If you doubt that NPR is an obedient lapdog of US foreign (and military and economic) policy, consider how Scott Horsley reports on Hugo Chavez's gift to President Obama of Eduardo Galeano's book Open Veins of Latin America.
Here's Horsley on Saturday's ATC:
"...this morning in what a senior administration official called a publicity stunt Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez presented Mr. Obama with a book about five hundred years of exploitation of Latin America (chuckles). Now even the critics don't lay all five hundred years of at Mr. Obama's doorstep (chuckle)...."And then this morning on Weakened Edition Sunday Horsley is back at it:
"As cameras clicked away Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez stepped into the frame and presented Mr. Obama with a book, Open Veins of Latin America, it's a leftist history of the region with a subtitle: five centuries of the pillage of a continent. The barbed gift was a reminder of the resentment that some Latin American leaders still feel toward the United States."One can't help but be struck by Horsely's contempt. It is striking that Galeano's name is not even mentioned - ever. From Horsley's description and tone, one might think Galeano was some two-bit, dull leftist historian - instead of a major literary figure of the continent. In the introduction to Open Veins of Latin America, Isabelle Allende described Galeano as "one of the most interesting authors ever to come out of Latin America, a region known for its great literary names. His work is a mixture of meticulous detail, political conviction, poetic flair, and good storytelling...." He has received major literary prizes and global critical acclaim.
Everything about Horsely's remarks mirrors the viewpoint of US power. A literary, powerful (and thoroughly researched) work of history is reduced to "a leftist history" and "a barbed gift." There is no mention of the truth underlying Galeano's work: that the US has worked tirelessly for over a century to inflict killings, rape, torture, poverty, and economic exploitation on Latin America. This long, sordid and thoroughly documented history is laughingly reduced to "resentment that some Latin American leaders still feel."
Fortunately, many people in the US are far more curious than the timid newsreaders at NPR.