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  • The Axis of Censorship

    Muzzling the freedom and independence of the press and restricting information flows are the tools of 21st century tyrannies, as well as of Cold War holdovers like Cuba. Whether in Tehran, Caracas, Havana, or Quito, silencing the independent press is essential for consolidating and holding power. Blaming domestic unrest on foreign demons, particularly the international media or the U.S., is another tired-and-true demagogic technique.

    Latin American leaders of the Castro-Chávez school recognize that today’s outpouring of popular unrest in the streets of Tehran might soon repeat on their turf. Furthermore, they have a vested interest in preserving ties with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and advancing the budding Iran-Latin America axis of anti-Americanism.

    On June 12, Chavez telephoned his Iranian friend to congratulate the embattled Iranian on his electoral victory and underscore Venezuela’s continued commitment to working with Iran for “a better world.”

    The Venezuela Foreign Ministry officially praised the results of the disputed elections and roundly rejected what it labeled a “ferocious and unfounded campaign from abroad to discredit the elections … for the purposes of disturbing the political climate in a sister nation.” Echoing the official Iranian line, the Venezuelans claimed that any troubles in Iran were the result of externally-guided intimidation and destabilization efforts.

    As Iran moved to curb foreign reporting, Chávez and company continue their assaults on press freedom, preferring Havana-style press rules to those practiced elsewhere.

    Worries Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer, reflecting on recent attacks on media freedom, “Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, a disciple of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, said that when he takes over as president of the 12-nation Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in July he will propose creation of a regional body to defend governments against critics in the media.”

    In Venezuela, Chávez is moving to shut down one of the last bastions of independent media, Globovision.

    The threat to press freedom caused the Department of State on June 12 to speak out in defense of Hemispheric press freedom, calling “on all governments in the region to reaffirm and abide by their commitments under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the American Declaration, and the Inter-American Democratic Charter to take steps to uphold the human right of freedom of expression, and to protect the press from intimidation and violence. As President Obama made clear in Cairo, democratic governments must maintain their power through consent, not coercion, must respect the rights of minorities, and must govern with a spirit of tolerance and compromise.”

    One hopes the Obama Administration is learning that while standing up for freedom and liberty in the Americas (or Iran) tends to irritate our foes, it remains the only defensible and principled stance to take.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    21 Responses to The Axis of Censorship

    1. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      My time is limited and HFs blog keeps me abreast of current events. For that I'm appreciative. One item I've heard about today is several major networks being invited by the Obama gang to set up shop in the White House. The move is apparently to push Obama's healthcare agenda. My source, however, is questionable at times. Is there any truth to this story? If so, then we're in the same fix as the referenced dictatorial regimes.

    2. luke weyland, Sydney says:

      There has been no silencing of any media corporation in either Ecuador or Venezuela. Both countries are still dominated by media corporations every bit as unballanced and extremist as Fox. Ironically in Egypt criticism of Mubarak's administration and policies lands jounalists in jail ans subject to torture. In United States during the Bush Administration censorship was done internally. Any journalist who refused to tow the Bomb Bomb Afghanistan line was dismissed from his/ her job by Bush's pro-war press allies.

    3. Chris - Covington, G says:

      Problem is the axis of censorship is coming to this country given most of the major media in this country are now propaganda arms for the Obama Administration. This explains the President's hostility toward FOX News along with the left's effort to reinstate the "Fairness Doctrine" toward talk radio, TV, and the Internet.

      Even though Obama and FCC Chair nominee Julius Genachowski state that they will not do this, it is a total lie given the "diversity" boards for the FCC, the application of localism, the changing of broadcast licenses from eight to TWO years, the creation of a cyber security czar, and the application of "Net Neutrality" (read as Internet version of the "Fairness Doctrine").

      This axis is coming to the United States soon! Wake up America!

    4. Normca says:

      Hey luke – if Fox is extremist; what does that make CNN and

      MSNBC ? I know what is says about you. Stay home.

    5. Jim, Evensville Tenn says:

      J.C. your source is correct, the network will be in the white house for a discussion of Health Care. There are no dissenting news agencies invited including no advertisements from dissenting organizations.

      Looks like a kumbay ah and cool aide day.

    6. Mike Childers says:

      I find it most intersting that Mr. Weyland finds FOX News unbalanced and extremist. So, in his estimation, if the news media expresses an opinion or reports information that is contrary to the current administration's objectives it must be considered "extremist"?! Yet, as 90% of the main stream media is in complete lockstep, hiding the truth about ACORN and other dubious organizations associated with Pres. Obama, that is considered good journalism?! It seems to me that he has the same desire as Chavez–to have a completely state run media with absolutely no opposing views being tolerated.

    7. Jerry from Chicago says:

      To Luke in Australia — If you anything at all about the American media, you would know that with the exception of Fox News, the networks are all in the tank for Obama, as are the N.Y. Times, the L.A. Times, the Chicago Sun Times, The Detroit free Press, the Washington Post and Newsweek magazine.

