Via Heat Street. I’m gonna guess her defense will be that, yes, the headline “UNREST IN VENEZUELA OVER TRUMP DONATIONS” may have misled viewers about the true cause of this week’s demonstrations — demanding new elections amid the country’s Chavismo-caused economic collapse — but Maddow herself didn’t say anything wrong. She acknowledged the country’s political and economic crisis. Her point is that it’s inappropriate for a state-run oil company to be donating big bucks to Trump’s inauguration when Venezuelans are starving in the streets and that people there are undoubtedly pissed off about it. But as for the cause and effect between that and “unrest,” it’s the damn chyron-writer who screwed up.
Judge for yourself. The relevant part begins at around 3:50 but the key line comes at 5:48 over scenes of crowds being tear-gassed during the protests: “And now today Venezuelans are enraged anew by this brand new FEC filing from the White House.” Hearing that and watching those images, if you were a dimwit member of the “Resistance,” you’d conclude that anger over the donations had driven people back out into the streets and that Venezuela was now melting down “anew” over the White House’s petty greed. That’s motivated reasoning at work: If you’re watching this show, chances are you want to believe that Trump is the cause of all the world’s problems, especially when the alternative is blaming Venezuela’s socialist leader. So here’s Maddow giving you reason to do so.
Maduro warned a few days ago that he’s planning to arm up to 400,000 Chavista militiamen with rifles to “restore order” or whatever Orwellian euphemism he’s using for what comes next. Hopefully Maddow can find a Steve Bannon or Carter Page angle somewhere in there to give her a reason to cover it.