A charismatic anti-American dictator commands a South American country’s large state-owned oil reserves and rails frequently against American capitalism, yet the media coverage of his human rights abuses and his threats to the United States ranges from little to none.
That’s the key finding of a new Free Market Project study, "Hugo the Boss: Media criticize ‘greed’ of energy executives, but go easy on Venezuela’s oil strongman."
American media have covered the ports controversy with almost 24-7 dedication. But the networks have ignored a far bigger security threat. As energy prices have spiked and world demand increased, the United States’ reliance on oil controlled by Venezuela’s anti-American despot Hugo Chavez has become a real danger. But it’s a danger the networks barely even mention.
Chavez took over as leader of America’s third-largest oil importer in 1998 and the broadcast media have done little to acknowledge the threat that entails. Now, as relations between the United States and Venezuela deteriorate, Americans have been left in the dark about the danger of a man who is spending his nation’s oil wealth to export "revolution" and threatens to cut off oil to America. Even those latest threats have been ignored by both ABC and NBC.