Censorship

Someone Finally Takes Sean Penn's Advice

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Two of the most terrifying people in the Western hemisphere

Leave it to the wretched regime in Caracas to send Venezuela—home of the Orinoco basin, the terrifically incompetent state run oil company PdVSA, and South American's 6,151st experiment in egalitarianism—into a humiliating energy crisis. As The Guardian's Rory Carroll reported last week, "Businesses have reported a collapse in sales and employment, which is expected to aggravate a recession already the deepest in South America, and compound the president's woes ahead of legislative elections."

So what does a squalid little autocracy do when faced with an increasingly angry opposition, irritated that a country of such massive oil wealth cannot keep the power on or the shelves stocked with meat or sugar? Well, don't tell Sean Penn (he'll get a big head), but the Chavez regime has taken his advice; cracking down on free speech and the pesky, disorganized political opposition. First, it was anti-Chavez politician Oswaldo Alvarez Paz, who recently told a television interviewer that the well-documented charges emanating from Spain connecting the Miraflores gang to FARC and ETA could not be easily dismissed. The country's reptilian Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami responded by throwing Paz in jail (on charges of "spreading false information") and commenting: "Someone cannot stand up to defame, to lie, to manipulate in the media here and not have anything happen." It's eerily reminiscent of Sandinista censor Nelba Blandon's classic vulgarity, when asked why the government shuttered an opposition newspaper: "They accused us of suppressing freedom of expression. This was a lie and we could not let them publish it."

So with the independent channel RCTV now out of the picture, having had their broadcast license twice revoked (both for broadcast and cable), the vultures are circling Globovision, the only non-sycophantic news station still broadcasting in the country. Today the channel's owner Guillermo Zuloaga was arrested and charged with "contempt and for offending the chief executive of the republic."

The Los Angeles Times has details. Cato's Ian Vasquez comments.

In related news, Oliver Stone's hagiographic (and assuredly soporific) Chavez movie has found a distributor!

NEXT: Frum Frum Frum Frum!

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  1. Hopefully she has the same effect on Chavez as she did her ex husband.

    1. Have Chavez give me a call if he needs a shotgun.

      1. I suspect there will be plenty willing to offer a shotgun. Myself, for one.

  2. I truly hope that Sean Penn gets to spend the rest of his life in just the sort of country he’s been asking for.

    1. As long as it isn’t here…

      1. That’s an important caveat.

        1. That’s quite a lucid comment from Steve.

          1. STEVE JUST EAT FAT HIKER, SO STEVE SOMNOLENT WITH POST-PRANDIAL HYPOGLYCEMIA. STEVE HAVE GLASS OF PORT NOW.

            1. Mr. Smith, I would suggest a small glass of juice or werther’s original. That port with have a nasty reaction with your MAOI’s

              1. STEVE STILL ON SSRI’S; NOT MOVE TO MAOI INHIBITORS YET, SO PORT OK, ALONG WITH HOMEGROWN THAT STEVE SMOKE TO RELAX AND ONLY THINK ABOUT RAPE EVERY FEW SECONDS. DO YOU LIKE RAPE, GROOVUS?

                1. “MAOI INHIBITORS” may be a tad redundant.

                  1. YOU ON STEVE’S RAPE LIST NOW RATMAN!

                2. Not without dinner and a movie first, ya cheap bastard. And I like cuddling too. But your are way too masculine for my tastes.

                  Besides, erectile dysfunction is a noted side effect of SSRI’s. So, you overgrown chimera, looks like you’re SOL.

                  1. STEVE NOTICED THAT RAPES DOWN .01 PERCENT ONCE TAKING SSRI’S! DOCTOR NOT TELL STEVE THIS! BUT STEVE OFFER GROOVUS OPTION TO WATCH IRREVERSIBLE BEFORE RAPE!

                    1. That’s what you get for feasting on the doctor you nimrod. You strike me as a fellow that needs remedial cognitive emotive therapy.

                      Like THIS.

