I was back home in FL on our annual beach trip with my in-laws this Memorial Day Weekend when I caught this on CNN Monday Morning. Normally I fly right by the Clinton News Network, but this headline caught my attention. Hugo Chavez, slowly, and without a lot of international fanfare, has continued his death grip on the media, and consequently, the freedoms of the citizenry of Venezuala. Despite protests by Venezualans who see their freedom being squeezed slowly but surely, there now stands only one TV station with the ability to hold Chavez accountable. And the march is on against the remaining hold out, Globovision. Jon Cox and Allen Forkum have a good write up here, as well.
One of the last outposts of government accountability in Venezuala, the TV station RCTV, has been shutdown due to license expiration. The Chavez government accused it of treasonous activity, and would not renew. Now, TVes, a socialist TV station has taken its place, where, you can rest assured, Chavez will have free reign on business and civil liberty with the non-watchful eye of TVes.
The First Amendment to the US Constitution protects the press to prevent this very thing from happening stateside. The Anti-Federalists - those who feared the new Constitution in the fledgling new nation of the United States - knew of the dangers of a muzzling on the dissent and accountability provided by the media. Its no mistake that the Amendment is the first in the Bill of Rights. I've said it many times on these pages, there is a direct relationship between the freedom of a people and the cleanliness of their government and the openness and freedom of its media.
Its laughable that Chavez would come before the United Nations (a laughable institution in-and-of-itself) and refer to George W. Bush as "The Devil" as he did last September.
Many have called for the GWB to bring suit against the New York Times, or shut it down all together for treasonous acts. You'll recall that the Times not only ran with the story of Foreign Surveillance of the phone conversations of known terrorists by the NSA. The Times also broke the story about the tracking of financial goings-on of the same groups. These two programs are of paramount importance to understanding what al-Qaeda and groups similar have in store for you and I. Yet the Times sees fit to blow it all wide open. Talk about the enemy within.
Yet to my relief and GWB's credit, has he brought suit or shut down their operations? Doesn't he have legal standing to do so? Didn't Lincoln do the same thing in the 1860s?
No, he (Bush) hasn't. He'd be perfectly within his rights to do so. But I have to tell you, I'm glad he hasn't. When all the rabid Bush haters at Newsbusters and other sites begin prattling on about Bush being a tyrant, they seem to be unable to explain why this "tyrant" continues to let the press libel, lie, and otherwise undermine our efforts to defeat this enemy.
What about Chavez? The one who refers to Bush as "El Diablo"? Nope. Slowly, silently he is squashing all dissent. And so many on the Left are too busy referring to Bush as the tyrant. Misdirected rage is a characteristic of the American Left. Chavez is just a bumbling statist hypocrite.
Which leaves me wondering. Jimmy Carter, who's the better President, Chavez or Bush? I shudder to think of what his answer would be.