Action Alert: Call Out biased WUWM Venezuela coverage; #HandsOffVenezuela

To WUWM & NPR: Tell Both Sides on Venezuela

If you listen to WUWM, what you’ve been hearing there daily on the political
crisis in Venezuela has been one sided at best and grossly inaccurate at the
worst. The implicit message has been to undermine Venezuela’s progressive
government and support US calls for violent regime change. There has been an
international call for action to hold the media to a higher standard on April
19-20, but you can and should call any time its distorted reports air.

Tell WUWM:

• Air local pieces for balance. WUWM produces shows like “Lake
Effect” which can help counter the opposition-heavy reports from
the national NPR news desk. Why not interview local solidarity or
peace activists, visiting experts, or have a phone interview with
UN Investigator and Human Rights Rapporteur on Venezuela, Alfred de
Zayas? See

• Avoid using loaded shorthand in summaries. Labels matter. It is not
honest reporting to call Venezuela a “regime,” or Juan Guaido
“interim president.” Most of the world recognizes Nicolas Maduro
as the duly elected leader of a democratic republic, and it isn’t
the media’s job to conclude for us otherwise.

• Get the message to NPR. WUWM calls itself “Milwaukee’s NPR,”
and needs to tell NPR that it doesn’t want biased or inaccurate
news. Its listeners don’t want it, Its underwriters shouldn’t
want it. UWM shouldn’t want it. And WUWM should tell NPR that its
listeners here, like nationwide, are tired of selective reporting that
sets the stage for more U.S. intervention in Latin America.

Talk to someone at WUWM: 227-3355
Leave comments: 270-1220
Call NPR: (202) 513-2000 

#HandsOffVenezuela #NoWarNoSanctionsNocoup !

NPR coverage of VZ
Morning Edition
March 6, 2019

Host Steve Inskeep, interviewing the Latin America Program Director for the
International Crisis Group began by stating as a supposed fact that there
has been “Twenty years of steady Venezuelan decline under a socialist and
populist government.”

But according to the United Nations Development Program, human development
in Venezuela began rising faster than peer nations after 2000, and continued
upward until 2016, amid worsening US sanctions. Life expectancy and
education continue to improve as of the most recent data (2018). The UN
FAO reported hunger had dropped to US levels by 2012. The CIA Fact Book
summarizes: “Social investment in Venezuela during the Chavez Administration
reduced poverty from nearly 50% in 1999 to about 27% in 2011, increased school
enrollment, substantially decreased infant and child mortality, and improved
access to potable water and sanitation…” [Emphasis added.]

Fresh Air
April 2, 2019

Dave Davies’s guest for the hour was Nicholas Casey, a New York Times
reporter who never mentioned U.S. sanctions at all, a key contributor to the
shortages. One of the “highlights” of the hour, linked to from the NPR
webpage, was a recap of his recent reporting that “Maduro forced visiting
Cuban doctors to use access to medicine as a way to gain votes for Maduro”
for example by threatening to take away care if Maduro lost (the report did
not mention that the opposition has openly called for removing the doctors.)

This very article was ripped by the watchdog group (Fairness and
Accuracy in Reporting) for its “pathological deceit.” Some rumors Casey
passed on were impossible. In the New York Times version, witnesses reported
stuffing of “ballot boxes” even though Venezuela votes electronically,
no ballot boxes exist, and the election was internationally certified. Casey
uncritically quoted a Human Rights Watch executive whose work was so shoddy
and one-sided that over 100 experts wrote to rebuke it.

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