                      Now while you are viewing, Mr.Smith, I’ll need to check your prostate, your emotional triggers, and your favorite film directed by Alan Parker.

                    2. STEVE OFFER I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE IF GROOVUS PREFER! AND STEVE FAVORITE ALAN PARKER FILM FAME, OF COURSE! NOT YOURS?

                      STEVE MEET RUGGERO DEODATO ONCE. TOO SHORT TO RAPE! NOT INTERESTING! MAYBE SSRI EFFECT?

                    3. That and anyone exposed to Irene Cara’s music. I’m afraid your condition is terminal.

                      I suggest sticking with Warty, Mr. Smith.

                    4. I’VE HAD WARTY, GROOVUS, AND WARTY IS NO SARAH JESSICA PARKER!

                    5. SJP?????? Holy shit man! Why didn’t you say so????

                      You are late stage HPV Mr. Smith. SJP exposure also explains your engorged prostate, thrush, syphilis and botox poisoning.

                      Before you keel over you’ll experience dementia and an unusual preoccupation with high heels, navel lint, and David Duchovny.

                    6. STEVE IMMUNE TO ALL DISEASE! EVEN DUCHOVNY! WE CAN DO IT DOGGY STYLE SO WE CAN ALL WATCH X-FILES!

                    7. LOL you’re a sick one Epi. I gotta finish this CME.

                      Try not to masturbate too much to teh zombie pron.

      2. There is that, yes.

  3. +1

  4. From one of the linked articles: The state runs a nationwide network of subsidized food stores, but in recent months some items have become increasingly hard to find.

    If Obama gets his agenda wish list enacted, you’ll be able to read something like this in foreign papers in a few years:

    The United states runs a nationwide network of subsidized food stores health clinics, but in recent months some items doctors who will treat patients enrolled in the government’s plan have become increasingly hard to find.

  5. It’s eerily reminiscent of Sandinista censor Nelba Blandon’s classic vulgarity, when asked why the government shuttered an opposition newspaper: “They accused us of suppressing freedom of expression. This was a lie and we could not let them publish it.”

    I’m waiting for Tony, MNG, or Chad to come on here and defend this logic.

    1. Sometimes I wonder if these people are for real. Or if socialism is all some kind of elaborate hoax.

      Between things like this this and things like forcing insuance companies to “insure” against conditions people already have, I can’t fathom how they could possibly be that stupid.

    2. I sometimes wonder if progressives are for real. Or if it’s all just some enormous piece of performance art.

      When the economy was finished collapsing, some secret society of surrealists will announce “Lolz! Just kidding everyone!”

      1. Careful, that would be Cacophony Society you are talking about.

        1. Where do you think I got the idea?

      2. They used to cause chuckles when no one took them seriously.

      3. Hazel:

        You might want to try David Thompson’s blog for interesting posts on “progressives” and performance art.

        1. Thanks. I like it.

    3. It’s like the Islamists who threaten to behead anyone who says Islam is a violent religion. QED

  6. “rabble rabble….externalities….rabble rabble….GWB….rabble rabble..doctors make too much….rabble rabble….centralized government is king….rabble rabble….market failure….rabble rabble….racists and bigots…..rabble rabble….AGW….rabble rabble….Supremacy Clause….rabble rabble.”

    1. I concur.

  7. Sean Penn, Oliver Stone and Hugo Chavez – that really should be a porn flick.

    1. Is it a snuff film?

      1. Please. It’s a circle jerk.

        1. It could be a circle jerking snuff film. There’s no reason the two can’t exist in the same film.

          1. A snuff film? So who gets creamed?

            1. Can the answer be “yes”?

  8. That picture was just uncalled for, Moynihan. Well done.

  9. Today the channel’s owner Guillermo Zuloaga was arrested and charged with “contempt and for offending the chief executive of the republic.”

    I think that sentence says it all.

  10. Does Sean Penn really think we care about his opinion? Does he really not see the difference between our Republic and the governments of Chavez and Castro? Hell, I’ve been done with this idiot for years – he ain’t even that good of an actor.

