Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Chavez On The Box Again

Since its conception, Television has scaled the dizzy heights (Simpsons, Buffy, Monty Python) and plunged the sickening lows (Seinfeld, Are you being served, Fox News).
It has served to etch mankind's greatest achievements in our minds (Moon landing, Berlin Wall tumbling, Maggie Thatcher removed from office).
All this is little consolation to the RTCV viewers in Venezuela because the President Hugo Chavez has shut it down.
Before you could say 'knee jerk reaction from the right', the right wing knee jerked that it was a sign of the authoritarian nature of Socialism and it proved Chavez was against freedom of speech and other things but you know what it is like listening to right wing rant, you tend to block them out after the initial 3 seconds.
The RTCV channel supported a botched coup against Chavez in 2002 and refused to acknowledge his support when people power brought him back again so Chavez had a valid argument and he was only following the precedent set by Maggie Thatcher who did much the same to Thames TV in the 80's after it enraged her by showing the documentary Death On The Rock against her demands.
The employees of RTCV should think themselves lucky that they have Chavez to deal with and not George W Bush.
He wanted to blast Al Jazeera to tiny biddy bits for not toeing the US administration line during the Iraq War so if Bush was making the decision to silence a TV channel, RTCV staff could have found themselves spread over several miles courtesy of a couple of 500lb US bombs.
It all makes Chavez's treatment sound quite respectable.


The Fez Monkey said...

A few addenda and a comment:

1) TV's Highs: SCTV, Star Trek
2) TV's Lows: Reality programming
3) Achievements: Nixon resigning

The comment:
Despite RTCV's support of a coup, etc, shutting it down was the act of a despot, no different than if Bush shuts down PBS (as many of his more rabid supporters advocate). Freedom means having to accept opposition.

There's an old saying that goes (I'm paraphrasing) The further right or left one goes, the closer they get to one another. Totalitarianism, whether leftist or rightist, is the same thing. Apologizing for either because it happens to be the side of the see-saw on which you sit is unacceptable.

Ook ook

Falling on a bruise said...

This post came about for 2 reasons. Firstly the 'right wing blogs' who began screaming about Chavez and how he is stopping freedom of speech. Secondly, i was pointing out to the right how 'their' guy acted compared to 'our' guy so the comparison is Bush's to Al Jazeera and Chavez's towards RTCV.
I would guess of the two options, Chavez's is the better and if that makes him a despot, what would it make Bush?

Courtney Hamilton said...

I afraid I have to agree with Fez - in politics, you need an opposition - internationally this will look like Chavez shooting himself in the foot.

I have serious reservations about choosing between the lesser of two 'evils'.

The Fez Monkey said...

Lucy -

Chavez' reaction may seem tame compared to Bush's desire, but the result is the same. The degree of destruction notwithstanding.

My point is, regardless of how or the reasons why, any sort of action like this is despicable and nothing less than a naked power grab by someone setting themselves up as dictator. The fact that one was done more cleanly than another is pretty much irrelevant. As Courtney said, choosing between the lesser of two evils is bitter consoloation.

At least, that's my opinion.

Falling on a bruise said...

We seem to be at cross purposes. I do not support the closing down of media outlets by anyone just because they have a different agenda.
This post was purely to point out the hypocratic view of the right wing who are jumping all over Chavez.
Maybe it never came across as i intended because i tried to do it in a humourous way were maybe this story needed a more serious approach.
A lesson learnt for me perhaps.

Anonymous said...

When will you learn Luce that brit humour does not travel well.

O' Tim said...

Chavez is a punk.

Raggin' on my boy Seinfeld? Ouch.

Falling on a bruise said...

That is very true anon except Courtney is a Brit also.

Chavez gobbing and pogo-ing across the World stage, love it.
Sorry about Seinfeld, but i just didn't find him funny. Kramer i did but Seinfeld just came across as whiney.

Anonymous said...


i agree:
the right rants. the left never rants.

right rants are so boring - yawn. if the left did rant, it would be so interesting, relevant, and correct.

everything imaginable should be blamed on bush and everything unreasonable too. it would be much better to live under the rule of chavez - hey, it would really show people how smart you are if you moved to venuzuela.

chavez shutting down the tv station is a good example of how bad bush is. we should also highlite child sex offenders and cannibals show how bad he really is.

you know, nobody in the u.s. does anything wrong except for bush. and nobody but bush has any power. no, really, the courts, congress, senate, state and local govs don't have anything to do with the country or its actions. of course, the people are nothing but puppets.

good post lucy