      As far as your remarks about Bush, you may not have heard yet, but he is no longer President. You may as well rail against George Washington, because he too is no longer President. Get over it. By the way, guess who is bombing Afghanistan now.

    8. Dennis Idaho says:

      It seems that free press and talk radio is only free when they agree with the administration. Discussion and debate is only acceptable if one agrees with "tax and spend" or "spend then tax".

    9. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      For anyone to beleive that any media, in any part of South America is not being contoled by their

      governments is such a naive view of the truth, it's no wonder the Australian people had their guns away. Thank God, Luke is on the other side of the world.

    10. Boyce Robbins Easley says:

      The divide between liberals and conservatives is widening with the so called entertainment figures weighing in far too frequently and far too vehemently on politics. David Letterman is the tip of the iceberg with conservatives being fair game for any and all insults.

    11. joan, connecticut says:

      It's very apparent to everyone, that some media outlets, report to the public, the news they want them to hear.In a word, they block out any unflattering remarks, about Washington Democratic politicians { FYI. I am a DEM}. I think, we are old enough to make our own decisions, and find the reporting by the NY times, NBC,MSNBC an insult to The American intelligence. I guess they are in the tank for that reason! I watch Fox News and the truth that the station delivers. Thank God for the one channel that reports the news as is, without bias. Please, follow Fox's lead and tell it like it is and do not feed us PAP.

    12. Jim, Evensville Tenn says:

      When they shut down Fox News we will know the intent for sure without guessing.

    13. Sharp, General Deliv says:

      Fox News, and all the conservative talk show men and women are the "canaries" in the mineshaft in this current assault and blatent attempt to over throw our Democratic Republic. Not since the Civil War has this nation been under such a dire threat of extinction, this evil from within.

    14. Claude Cornell says:

      Fox news is the only place any debate or honest reporting is going on. There certainly isn't any debate going on in Congress, they just rubber stamp every thing. No sense even bothering to read any bill.

    15. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      When will the dems and obama do the same here????? They are already puting a muzzle on the talk radio stations and will soon be doing the same to the written media. The big three, CBS, ABC, and NBC, all end with a "C". Wonder what this stands for???? This country is full of hope and change, it is not the type we need are want. I hope people will wake up in 2010 for the elections and will swamp their congress man and women with phone calls and e-mail on the current laws they are trying to pass.

    16. Remember "Bizza says:

      Remember "Bizzaro World"? Well, we are there. I am so glad to have sites likes this.

    17. dgh ri says:

      Remember " Bizzarro World"? We are there. I am so glad to have sites like this.

      Since when is dissenting opinion "extreme"?

      If a news outlet sticks to the facts and the facts are inconvenient, it is extreme in the time of Obama.

    18. Normca says:

      Sharp cannot take the heat. Bush was never under assault by the left. Right ? And just who is ignoring the constitution today ? Why its "The One" Go back and bury your head in the NY Times [while you still can]. And when its your payroll taxes being raised [if you have gainful employment] – beer, cigarettes, heating oil, soda and candy we will hear from you again. In the meantime go cuddle up with Rachel.

    19. George says:

      The recent elections in Iran were literally a carbon copy of the November 4th 2008, election in the United States only with the rioting

    20. Pingback: The Axis of Censorship « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

    21. Barb -mn says:

      The president is only provoking the same here. The media doing the job to report both sides is his fear. The truth is dangerous to him so it will be censored unless we can combat it.

      Close our mouths and kill our minds. Just a prelude to a soon to be America. Members of America's government define hatred or hateful as those who have lived but now have to fight for the freedom that is being stolen! They see those who believe in equality as "hateful." They think it is "hateful" to believe every human life can make it on their own. Or even to suggest their own human strength. As the government doesn't want people to know that, so they're taking it away from all.

      Government wants people pitied and pathetic. As we know, people are falling for it with the money of those who aren't.

      Everyday forced to deal with government dishonesty, coded words, mixed messages. Deal with deranged ideas when there are sound, reasonable, productive ones.

      "just words" has turned people into sensitive babes who will be offended over anything. Cry to the government with laws regarding someone's personal feelings that a stranger will read and take offense to just to show their own weakness. If you look at someone the wrong way the government will charge you with a "hate" crime.

      Government pushes for tolerance but only expects it out of some while the intolerant WEAK receives special benefit and entitlements just to keep them weak. Government enforces laws, creates rules with bias. Whatever the actions of the true American citizens of this country takes is all government provoked and they know it. At least the president does.

      The president speaks the word "change." Yes. America has changed by force! To be governmentally blatantly bias and racist. To reveal those who are weak without reason but based solely on appearance. Compliments of Obama. the government changeling.

      I hope the world stands up to their governments, to demand the freedom that is rightfully theirs as human lives on earth!

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