Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

May 8, 2006

Marc Cooper and term limits in Venezuela

Filed under: Latin America — louisproyect @ 4:06 pm


Marc Cooper 

I think everybody has gotten used to the idea that Marc Cooper has pretty much landed with both feet firmly planted in Hitchensville. Despite his formal opposition to the war in Iraq, Cooper redbaits the actual movement that has come together to bring the troops home in the pages of the bourgeois press. And when he is not busy redbaiting the antiwar movement or boosting the "sensible" Kennedy-McCain immigration bill (a new version of the 'bracero' program of the 1940s, a form of indentured servitude), he lashes out at Cuba for not allowing the National Endowment for Democracy to have free rein. But perhaps his biggest gripe is with Hugo Chavez, who has the temerity to stand up to American imperialism and use oil profits for the benefit of Venezuela's poor.

In a May 7th entry on his blog titled "Hugo's Ploy," Cooper relies on an AP dispatch that states that Chavez is seeking a 25-year term. It quotes Chavez as saying, "I am going to ask you, all the people, if you agree with Chavez being president until 2031." However, AP is forced to admit that "It was not clear if Chavez was talking about holding a legally binding vote to eliminate term limits or proposing a plebiscite."

Well, if Cooper were a serious journalist rather than a Matt Drudge wannabe, he could have tracked down an item that was forwarded in the comments section of his blog by one Brian Jones beforehand. It has a link to a Yahoo Spanish News article that clearly states that Chavez was only seeking an end to term limits:

La actual Constitución "bolivariana" de Venezuela, aprobada en 1999, permite la reelección una sola vez. Un eventual referendo podría modificar esta condición.

This says, "The actual 'Bolivarian' Constitution of Venezuela, approved in 1999, permits reelection only once. An eventual referendum would modify this condition."

How does being opposed to term limits get translated into a 25 year presidency? The answer is obvious. The same way that Maurice Bishop's Grenada got turned into a Russian military base or that Sandinista Nicaragua became a totalitarian dungeon–despite having democratic elections throughout the 1980s. There's a word for this: disinformation. Using his by now 33 year old service as a translator for Salvador Allende as left cover, Marc Cooper is performing the same role on his blog and in the pages of the LA Times that people like Shirley Christian carried out in the NY Times in the 1980s. It is not a pretty sight.


  1. First you post Marc cooper’s picture, now Drudge. Why not Keira Knightly or Salma Hayek?

    I reprinted this on my blog: http://lanr.blogspot.com/2006/05/associated-press-falsely-portrays.html#links

    Comment by Renegade Eye — May 9, 2006 @ 3:50 am

  2. The Drudge photo, together with my morning coffee, got my synapses humming this morning. Like Carl Bernstein he went to Montgomery Blair h.s. in Silver Spring MD. Unlike Carl, Matt has no experience in journalism, unless we count his time as manager of the CBS giftshop in L.A.

    I’m not the first to point this out but MSM journalist & reporters used to generally be working class, street smart outsiders to the political establishment. Jimmy Breslin surely didn’t have a masters in journalism did he? Now they have law degrees & MBA’s from Harvard and get invited to the white house x-mas party. Like Rob Morrow’s character in ‘Quiz Show’ who goes easy on Ralph Fiennes’ because they are both ivy league blue bloods. This is why the blogsphere is more important than ever, needing that street smart amateur journalist/researcher not unlike the Village Voice when it first got going back when….

    Comment by m.c. — May 9, 2006 @ 3:15 pm

  3. For example, Hemingway’s only experience(no college background: some newspaper reporting in K.C.) was as an Italian ambulance driver for the red cross during WWI. That led to writing for the intl. herald tribune in paris in the 20’s which led to volunteer work in Spain in the 30’s. He may have been a poor excuse for a socialist, but at least he cared about something enough to go there. This was before he became really famous & semi-wealthy.

    Comment by m.c. — May 9, 2006 @ 10:54 pm

  4. I think that M.C.’s comments raise interesting questions, but I wouldn’t include Matt Drudge as a critic of the MSM. That is just an act he puts on. I listen to him on Sunday night on WABC radio and am struck by how conformist he is. The night after Stephen Colbert did his thing at the correspondents’ dinner, Drudge spent half of his show echoing the MSM ‘party line’ on Colbert. He was not funny, he didn’t respect the presidency, etc. Drudge is about as rebellious as an American Legion outpost in Kansas.

    Comment by Louis Proyect — May 10, 2006 @ 1:24 am

  5. Yep, I’ve had this feeling about Marc Cooper for a long time. With me it started round about the time of the fight over the Pacific radio network. Marc Cooper wrote some truly awful pieces that took the side of the board members who were trying to take over the listener supported system, and attacked the activists that were trying to keep Pacifica true to its people powered roots.

    So its not like this is a one-time thing. Marc Cooper has been in the role of the pseudo-leftist who is used to attack other leftists for a long time now.

    Comment by COdude — May 12, 2006 @ 1:45 am

  6. Bush and the Republicans were not protecting us on 9-11, and we aren’t a lot safer now. We may be more afraid due to george bush, but are we safer? Being fearful does not necessarily make one safer. Fear can cause people to hide and cower. What do you think? What is he doing to us, and what is he doing to the world?
    If ever there was ever a time in our nation’s history that called for a change, this is it!
    The more people that the government puts in jails, the safer we are told to think we are. The real terrorists are wherever they are, but they aren’t living in a country with bars on the windows. We are.

    Comment by Antibush — February 15, 2007 @ 1:03 am

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