Missing 'S' word: NYT analyzes what's in Venezuela's water, but not what's in its politics
You've got to wonder what it's like to be a New York Times reporter, exploring all the horrors of socialism in Venezuela, and sending the copy back to New York to editors who are otherwise thrilled at what Bernie and Liz are proposing.
So here we have it: an excellent Times item reporting in minute detail how Venezuela's water system is collapsing, something that's now forcing the locals to drink what's basically sewer water.
In Venezuela, a crumbling economy and the collapse of even basic state infrastructure means water comes irregularly — and drinking it is an increasingly risky gamble. Venezuela's current rate of infant mortality from diarrhea, which is closely related to water quality, is six times higher than 15 years ago, according to the World Health Organization.
But the government stopped releasing official public health data years ago.
So The New York Times commissioned researchers from the Universidad Central de Venezuela to recreate the water quality study they had conducted regularly for the water utility in Caracas from 1992 until 1999.
The scientists found that about a million residents were exposed to contaminated supplies. This puts them at risk of contracting waterborne viruses that could sicken them and threatens the lives of children and the most vulnerable.
"This is a potential epidemic," said Jose María De Viana, who headed Caracas's water utility, Hidrocapital, until 1999.
Daddy, what did socialists drink before they pumped in diarrhea water? Potable water. Another triumph for socialist progress.
For all its work explaining the effects of socialism, the Times never gets around to mentioning the actual cause of the mayhem, which is Venezuela's avowed state socialism. And that's important, because what is the point of reading about all the rubble and ruin otherwise? We know that the place is falling apart and the locals are fleeing. If they want anyone to keep reading this stuff, they need to start asking "why" because good reporting always includes "why" in its "who, what, where" basic reporting.
As if to throw us a bone, in the 11th graf, the Times does mention the ruling "Socialist Party" of Nicolás Maduro, as if to aver it's only Maduro's version of socialism that's some kind of problem. The word "socialism," though, the root cause of the disaster, never appears. Actually, given that the Cubans are directing the show in Caracas, it's socialism done by experts, complete with the signature shortages, this time of drinkable water. And it's utterly relevant to the U.S., too: one-party-state California now features blackouts. That was how it started in Venezuela, too, until it serially led to this. Sure enough, it's that very socialism that's so admired by Bernie and the rest. Bernie & pals certainly have signaled admiration for Venezuela in the past. And remember Sicko? Here's some real sicko.
That's pitiful. We hear a string of calamities that just somehow fall onto this socialist hellhole, but no connection with socialism, which is the root cause of why this is happening. A mere mention would do, but the editors (and maybe the reporters) aren't going to allow a mere mention.
What's truth when leftists have got some narratives to defend?