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Once upon a time... Yeah, yeah! Has Andres Izarra only just woken up from a state of Rip Van Winkle comatose?

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VHeadline editor & publisher Roy S. Carson writes: Once upon a time... Yeah, yeah! I know it sounds like a fairy tale, but once upon a time there was a dashing young 'prince' who had idealism, journalistic integrity and the 'cajones' to tell multi-millionaire RCTV mogul Marcel Granier to stuff it!

But, hey, you gotta wake up sometime and the dreams flit away as easily as the darkness of night gets swallowed by the daylight that just as surely follows.

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Sadly, the young 'Lancelot' hasn't slain the Dragon ... he's become part of the monster instead, breathing fire and hell's brimstone on anyone and everyone who disagrees with His Master's Voice although, at times, it's difficult to tell if it is HMV's or Izarra's own aberrations that are the principal factor in Venezuela's increasingly lunatic media perspective.

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In his latest utterance to Agence France Presse (AFP), second-time-around Minister of Communications & Informations (MinCI) Andres Izarra has actually claimed "There is too much freedom of expression in Venezuela!" Well, doesn't that say everything! The 'knight in shining armor' who stood up for the elementary democratic right of the Venezuelan public to know about the democratic return of President Chavez to power after the USA-backed coup d'etat led by 'Dictator for a Day' Pedro Carmona Estanga, claims "too much freedom!"

Of course, Izarra is on the other side of the fence now, he's got Excalibur in his hands and he's not tardy to wield the sword to slay his own perception of 'evil enemies' in the opposition and independent media! He goes on to tell AFP that Venezuela is a society divided into two and that, in Venezuelan, journalism becomes a "political weapon" and part of "confrontation" in a country where there is an "excess of freedom of expression."

Far from recognizing that TRUE democracy means the plurality of opinions that HMV (Chavez) is always talking about, once-upon-a-time media freedom fighter Andres Izarra wants to bludgeon the pro-Venezuela, anti-Chavez media into submission as unruly brats who suffer from "levels of licentiousness!" ?????

Rather than accept that there is a fluid debate, admittedly raucious and sometimes intimidating on both sides of the political pig-trough, Izarra goes nuts over the Venezuelan massmedia's lack of coverage of last weekend's presidential PR opportunity in eastern Sucre State despite the added bought-in "attractions" of Sean Penn and Milka Duno ... perhaps Keira Knightly would have been a better bet, but maybe her sponsored corporate appearance was more expensive than that of Naomi Campbell?

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In what I suppose must be infantile jest -- since there is no other explanation -- Izarra says local and regional campaign ahead of the November 23 election is an "accentuated media war" where Venezuelans need to go to "multiple sources" to know what's REALLY happening in the country.

EUREKA! Has Andres only just woken up from a state of Rip Van Winkle comatose?

Hasn't it ALWAYS been best advice for anyone and everyone to seek their information from multiple sources; to make up their own minds about the balance of TRUTH wherever, if ever, it may be found?
Like a wrinkled old professor of media studies at some provincial community college, Andres Izarra informs AFP that "journalism IS a political weapon in the ideological battle ... the clash of two conflicting proposals for Venezuela" and then tries to convince himself (and presumably others) that "the opposition is crumbling and ours (guess which side he means?) is in full thrust."

YIKES! Like the thrust and parry of grassroots politicking isn't made up of "conflicting proposals for Venezuela" ... despite Izarra's bitterness there IS some hope for Venezuela, apparently!
Slipping back into accustomed paranoia, Andres then takes on the president of the Inter-American Press Association, Colombia's Enrique Santos Calderon who said he's "concerned about the attitude of hostility, intolerance and harassment of independent media in Venezuela."

Effectively, Santos Calderon had rejected the abuse of the public airwaves by President Hugo Chavez and the lack of balance in state-owned media ... but Izarra relies on the old hoary chestnut that 80% of the radio spectrum in Venezuela is in private hands ... probably aided substantially by the 'privatization' to Izarra's control of Radio Nacional de Venezuela (RNV).

ALARMINGLY. Izarra admits that there are media in Venezuela that are actively un-supportive of the government.

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Of course he describes it as a 'conspiracy' and claims that it belongs to 'a political class that has dominated and continues to dominate Venezuela.' ...and he says it without actually shattering the mirror-mirror on the wall of how he has himself sought to dominate the left and lefter-than left media ... by own design or conspiracy we know not!

  • "They are tools of destabilization, Izarra bleats and adds ominously that he will have "no mercy with them: Fire goes, fire comes!"

But when it comes to some future burning of witches and warlocks at the stake -- as well it might if Venezuela's political and moral degredation continues at such a rate -- one must wonder if Warlock Izarra will already have positioned himself to be one the first to feel the tinder burning between his toes.

And lest he treats this as a threat of imminent assassination -- it's NOT!

  • It's just a wake-up call to reality, Andres!

The Emperor needs new clothes and Andres Izarra is standing stark naked in his own confessional!

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Roy S. Carson is veteran foreign correspondent (45+ years in the business) currently editor & publisher of VHeadline Venezuela reporting on news & views from and about Venezuela in South America -- available for interviews -- call Houston (more...)
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