When Venezuelan media cross the line they're challenged. Responsible societies enforce legitimate standards. Venezuela is perhaps most lenient. Media scoundrels take full advantage.
Globovision is one of the worst. It's a repeat offender. It's been fined but not suspended. In America and most other societies, it would be shut down or worse.
It's hostile and manipulative. It's unabashedly right-wing. It's a platform for subversion. It spurns journalistic standards. It participated in the aborted April 2002 coup.
It's not alone. Other dominant broadcasters do their share. So do privately owned print media. They make America's almost look respectable. Venezuela's government tolerates them. It elevates freedom to a higher level.
On January 10, Venezuelan corporate print and broadcast media reacted angrily to Venezuela's High Court decision. They turned truth on its head. They called delaying Chavez's inauguration a "coup d'etat."
They've featured hostile anti-government programming. They claim ruling United Social Unity Party (PSUV) leaders engaged in a "power grab."
The National Commission of Telecommunications (Conatel) investigated Globovision. At issue is violating Social Responsibility Law's Article 31.
<blockquote>It states "television and radio media cannot transmit elements that seek to create agitation among the population, alter the public order, attack the stability of the democratic system and the legitimate authorities, or seek to generate hate or intolerance for religious or political reasons."</blockquote>
Globovision's programming bent the rules. It falsely accused Venezuela's government of violating constitutional law. Conatel ordered it to cease and desist. Fines and/or sanctions may follow.
Director Pedro Maldonado said the channel manipulated information illegally. Doing so "generates anxiety in the citizenry and disturbs public order."
Globovision is a repeat offender. It's a hostile force. It mocks legitimate media. It's an embarrassment to free expression. It gets away with what most free societies won't tolerate.
MUD leaders are no better. They called Venezuela's High Court ruling "prefabricated" and "a huge lie." Opposition spokesperson Vestalia Sampedro said "The decision allows our country to be governed by people who have not been elected."
MUD presidential candidate Henrique Capriles said the ruling "doesn't clear up the uncertainty. This is a government full of liars."
"Venezuela's Supreme Court has decided to resolve this problem for the government. (It) respond(ed) to the interests of a political party."
Capriles initially accepted the High Court decision. It conforms fully with constitutional law. Capriles is a right-wing ideologue. He deplores social justice. He spurns rule of law principles.
It remains to be seen what he and likeminded hardliners have in mind ahead. Washington provides generous support.