Rachel Maddow Airs Headline Linking Venezuelan Protests to Trump, Retracts Online

A segment of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show displayed a chyron implying the widespread anti-socialist protests in Venezuela were actually against President Donald Trump. The show, which aired on Thursday, implied that a donation to Donald Trump’s inauguration of $500,000 from a subsidiary of a Venezuelan state-run oil company was a cause of recent protests. A headline at the bottom of the screen during a segment explaining the donation read: “Unrest in Venezuela Over Trump Donations,” without noting the growing food and medicine shortages that have occurred there as a direct result of nearly two decades of socialist mismanagement. During the segment, Maddow claimed, “Venezuelans are enraged anew over by this brand new FEC filing from the White House [showing]… that Venezuela’s state-run oil company somewhere found a half million dollars to donate to the very, very, very inexplicably overfunded Trump inauguration.” Maddow was referring to a report showing that Citgo Petrol, the American affiliate of Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the state-run oil company, donated $500,000 to the Trump inauguration. A report from November last year found that Venezuela’s state-run oil corporation, Petróleos de Venezuela, has $11 billion unaccounted for in the past decade. While Maddow did not directly link the protests to the donation, the only thing close to an explanation for the protests she gave was that “the sanctions that the U.S. put on Venezuela were put there in 2014, after 43 people got killed while participating in anti-government protests.” Nowhere in the segment are socialist policies or left-wing political oppression, including the imprisonment of prisoners of conscience, mentioned, nor does she mention that the victims in the 2014 protests were largely killed by state police, national guard, or socialist gangs. There is no evidence suggesting the reason behind the civil unrest was the donation. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who was recently banned from holding public office for 15 years without cause, called for protests to fight the government’s military plan designed to silence opposition, promising that they “will not rest until Venezuela returns to constitutional order.” Many Venezuelans are starving living under the socialist dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro. The average Venezuelan lost nearly 20 pounds throughout 2016 due to food shortages, according to a recent poll. Over 15 percent of Venezuelans rely on industrial waste as food to survive. Maddow failed to link any of Venezuela’s socialist policies, such as the mass nationalization of industries, to the country’s current crisis. The show later apologized for the chyron and updated it in its web version of the broadcast.

It wasn’t much of an apology.  And, they only issued it because they had been caught.  But, the lies had already been put out there.  So, it becomes a never ending battle of setting the record straight and exposing the lies and fake news put out by the likes of Rachel Maddow, MSNBC, and the rest of the dominantly liberal mainstream media.  That’s ok.  We’re here doing our part.

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