Recently, the BBC published an article about Hugo Chavez entitled "Chavez Says US Plans to Kill Him." Here is my comment submitted to them in response to statements made in the article: |
As a citizen of a country with an increasingly fanatically hard-right press and government, I've come to depend increasingly on the BBC and other foreign sources for accurate information about events in both the US itself and the world. Thus my dismay at your recent piece on Hugo Chavez ("Chavez says US plans to kill him", Monday, 21 February, 2005, 00:59 GMT; see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4282603.stm )
I take exception to the line "Mr Chavez - who offered no evidence to back his claim - said any attempt on his life would backfire and threatened to cut off oil supplies to America." When George W. Bush recently accused Cuba of "human trafficking," did BBC parenthetically remark that "Mr Bush ... offered no evidence to back his claim"? Even though, of course, he didn't. And even though, as is common knowledge, and according to the admission of Bush officials themselves, they met repeatedly with leaders of the failed 2002 coup against Chavez. Thus, I daresay Chavez's claim in this case is a good deal more credible to someone with even cursory knowledge of current events than Bush's.
Did the BBC quiz Chavez on his claims, and did he offer no good evidence, circumstantial or otherwise? (Did it quiz Bush about HIS claims? Of course, the answer would have to be "no." The White House resident is famously aloof and inaccessible to all but the most fawning of journalists. Chavez, by contrast, has his own tv show and takes live questions from viewers calling in.) Can the BBC really be unaware of the facts around the 2002 coup?
Is this piece the cousin of all the endless stream of cheapshot American press hackjobs always designed to paint whoever is the current US government's bete noire as "mercurial"? I'm starting to wonder, is the BBC or any of its underlings on the same payroll as Armstrong Williams and other American "journalists"?