‘Enormous Damage to American [Media] Credibility’

Writing on the propensity for “shoveling it all [‘responsibility’ for increased terrorism ‘in the post 9/11-era’] off on the administration that is leaving, while exonerating our culpable media,” Salon‘s Glenn Greenwald takes (11/28/08, ad-viewing required) as his lead example of realpolitik journalism

the New York Times editorial page, today, on poor U.S./Latin American relations: “The Bush administration did enormous damage to American credibility throughout much of the region when it blessed what turned out to be a failed coup against [democratically elected Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez.”

Indeed it did. But what the Times fails to mention, and is apparently eager to erase, is that “the Bush administration” was far from alone in blessing that coup attempt:

The New York Times editorial page, April 13, 2002–one day after the coup:

With yesterday’s resignation of President Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator. Mr. Chavez, a ruinous demagogue, stepped down after the military intervened….

Venezuela urgently needs a leader with a strong democratic mandate to clean up the mess, encourage entrepreneurial freedom and slim down and professionalize the bureaucracy.

Greenwald goes so far as to call the 2002 piece “one of the most Orwellian editorials written in the last decade.”

Read FAIR’s newsletter Extra! Update: “U.S. Papers Hail Venezuelan Coup as Pro-Democracy Move” (6/02) by Rachel Coen