Yesterday we discussed an inane tweet sent out by Jon Snow, a news anchor on Britain’s ITN, after the death, on June 5, of Tariq Aziz, Saddam Hussein’s sometime Foreign Minister. “Nice guy in a nasty situation,” wrote Snow.
This isn’t the first time Jon Snow has expressed sympathy for tyrants or their envoys. Interviewing Fu Ying, China’s ambassador to Britain, back in 2008, he grovelled pathetically, posing such hard-hitting questions as this one: “Do you think that somehow Western concepts of freedom and democracy are simply different from Chinese concepts of freedom and democracy?” In the same year, he described the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai massacre as “practitioners,” not terrorists.
Then there’s Hugo Chávez. On the day the caudillo died in 2013, Jon Snow tweeted: “Whatever you think of Chavez, Latin America is far more its own continent today thanks to Lula [the former Brazilian president], Chavez, and others.” Westerners who write such things about thugs like Chávez think they’re standing up for Third World people against First World imperialism, but all they’re doing is exhibiting their own condescension, implying that the rabble in places like Venezuela are better off under gangsters who spout populist, anti-American rhetoric (and trash the economy and human rights) than under governments that provide them with more freedom and prosperity but (horrors!) may actually have friendly ties to the evil norteamericanos.
The same day, Snow also tweeted: “When I started working in Latin America the US was still killing leaders it didn’t like: Chavez is part of the order that put an end to that.” One of his Twitter followers, an obscure Texas businessman, had a sensible reply to that: “Whether you hate the US or not, the fact that Hugo survived is proof that the US is not killing those it opposes.”
Why can’t the top TV newsmen in the Western world be as clear-thinking about such matters as some businessman you’ve never heard of?