Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Putin and Chavez

This is an apolitical blog, as one hopes the International Herald Tribune remains an apolitical newspaper. By that I mean the IHT may have a left-of-centre feel to its editorials (as distinct to a cross-section of opinion and commentary) but one shouldn't be able to detect bias in its news coverage.

Which is why a four-column news story above the fold front page story headlined 'Voters deal Chavez a stunning rebuff' caught my eye.

On the same front page, also above the fold, above indeed the Chavez story, was a three-column photo with caption (Page 3 for more) with a picture of pro-Putin United Russia supporters happily marching in the Red Square celebrating 'Putin's' victory.

Despite Chavez losing in what was billed as a 'contentious referendum', the happy clapps go to a picture of a pro-Kremlin youth group, perhaps freshly decked out in Supreme Luxury. The caption of the photo reasonably notes 'Celebration and frustration in Moscow' but the picture story is one of unmitigated celebration.

Meanwhile the Chavez defeat gets the headline defeat billing and picture of a very frustrated looking President Hugo.

I guess the IHT Oil and Money conference isn't headed to Caracas anytime soon.

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