BBC News ran a story titled US ‘will respond to Venezuelan threats’ on 28 January. But people noticed something rather odd after delving into the broadcaster’s article. Namely, that Venezuela has made no “threats”. In fact, the BBC only details threats made by the US to possible (and at this stage imagined) aggression from Venezuela.
So there’s no story here. Or, if there is, it should be titled ‘US threatens Venezuela’. But that would get in the way of the propaganda narrative that the BBC, and other British outlets, are spouting on this issue.
The BBC News story details Nicolás Maduro’s decision to expel US diplomats from Venezuela on 24 January. Maduro initiated the expulsion order in response to Washington’s involvement in the current coup attempt. But the country’s Foreign Ministry has now withdrawn the order.
So the BBC detailed Washington’s latest comments on that diplomatic stand-off. Its national security adviser, John Bolton, said any “intimidation” of US diplomats, or opposition leader Juan Guaidó, would meet with “a significant response”. Not that anyone would know that from the headline it originally ran with the story:
Today’s BBC main front page headline: “US will respond to Venezuela threats”https://t.co/G276JbMnJg
Only later in the article do those reading beyond the headline learn that in fact #Venezuela has made no threats, and that it’s actually US that’s making threats against Venezuela
— Charles Shoebridge (@ShoebridgeC) January 28, 2019
The BBC appears to have subsequently changed the article’s headline to Venezuela crisis: White House ‘will respond to threats against diplomats’. On the ‘Global News Podcast’, however, the US ‘will respond to Venezuela threats’ title remained.
But the BBC is not alone in reporting on the Venezuelan situation in a way that reinforces the UK government’s case for supporting the coup. The Guardian, for example, is also facing criticism for its less than objective coverage on the situation:
Extraordinary even by the Guardian's standards. Juan Guaido, the CIA's pick to lead a coup against Venezuela's govt, gives the paper one of his first interviews – and it simply acts as a conduit for his propaganda. It doesn't even pretend to be a watchdog https://t.co/GkmR5Dp3w6
— Jonathan Cook (@Jonathan_K_Cook) January 28, 2019
In the people’s interest
Thankfully, though, the BBC is keeping up at least a veneer of impartiality. It’s invited on some guests, such as journalist Pablo Navarrete, who’ve provided a momentary challenge to the pro-regime change output in the British media:
Earlier today I was interviewed on BBC World TV about the attempted coup in Venezuela. https://t.co/EeKcYduF30
— Pablo Navarrete (@pablonav1) January 26, 2019
Navarrete says the only solution to the current crisis in Venezuela is a political one, not “a military coup headed by the US”. And as The Canary previously reported, polling data shows that Venezuelan citizens overwhelmingly reject that sort of intervention.
Regardless, news coverage continues to blatantly boost the case for interference.
When it comes to war and imperialism, it seems the UK media never changes.
Featured image via BBC News/Wikimedia
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