The Good Kind of Protesters–and the Bad Kind [FAIR]
March 4, 2014
by Peter Hart
It’s fair to say that the complex anti-government protest movements in both Venezuela and Ukraine were boiled down by US corporate media to send a clear message to their domestic audience: These are the good guys…
[but]…for all the [media-concocted] portraits of a movement that wants US-style freedoms, a substantial minority of the protest movement is drawn from fascist and neo-Nazi factions (Guardian, 1/29/14; Slate, 2/20/14).
In Venezuela, meanwhile, demonstrators are similarly labeled…it’s students versus people who support the “anti-American” government -– not difficult to figure out whose side you’re supposed to take…
…[if the media’s story were true] you’d expect the entire country to be protesting -– and it’d be hard to fathom how Chavez and current president Nicolas Maduro managed to win numerous elections. But in truth, by many indicators, life for poor Venezuelans sharply improved during the Chavez years (FAIR Media Advisory, 3/6/13), which explains their support for his party.
But the lesson is these are protest movements -– despite adopting militant and in some cases quite violent tactics -– that US media by and large were cheering.
In the midst of these conflicts, a new report from Amnesty International (2/27/14) on Israeli violence in the West Bank “documented the killings of 22 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank last year, at least 14 of which were in the context of protests.” The report received minimal coverage in the US press, though -– and perhaps because -– it raised profound questions about how a close US ally attacks protesters against military occupation.
Would the US press champion the cause of Palestinian demonstrators, or criticize harsh Israeli response to dissent? How about actually cheering on violent Palestinian resistance? It is simply unfathomable -– Palestinians are the wrong kind of protester.
Excerpted/edited by Zuo Shou