Thursday, June 28, 2007

Is extortion free speech? 

Flanker:I always wondered where do NGO's draw the line with regards to speech, calling for the assasination of a US president is worth repressing, but coup plotting is a valid editorial line worth defending. So the only logical conclusion that can be drawn up is the exceptionalist rule of foreign journalism, anything that is different from the developed north is simply wrong and worth attacking, regardless of its inherent value. While it might not be fair, at least the government is fully aware of this unwritten law, and anytime criticism surfaces they just point out that abroad they do the same.

That said they were left scrambling after the RCTV case, they banked on the theory that if the media did not balk at Alan Garcia or Thatcher for doing it they would leave Venezuela relatively alone... Big mistake as this was the worst PR disaster in recent memory, the government stood no chance against a vicious media motivated by fake tears, greed and corporate bias.

But are we returning to normal? a good litmus test is the pending case against José Rafael Ramírez an infamous opposition slanderer and now charged extortionist, but also a sacred journalist.

(in this police video you can see the setup, he was given 5 grand up front to not print a particular story)

So will the media balk at this trial? Since libel is ok with them, and afterall he is just charging good money for practicing his right to publish whatever he wants.

I doubt it though, we are safe... for now.


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