Ok, the competition has been stiff today, but having given all the submissions a sort-of-thorough
reading skimming once-over, it’s clearish that London’s Daily Telegraph has the most ridiculously hyperbolic coverage of this week’s events, and is probably a contender for an all-time award here. It’s almost a work of art. Behold:
>>> The Headline. While most media outlets felt the need to make at least some mention of what actually transpired (Chavez introduced a proposal to the National Assembly for amendments to the constitution), this one goes straight for the political jugular, reality be damned. “Hugo Chavez to Make Himself President for Life,” it reads.
>>> The Lede. A marvel of nonsensical prose: “The Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez has anointed himself president for life by proposing sweeping changes to the country's constitution.” Sort of like I crowned myself emperor this morning by buying a cup of coffee.
>>> The Process. This proposal of course, will be discussed and amended and voted on by the National Assembly, and then put before voters in a referendum. Some anointing, right? But none of that matters, because “Mr Chavez is unlikely to struggle in is bid to win the referendum as he has spent millions of dollars in oil revenue in enlarging his power base by bolstering the ranks of state employees and introducing cheap imported goods into shops.” Yeah I read this sentence a few times and I still don’t get it either. Any referendum would be unfair right now because…Chavez is too popular? Because of… cheap imports? Seriously, what the fuck?
>>> The Context. Ok, the Telegraph is not alone here, but it might be worth noting that constitutional changes in Venezuela are not exactly earth shattering moments. In fact, wholly new Constitutions aren’t such a big deal (we’re currently on #26 ). Oh, and of course, the fact Colombia is considering changing it’s Constitution again, to allow it’s deranged strongman to run for office again, might be sort of relevant.
So, kudos, Daily Telegraph! Your crappy journalism may be frequently challenged, but it remains head and shoulders ahead of the pack.