Wash Post vs. Wash Post on Venezuela

As Steve Rendall explained here last week,the recent Washington Post editorial (“Colombia Proves Again That Venezuela Is Harboring FARC Terrorists”) doesn’t really back up its argument that there is some sort of Venezuelan conspiracy to aid the Colombia rebel group FARC. “That Venezuela is backing a terrorist movement against a neighboring democratic government has been beyond dispute since at least 2008,” the Post claimed–though there is most certainly a dispute about that evidence.

On Saturday (7/31/10), the Post printed an article by Latin America correspondent Juan Forero, which took a look at this controversy.What’s most notable is that he doesn’t reach the same conclusion about the Colombian evidence as the Post‘s editorial page does; he even unhelpfully notes that FARC members “frequently cross frontiers,” which might suggest that their supposed presence on Venezuelan territory does not necessarily indicate support from the Venezuelan government.

I understand the difference between an editorial and a news report. But is it the Post‘s position that its reporters must stick to the facts, while the editorial page can say whatever it wants? There’s some history to suggest this is the case, but some clarification from the paper would be welcome.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.