The byline to yesterday’s Los Angeles Times story promises that if you read the article, you’ll be introduced to “commentators” who believe that Chavez’s proposed constitutional amendments constitute “a blow to democracy in the region.”
It’s always fun to take a look at who gets quoted in stories like this. I mean, hell, I’m a commentator, so are you. But the LA Times is a pretty sophisticated shop, with lots of access to the top minds and players on the world stage, so of course their “commentators” are top drawer.
Haha j/k. The Times quotes exactly two “commentators” concerned about the Venezuelan proposal, and the first one is some random dude who, swear to god, posted a comment on a blog in Mexico City comparing Hugo Chavez, unfavorably, with Darth Vader. The other one is a conservative Salvadorian ex-ambassador with ties to the Bush administration.
Two other commentators include a Colombian think-tanker and a Nicaraguan “political analyst,” but they are in favor of the proposal so their take didn’t make it into the headline.
Oh, and then way down at the bottom was this guy, an Ecuadorian analyst who inserted some relevant context. As it turns out,
Presidents Alberto Fujimori of Peru, Carlos Menem of Argentina and Alvaro Uribe of Colombia pushed through constitutional changes that enabled them to hold on to power longer than law prescribed.
I think we’ve cracked the code: history at the end, histrionics on top.