Thursday, May 13, 2010

Jonathan Turley is not a DFH

On Monday, Jonathan Turley had a post about Hugo Chavez hiring 200 people to tweet for him. Now, yes, the idea of the famously-long-winded Chavez confining himself to 140 characters is amusing and the idea of hiring 200 people to tweet for him is downright funny.

But that wasn't enough for Turley: He had to, just had to, refer to Chavez's output as "totalitarian tweets" - a sentiment accented by a frequent commenter who called Chavez an "authoritarian militaristic dictator."

Oddly, in the same post Turley referred to Globovision, calling it the "only critical TV channel" still operating in Venezuela. Leaving aside the fact that calling Globovision "critical" makes FauxNews look like an Obama sycophant by comparison - Globovision once actually called for violent overthrow of the government - I have to wonder how a "critical TV channel" exists and operates openly in a "totalitarian" state.

I do think that to the extent that authoritarianism is a real threat in Venezuela, to that same extent unremitting foreign hostility is only going to encourage moves in that direction: Call it an example of living down to expectations or, more properly, a version of "Damned if you do and damned if you don't, so you might as well do."

I respect Jonathan Turley for his expertise on, and commitment to, free speech (even if in the case of corporations I think he takes it farther than is proper or envisioned by the First Amendment). But I have to say that on other topics, he is let's just call it not useful.

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