A Dig Too Far
The New York Times tests the boundaries of rational discourse today, with a little piece called “In Venezuela, Chavismo Is Dissected by Fans and Foes.”
It starts out stupidly enough, referring to a collection of egalitarian peaceniks as a “baffling array of influences” on the Venezuelan president. Baffling, perhaps, for someone without access to a library, (a “baffling array” of knowledge bound in paper volumes) or Wikipedia (a “baffling collection” of ones and zeros).
But then the article just gets weird. Totally ignoring his own headline, reporter Simon Romero goes on to profile only Chavez critics, who refer to the president’s ideas in a progressively baffling-er array of twisted metaphors:
One man calls chavismo “a bowl of minestrone soup… a series of arbitrary improvisations.” Whatev, hungry guy.
Another says it’s a “largely cosmetic” yet “pragmatic” manifestation of “socialist talk.” Ok, cynic.
“Some of Mr. Chávez’s critics compare the project to Pol Pot’s emptying of Phnom Penh in his bloody effort to remake Cambodian society in the 1970s”
Compares? to Pol Pot’s campaign of genocide? Favorably, I assume, what without all that “internecion.” Jesus.
But it doesn’t stop there. The article concludes with this:
“But there are those who see Mr. Chávez’s socialist ramblings more darkly.”
My italics. I mean for godsake, more darkly than Pol Pot?
“After hearing him resuscitate Che Guevara’s idea to forge socialism through the creation of a “new man,” the historian Manuel Caballero caused a stir recently by saying that a large part of the electorate voted for Mr. Chávez ‘because it wanted a dictatorship.’”
We’re starting to wonder whether the Times employs a baffling array of arrogant, historically challenged hacks.