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The Successful Coup that Never Succeeded


Glenn reminds us of the disgraceful behavior of the New York Times in the wake of the 2001 attempted coup against Hugo Chavez:

That was one of the most Orwellian editorials written in the last decade. The Times — in the very first line — mimicked the claim of the Bush administration that Chavez “resigned,” even though, several paragraphs later, they expressly acknowledged that Chavez “was compelled to resign by military commanders” (the definition of a “coup”). Further mimicking the administration, the Times perversely celebrated the coup as safeguarding “Venezuelan democracy” (“Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator”), even though the coup deposed someone whom the Times Editorial itself said “was elected president in 1998” and — again using the Times’ own language — “handed power to” an unelected, pro-American “respected business leader, Pedro Carmona,” who quickly proceeded to dissolve the democratically elected National Assembly, the Supreme Court and other key institutions.

Worse still, the Times Editorial mindlessly spouted the administration’s claim that “Washington never publicly demonized Mr. Chávez” and “his removal was a purely Venezuelan affair.” Yet less than a week later, the Times itself was compelled to report that the Bush administration “acknowledged today that a senior administration official [Assistant Secretary of State Otto Reich] was in contact with Mr. Chávez’s successor on the very day he took over”‘ — a disclosure which, as the Times put it with great understatement, “raised questions as to whether Reich or other officials were stage-managing the takeover by Mr. Carmona.”

Glenn is correct to use the term “Orwellian”; I remember wondering at how the NYT uncritically accepted government claims about the coup, then three days later apparently forgot that it had done so.

…Trend has more.

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