Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell writes in his March 13 column:
Our left-wing media's somber, mourning coverage of Venezuelan despot Hugo Chavez once again demonstrates the double standard journalists reserve for dictators.
Seven years ago, the left's greatest South American hate object, Augusto Pinochet, passed away. Never mind how he used free-market reforms to modernize Chile. Never mind that after 15 years of rule, he allowed a national plebiscite to vote against him, and he stepped down peacefully. The left-wing outrage pulsed on the front pages.
So "free-market reforms" are supposed to make upfor the fact that Pinochet's regime murdered and tortured its own people? Really, Brent?
Bozell does note that others reported on Pinochet's "repressive 17-year rule" and huffed that "Both the [Washington] Post and the [New York] Times used post-Pinochet government estimates that more than 3,000 people were executed or disappeared during the Pinochet dictatorship." But at no point in his column does Bozell express any disapproval of Pinochet's atrocious human rights record.
Bozell's claim that "after 15 years of rule, [Pinochet] allowed a national plebiscite to vote against him, and he stepped down peacefully" also ignores history -- namely, that Pinochet took power in a military coup, overthrowing the democratically elected Salvador Allende, and that the plebecite was the only time during his regime that he put himself up for a public vote. (And since it was a plebecite, there were no other candidates, only an up-or-down vote on whether Pinochet should stay in power.)
Further, Bozell's assertion that Pinochet "stepped down peacefully" is not quite true -- he actually attempted to overthrow the plebecite results.
We're not defending Chavez -- just pointing out the disgusting absurdity of Bozell claiming a highly murderous right-wing dictator is no worse than a non-murderous left-wing dictator. And what person in his right mind thinks instituting "free-market reforms" offsets in any way the deaths of thousands and the torture of hundreds of thousands? Bozell, apparently.