    1. Spicoli was always dumber than shit.

  11. Pardon my ignorance, but who the hell is that woman with Chavez?

    1. Looks like Courtney Love. She’s a skanky, washed up, cokewhore/musician who was married to one of the most overrated musicians of all time, Kurt Cobain.

      1. I think Aresen knows who Love is, he just didn’t recognize her. Because she’s not Canadian.

        1. So if Celine Dion had helped encourage Cobain blow his brians out of his skull with her skanky, washed up, cokewhore/musician crap, then he would recognise her?

          Canadians are Americans, too. As are Mexicans, they even call themselves “Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos” the Mexican United States. None of us are behind Iron Curtains

          Maybe he just didn’t recognize her because she’s not worthy of recognition.

          1. I’ll go with that.

            As for the “Canadians are Americans” thing, US Customs seems to disagree.

    2. it IS Courtney Love…and she lives up to her name right? She must…she’s hanging out with Chavez right? I just love it when musicians and actors get on the good side of dictators, like rock stars love Che Guevara.
      The problem is that we don’t have enough murder paraphenalia…we need more. I’m going to start designing Chavez t-shirts to go with my line of Hitler and Mao Tse Dong accessories so I can be dressed up properly when I go out for a couple of bottles of Che Guevara beer! Murder is the in thing right? The only thing that’s better is censorship right? Oops, I’d better watch it…for some South American countries have good ties with China…I’d better get out my Commrade Mao pants and head east!

      1. Sigh. I live in a neighborhood with a Soviet Union-themed bar. And yes, they do sell t-shirts.

    3. The funny thing is, Chavez is thinking “Who the hell is that woman with me?”

      1. Love’s smile appears to reflect sincere pleasure, while Chavez’s appears calculated.

        “Who the hell is that woman with me?” “And who the Hell cares, all I know she is famous in the US, and because she is she will help me manipulate the other useful idiots in the US. Smile.”

  12. So the picture is of the singer from “Hole” and one of the world’s biggest a-holes?

    NOW it makes sense.

    1. Emelda Marcos collected shoes, Noriega collected ceramic frogs, Kim il Jong collects Daffy Duck videos, and Chavez may collect Hole CDs. I once heard of four thousand holes in blackburn, lancashire, and though the holes were rather small it helped them know how many a-holes it takes to fill the albert hall. A whole lotta hole going on with all these a-holes. Seems some things just never change. They just want to turn us on.

      1. Don’t leave out Idi Amin’s closet full of Tom & Jerry cartoons.

        1. And Qaddafi and his supermodel bodyguards.

          1. That’s just Bond villain behavior.

  13. Hollywood, and celebrities in general, can always be counted upon to throw their support behind every leftist dictator in the world.

    Unlike the Soviet Union, or Nazi Germany, where actors had status equal to the upper political class, Americans originally understood all entertainers deserved equal status. Actor or prostitute, both were entertainers and shared the same public respect. Why we abandoned that for the entertainer worship approach is something I’ll never understand.

    1. Americans originally understood all entertainers deserved equal status. Actor or prostitute, both were entertainers and shared the same public respect.

      Actor in a minor local stage production, yes. Actor/musician who sold out loca everywhere he went? No. Your opinion of the status of entertainers in early America will not survive looking at some of the nationally popular minstrels and such from the 19th century.

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  16. Look, we all hate Chavez. Posers like Penn don’t speak for most liberals. Most liberals are like me, members of organizations like Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International and we are well aware of and oppose Chavez’s numerous human rights abuses.

    What should be done about him? I’m interested in supporting ways that will speed us to the end of his rule, but only ways that respect the soveriegnty of the people of Venezula.

    I imagine most people here would be against military action. I might be fine with some kind of sanctions, but I don’t really see how a libertarian could be for those (voluntary trades would be restricted). So what’s left? Freezing his US assets? Or are we left with just bitching about him?

    1. Apparently there isn’t going to be any electricity in most of the country after a few months, so who knows what will happen.

    2. I think the point is that most of us here would rather not emulate him, which seems to be the path this country is heading towards.

