Friday, August 22, 2008

The abysmal awfulness of Venezuelan state TV anchors

[Updated] There is a video I had heard of, about how bad the coverage of Michael Phelps 8th medal was on Tves, the network Chavez started in June 2007 to replace private RCTV, forcefully kicked out of the air waves. I did report about how bad the covering was but for some reason I missed that particular part. Either I was still rushing from my desk to watch the race or this video comes from a posterior replay of Tves or in the emotion I did not pay attention to the anchor words, having already blocked him from the previous half an hour listening to his absurdities. The video carries the translation though it is not very good. Still, amuse yourself at how incredibly ignorant is that Tves anchor: in short, he confuses Phelps with Spitz, puts them in the Munich Olympics presided by Hitler who refused in the end to give Phelps his medal.

And if you are surprised, new to Venezuela, you need to know that Chavez controls now 5 of the 9 networks that exist with more than local overage. All of his networks are equally badly staffed as any journalist, anchor or commentator with any pride in his or her job refuses to work there, a place where all news and programs must contain a promotion of Chavez or his lackeys. One of the things I heard during my very brief Olympic watch was an anchor slavishly thanking personally the CANTV head for the job she allowed him to get. A little bit as if NBC anchor would thank Bill Gates instead of Microsoft for sponsoring, implying that Bill Gates got him the job.

But not only they have no knowledge of world history but they are incoherent. Observe that he starts by saying no living athlete got ever 8 medals to say right after that Phelps did such a feat in Munich. I am in awe!

Update: This is so bad that today I have not been able to shake the thought that it might all be a set up. After all, I wrote this late at night so my judging functions might have been somewhat impaired. But so far there is no evidence that the sound track is fake.

Now, why do I bother discussing this, casting doubt on my very own post, without having been proven wrong yet? Because I think it is interesting to see how slowly but surely we, in Venezuela, are becoming everyday more Pavlovian. See, we are all so used to such bad TV reporting from the state networks (not that the private are much better, but at least they are better) that the first reaction to this video is to accept it at face value. Man, it rings so, so true if you ever watched Tves Olympic coverage! A half an hour of watching it was enough for me to accept this video at face value (and I still do accept its veracity until proven wrong).

So, even if it turned out to be a parody it would not matter because the parody would be better than reality, something possible only in Venezuela! Or as the Italians say: se non e vero, e ben trovato.

-The end-

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