Archive for May 31st, 2007

So far Nielsen ratings suggest Government gained little by RCTV’s shutdown

May 31, 2007

According to rating numbers quoted by Nelson Bocaranda in his Runrunes column and corrected in the radio today for some small details, the strategy of the Government to control the broadcast media is not going very well. First off, RCTV received an incredible 80% rating on Sunday night, as VTV got 9% and Globovision 4.1% of the Nielsen ratings. Globovison was of course broadcasting the RCTV signal anyway, so the number of TV’s tuning in to the watch the last brodcast of RCTV was truly outstanding.

And the situation for the Government has not improved since. Yesterday, Venevision had a 33.5% rating, followed by Globovision with 16.3%, Televen 11.5%, VTV 7.3% TVES 5.6%, Meridiano 1.9% and cable TV 10.3%, with the regionals channels receiving 13.7% of the audience.

The numbers for improvised TVES are simply the pits. After a first day of 10.2% rating, it dropped to 7.2% the second day and was only 5.6% on its third day, as viewers find little of entertainment value in the new TV channel, led by the former announcer of Radio Havana.

Thus, Venevision has picked up market share, despite the bad taste it left in everyone’s mouth and Globovision appears to be the main beneficiary o RCTV’s disappearance jumping from 3.8% average up to last Sunday for the year of 2007, to 16.3% market share. Venevision’s average so far in 2007 had been 29%. Cable TV appears to be another beneficiary of RCTV’s demise.

The one clear conclusion is that the Government’s TV stations gained very little since last Sunday. It takes more than a salsa expert loyal to the revolution and confiscating RCTV’s equipment to set up a TV station appealing to the general public in Venezuela, Pro-Chavez or otherwise.

RSF issues another sharp criticism of the Chavez Government

May 31, 2007

And Reporters Without Borders (RSF), who nobody can question where it stands in the political and ethical spectrum, in contrast to its unrelated cousin PSF, issues another precise and priceless statement, which includes jewels such as these:

“By calling Globovisión’s staff ‘enemies of the
motherland’ and by clearly threatening participants in its broadcasts
‘if they don’t calm down,’ President Chávez is displaying paranoia and
intolerance,” the press freedom organisation said”

“Unfortunately, there is no longer any doubt
about his goals,” Reporters Without Borders added. “RCTV’s closure was
just the prelude to the progressive disappearance of all the opposition
press. Media that criticise the government will be snuffed out one by
one until only the pro-government media are left.”

Without Borders also condemns the activities, reported by the Agencia
Bolivariana de Noticias, of a group of pro-Chávez journalists called
“Periodistas por la Verdad,” who have been trying to get people to
believe that two supposed Reporters Without Borders members – Enzo
Pierini et Carlos Folchi – were distributing leaflets containing hate
messages targeted at President Chávez.”

“These allegations are unfounded and ridiculous, and the press freedom organisation does not know these two people.”

“It is easy for the authorities to condone this
kind of slur while refusing our requests for a meeting during the
fact-finding trip we made to Venezuela from 24 to 28 May,” Reporters
Without Borders said. “And it seems they did not agree that the news
conference we gave on the last day should be broadcast live and in full
by Globovisión”

Take it easy Mr. President by Teodoro Petkoff

May 31, 2007

Take it easy Mr. President by Teodoro Petkoff in Tal Cual

Tell me what you boast about and I will tell you what your failures are. “If we had to launch another April 13th. I will command it myself”. There is the portrait of the man that trapped in the Military museum, did not command anything on February 4th. 1992, the same way he did nothing on Nov. 27th. 2002, nor on April 11th. Nor April 13th. 2002.

In any case, with his military credentials, victory looks dubious. All of the hang ups of someone who does not have neither a Moncada nor a Sierra Maestra behind him, are trapped in that phrase. The sick need for a personal epic leads him to try to create the junctures that will give it to him.

We can’t give him that pleasure.

Because it is clear he wants to provoke such a situation. You only had to hear him yesterday.

The dangerous incitement to violent confrontation which was his call “for the barrios to come down” constituted a mayor irresponsibility. He is not truly addressing the people but the armed paramilitary and parapolice bands, heavily armed, that the Government has promoted throughout these years.

Some of them have already left their brutal mark in the last few days, in Caracas and in Valencia. That implies substituting regular bodies to maintain public order by irregular ones, not only trained for this task, but inclined towards irrational violence.

Does Chávez have full conscience of the barbarity he is promoting? Of the disasters that the application of his line of conduct could cause? Chávez appears to be losing his composure, the “nerves of steel” that he was recently calling for. And he has his reasons. Everything has gone wrong for him lately. The PUS is not unique or unified and those registered are like his ten million voters, ghostly; union leaders are now responding to him; he is forced to postpone the constitutional reform because he feels that the time is not ripe and to top it all what he did to RCTV has gravely bruised him.

To top it all off, as if he did not have enough problems, he launches an absurd threat against Globovision, to support for the nth. time the silly accusation that they want to kill him.

How long will he do this!

Knowing that this grave rape of the nation would not go unnoticed, he and his supporters devoted themselves to satanize in advance and still today, the logical popular protest. And that is what people are doing. Protesting. There is no plan here to overthrow the government. There is no coup in the works. The fact that he feels bruised by the goal he scored on himself is something else. All of the official rhetoric on that matter, before and after the closing of RCTV, has been nothing but a clumsy attempt to criminalize a legitimate protest. They thought they were going to be able to scare people away. They did not succeed. The country turned against it. But those students that have taken to the streets direct themselves. Nobody is manipulating them. There is no hairy hand behind them. The language of Pedro Carreño, today just like yesterday, is the same as that of all Ministers of the Interior. But if you examine the events you will see that, today, much like yesterday, the key factor in excesses is the police and the National Guard. It has always been that way. People are exercising their rights.

Without hoods. Moving forward.

Backed by the Constitution.