      1.) Vilify the wealthy
      2.) Redistribute goodies to the poor
      3.) Consolidate power as the economy falls apart
      4.) Accuse the wealthy of trying to undermine everything
      5.) Repeat as necessary

      I’m not saying Obama is necessarily equal to Chavez, yet, but their political beliefs are birds of a feather.

      In an abstract sense, Obamism (or even American progressive politics in general) is very much like Chavism: play the classes off of one another and make yourself more powerful in the process.

      1. I’m fairly certain that the primary difference between Obama and Chavez is Obama’s misfortune to “lead” a country that has 200 years of semi-limited government tradition to overcome. If he could get away with Chavez’ tactics, he would. I guarantee.

        Also, Chavez is a much better orator.

        1. Hence the “fundamental transformation” rhetoric. That wasn’t just a pretty campaign slogan.

      2. Step 4 is pretty much standard in every socialist degeneration.
        Comes from an inability to admit that its the socialism that’s causing the economy to collapse. They blame “counter-revolutionaries” or “capitalists” for somehow conspiring to sabotage and undermine the experiment. Presumably by having the audacity to not invest their money in unprofitable things.

    3. Most liberals are like me, members of organizations like Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International and we are well aware of and oppose Chavez’s numerous human rights abuses.

      I hear ya. Why can’t this Chavez dude be more like Che, he was awesome! Hey, check out my new Che shirt! If I can find a job soon, I’ll have enough to get a tat.

      1. Really Chad? Really? Do you have some stats to back that up? I will gladly throw in DDF and even grudginly the ACLU (though it is a shadow of what it was 30 years ago).

        1. I don’t know who this Chad is, but he sounds like a real asshole. Hey, I need some advice. My buddy is getting married tomorrow, and his soon to be wife’s parent are a couple of wingnut retards. Should I wear my “FAUX NEWS” shirt, or stick to the more classical “Viva La Evolution?” (Another shout out to my homeboy Che!)

    4. Most liberals are like me

      We know. Hence, our problem.

      What should be done about him?

      You should be asking the Venezuelan people. He’s their problem.

    5. MNG,

      If you liberals really hate Chavez, how about running this guy and his organization “Free Press” out of the movement?

      ree Press’ curious stance on media reform can best be summed up by McChesney who suggests that, “Any serious effort to reform the media system would have to necessarily be part of a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist system itself.”

      “Such radical hyperbole coming from the founder of a group called “Free Press” drips with irony. But it’s a rhetorical flourish that Dr. McChesney is apparently quite comfortable with. He has employed it repeatedly to argue that his version of media reform is the first step in the struggle to remake American society in a socialistic fashion. In his attack on the existing media “power structure” in the U.S., he calls for a “class struggle from below?In the end there is no real answer but to remove brick by brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles.””…

      In full-throated defense of Mr. Chavez in 2007, McChesney laments Western media’s skewed portrayal of theVenezuelan regime.

      “Regrettably,” he notes, “U.S. media coverage of Venezuela?says more about the deficiencies of our own news media than it does about Venezuela. It demonstrates again?how our news media are far too willing to carry water for Washington than to ascertain and report the truth of the matter.”

      And according to McChesney, the truth of the matter is that everything’s fine with Chavez. In Venezuela, McChesney notes, “aggressive, unqualified political dissent is alive and well in the Venezuelan mainstream media, in a manner few other democratic nations have ever known, including our own.” “1984” author George Orwell, if he were alive, would have used such a quote in a sequel.

      But most galling in light of Free Press’ assurances that we have nothing to worry about by inviting the feds into the media business, is McChesney’s defense of Chavez’s crackdown on opposition media in Venezuela. Regarding Venezuelan broadcaster RCTV, a persistent Chavez critic whose license was revoked by the president himself, McChesney suggests that if the station were broadcasting in the United States, “its license would have been revoked years ago,” and that “its owners would likely have been tried for criminal offenses, including treason.””

      All liberals do not hate Chavez. A lot of them think he is just swell.

