In today's tour of state-sponsored propaganda: Dan Rather has a disturbing obsession with death, the BBC honors Queen Elizabeth, and "bullets of treachery" explain the massacre in Syria. We begin in Caracas.
Dan Rather, Necrophiliac
This weekend, Dan Rather felt the wrath of the Venezuelan government after reporting that President Hugo Chavez's metastatic cancer has "entered the end stage," citing an anonymous but "highly respected source close to Chavez." In retaliation, Venezuela's information ministry distributed a scathing and, kind of kinky, rebuttal to Rather, accusing him of having "morbid wet dreams of President Chavez's failing health."
"That a serious, veteran, investigative journalist, such as Dan Rather, would indulge in the necrophiliac story-telling about the Venezuelan President is truly disappointing," wrote Chavez ally Eva Golinger in column titled "Shame on You, Dan Rather." "Mr. Rather appears to have left his journalist ethics and principles behind, and has chosen – at least in this case – to be a pawn of yellow journalism."
Clearly Rather's report, which said Chavez has "more than a couple of months at most" to live, angered the regime and, according to Foreign Policy's Francisco Toro, it also ignited a flurry of death rumors in Caracas. Still, calling Rather a death fetishist is a sort of an odd way to attack his credibility. And we would prefer if the ministry could refrain from ever again using "wet dream" and "Dan Rather" in the same breath.