Shameless “Blah-Blah” Heads and their Shameful Legacy
“Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.”
Edward R. Murrow
In retrospect, from the time President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela hit the international scene preaching a message of economic equality and peace, media in his own country and the international media have been out to get him—literally!
One of the Shameless “Blah-Blah” Heads (SB-BH) here in the US, Brian Williams of NBC, actually said on the day that Chavez lost his valiant battle with cancer, "many Americans viewed him as a dictator."
Well, Brian, that’s only because YOU and your colleagues in Blah-Blah Land told us he was. I heard it over and over for years from you and your ilk, and you know what? Before I went to Venezuela in 2006 and saw for myself that all your propaganda was nothing but lies, I kind of, sort of believed it myself.
On July 5th, 2006, I had a very interesting, first-hand, experience myself with the shameless propaganda being spread about Chavez. I was invited to be on MSNBC in Washington, DC, to, ostensibly, talk about a hunger fast that dozens of us, including myself and Dick Gregory, had just embarked on called: Troops Home Fast. Before I get into what happened, the graphics during the segment very sweetly proclaimed: Cindy Sheehan, Starving for Attention!
I was asked to be on with the rabid Chris Matthews, but when I got to the studio in DC, it was an emaciated redhead named, Norah O’Donnell, whom I mistook for her colleague, Kelly O’Donnell, for awhile and I kept calling Norah, “Kelly.” We sat down to tape my segment and she looked at me and said, “I want to warn you, Cindy, we play hardball.” I smiled and said, “Bring it on, Kelly.”
Well, Kel…I mean, Norah, proceeded to introduce me as the “woman who met with communist dictator, Hugo Chavez,” I was flabbergasted and appalled.
We went to a pretend break and I said, “Kelly, you know that Chavez is not a communist and he’s been democratically elected many times—he’s not a dictator, either.” These are almost the exact words she used back to me (I have written about this and told the story numerous times), “We know that, but we had a meeting this morning and decided to use those words, anyway.”
What!? So, not only do the US corporate-shill media lie to us, but it also has meetings with each other to figure out how to lie to us. Needless to say, the rest of the interview was spent with me defending Chavez and his programs and not talking about how I was, “Starving for Attention.”
To my regret, I was not able to go to Venezuela this past October to witness the national elections because one of my daughters was married the same day, but I know that international observers have certified Venezuelan elections as the most transparent and valid ones on the planet which is really what “democracy looks like.”
On Monday, October 8th, the day after the elections where Chavez won another landslide, despite the millions the US spends to defeat him, I even saw an SB-BH on CiaNN incredulously exclaim that it “appeared” that the elections were 100% valid, but he and the female SB-BH proceeded to slam Chavez anyway, saying that he “bought” the votes of the “poor” with his “gifts.”
Actually, SB-BH’s some of us are on to you and your bull-crap. Those “gifts” that Chavez supposedly bestowed on the people of Venezuela were nothing but the Bolivarian Government fulfilling the vision of the new Constitution (written by the people in 1998 and ratified by popular vote in 1999) that enshrined such things as health care, education, housing, and food as civil rights, not as privileges for the 1%.
Another epithet that the SB-BH’s hurl at a dead man is the one of “Strongman.” Chavez is no longer here to defend himself, so, in the name of truth and for the vision of revolution, we must.
If I asked you to name the country that has troops, military bases, or black op sites in nearly 1000 locations around the planet, could you? Would your answer be “Venezuela?” No, that would, of course, be the USA.
Here are some bonus questions:
How many countries is Venezuela currently occupying? Hint: One, and the name begins with a “V.”
How many countries is Venezuela currently bombing employing drones, or other conventional weapons? (Did you guess, “Zero” good guess!)
How many dollars in foreign aid does Venezuela give to the violent apartheid state of Israel? (“Zero” would also be a good guess).