      1. Here is the link

        http://www.foxnews.com/opinion…..ree-press/

        I think the headline is a bit over the top. But the statements by Free Press are authentic.

        1. Just a little bit over the top, but not by too much. They’ll start in on the press soon enough.

    6. No, just making sure everyone knows we’re rapidly heading down the same path is most important.

      But seriously, why can’t we send Sean Penn to the Hague to be tried for aiding and abetting in crimes against humanity? Maybe being lumped in the same group as Serbian war criminals would shut Hollywood retards up for a bit.

      1. Only if you can take Oliver Stone with him.

    7. MNG, I think you are projecting a little too much of your own sensibility towards Chavez on the rest of you liberal brethren.

      Sean Penn may not be taken too seriously by liberals, but correct me if I’m wrong, Bill Maher (amazingly) does seem to be. Apparently in the interview when Penn made his odious statements about jailing critics of Chavez, Maher didn’t raise any objections to this absurdity. I don’t believe he protested any of the other points Penn was espousing regarding Chavez’ greatness.

      I confess, I have not seen the interview and am relying on the report of it here in Reason, but if this is correct that doesn’t speak very well towards liberal attitude toward Chavez. Unless of course, Bill Maher is viewed as big a fool as Sean Penn by most liberals.

    8. I’m interested in supporting ways that will speed us to the end of his rule, but only ways that respect the soveriegnty of the people of Venezula.

      Interesting conundrum, that. Since the people of Venezuela will have no means of reclaiming their sovereignty until Chavez is overthrown, what (effective) ways can we support?

    9. I don’t think we should interfere through any government action, military or economic.

      But maybe it would help if you liberals would at least speak out publicly against Chavez, and have the courage to stand up to idiots like Penn.

  17. “Look, we all hate Chavez.”

    Well, no, you don’t. Our president, for example.

  18. It’s true! I just love the big lug!

    http://generalbrock.files.word…..0f1344.jpg

  19. Chavez, shmavez. Just another cock-sucking, whacked out, fucked in the head, celebrity whoring, lying, manipulative, reality twisting, sociopath like the one the U.S. has in office now. They’re all the same.

    1. Really? So you would gladly switch their government for ours?

      I thought not.

      1. The more appropriate question is, would you switch Obama and Chavez? Would anybody notice the change?

      2. wtf are you talking about?

  20. Why is it that these illuminati that so admire these thugs only go to visit? Why do they not live in these pardises year ’round, if it’s so fucking awesome?

    1. Because the Illuminati like to have their asses kissed. They go on these visits and the thug wines them and dines them and pretends like he actually gives a shit what the Illuminati has to say. It makes the Illuminati feel so good about himself. But that is only half the fun. The other half of the fun is to go home and brag about how important they are and how this world leader really cares what they say and how cutting edge they are for supporting someone who stands up to US oppression. If they stayed in the country, they wouldn’t get the second part.

  21. “So what does a squalid little autocracy do when faced with an increasingly angry opposition”

    You’re next, Moynihan. Sean will be by later with the arrest warrant.

    Viva la revolucion!

  22. ?Diosssssss! Courtney is so ugly she actually makes Chavez look good in that picture.

  23. truth,,,,obama people have no idea of the extent to which they have to be gulled in order to be led.”
    “The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one.”
    “All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it.”
    “Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.”pelosi don’t see much future for the Americans … it’s a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social inequalities …obama feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance … everything about the behaviour of American society reveals that it’s half Judaised, and the other half negrified. How can one expect a State like that to hold TOGTHER.They include the angry left wing bloggers who spread vicious lies and half-truths about their political adversaries… Those lies are then repeated by the duplicitous left wing media outlets who “discuss” the nonsense on air as if it has merit? The media’s justification is apparently “because it’s out there”, truth be damned. STOP THIS COMMUNIST OBAMA ,GOD HELP US ALL .THE COMMANDER ((GOD OPEN YOUR EYES)) stop the communist obama & pelosi.((open you eyes)) ,the commander

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