Authoritarian regimes often dream through propaganda. To see what they're fantasizing about, we regularly check in on what state-controlled media outlets have been churning out.
Venezuela gushes over Hugo Chavez's popularity on Twitter
Venezuela's state-run media has wall-to-wall coverage right now of the fact that President Hugo Chavez has surpassed two million followers on Twitter, in a prime example of the adoring coverage the leader often receives at these outlets (the photo above shows the homepage of Radio Nacional de Venezuela). Chavez, who is battling cancer, marked the occasion by embracing his #2millonesYvenciendo hashtag and tweeting, in reference to his Twitter handle, "The Twitter revolution is called Chavezcandanga!" The Agencia Venezolana de Noticias argues that Chavez's accomplishment affirms the fact that he's "the most popular Latin American leader in social media." Since Chavez first appeared on Twitter in April 2010, the news agency explains, "thousands of Venezuelans have begun to use the social network to reinforce their connection with the national leader, send good wishes, issue requests, or express their support of the revolutionary process." What messages were his followers sending him today? One tweet quoted by AVN read, "Don't allow the imperialists to take what belongs to your people! Your gold, petroleum, natural resources, and businesses!" What a lovely note.
Venezolana de Televisión, meanwhile, is running a video explaining how Chavez's Twitter account has become a "revolutionary tool." Here's a screenshot of the clip:
China permits bashing of its pop music policy
We often hear about China's strict media censorship. But every so often a startling critique of the government surfaces in state-run media. Late last week, China's Ministry of Culture ordered music download sites to delete 100 songs by Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys, and other artists in order to preserve China's "national cultural security" (the songs included a blast from the past: "I Want It That Way"). China Daily issued two dry reports on the move, regurgitating official talking points about "official approval procedures" and "copyright infringement."