Fake news has been getting a lot of scrutiny since the mainstream media coined the term during the 2016 presidential election, and since then much speculation has arisen concerning which networks are guilty of reporting fake news and which are not.
CNN has been dubbed “fake news” more than once by President Donald Trump, both before he was elected and after his inauguration, as he believes they had a pro-Hillary Clinton bias during the primary election season, and their proven (via the WikiLeaks Podesta emails) collusion with the Democratic National Committee is enough to label them as such.
As it turns out, Trump is not the only world leader who has beef with CNN, as the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, reportedly said he wanted the news organization to be kept “outside” of his country for “manipulating information” concerning Venezuela’s problems with food supply, according to PanamPost.
Specifically, CNN allegedly doctored information they’d gotten from an interview with a student from a Venezuelan school.
“I want CNN well away from here,” said Maduro, adding that he thinks Venezuela’s problems are of no concern to the network. “CNN does not need to put its nose in Venezuela.”
Evidently, a journalist from CNN’s Spanish network sought out a student who had recently been aired on Venezuelan television complaining about the poor conditions at his or her school. When the reporter followed up with the school, it was discovered that Maduro still hadn’t done anything to address the declining situation.
Not long after that, President Maduro wanted CNN to leave and not return.
The PanamPost report does not say whether or not Maduro specified the information CNN had been trying to manipulate, and considering his long-time defensive attitude toward his own failure as a leader, there’s no way to know if he was telling the truth about the fake news claim or if he made it up because he didn’t want anyone else from CNN asking too many questions and exposing the reality of what his country has become under his rule.
Fox News adds that CNN also recently discovered that officials of the Iraqi Venezuelan embassy were granting passports to immigrants who pose a high terrorism risk.
If it’s the latter, it wouldn’t be the first time Nicolas Maduro has tried to cover up the truth about Venezuela’s economic descent into crisis.
According to New Republic’s Francisco Toro, an opinion piece penned by Maduro and published by the New York Times on April 1, 2014, is so full of bogus claims that “fact-checking it would be enough to cause an aneurysm.”
The article in question was titled “Venezuela: A Call For Peace”, and in it, Maduro responded to angry Venezuelans who at the time had been causing mass havoc with protests in the form of unrelenting riots.
Toro wrote that the people of Venezuela are used to the type of deceitful rhetoric found in the Times piece, thus his motive to write a rebuttal was because he wanted to let the rest of the world know not to fall for President Maduro’s lies.
Toro claims that in the article Maduro lies about the country’s history of health care, his policies on the labor force, the status of democracy in Venezuela (he makes it seem much better than it is), and Maduro’s appeal for “peace and dialogue,” adding that every falsehood told is nothing he or his fellow Venezuelans haven’t heard before.
Toro insinuates that the national government is in cahoots with Maduro regarding fake news, saying “government propaganda employs words to mean the diametrical opposite of what the dictionary says they mean.”
It’s worth noting here that in addition to CNN, Donald Trump has also dubbed the New York Times as “fake news,” so if he’s onto something and Toro’s article is purely honest, it begs the question of whether or not Times‘ editors knew Maduro’s op-ed was a bunch of false propaganda when they published it.
CNN fake news or not, the conditions in Venezuela are rapidly declining and have been for quite awhile. Protests are still going on in the country and lawmakers recently tried and failed to get President Maduro impeached from his position. The nation’s Congress wishes to get rid of the president, but the Supreme Court of Venezuela is on his side and won’t allow for him to be kicked out of office, according to RT.
The next Venezuelan presidential election is scheduled to take place in April of 2018. Presidents serve for six-year terms and are allowed to be re-elected indefinitely. Term limits used to be the norm but that changed in 2009 when then-president Hugo Chávez won a Constitutional referendum abolishing term limits for chief executive power.
Fake news is a problem, no doubt, but it doesn’t always come from news outlets like CNN, as we now know it can come from your country’s leader, a person of whom you’re supposed to be able to be able to trust and respect.
In this specific case between CNN and Nicolas Maduro, who do you believe is the real fake news contributor?
[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]