VHeadline.com commentarist Elio Cequea writes: The presentation by Fox News of a series of “foxy”-made reports has placed the network right at the front line of attack on Venezuelan democracy.

Together with CNN reports, these seem to be part of the first stage of a campaign that somebody hopes will lead to the application of Condoleezza’s “right” program.

The reports shown so far are perfect advertisement productions aiming to justify what, God forbid, might be coming. The trend is clear. The intention of the reports is to show with brilliant combination of images, sounds and language why the Venezuelan government “has not been constructive” as Ms. Rice has expressed.

With the cooperation of some of the most radical individuals in the opposition, Fox is doing a great job preparing the way for pressures and sanctions to the Venezuelan government. The biased opinions of opposition “stars” like Henrique Capriles and Leopoldo Lopez stab Fox in the heart … it contradicts its “Fox Report” motto that says that it “goes in-depth into the day’s top news, fair and balanced.”

The opinion of “experts” is an essential ingredient for credibility. Political science professor Anibal Romero attempts to bring that to the Report by calling Hugo Chavez “dangerous, confused and radical.” He also indicated that the Venezuelan President is “deeply anti-American” … so much for “in-depth” reporting.

For emphasis on balance, Fox approached anti-chavista Ana Cristina Nunez, Globovision legal counsel. She expressed “our own journalists do not know whether they can show whatever it is they are trying to cover.” Ana, can they read the rules? Many journalists reported Janet Jackson’s “accident” in last year Super Bowl and every one of them knew they could not show what they were trying to cover … there goes fair and balanced.

You be the Judge. These are the transcripts of the reports about Venezuela aired on February first and second. Each production lasted exactly two minutes and fifteen seconds. I understand the third report lasted 2 minutes and 17 seconds. As accurate as paid commercials!

February 1, 2005 in The Fox Report

He rose to power using the democratic process. Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez was elected by his people about six years ago but since then, while remaining popular, Chavez has been anything but democratic. He is accused by critics of using brutal measures to silent any dissent from opponents or the public at large. Here is a Fox Report form Steve Harrigan.

Steve Harrigan: Violence has marked each step along the road to power for Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. The former paratrooper first tried to seize control by a coup in 1992. Instead he spent two years in jail. Next he tried democracy elected as an outsider by Venezuelan six years later. Even Chavez’s opponents admit that he is popular especially with the poor. But they say popularity does give the President the right to do whatever he wants. The police, military and armed thugs have been tools used freely by Chavez to hang up to power during a coup attempt and a national strike. Now buoyed by an electoral victory and high oil prices the man that came to office by democracy is doing everything he can to snuff it out.

Leopoldo Lopez: The danger we are facing as Venezuelans is the possibility of one day waking up and all of the sudden not having any of our liberties.

Steve Harrigan: Hugo Chavez has packed the Supreme Court and the Army with his supporters, seized control of the oil revenues and introduce a new penal code that criminalizes dissent. This District Mayor was thrown into solitary confinement.

Enrique Capriles: I spent 20 days without looking the Sun, without looking the sky, without having open air.

Steve Harrigan: And now pictures like these showing violence against anti Chavez protesters are not longer allowed to be shown in public or private Venezuelan television. The only 24 hours news channel has already began to sensor itself.

Ana Cristina Nunez: Our own journalists do not know whether they can show whatever it is they are trying to cover.

Steve Harrigan: There is however plenty of air time for Chavez. His program Hello President some time runs six hours long.

  • In Caracas, Venezuela Steve Harrigan Fox News

February 2, 2005

How dangerous is HC?

That is the question being asked across the Americas this Fox Report tonight.

Critics says that the Venezuelan President is using his country leverage as the fifth or the world fifth largest oil producer to secure his authority and try to wipe away a half century of democratic rule. Let’s go to Venezuela now for a fox report with Steve Harrigan.

Steve Harrigan: A left wing leader in the American continent who controls 15% of US’s oil imports who is moving towards totalitarian rule at home and backing guerrilla movements in the region could become a test for the new Bush administration.

Condoleezza Rice: I think that we have to view at this point that the government of Venezuela is a negative force in the region.

Steve Harrigan: Hugo Chavez has taking Billions in revenues to grease the way to one-man rule of a county with a 50-year history of democracy. 50$ a barrel covers a lot of sins. The government uses its oil money to subsidize food for the poor, this bottle of (cooking) oil costs just pennies. Oil is also sold at cut-rate prices to Cuba. In exchange Cuba supplies doctors, teachers and military advisors. Chavez’s opponents say Castro is his model.

Enrique Capriles: If you don’t have a rule or somebody who respect the rules they can do whatever they want. They can be Fidel Castro second part.

Steve Harrigan: Neighboring Colombia accuses Chavez of supporting the narco terrorist organization FARC at war with the Colombian government. Other neighbors make similar accusations against the self proclaim revolutionary.

Leopoldo Lopez: If you have a government in Latin America that is not willing to call the guerrilla groups terrorists that can tell you the way in which this government is being run.

Steve Harrigan: Just how dangerous is HC to his country, to his neighbors, to the United States and how dangerous could he become?

Anibal Romero: He is dangerous fellow. He is a confused person. He has radical instincts. He is deeply anti-American.

Steve Harrigan: Oil money is also being used for weapons, a 100,000 kafenijkofs and 30 attack helicopters from the Russians along with discussions about a possible 4 billion dollar purchase of advanced Mig Fighter jets.

  • In Caracas, Venezuela Steve Harrigan Fox News

This particular report was immediately followed by this one below. It looks harmless but those who work in advertisement knows how effective these are if they are put together. It is called emphasis!

Chavez and Fidel Castro are said to be, well, good buddies and today Fidel Castro is calling President Bush crazy. The Cuban president said that he was paying close attention to president Bush inaugural speech in January and he said that what he saw was “the face of a deranged person”. The dictator got a big laugh of an audience of teachers when he added, “if only were just the face.”

The comments were the first in public since the US called Cuba an outpost of tyranny.

There will be more reports like these in the coming weeks.

Do not expect to hear anything positive.

I you do hear something positive, notice the “but” that follows immediately after: “elected by his people about six years ago BUT…” “Opponents admit that he is popular especially with the poor BUT!”

Elio Cequea