The death of Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez reminds columnist Ted Rall of the shameful role that the New York Times played in the 2002 US-backed coup that overthrew Chavez, with the US government and the Times quickly endorsing the change. Alas for them, there was a mass popular uprising, backed by some factions of the military, in favor of Chavez that enabled the wily leader to turn the tables on the coup plotters and get back in power within 48 hours.
That unexpected turn of events was, to put it mildly, highly embarrassing for the Bush administration and the story of that coup and the US government’s complicity in that act and the media’s support of it, as is often the case with such embarrassing events, quickly disappeared. As Rall expected, the Times omitted that dirty little detail about their role from their coverage of Chavez’s death.
Rall also points out that in an editorial, the Times now sanctimoniously lectures the Bush administration for ‘unwisely blessing’ that coup while once again ignoring the opportunity to honestly tell readers about their own act of blessing.