin and Chavez- is that while the former may try and delegitimize media outlets- even a current media establishment as a whole- the Latter focus on delegitimizing the idea of free media overall. And if you can’t tell the difference, I beg you to do more research.

      • Hi Turtler,

        I look forward to your posts now. Rich and thoughtful. Consider writing essays or a memoir…or even fiction; Dude, you got the chops.

        Keep posting.

    • I was making some factual references to Hugo Chavez and in particular, his comments about the Venezuelan mainstream media and foreign media that I heard on Alo Presidente, during some of his televised rallies, and in news conferences. This is before his movement largely destroyed the media or bent it to his will, as the author to this post elaborates. The vilification and the threats came first.

      That some people thought my description was referring to someone else is not my responsibility.

      • “I was making some factual references to Hugo Chavez and in particular, his comments about the Venezuelan mainstream media and foreign media that I heard on Alo Presidente, during some of his televised rallies, and in news conferences. ”

        Even then, they aren’t factual. Because he began his villifcation long before he became President. And he did not start with the Media.

        Again, the man founded MBR-200 with the explicit goal of declaring the illegitimacy of the entire government and advocating it be overthrown by coup. Even after the coup failed he was still bent on military action until Cardenas encouraged him that he could- like Hitler- take power by elective means. He began his villifcation not with the media, but with the government and pre existing system as a whole. And he had already recruited supporters naturally bent towards violence.

        The vilification of dissenting media came After this wholesale campaign to villify and delegitimize the pre-existing Republican government. And it was part and parcel of the process he began when he was still a wannabe coup maker.

        Ergo, your statement is not factual.

        “This is before his movement largely destroyed the media or bent it to his will, as the author to this post elaborates. The vilification and the threats came first.”

        Indeed, but the vilification and threats started not with the media at large. It started with society and the government at large. And began in a cloistered, small group of totalitarian die hards naturally inclined towards violence.

        “That some people thought my description was referring to someone else is not my responsibility.”

        No, but the factual inaccuracy Is your responsibility.

        • You know, I did not mention that Hugo Chavez had a mole, played baseball, and was from Barinas state, either. More critical omissions! Typical of the smug offspring of communists, no doubt!

          • No, just typical of the smug and incompetent.

            You tried to claim that his first attack was vilifying the media, in an attempt to bear the old drum of conflating Chavistqs with Conservatives.

            Considering that Chavez’s public life in politics began with a failed attempt at a coup to overthrough the Venezuelan Republic, that does not wash.

            Now, do you want to continue trying to snipe, or can we both admit that a MILITARY COUP attempt constitutes an “attack”?

            Now

          • @Marc Indeed, MRubio’s riposte that he does not come here as a journalist- just someone living amidst the genuine Venezuelan Pueblo that CC fights for- was devastating.

            But I am not MRubio. Never have been to Venezuela at all, and I can only imagine trying to do what he has done.

      • Oh, you are so full of shit. You were referring to Trump. You know that.

        That’s your problem, Canuck:

        You’re not just an idiot, you’re a fucking liar. And a fucking coward. You don’t even have the balls to admit it!

        Are you married? Is there actually a woman up there in the Great White North who will fuck you? Or a guy?

        I doubt either.

    • What bait? His posts are all stupidity.

      Right now, he’s cutting and pasting to defend Trudeau’s idiotic and suspicious purchase (both ethical and socialist) of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

      • Ira, I sense the pain of an incorrigible and infantile narcisist who is being ignored while the attention goes to a stupid Canadian, from a stupid country, who says stupid things. Weak stupid Canadian Trudeau things. I’m sorry. I really just want to put in my two cents, and get out, but I get Martin Heidegger of the Great Plains mansplaining me to death and all his buddies ooo-ing and ahhhing…you really should speak out more for what you think and try to just ignore me.

        • How can one ignore dangerous socialists on my border?

          Idiots like you and your hero Trudeau who are so stupid…yes, THAT stupid…as to insinuate that Trump’s comments about aluminum and steel tariffs being vital to U.S. national security, that this had nothing to do with Canada being a threat to us.

          I mean, come on. Canada is a joke militarily.

