Where to begin unpacking NPR's unprofessional and biased reporting on speeches at the UN's General Assembly? First, I have to say that I wasn't impressed with Chavez' speech ; I think his repeatedly calling Bush a "devil" undermined the seriousness of his allegation that the US is an imperialist state that endangers the world. Also, I am no fan of Iran's narrow-minded President Ahmadinejad--but to use these two men to belittle the speech of Bolivian President Evo Morales and Noam Chomsky's rigorous critiques of US foreign policy is unacceptable.
Consider Michele Kelemen's remarks in her report:
- "[Chavez] took center stage…to call on nations to rise up against what he called America’s hegemony....Chavez even had some recommended reading for his colleagues, Noam Chomsky’s Hegemony or Survival: America s Quest for Global Dominance." She then mentions Pres. Ahmadinejad's speech yesterday and concludes with this description of Pres. Morales, "there was another bit of diplomatic showmanship last night by Bolivia’s new president Evo Morales, an ally of Chavez...[who] challenged US drug policy in the Andes, calling it a form of neocolonization....he seemed at ease making his UN debut reading off some notes scribbled on what looked to be the back of an envelope; the leftist leader talked about his indigenous roots and what he called the pillaging of natural resources in his country.
- Hugo Chavez' speech before the Gen Assembly was truly remarkable – one that startled both for its use of props: the Noam Chomsky book that President Chavez held up before the delegates....Chavez also railed against President Bush, the 'world tyrant' in his words, for trying to consolidate the United States' hegemonistic domination....by the way I spoke today with one of Noam Chomsky's publishers, Metropolitan Books, Sarah Bershtel there says she agrees with Hugo Chavez, she says everyone should read Chomsky’s book, Hegemony or Survival.
Imagine a speech by Bush getting such a send up on NPR. You'll have to be content with your imagination, because on NPR his speeches are covered with great seriousness--never treated with such derision--regardless of how filled with lies and nonsense they may be (e.g FactCheck or Common Dreams ).