Venezuela: Maduro survives assassination attempt -- but journalism doesn't
Publisher: Green Left
Date Written: 11/08/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22941
Venezuela was rocked on August 5, 2018 by an attempt to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro during a public event, using drones armed with explosives.But as more details of the attack became available, mainstream media coverage sought to sow doubt on the events, using words such as "apparent" or "alleged". It focused on the government using this "alleged" event to step up repression.
Although there are plenty of examples, let's take our personal champion of dishonest Venezuelan coverage the Guardian.
A quick search of Guardian headlines with "assassination attempt" shows that a qualifier such as "alleged" is never used, be it Jacques Chirac, Guinea's president, or even Saddam Hussein's deputy. Nobody had their assassination attempts questioned as a hoax to be used as a pretext to stamp out dissent.
Yet this is the Guardian's opening paragraph: "Venezuela's opposition has warned that President Nicolas Maduro may launch a political crackdown after he accused adversaries of attempting to assassinate him with drones loaded with explosives on Saturday."
Remarkably, it is the Venezuelan opposition that takes precedence in an article about an assassination attempt on Maduro. This would be akin to a report on the 9/11 terrorist attacks opening with "Al-Qaeda warns of increased US involvement in the Middle East".
Then there is the usual trick of encapsulating the events under "Maduro said", so that all the previous work of smearing Maduro can be used to discredit this version.
Several videos and testimonies, some even mentioned by the Guardian piece, corroborate the Venezuelan government's version of events.