The editors of the satirical magazine Mongolia, one of Spain’s most controversial publications, usually defend their shocking covers (which have even taken them to court) with a peculiar argument. According to them, the jokes don’t matter, what matters is the position of the person making them: if you mock someone strong while being weak, you’re brave; if you mock someone strong while being strong, you’re comfortable; if you mock someone weak while being strong, you’re a son of a bitch.
The jokes don’t matter, what matters is the position of the person making them.
If we use this theory to classify Mario Silva, he’d surely fit the third category.
Silva, founder and host of La Hojilla, has spent over ten years cruelly and insensibly slandering and mocking people in various sectors of the opposition: leaders, activists, journalists, political prisoners or human rights advocates.
That tone made it Hugo Chávez’ favorite TV show, confessed by himself, and this was probably what saved Mario when he was pulled off the air after Ismael García released an audio of him talking about Aramis Palacios, member of the Cuban G2, accusing Diosdado Cabello of corruption (claiming that “we’ll be completely fucked” if Cabello takes over PDVSA) and confessing that Fidel Castro told him once that he didn’t understand how Chávez “didn’t scrap elections.”
But the real issue isn’t Mario Silva himself as an agent of terror, it’s his way of doing television and radio, or writing or op-eds, a miserable style that has been spreading over time to become a model within the ranks of the Bolivarian Revolution.
But the real issue isn’t Mario Silva himself as an agent of terror, it’s his way of doing television and radio, or writing or op-eds.
That’s where Zurda Konducta’s hosts came from: Pedro Carvajalino, Oswaldo Rivero (AKA Cabeza e’ Mango,) Fidel Madroñero, Ricardo González and Llanfrancis Colina, as well as Miguel Pérez Pirela and his “Cayendo y Corriendo.”
But the impact of these characters on public opinion has waned, opening the way for Jesús Silva.
Silva (unrelated to Mario) has become infamous for something that probably makes his family hide their link: he voices chavismo’s unspeakable thoughts with people, in turn, reacting with brimstone, especially on Twitter.
He seems to enjoy it, as if that’s the reaction he seeks. His latest gems include mocking journalist Alejandro Cañizalez for committing suicide due to financial problems, arguing that he only needed to get the carnet de la patria (which was followed by a shameful apology on Aporrea); announcing that in case of an intervention by United States military in Venezuela, he’d be forced to kill dissidents, even preventively and, more recently, writing that he regretted singer Evio Di Marzo’s death, since his life was worth more than that of his brother Yordano, because he was a “revolutionary artist.”
Even though he announced on June 1 that he’d withdraw from “social media controversy” to focus on “the reconciliation process declared by the government,” Jesús, who hosts a TV show and seems immune to the Hate Law sanctioned by the National Constituent Assembly, has found a business in this manner of expression, just like Mario Silva did under Chávez’ protection.
Jesús, who hosts a TV show and seems immune to the Hate Law sanctioned by the National Constituent Assembly, has found a business in this manner of expression.
He announced that “retirement”, by the way, with a video most likely edited himself, of people saying his name on TV for 44 seconds. That’s probably the most eloquent description of his personality you’ll ever find.
The only reason why Silva reached these levels of attention is the exposure that media outlets (even theoretically “impartial” ones) have given him. This is a school of journalism where Roland Freisler would’ve felt at home, a despicable Ministry of Truth whose goal is not reporting, but discrediting others, and there are several shows a day with different hosts, but the same tone and target. Meet the new boss… same as the old boss.
This is chavismo’s journalism, a model where you can say whatever you want as long as you wear the red cape, but raising your voice from the opposite side? Perish the thought!Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.