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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Wednesday, January 22, 2003
1:06 PM

Venezuela... Washington Times columnist Thor Halvorssen faults mainstream media coverage of the Chavez confrontation, including an Op-Ed in the Washington Post by Mark Weisbrot that I blogged Jan. 13.


Mr. Weisbrot states that "no one has been arrested for political activities." This is nonsense. Some of these arrests are so public Mr. Weisbrot cannot credibly claim ignorance. For example, Carlos Alfonso Martinez, an outspoken political opponent of Mr. Chavez and one of the most respected officers in the armed forces, was arbitrarily arrested on Dec. 30 by the secret police. The act caused public furor both because it was a further indication of government repression and also because Mr. Martinez was arrested without a warrant and remains under arrest even though a judge ordered his immediate release. How did this fact slip by the editors at The Post?

There's more. Halvorssen's general critique:

Readers of the New York Times, The Washington Post and of the Associated Press, and viewers of CNN, are fed a dramatically different story. There is an enormous divide between what the world is hearing about Venezuela and what is really happening there. Reporters have so controlled the flow of information and disfigured the truth that their coverage of Venezuela is a caricature of what conservative critics call the "liberal media bias." What we are seeing in media coverage of Venezuela is not liberal bias, but totalitarian bias.

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