          But the stupidity of Trudeau, not to understand that Trump meant a vibrant American steel and aluminum industry is vital for national security…

          Can he really be that stupid? But maybe so.

          Morons like you bought it.

          • Uh Ira, while I’m no fan of Trudeau and have been butting heads with Canucklehead, and am a patriotic American Conservative…

            There is a biiiit or a disconnect between writing “How can one ignore dangerous socialists on my border?”

            On one hand, and “I mean, come on. Canada is a joke militarily.”

            On the other.

            And for the record, I would definitely NOT say Canada is a joke militarily. In fact it is one of the premier military powers-heck, powers in general- of the word. Has been since midway through WWII. And one of the few nations that can field a fully modern war machine and put troops out on par with the US’s elite.

            And if I am going to lecture Canucklehead on his eff ups, honor demands that I be consistent with others.

            As for the tariffs l, I am more ambivalent to them. In general I am a free trader but I recognize that sometimes it is needed for negotiations.

          • Gotta agree with Turtler on this one, Ira.

            And Canada’s accomplishments are even more remarkable considering the fact that their population is about on par with Venezuelas.

            But then My mother was a Canuck (Harmattan, Alberta, 1918) so maybe I am a little prejudiced (She became a US citizen when she married Pops).

          • Ira, sorry, but you want the Canadians in your foxhole when the chips are down (Cunuckelehead notwithstanding). They are true warriors.

  4. When Donald Trump was running for President, my daughter and I went to a rally he had.
    A funny thing happened. We were standing next to a deck that had been erected to allow the cameras and journalists to be higher than the crowds. A man from CNN came down and asked who supported Trump. Almost all of the hands went up. He then asked who was against Trump. A young lady next to me raised her hand. He then Said to her “Would you like to be on television?”
    He absolutely ignored the people that were supporting Trump. Apparently they didn’t fit into whatever “news” CNN planned to report.
    When President Trump accuses CNN of being biased, I often think of that experience.
    I do not recall CNN interviewing people that were “Anti-Clinton”.

    • What’s incredible, and so infuriating to the left, is that Hillary had the game rigged. This, in spite of the fact that She was universally despised, even among Dems, save for those in the ultra-left, and the “I am woman, hear me roar.” And most of that wacko ultra-left wanted Bernie anyway.

      (And nothing wrong with women getting excited about the possibility of our first female president, but man, was she the wrong candidate for that possibility, and used that angle too much, like a crutch.)

      But Trump changed the rigged game.

      And boy, that REALLY pissed them all off! Even the establishment Republicans!

  5. That’s the problem. For all the attempts people like to conflate Chavismo and other totlaitarian ideologies or movements with more mainstream politics in a democracy, there’s something fundamentally different. They don’t want to partake in the marketplace of ideas. They don’t even want to DOMINATE it. They want to shut it down.

    If Orwell said that the vision of The Party’s future was a boot stamping on a human face forever, a necessary corrollary is that of a dozen or so megaphones blaring out the same message over the corpses of those who would not comply. Forever. I’m skeptical if RCTV was really the first- to that I’ll defer to Noguera. But it certainly moved the Chavista attempt to enslave the country out into the spotlight for those who would see.

    Fortunately, it’s possible to get around. Dangerous, yes, but easier than ever before. Self-Publishing can bea Pita but it is possible. Does CC know about the health of the opposition press underground? I’d hope it is doing well.

    The good news is that there are ways around it.

  6. I would think that serious curtailment of internet access must be on the reqime’s to do list unless they think that at this point they have no need to be overly concerned about public opinion.

    • Tom – the internet including smart phone apps only work when there are [1] electricity, and [2] a functioning telecom system [whether mobile or landlines]. By slowly but surely eliminating these basic utilities throughout the country, the Maduro regime will be able to bypass all that censorship stuff. But, to the extent the masses are provided with power and high speed internet, yes I would expect their Cuban overlords to teach them how to censor same. The PRC is pretty good at this, too.

      • PRC is exactly what I was thinking of. And you are right….get rid of electrical grid and Telecom infrastructure and viola….problem solved!

      • Ahh, but they want to create regime-sanctioned crypto-currency exchanges and crypto-mining centers, along with their precious Petro. All of this will take gobs of electricity and a robust, easily accessible internet!

