21 Jan 2003 guerby   » (Master)

raph Funny coincidence, I posted yesterday on the fsfe-france mailing list my opinion on the state of mainstream medias and the rise of blogs, and it looks like a french translation of yours :).

However your example illustrates the risk of relying on only one blog, this particular one is a masterpiece of disinformation.

If you're interested in the media and politics, the Venezuela story is exceptional. I have no tie to Venezuela and I wouldn't be able to spot it on a south america map, but I got interested into this case because of total inconsistency in the french media - information released was contradictory and complete nonsense, this couldn't be true - of the reports in the "coup" of April 2002. I was lucky that a few debates and academic conferences took place nearby in Paris so I could make up my mind on the issue, getting mass of factual information that never appeared, and will probably never appear in any mainstream media.

Why the blog is about disinformation, read the paragraphs before

The president himself, in a unconscionable show of his growing contempt for what anybody else thinks, vowed that he would not step down "even if 90% voted yes."

The context is the February 2003 referendum requested by the opposition. This is indeed factually true, but it omits a big piece of the information (hence my disinformation masterpiece claim): the Venezuela constitution allows that a binding presidential referendum in August 2003 (mandate mid term, you need a big enough petition), and the president Chavez always stated that he would follow the result of this (August) constitutionally correct referendum, and never submit to any inconstitutional referendum on the subject.

Now you ask yourself why on earth the opposition is risking to throw the country into total chaos instead of having a public debate (FYI: oppositions control all the TV channels in Venezuala except the state owned one and all the mainstream newspapers) and just waiting for August? Hmmm.

I saw some speeches of Chavez and I must admit I'd never vote for him in a "normal" country, but I guess the other candidates were so obviously corrupted and evil that he got elected anyway.

I really encourage people to spend some time googling/thinking on this, and to compare what you found and what mainstream medias are saying. Here is one USA-based debate, to start with (shows both views on the issue) there is plenty of information around.

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