Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Colombia Vs. Venezuela: US Media Distorts Human Rights Issues

FAIR Study: Human Rights Coverage Serving Washington’s Needs
FAIR finds editors downplaying Colombia’s abuses, amplifying Venezuela’s

This needed to be studied. This needed to be said. Very plainly.

Any evenhanded comparison of the Colombian and Venezuelan governments’ human rights records would have to note that, though Venezuela’s record is far from perfect, that country is by every measure a safer place than Colombia to live, vote, organize unions and political groups, speak out against the government or practice journalism.

But a new survey by FAIR shows that, over the past 10 years, editors at four leading U.S. newspapers have focused more on purported human rights abuses in Venezuela than in Colombia, and their commentary would suggest that Venezuela’s government has a worse human rights record than Colombia’s. These papers, FAIR found, seem more interested in reinforcing official U.S. policy toward the region than in genuinely supporting the rights of Colombians and Venezuelans.

As with the FAIR study, selective concern for these issues was the rule, a system in which editors seemed to have internalized U.S. strategic thinking, subordinating human rights commentary and reporting to politics, where a given country’s human rights record is held to greater or lesser scrutiny based on how friendly the country is with the U.S.

Rather than independently and critically assessing the Colombian and Venezuelan records, major corporate newspaper editors, to one degree or another, have subordinated crucial human rights questions.

No couldn't be. Not the NY Times, Washinton Post. Those scions would not totally get their Latin American human rights coverage ASS BACKWARDS, would they? I shudder to think what the coverage is like in less discerning capitalist rags.

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