AP: Heritage Foundation 'Conservative', Chavez-Apologist Think Tank 'Washington-Based'

July 8th, 2006 6:21 PM

Discoverthenetworks.org is a self-described 'guide to the political left.'  Go there, enter 'Center for Economic and Policy Research' and what is the FIRST thing that pops up in the entry?

"Prominent supporter of, and apologist for, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez."

When the AP writes an article on Hugo Chavez's 'new socialism.' it is quick to identify the Heritage Foundation as 'conservative' when mentioning that Heritage "found Venezuela's business climate inhospitable and 'repressed' this year, ranking it 152 out of 157 countries -- just above Zimbabwe and North Korea."

On the other hand, we are informed that what the Chavez government "will be remembered for" is achieving - since the time Chavez took office - "a recovery from one of the world's worst economic declines."  And who does this quote come from?  Why, Marc Weisbrot of - you guessed it - the Center for Economic and Policy Research.  And if in the AP's eyes the Heritage Foundation is 'conservative', then surely the CEPR is 'liberal,' right?  Wrong.  It is simply 'Washington-based.'

For the record, while the AP article does provide some balance, offering criticism from Heritage and other sources, it clearly seems to have a soft spot for Chavez's socialism.  consider the opening paragraph:

"A landslide all but wiped out Wilfredo Rodriguez's small shoemaking business last year, entitling him to a loan from President Hugo Chavez's government -- money he says he never would've found elsewhere."

Here's how the article closes:

"Capitalism, maintains Chavez, is inherently inhumane and Venezuelans must learn to abandon their thirst for wealth -- their vigorous consumerism includes an affinity for American products from Coca-Cola to shampoo to Hollywood movies -- in the new world of 21st century socialism.

"'Those who are really with me must be with me in their spirits -- they must be ready to die with me ... they must be able to forget material goods and rid themselves of all,' he said recently. 'Supreme love is the love for the collective.'"

Hugo, can you feel the AP's love?