Monday, August 16, 2010

Picture, picture on the front page/Who in the land is the fairest journalist?

Tal Cual cover, August 16 2010
I have been very surprised at reading from people that should know better some rather negative comments as to the morgue picture published in El Nacional last Friday.  I am not talking here of course about people like Gabriela Ramirez who is apparently congenitally unable to see anything evil in what the regime she serves does.  I am talking about comments seen elsewhere, or in other blogs who for some reasons were spared this blog entry.  Perhaps people do know me better?

The fact of the matter is that when I saw that gruesome picture I did not hesitate for a second in putting it up in my blog.  For tasteful reasons I did it in a smaller format so people that could stomach it had just to click to enlarge.  But the details were visible enough that people had to see what it was all about.  The reason that I did not hesitate in putting the picture is that instinctively I knew that the regime that had created that gruesome crime wave that we all suffer can only understand the confrontation language, the more so if it is a matter of rubbing the regime face in its messes, as El Nacional, yellow journalism and all, did so well last Saturday.

It is most unfortunate but some times things need to be done as crudely as necessary.  Or is anyone objecting to the publications of the concentration camps in 1945?  True, we cannot compare the two events, yet, but what is out of the debate is that both events are enterely the responsability of the regimes that have presided over them and both regimes must be taken to task.  If chavismo has failed to understand corruption and rotten food images, then it was El Nacional duty to stack up the ante until a reaction comes.

It is thus admirable that considering the naked threats to El Nacional already at play (the general prosecutor's office has already started an "investigation") Tal Cual decided to publish the same picture on its front page, the more so that Tal Cual has already be subjected to reprisal measures by the regime (I volunteered to help pay the infamous fine against Laureano Marquez two years ago).  And thus in solidarity I must re-post the picture as it appears in Tal Cual's front page.  Let's see how many people the general prosecutor is able to prosecute at once.

The editorial that accompanies the picture is also worth notice as Teodoro Petkoff goes personal against Izarra, the infamous Telesur president who made a mockery of crime numbers in Venezuela.  I have put it below in Spanish for those who can read it (Miguel put it in english here).  To give you an example of the high quality journalism content of Telesur, their news on the Nacional picture of last Friday accept as truth the words of Trosel that the picture was "manipulated" (as in Photoshop?).  And to defend their boss Izarra hey also say that the numbers on crime are false, without noting that the regime has stopped publishing complete numbers for years.  By the way, the reputation of Izarra seems shot once and for all.  Even chavismo defense of their man seems perfunctory at best.


Entonces, el problema es la foto. El problema no es el de los 16 mil homicidios anuales, 95% de los cuales permanecen impunes; el problema no son los 400 y pico de muertos anules en las cárceles; el problema no son los miles de vehículos robados cada año, ni los centenares de apartamentos asaltados por bandas hamponiles; el problema no son los miles de secuestros express, y de los otros, que tienen lugar cada año; tampoco son las vacunas que las bandas guerrilleras y paramilitares obligan a pagar en la frontera y muchísimo menos lo es el de los incontables arrebatones, que ya ni siquiera se denuncian de tan banales que se han vuelto. Este no es el problema. La cosa es la foto.

Tampoco es problema el de los cuerpos policiales desbordados por el hampa, mal pagados, mal entrenados e incluso infiltrados por delincuentes comunes; menos aún lo es el de un Poder Judicial lento, de pésima calidad, la mayor parte de cuyos jueces son provisionales, fichas del PSUV, y viven asustados de emitir fallos que no complazcan al Poder. Nada de esto es el problema. El problema es la foto que publicó El Nacional.

El jefe de la ex PTJ habló para hacernos saber que ahora los pisos de la morgue son de linóleo nuevecito y hay camillas ultramodernas. Que la foto es vieja. El horrendo espectáculo de centenares de cadáveres que ahora disfrutan de camillas nuevas y yacen sobre un piso nuevo, y tal vez pulido, no es su problema. Su problema es el "morbo" de la foto. No la matazón que la foto captó. La inefable Fiscalía de la República ya anunció acciones, pero no contra criminales sino contra El Nacional. La Comisión de Defensa del Menor, o como se llame, también se movilizó.

Desde que actuó contra Tal Cual por el horrendo de- lito contra la "intimidad de una menor" que fue publicar el nombre de la hija del Presidente, ese organismo no había vuelto a dar señales de vida. Ahora sale de su letargo, en "defensa de los niños", cuyas "mentes podrían ser afectadas por la foto". Los centenares de niños que mueren alcanzados por balas perdidas; los chamos y adolescentes que pasan por la horrible experiencia de ver cómo sus padres o hermanos mayores son asesinados ante sus ojos espantados, no le quitan el sueño a la gente de la fulana Comisión de Defensa del Menor. Lo de ellos es la foto.

