Saturday, September 13, 2003

A NOT SO GOOD ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES

September 13, 2003
Mr. Forero does it again

In December the NYT brought Juan Forero to cover Venezuela. His very first missives seemed to be closer to the mark than the original NYT corespondents that missed the point completely. Alas! Soon enough Mr. Forero revealed himself to be a cryptic pro-Chavez groupie. Lately he seems to have tried to be a little bit more objective. Perhaps the NYT received enough complaints? Yet for all his efforts Mr. Forero cannot help it and messes up any potentially good article with a single sentence. Today’s offering is a very good example.

Mr. Forero report on Friday’s annulment of the recall election drive is rather good. That is, until you reach these two gems:

Opinion surveys by organizations linked to the opposition say Venezuelans would vote 2 to 1 against Mr. Chávez.

And

A referendum is seen by opposition figures and the Bush administration as the best solution to the political turmoil that has gripped this oil-rich country.

In item one Mr. Forero seems to imply that any polling organization that predicts a 2 to 1 against Chavez is tied with the opposition. Mr. Forero would be well advised to read the back issues of Venezuelan papers where these same pollsters predicted rather accurately the Chavez 1998 election and his re-election of 2000. And if Mr. Forero doubts Venezuelan pollsters he could check the US ones that are giving very similar results.

The second item is downright silly. The opposition leaders that want recall election are tied to President Bush? Mr. Bush is pulling a California on Chavez as an unfortunate Davis? Or perhaps Mr. Forero means to say that the “good” opposition, say, the one tied to Al Sharpton, would rather suffer the Venezuelan mess, recession, chaos, violence, insecurity and what not until 2006, with the illusory hope that after almost 5 years in office Chavez will finally have learned to govern the country effectively.

The real question actually is how come the New York Times editorials on Venezuela are rather severe on Mr. Chavez while Mr. Forero’s productions are supportive. What kind of twisted objectivity takes place in the NYT editorial offices? Or does the NYT editor even read his own paper?

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