Chávez and the media

In regard to your January 2, 2007 article entitled “Chávez and the media,” it is very easy to agree that President Hugo Chávez’s decision not to renew the operating license of Radio Caracas TV was imprudent and perturbing. Among those who see press freedom as essential to a free society, it is alarming to witness such a blatant action against a media facility, even one that is as professionally wanting as RCTV. However, your article would have achieved some balance if it had reminded your readers that Radio Caracas TV is a connoisseur of Yellow Journalism, having given up all pretenses at objectivity when it actively supported an attempted coup against Chávez in 2002.

Chávez has endured a number of plots against him as well as total odium on the part of the middleclass opposition. This has created a scenario whereby Chávez’s reaction against those who he claims have advocated violence against him is neither entirely unreasonable nor dictatorial.

It would also be wise to take into consideration that nations within the “developed world” have provided for the brief closure of broadcast companies and holding up of license renewals for media operations like Radio Caracas TV whose squalid professional standards have proven it more of a conveyance for rants than a high-minded source of reliable journalism.