What’s the point of owning a multi-million dollar TV network if you can’t even use it to violently overthrow your government? That’s the question posed by Venezuelan media mogul Marcel Granier in his recent trip to the US to shore up support for his…um…plight?
After a number of half-crazed attempts at journalistic jihad, Granier’s TV station is not going to get its government-issued license renewed this month. And of course the Washington Post’s three-quarters-crazed deputy editorial page editor is bravely standing by his side. According to Jackson Diehl, the license issue is an attempt by Hugo Chavez to muzzle dissenting media voices and “proof” that he’s a “dictator.” Diehl longs for the day that Chavez stands trial for “human rights crimes,” over the whole thing blah blah blah.
Diehl, of course, is the same jackass who last week chided Democrats for being tough on Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe, just because his government happens to be linked to the little problem of mass graves that keep popping up all over the goddamned place. So you kind of get where he’s coming from: Inverse-Priorityville.
If Venezuela’s private TV networks are a Rupert Murdoch wet dream of smut & barely-there journalistic standards, RCTV has stained the sheets beyond all human recognition. (Gross. Sorry). When African leaders visit, RCTV “news” shows dub “wooga wooga” gorilla noises into the background to joke that black people are monkeys. (Haha!) The station’s graphics department uses Photoshop to digitally fabricate government scandals (The Oil Wars blog has video of one hilariously lame recent example).
Still, in Venezuela, this kind of crap always has and continues to be standard practice for the nightly news. But there are a few obvious-even-to-autistic-toddlers thresholds that productive members of constitutional democracies can’t cross.
Honestly, imagine if Katie Couric had done: this. As far as we’d be able to guess, she’d be in Guantanamo right now thumbing through her precious bible that some solider had peed on three days earlier. But we’d never know for sure because she’d have been denied all access to her family, a lawyer, the media, and the quaint notion of Constitutional protections that we used to enjoy as a society before everything changed™. We’d have nothing but semi-fond memories and a pirated DVD of her colonoscopy to remind us she ever existed at all.
Marcel Granier, on the other hand, is on a worldwide publicity tour. His one-part slimy/ one-part seditious little TV station isn’t even being shut down. He won’t have access to the public airwaves after this month, but he remains free to move his entire apparatus to a private cable station and hire Janet Jackson’s left breast as a foreign correspondent.
Yeesh. I don’t want to give him any ideas.
Korecshun: A sharp-eyed reader noted that it's J.J.'s right breast, not her left, that's the media star (Thanks dad!). BoRev.Net regrets the error.