Project Venezuela: right-wing activists push Wikipedia to blacklist MintPress, other Alternative Media
A group of right-wing Venezuelans has managed to ban the use of a range of alternative media outlets covering Venezuela, including MintPress News.
by Alan Macleod
Part 2 - Policing the narrative
Wikipedia suggests using corporate-funded mainstream sources who they feel are “generally reliable.” However, on Venezuela, these same outlets closely resemble and parrot U.S. regime change propaganda. For example, CNN, the BBC, and the Daily Telegraph all reported the blatant falsehood that the Venezuelan government burned aid trucks trying to enter the country last year. In reality, it was the opposition themselves that burned their own trucks, as immediately reported by The Grayzone, MintPress News, and other outlets who were actually there. Multiple well-circulated live streams also showed the event in real-time. However, that was all ignored.
The New York Times, a site recommended by Wikipedia for citation, currently employs a journalist covering Venezuela who openly admitted to me on tape that he considers himself a “mercenary” and deliberately plants outrageously exaggerated stories into Western media to push his goals. Other journalists told me that their colleagues consider it their number one mission to overthrow the Maduro government.
In 2017, The Washington Post published an article openly calling for a violent coup in the country, and currently employs a Venezuelan journalist who resigned from The New York Times, saying, “Too much of my lifestyle is bound up with opposition activism” that he “can’t possibly be neutral.”
Meanwhile, The Guardian described Oscar Perez, a local ex-soldier who hijacked a helicopter and used it to bomb parliament buildings as a “patriot,” and even pushing the debunked conspiracy theory that Perez was a “government plant.” They have not retracted it, nor apologized. This is just a minor sampling of the opposition propaganda disguised as objective reporting pumped out constantly by corporate media.
“The media coverage of Venezuela is about as terrible as for any country in the world, except possibly for Palestine. It is utterly biased, misleading and distorted,” said Dan Beeton, an economist and Latin America specialist from the Center for Economic Policy Research. “The gap between the image and the reality of Venezuela,” said professor William I. Robinson of the University of California, Santa Barbara, “is so enormous that it is unfathomable.”
In contrast, MintPress has a number of experienced contributors based in Latin America, including Camila Escalante and Ollie Vargas. I myself have published a Ph.D., book, and five peer-reviewed studies in academic journals on the country and find myself in the mainstream of academic thought. Yet the chasm between how specialists see the country and how it is reported in media is so large that we appear ultra-partisan in comparison to the corporate monolith.