Saturday, February 05, 2005

Minister Izarra writes to CNN

Scanning the official sites, I came up with this interesting news that refer to a letter that Minister Andres Izarra addressed to CNN.

Minister Andres Izarra asks CNN not to disappoint his ethic contract with the audience.

Andres Izarra, minister of information of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in a letter addressed to Chris Commett, news director of the Chain of News for CNN en Español, underlines the clear disequilibrium in the coverage of Venezuelan news. He makes specifically reference to the case of Rodrigo Granda and other themes such as the Latin America integration or the expropriation of VENEPAL. He then points out that: “that bias is applicable to other Venezuelan themes, precisely those in which the audience needs objective criteria such as those in which the law defends children television rights or that of the land normalization.”

I was first wondering about the type of report Izarra would like to be portrayed in CNN…”the defense of children TV rights”? When we were kids, we thought that we had the right to watch TV whenever we liked it, no matter what my parents said. Is that what he is talking about? That Venezuelan kids should be able to watch TV whenever they want? If so, this is definitely the government for kids, first they change the way to calculate the mean so that everybody is above the mean (see Chavez’s Mathematics) and next they take the time to write to CNN in defense of the right of the kids to watch TV as they wish.. Hmm, I guess Izarra must not be referring to that, but rather to the “Muzzle Law”, don’t you think? So perfect! I more than agree with Minister Izarra, let us all ask CNN to do a thorough piece on the Muzzle Law so that the entire world can know about it.

His second comment refers to the land “normalization”. What exactly is “land normalization”? I was quite puzzled with the meaning of the term “normalization”, but then Chavistas always invent a new terminology and, by the way, they are actually quite good at that, so this must be one of those times. First I thought that Minister Izarra could be referring to the process of finding out the mean of a normal distribution. I know that they are quite good in finding a mean that is always lower than any of the sample values, but I truly cannot understand how they can make that fit a normal distribution. So I guess that he must be referring to something else, like the act of seizing the lands regardless of the law that they themselves passed. Once again, I could not agree more with Minister Izarra. It would be great if CNN could do a piece on the application of the land law, on the Mathematics behind it and also on the seizure of Hato El Piñero.

At the end of the letter, Minister Izarra writes:

It is easy to understand that CNN favors the interests of the American Government but not to the point to disappoint his ethic contract with its principal client, its audience. We ask again that CNN balances more its Venezuela coverage; we ask that they revise the ethical and political positions of its contractors in this country and the quality of the work that is carried out by its writing heads.

I have mixed feelings about this last paragraph. First I think that Izarra is right again. CNN should definitely listen to its audience. Unfortunately, the last sentence is written in such a cryptic way that it was difficult for me to seize its meaning. It may be just because of the convoluted Chavista writing style or else, because it contains a subtle veil of warning for CNN.

In any case, I do agree that CNN should pay attention to its audience. So let us all write to Chris Commett and tell him that we do indeed support the idea that CNN does a piece on the Muzzle law and another one on the land seizures.

After all, we are the audience, aren’t we?

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