Space Ramblings

When is Censorship Okay at Boing Boing?

It’s painfully obvious that when it comes to Chavez’s crackdown in Venezuela, Cory Doctorow simply has no clue. Granted most Americans don’t but considering all the free speech political activism Cory has done, at the very least if he’s going to blog about it, he should have something to say.

Instead he first posted a post from an anonymous person in Venezuela about the station shutdown and then linked to a Reuters news story.

Then he promptly posted what he titled as “Venezuelan media crackdown: the other POV” from a bunch of white guys with names like Craig Brozefsky, Tyson Schwertner (Yale or Harvard?) Rick Potthoff, John Coulthart and Chris Asp. (Do we have a Harvard Rowing Team or do we have a Yale Rowing Team here?) defending Chavez and saying that RCTV got what it deserved. Included as affirmative action were two people who might conceivably have come from Latin America.

When Boing Boing condemns censorship they’re usually not in the habit of then posting the other POV for why censorship is just fine. This was apparently an exception. The usual excuses were trotted out. RCTV supports violence (as opposed to Chavez’s followers?), RCTV supported the coup (as opposed to Chavez who came to power originally in a coup?)

Half the comments pimped the pro-chavez documentary, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. Included was a letter from a bunch of British MP’s saying how the shutdown was a jolly good thing. It always nice of course to see British MP’s supporting a totalitarian regime overthrowing democracy overseas but what exactly do a bunch of British MP’s have to do with an issue happening in another part of the world entirely? Presumably they wouldn’t have been as cheery about the shutdown of a pro-Chavez station by a right wing Latin American leader. Gosh you think?

Then BoingBoing.net ran yet a third piece collecting comments from people who probably weren’t on the Harvard Rowing Team but were plausibly actual Venezuelans with names like Pablo Ortega and Simon Garcia. Typical was this comment from CarlosCCS

carlosCCS says,

Here is video of students protesting the RCTV shutdown. Dozens of students have been harmed by armed forces just because they were supporting the freedom of speech at the state half-funded USB (Universidad Simon Bolivar) one of the oldest and most respectable science and engineering schools in Latin America.

However hundreds are marching through the streets to demand the right of speech. According to Venezuela’s civil laws no security force is entitled to break in any autonomous school of studies.

This is like the birth of a dictatorship right in front of our eyes. Right now, state owned and financed independent leftist tv stations and websites are celebrating the recent closing down of a critical tv station (RCTV) as a victory of democracy and freedom of speech, the people’s democracy. Or as the common state sponsored slogan has it “Con Chávez Manda el Pueblo”, (With Chavez the people rules”)

Things are gettin ugly. Please keep an eye on us, dude.

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Comments
  • RPFTI November 13, 2007 at 12:48 am

    Bear in mind when reading Boing Boing comments that they are selective and opposing viewpoints are censored.

    Amazingly, Cory seems to be a fan of censorship when it suits him.

  • O_Deus November 13, 2007 at 3:10 am

    Cory is all about the self-promotion and like most self-promoters he’s going to be anti-censorship until it gores his own ego or career

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