If I asked you to identify the world leader that has taken it upon himself to assassinate his own citizens whom would you guess? If you listened to Norah and Brian, you might guess “Chavez” but, you would be dead wrong. Venezuela has never even had capital punishment, and not only does the US execute an appalling number of “convicted” “criminals,” but Obama has an Imperial Kill List and he (the Constitutional Attorney) has conferred upon himself the right to assassinate US citizens without trial.
When I wrote my book about Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution called Revolution, A Love Story, that was about Chavez’s vision and my inspiration, I interviewed many intellectuals and asked them why did they think that Chavez was so lied about and demonized by the establishment and the answer was universally, “Because, he represents the threat of a good example.”
If people here in the US knew that Venezuelans were entitled to free health and dental care due to their citizenship, would we be so pleased with our Death Care system for profit here?
If the audiences of the SB-BHs, that consider Chavez a “dictator” knew that University was free, and if we really thought about the billions of dollars of student loans that our University graduates can NEVER get out from under, would any of us think that education, as a right, was wrong?
And the bare fact that if people knew that way over half of every US tax dollar goes to the military industrial complex here in the US to kill and maim people, while our infrastructure is crumbling and our people are going homeless and hungry, would wake people up to the fact that there is a better way and Hugo Chavez left us a wonderful legacy to lead us there.
But the Shameless Blah-Blah Heads: the readers of Pentagon and White House press releases, the despicable shills for war, empire and Capitalism, won’t even allow Chavez a moment’s respect in death.
Shameless Blah-Blah Heads are truly “all hat and no cattle,” and thank goodness we have our own media to help spread the truth!
I believe that Hugo Chavez Frias will be seen as a flawed but well meaning leader. His compassion for the poor in his nation will always reflect well but I fear that his legacy will be fleeting and impermanent.ReplyDelete
Of course everyone is flawed in some way, but when it comes to Hugo Chavez did you have a particular flaw in mind?Delete
What immediately comes to mind is the impermanence of Chavez domestic policies, especially that , while his concern for the poor was genuine certainly, his programs are, in most part, failures. Here is but one opinion:Delete
"The deceased Venezuelan leader leaves behind a mixed legacy.
If his enemies are to be believed, Hugo Chavez was a tyrannical caudillo who terrorised his people at home and propped up dictatorships abroad. For his devotees, Chavez represented a push back against American domination and neo-liberalism.
Chavez1The truth is more complicated.
Under Chavez’s rule, wealth was redistributed and the living standards of the country’s poorest were raised to an extent previously unknown. The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC) found that from 2002 to 2010, poverty in Venezuela was reduced by 20.8 percent, dropping from 48.6 percent to 27.8 percent, while extreme poverty decreased from 22.2 percent to 10.7 percent.
Chavez also made impressive inroads in terms of closing the gap between Venezuela’s rich and poor. According to the ECLAC report, Venezuela has Latin America’s lowest Gini coefficient at 0.394. The closer the Gini coefficient is to zero, the closer a country is to total socio-economic equality.
Hugo Chavez has in the past drawn strong criticism from human rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch – organisations which can hardly be dismissed as agents of neo-liberalism.
In its 2011 annual report, Amnesty described Venezuela as a country where “those critical of the government were prosecuted on politically motivated charges in what appeared to be an attempt to silence them”.
Human Rights Watch said the “accumulation of power in Venezuela” under Chavez had allowed the government “to intimidate, censor, and prosecute critics and perceived opponents in a wide range of cases involving the judiciary, the media, and civil society”."
We may all have our opinions but , in the end, we must all temper our wishes with the facts.
The Canadian media does the same thing, as you might expect. Stephen Gowans just wrote an article commenting on the hateful obloquies spewing forth from the blah-blah heads to the north. His blog, "What's Left" is wonderful, by the way; it's like going to Left University there's so much knowledge there. Anyway, here is that one particular article for those who are interested:ReplyDelete
I rise to thank you for the reference to the word "obloquies". I truly enjoy building my vocabulary.Delete
Of course they say that, these are the same people that when they win an election talk about America being the best country on earth but when they lose an election the system is "rigged" and "Fascism" has taken over.ReplyDelete
Well stated. You are spot on.Delete