"I just heard Robert Smith's assessment of Oliver Stone's Hugo Chavez film. You think WE'RE snotty at this blog? Smith couldn't help but mock and snipe and complain. 'Stone didn't even ask Chavez one challenging question!' he moans."It is a point well-taken. I heard the review, and was taken aback by Smith's snide and superior attitude. Here's a sample of Smith at his NPR best:
Listen Smith, Stone's not doing public broadcasting. He's doing an independent film. That means he can make a film of Chavez' cufflink collection if he wants to. At NPR, the home of consistently challenging questions, I guess the serious reporters there just don't remember stuff like that."
- [on Chavez' attire] "chic tomato colored turtleneck"
- "he [Oliver Stone] does dabble in documentaries"
- "it might be difficult to call this movie a documentary"
- "the most outlandish things that the US media has said about Hugo Chavez....Oliver Stone takes the film to the opposite extreme....show an angel sent to save South America."
- "Stone, the man famous for his conspiracy theories and questioning of the official story, never asks a single challenging question."
- "he doesn't talk about the Amnesty International report criticizing the country for human rights abuses. Stone never interviews a single average citizen of Venezuela instead he jets around the region to talk to Chavez's allies and hang out with them."
- "the point as always in an Oliver Stone film is that Oliver Stone keeps complete control. That's a trick that even Hugo Chavez might admire."
Well, how about those assertions? Since when is a turtle-neck chic? Dabbles in documentaries...does Smith fancy that NPR ever does more than dabble in journalism? The opposite extreme - as if praising Chavez is the same as claiming he's as bad as Bin Laden or as undemocratic as Castro. Doesn't ask a "challenging question" - not like NPR's history of challenging questions. Doesn't talk about the Amnesty report? Since when does NPR give a rats ass about Amnesty Reports (Colombia, Honduras, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc.)? Chavez's allies - I think Smith means virtually all the leaders of South America except for Uribe of Colombia. And what film director doesn't exercise complete control? Oh, but that little swipe helps him slur Chavez.
It is worth considering this piece of unoriginal, lazy and utterly predicable Chavez-bashing in light of Glenn Greenwald's latest piece on how the US corporate and corporate-loyal media treats "good guys" and "bad guys" around the world (even NPR gets a mention!)