Todo el fariseísmo, la hipocresía, que empapa hasta los tuétanos a este régimen ha brillado siniestramente en este episodio de la foto de El Nacional. Lo que le preocupa a los adulantes no es que haya violencia sino que se sepa. Aquí entendemos la publicación de esa foto como una respuesta apropiada a la risa, no por forzada menos miserable y canallesca, de ese mequetrefe que dirige Telesur, quien emitía una risita de hiena mientras a su lado un venezolano especialista en el tema de la violencia daba cuenta de los niveles insoportables que esta ha alcanzado en nuestro país. ¿Te da risa el tema de la delincuencia, Izarrita, te burlas del asunto, crees que es un invento de la oposición? Ríete, entonces de esta foto, patiquincito.


  1. Anonymous8:48 PM

    Oh look, the Belgians have a solution...

    Out of sight, out of mind?
    Fotos of rotten food are offensive to people without adequate food supplies.
    Fotos of bodies piling up are offensive to people who value life. It supposed to be (ON2?) In Your Face.
    It's supposed to be offensive, that's why it works.
    Has Hugo said how offended he is? or is it only offensive to him that he doesn't control the media headlines?

    marc in calgary

  2. What would have been awesome is if ALL newspapers in Venezuela printed that picture on the same day.

    Imagine the kind of message that would have been.

  3. "I knew that the regime that had created that gruesome crime wave that we all suffer can only understand the confrontation language,"

    I get the impression there are some who feel that under ALL circumstances we should have good taste, manners, " class" , discretion, understatement , making sure NOT to Ever offend the sensibilities of anyone.This is preposterous.Millions of lives are at stake.Freedom is floating away, abuses are constant, lies are rampant, and a way of life is being destroyed.I can't help but think that people who insist on apologizing for Chavismo under this circumstance either have a hidden agenda or they are extremely' come flor.'

    Being' come flor' will not win the propaganda war.There are priorities to consider.

    Only a constant and continuous confrontation with lies perpetrated against the raw truth will give us a fighting chance.

  4. torres3:27 AM

    "Perhaps people do know me better?"

    Perhaps it's merely because your post was not about whether the picture should have been printed on a front page, but about the message it sent, with which I agree.


  5. Kolya4:47 AM

    Kudos to Petkoff's Tal Cual for publishing the morgue photo.

    As I wrote elsewhere, it was precisely the fact htat El Nacional is not in the habit of publishing gruesome photos that the morgue picture had such an impact. If such photos, however, become a matter of habit, then the accusations that El Nacional is engaging in irresponsible sensationalism will be hard to deny. Furthermore, such photos would cease to have much shock value and, if anything, would have a degrading effect on society.

    During the Iraq War, the US government pretty much censored the media from publishing photos of dead American soldiers (war photographers knew that if such photos were published they would lose access to the US military.) I can see how a constant stream of photos of US war casualties could have a negative effect on morale. On the other hand, there is no doubt that such censorship was self-serving and less than honorable (despite talk to the contrary.) Without making a habit of it, the US media could have shown more mettle and at same proper respect to both US troops and US citizens by occasionally publishing photos of their own casualties--even if gruesome. And the same applies to Venezuela: the crime wave that Venezuela is going through is in many ways the equivalent of war. Casualties mount, people are killed at the prime of their lives.

    One thing is to titillate (and degrade) the public with a constant bombardment of photos amounting to violence porn. A totally different matter is for a respected publication to occasionally make an exception to its common practice and publish a shocking photo. Perhaps such acts can help to wake up the citizenry to the human cost of ever rising crime because of bad government.

  6. Great article by Petkoff. He clearly intended a link on his front page between The Photograph and the news above it stating that 9% of children don't go to school. It is a significant number of people growing today without hope or the means for facing a difficult future. Boys, girls and teenagers growing without positive role models, unable to read. I wonder what these children made of The Photograph when they saw it on a news stand, even if they had nobody to read them aloud Petkoff's editorial. We'll never know: they won't be able to write about it.


  7. Chavismo, in its search for power, takes advantage of our most self destructive of qualities: false guilt based on pride( not true and healthy guilt) and perfectionism fueled with the sometimes hidden arrogance sustaining these qualities.

    Perfectionists worry about making minuscule mistakes and get very angry at others for doing so.They are quick to apologize for silly things in order to look good.We see this on some blogs when people make spelling mistakes and a hoard of perfectionists come into chastise them as though it were something actually important in the grand scheme of things .

    It is difficult to solve complicated problems with perfectionists involved, because they will always make it hard to prioritize.Small things become HUGE and the big picture gets lost.

    There are no absolute rules for most actions, and there are no absolute geniuses who know all the correct rules.

    A perfectionist always thinks he knows just the right and correct and measured way, when in reality there are optional ways and means in a series of unique events. Of course there are many exceptions as well where certain actions could never conceivably be good- but black and white thinking in a general sort of way can be a sign of the dreaded perfectionism so very lethal in a propaganda war which is what we are witnessing.

    Intention is the greatest part of honesty.A good intention goes a long way to rectifying injustice.We all know the intention of Chavismo, which translates into lies.


Comments policy:

1) Comments are moderated after the sixth day of publication. It may take up to a day or two for your note to appear then.

2) Your post will appear if you follow the basic polite rules of discourse. I will be ruthless in erasing, as well as those who replied to any off rule comment.