Familiar: Socialist Chavez closes privately-owned TV station, starts new state-run media channel.

The ever-so progressive new government of rabidly anti-Bush socialist president Hugo Chavez of Venezuela apparently appoints people to the board of his brand new state-run media.  Huh.  That sounds familiar.  That’s exactly what the Canadian government does vis-à-vis our own state-run media, the liberals’ CBC. 

There’s lots of similarities:

Chavez Launches New Venezuela TV Station


CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Venezuela’s oldest private television station was pushed off the air as President Hugo Chavez’s government replaced the popular opposition-aligned network with a new state-funded channel on Monday.

Radio Caracas Television shut down just before midnight Sunday as its broadcast license expired. Chavez refused to renew its license, accusing the channel of “subversive” activities.

The new channel, TVES, launched its transmissions with artists singing pro-Chavez music, then carried an exercise program and a talk show, interspersed with government ads proclaiming, “Now Venezuela belongs to everyone.”

Thousands of government supporters reveled in the streets as they watched the changeover on large TV screens, seeing RCTV’s signal go black and then be replaced by a TVES logo featuring Venezuela’s national colors. Others launched fireworks and danced to the classic salsa tune “Todo tiene su final”—“Everything Has Its End.”


RCTV was regularly the top channel in viewer ratings, but Chavez accused the network of “poisoning” Venezuelans with programming that promotes capitalism, violating broadcast laws and other infractions.


The government promises TVES will be more diverse, buying 70 percent of its content from independent Venezuelan producers. It will carry sports, news and an educational program for children emphasizing socialist values, as well as foreign-made programs such as National Geographic documentaries.

And fancy this line, near the end:

Other channels once critical of Chavez have toned down their coverage.

Joel much amused:  here, the state-run CBC Newsworld is covering the protests against the Chavez decision, but I can’t stress enough how sheepish the news anchor, Nancy Wilson, looks as she reads her lines about Chavez starting a state-run TV station.  Maybe she’s like me: wondering why in tarnation a free country like Canada needs state-run TV, unless it’s to fulfill an agenda.  But I doubt it.

Nancy Wilson:  um, they started a state-run TV station. Ugh.
(It’s…. very interesting!)

She probably doesn’t agree that state-run and state-owned media should be banned in this country, which of course it should be, and enshrined as such in our constitution. 

Also see this blog entry from last week.


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