The news that’s not fit to print

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.


  1. Psychopomp Gecko says

    Now see, when I was discussing this with someone and they hoped Chavez was rotting in hell for talking bad about the U.S., I told him that wasn’t sufficient enough criteria. This does justify why he wouldn’t be the friendliest towards us. I don’t know what the generally accepted period of time is for disliking someone for attempting to overthrow your democratically elected government, but chances are that will sour relations for a little while.

    Myself, being a little more knowledgeable about our role in Central and South America after WW2, thought it was likely he had an ok reason to hate us.

    Because, you know, we have such a fantastic track record down there.

  2. left0ver1under says

    Historical revision by omission is unsurprising and nothing new.

    The rightwing corporate media talked about “corruption in Haiti” after the 2010 earthquake, but made no mention of the US twice overthrowing the legally elected and popular government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

    And when the media had to admit there never were any WMDs in Iraq, they acted as if nobody had said that in 2001-2002. Whether TV or print, the corporate shills pretended that everyone had been onside, that there were no voices of opposition whose facts and predictions were correct.

  3. Tracey says

    Remember, when much of the Alaska native population was freezing and Palin made her photo op with…a plate of cookies…it was Chavez who brought heating oil to them.

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