Tuesday, September 08, 2015

A slow fuse major embarrassment at Foreign Policy

There is an unwritten rule when dealing about information on Venezuela and chavismo: when you try to be objective you always end up with egg on your face. Respected magazine Foreign Policy is feeling the pinch and risks much discredit for its poor managing of a situation coming from a hatchet job text pretending to set the record straight on Leopoldo Lopez.

The offending article was written by Roberto Lovato for Foreign policy: "the making of Leopoldo Lopez". I am not going much into the details of that article nor for the reasons on Foreign Policy reasons to commission such an article from someone that was found to be, after the fact, a collaborator of Telesur. This network is the propaganda vehicle of chavismo. Not that there is anything wrong to pay for a propaganda network, so is FOX in the US. But the point here is that you do not commission an "objective" article from someone working with a network which has for mission to criticize in any possible way, true or false, the Venezuelan opposition to the regime. Might as well trust FoxNews for a fair article on, say, Hillary Clinton (or Bernie Sanders for that matter).

The first mistake of Foreign Policy was to actually dare to have an objective piece on a political prisoner. As if this were possible in Venezuela or elsewhere. A political prisoner by nature is a victim and one cannot be neutral or objective on a victim.

The second mistake, was not to dig a little bit more on Lovato's background, the kind of mistake that the former editor, Moises Naim, would not have done. Moises Naim, a Chavez opponent before this one was elected first, has never been criticized on its seriousness and use of true facts when arguing his criticism of the bolivarian farce.  The surprising demonizing of Lopez was promptly noted for its deep inaccuracies and twisting of "facts", never mind the use of hearsay on Lopez. We can already observe that Foreign Policy has sensed the problem by appending 7 "updates", something which I am willing to bet is unheard of for other pieces, or is at least a rare phenomenon.

But that was not enough. The evidence of the hatchet job piece by Lovato has forced Foreign Policy to publish a rebuttal article from Leopoldo Lopez lawyer: "The other side of Leopolodo Lopez". I am not going to enter on the details of that piece either. The reader can read both and make up his or her mind on that matter. However I cannot fail to observe that Lovato was granted a reply in that article, a luxury that has not been accorded to critics of the Lovato piece.

On this reply by Lovato I will comment. He is not forthcoming on his partisanship and writes disingenuously that "My story is about López’s political history, particularly as it relates to events surrounding Venezuela’s 2002 coup attempt.". Reading that piece you will see that it is about much more than that and aims at casting a shadow on Lopez with more than just 2002. He also has the gall to call my estimated colleague Juan Nagel to his defense as if he were praising the article when this one is quite clear that it is a necessary read to understand how the chavista mind sees Lopez. He even writes "it is not a hack job" which in my book, is far from justifying the use of the word "hailed" by Lovato.

All in all this does not damage Mr. Lovato credit in pro Chavez groups where his article has been widely used for propaganda. It is an unnecessary attack on what is a political prisoner whose history of victimization by the regime has reached as far as vindication from International Human rights courts and organizations. In the end it is a discredit on the editors of Foreign Policy and a new proof that objectivity when dealing with rogue regime is a doomed farce.

Update: Mr. Lovato also seems to have worked for outright Chavez propaganda outlets.


  1. Pens for hire or Prostitute Pens, if you prefer alliterations.

    1. Charly1:15 PM

      Not to forget prostitute Penn.

  2. I hope Juan Nagel learns a valuable lesson from all of this.

    1. We ROASTED him on the CC comment section..

  3. So this is all a Suprise? ...What amazes me...they still have defenders of Chavismo....it's ridiculous.
    The real suprise will be if they actually have a election in December. ...I can't fathom it....if they do,pack your bags..it's rigged. .always was.
    Then the not so surprising thing will happen. .Nothing.

    1. Something may happen if Venezuelans stop work.

  4. I wonder who introduced Roberto Lovato to the FP editorial board? Who gave him the inside to write this trash and pushed to have it published as his sham trial was coming to a climax?

  5. "Might as well trust that FoxNews for a fair article on, say, Hillary Clinton (or Bernie Sanders for that matter)."

    And you might as well trust CNN for a fair article on Romney in his day or currently someone like Donald Trump.

    In the US, Fox news is to the right on their coverage. CNN, ABC, NBC and most of the others are to varying degrees to the left or far left. Fox news is not anymore a propaganda news station than is CNN or BBC. All are pulling for their side. The reason for this is that most people get their news from the internet. People who watch FOX, CNN or BBC may do so as they are curious about what the different sides are saying or like to hear information that reinforces their view. No one with a brain believes any of them are unbiased.

    FOX News is the most dynamic of the stations and is at the head of the pack in the US because they are the only one on the right. Everyone else is on the left and have to divide up the leftwing viewers. Fox has all the rightwing viewers and all those leftwingers who turn to Fox to find out what the right is saying. LOL

    1. Joe

      I will suggest that you stop the prosecution paranoia complex that many followers of Fox seem to have.

      My text is quite clear on how I use Fox as a counter example. It does not justify your rant whatsoever.

  6. Sorry, if it seems like a rant. In the US, those on the left always write that FOX news is a propaganda network. So perhaps it is not paranoia - they are actually after us! (That last sentence is meant as a joke). You wrote, "Not that there is anything wrong to pay for a propaganda network, so is FOX in the US." But Fox news simply covers from a political perspective that is more towards the political right in the US. If covering from the right makes them a propaganda network, then CNN, BBC, CBS, NBC and ABC are also propaganda networks covering from the perspective of the left. I don't actually believe any of them are propaganda networks in the same way as the news networks in Venezuela are. They are all certainly biased based on the views of management and the staff.


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