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Socialist Parties Ask Journalists Not To Report On Venezuela Unrest

Coverage of such developments might give the public the wrong idea about what happens when a government administers the economy and drives it into the ground.

Caracas protestJerusalem, July 31 – Figures across the left part of Israel’s political spectrum seek to prevail upon news media personalities and organizations to refrain from carrying stories about the violence, privation, and oppression in socialist Venezuela, an operative from the Hadash Party announced today.

Israeli parties and activists with socialist or communist agendas have been contacting journalists, publications, and commentators over the last week in an effort to suppress reports of economic decay and explosive political violence in the socialist South American country, fearing that coverage of such developments might give the public the wrong idea about what happens when a government administers the economy and drives it into the ground through populism, political grandstanding, dependence on unstable resources, and runaway social spending.

“We don’t want people to walk away with an erroneous impression of what socialism or communism are about,” explained the activist. “It’s understandable that in reporting on recent events in Venezuela, journalists will gravitate toward the salacious, the dramatic, and therefore the violent, and thus shortchange the very real effects of the country’s system in bringing together so many thousands of people to share in the violent suppression of protests, the shortages of food and supplies, and the boiling frustration over governmental incompetence and cronyism.”

“It came to a head this week, for sure,” confirmed Amos Schocken, publisher of Haaretz. “Our coverage of Venezuela has been understated, given our sympathy for the anti-Zionist bona fides of the late Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro, which I think is why our local political and economic progressives have waited until now to make these requests. But with the violence continuing, and the crisis showing no sign of letting up, the concern has only grown that we might report the actual news.”

Schocken declined to specify whether Haaretz would comply with the request. “Our main concern is not whether Venezuela or socialism get a fair shake,” he explained, “but whether the entire affair can be leveraged to somehow showcase Israel in the most negative light possible. We have yet to decide which editorial orientation vis-à-vis Venezuela affords us a more effective path toward that result. What we’ll probably end up doing is adopting our customary practice of a more matter-of-fact tone and editorial sensibility in our Hebrew edition, and reserve the tendentious, propaganda-laced reportage for our English edition. That will in all likelihood require ignoring the negative news about Venezuela, which does not dovetail well with such an editorial policy.””

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