        Hey! Nobody said it was going to be easy running a totalitarian dictatorship!

    • From what I’ve heard, it sounds like it’s almost the inverse. That the regime is worried about cutting off internet access for fear that it would be one of the few things that could get a profound enough reaction from “El Pueblo” to overthrow the regime. After all, you are cutting much of the contact that the average person still retains with the wider world, and each other…as well as a means to find sustenance or work.

      That isn’t going to be popular.

      I’d be surprised if it isn’t on their To Do list, but you have to boil a frog gradually after all.

        • Likewise. To be honest, I’m starting to think that it will require armed strife to remove them. And we already have some idea how absolutely unpalatable THAT kind of stuff is!

    • @Boludo Tejano…that is some funny stuff! Lol. Probably less amusing to those who have to watch that crap though I would guess. I am going to quit bitching so much about my cable bill! Lol

  7. President Trump: ‘Fake News CNN Is Dead’

    Fox News Channel is dominating cable news according to recent Nielsen Media Research data. The network with the slogan “Real News. Real Honest Opinion” has been putting up some real numbers in terms of ratings during the past few years.

    According to Nielsen, Fox now has 10 of the top 15 cable news shows and has maintained nearly two years of beating every other cable channel for total daily viewers. CNN on the other hand has lost nearly 25% of its viewers. These numbers caught the attention of President Trump who declared that Fox News’ rival CNN is “dead.”

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/timothymeads/2018/06/02/president-trump-fake-news-cnn-is-dead-n2486716

    And cannuck assumes the fetal position.

    • @MRubio…that’s because they only have three objectives.1- bash Trump, 2- bash Trump, 3- bash Trump. People are getting real tired of it. If not quite dead they are at least rotating rapidly around the toilet bowl on their downward plunge.

    • What pisses me off the most is that if you support Trump’s core policies, you support them all:

      And you’re worthy of ridicule.

      There’s not a Trump supporter anywhere who wishes he didn’t act and speak a certain way, but when you look at the totality of his presidency, the proof is in the pudding.

      • I once cared a tiny bit about the way Trump acted and spoke, but don’t any longer. He is who he is and at age 70 isn’t going to change…..and besides, he’s making good stuff happen.

        Branco had a good cartoon recently.

        Republican Platform 2018
        Border Security
        Boom Economy
        Better Trade Deals
        Infrastructure

        Democrat Platform 2018
        Hate Trump

        ’bout sums it up.

  8. As I read through the latest updates to this thread I had intended to take a quick look and watch some TV but the thread became so compelling that I thought to myself “hell, I can watch Bonanza anytime”! This is far more entertaining!

      • Caps are too much for the upstarts. But it sure has been interesting, and the VGK are making them work for it.

        Plus them 500:1 odds… I know that there are some technical outs, but it is far easier for a casino owner to slip $100,000 to some skaters to take a dive than to pay out at those odds.

    • Well, glad you like. I just wish it were more relevant to Venezuela’s plight. And less of a muck show in general.

  9. @Turtler…actually it is relevant in that many points are being brought up that help explain the wrong thinking, the deceit, the sleight of hand, and many other occurrences that led Venezuela to the sorry state they now find themselves in. There are so many lessons to be learned here if one wants to pay attention!

  10. It is reported in the books of greek classical commentators that in ancient persia men were taught never to lie and that when they heard rhat in greece men practiced deceitful speech as a matter of course in the streets , forums and open markets they were scandalized and decided that perhaps they should mount an expedition to punish the perverted customs of the greeks of their times !! Now in our country the contrary rule has become mandatory , public media must either remain silent about any information that is inimical to the regimes image or lie about it by celebrating its imaginary accomplishments, lies and disinformation have become criminilized because we must lead lives of fantasy by order of our political masters , the thing is that no one is fooled , even where the media is prevented from publishing the dark sinister reality of our lives under this regime , every one is aware about what is happening , because in this country it is difficult to hide information as everyone , even regime partisans , at some point in time let their friends and relatives learn of all the ugly things that are happening …..everything is leaked out for public consumption …beside the fact that in todays days of social media its very difficult to keep thing under wraps , everything gets to be known by the public ….

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