Chavez threatens to sue CNN

Chavez is on a roll. And quite happy to turn up the heat on the media controversey in Venezuela. Despite his apparently shaky grasp of the subtleties of international law (last time I checked, 'bias' was not a tort), I might have to agree with Chavez on this one. According to Venezuelan gov't sources, CNN has not been playing above board:

Minister of Communications William Lara has cited two segments aired by CNN, one depicting crowds of protesters and another placing a photo of Chavez alongside that of a late Al Qaeda leader and of some demonstrations in China. Lara claims latter images were meant to "associate the image of Chavez with that of violence and death" while footage of a demonstration was in fact taken in Acapulco when people took to the streets after the killing of a journalist and was not, as CNN claimed, of protests against the closure of RCTV (Radio Caracas Television).

If these accusations are true, CNN has some explaining to do. So far, CNN has vehemently denied the claims. As I say, this is not something that CNN could be sued for. Nor should it be used as an excuse to shut down more stations or turf CNN out of the country. Stations need to be accountable, particularly if they're distorting the truth. But strong-arm tactics like closures cannot be reconciled with a supposedly democratic society.