“Judy Millerist Globovision Was a Victim of Infinite Guile!”: Diário de América

Diario de América / America’s Daily jumps on the great Venezuelan exit-polling controversy: Encuestas y trampa en Venezuela.

Bylined to Exequíades Chirinos.

File under “the mud and the blood and the FUD,” or

Subcategory: Judy Millerism. “If I published nonexistent facts without boiling them first, it is not because I am a useless sucker, but because the source of same was preternaturally guileful!”

Hugo Chávez aplica con acierto una novedosa trampa contra medios críticos y democráticos que le ha dado magníficos resultados

Hugo Chávez successfully employs a novel dirty trick against democratic media who criticize him, one that yielded magnificent results.

Whois the Diário de América?

Pablo
Kleinman
Diario de America, LLC
7929 West Drive
Suite 602
33141
FL
Miami Beach
US
+1.8155728163
pk@diariodeamerica.com

Florida State corporations database record No. L07000013419. Established February 2007, I think this says. Listed as a manager: Alberto Acereda (El antimodernismo. Paradigmas de un debate transatlántico. Murcia: Universidad de Murcia – Real Academia Alfonso X El Sabio, 2006. (Accepted and In Press).)

Wikipedia:

Pablo Kleinman (born 1971) is an American journalist and entrepreneur, pioneer of the development of online services in Latin America. He graduated from the University of Southern California School of International Relations (USC, Los Angeles) and went on to study at the London Business School and at the HEC School of Management in Paris, where he obtained an MBA. … Kleinman began working as a journalist in 1989 as Latin American correspondent for Billboard Magazine, the first one to cover the region for the prestigious trade publication.

Business Source Premier (Brooklyn Public Library) only contains Billboard archives from 1993 on. No results with Pablo Kleinman as author 1993-2007 to the present.

Author: the pseudonymous “einzelhaft” (solitary, incommunicado.) On whom no further information is available. Says Kleinman founded FidoNet.

How did it come to be reported so widely that exit polls showed an advantage for YES in the Venezuelan referendum yesterday? See

We may never know [cue spooky theremin music].

Nova Colombia sourced the factoid to “official sources” who asked not to be identified on the record.

News organizations carrying the EFE wire-service copy tended to source the factoid directly to the three agencies supposedly publishing that result — one of whom denied doing so.

The case mainly interests me as an object lesson in “considering the source,” from a purely journalistic point of view.

In Brazil, for example, Globo ran both the EFE bulletin reporting the exit-poll results and an AFP report in which Datanálisis denied the EFE report.

Has it occurred to anyone that the journalistic thing to do would be to try to discover what actually happened?

Rather than just running both “the earth is flat” and “the earth is round” and leaving it up to the reader to figure out which is the case? Without giving them any solid information to go on?

Let me just translate this fairy tale of hysterical virgins led astray by infinite guile for later annotation.

La trampa, de acuerdo al Diccionario de la Lengua Española, es un “ardid para burlar o perjudicar a alguien”.

A trampa, according to The Dictionary of the Spanish Language, is “a trick used to deceive or harm someone.”

Which dictionary of the Spanish language? Among other things, a trampa is a simply a “trap,” such as the traps used to catch birds or rabbits. A “snare,” if you will.

El gobierno nacional del presidente Hugo Chávez aplica con acierto una novedosa trampa contra medios críticos y democráticos en la cual combina encuestas con descalificación al sector opositor que le ha dado, hasta ahora, magníficos resultados.

The national government of Chávez is successfully applying a novel dirty trick against critical, democratic media in which he combines polling with an attempt to disqualify the opposition, one that has, up until now, yielded magnificent results.

Hace tres años, en el año 2004 le preparó una inteligente celada al diario El Universal que consistió en hacerle llegar, por supuestas vías exclusivas y secretas, al Jefe de Redacción, Elides Rojas, un sondeo del encuestador Félix Seijas Núñez, en la cual, según la intención de voto, el Sí revocador del mandato de Chávez ganaba 50% frente al 44% del NO, con un 6% de indecisos.

Three years ago, in 2004, he laid a clever trap for the El Universal newspaper which consisted in sending the editor in chief, through supposedly exclusive and secret channels, a poll by Félix Seijas Núñez in which YES on the recall of Chávez was winning by 50% over NO, with 6% undecided.

El diario capitalino venezolano publicó el 4 de agosto, – a escasos 11 días del referéndum revocatorio – los datos de la encuesta de Seijas y de inmediato comenzó la estrategia de descalificación por parte del gobierno nacional, es decir, la maquinaria propagandística.

On August 4 — just 11 days before the recall election — the Venezuelan metropolitan daily published the data provided by Seijas, upon which the government — that is, the propaganda machine — immediately launched a campaign to disqualify the newspaper.

Charge: the government fed the newspaper faked poll results — disinformation — that showed Uncle Hugo trailing in the polls, in order to damage the newspaper’s reputation.

Primero, el propio Seijas ese mismo día desmintió el sondeo de opinión al expresar que no había difundido ninguna encuesta, y consideró que la usurpación de su firma se debió a una “guerra de las encuestas”.

First of all, Seijas himself, on that very same day, disclaimed the poll, saying he had published no such survey, opining that the usurpation of his firm’s name was due to a “war of the opinion polls.”

“Yo considero que es la misma guerra de las encuestas, y muchos somos víctimas. El Universal fue víctima de ese tipo de cosas y yo también porque mucha gente a la que yo le trabajo privadamente se inquieta”. Aclaró que su empresa es “…un laboratorio prácticamente universitario, y es una empresa con clientes de universidades norteamericanas donde yo sirvo de tutor. No caigo en este tipo cosas”.

“I consider this is just a war of the opinion polls, and many of us have fallen victim. El Univeral was a victim of this sort of thing, as was I, because many of my private clients were upset.” He explained that his firm is ” … practicallly an academic laboratory, it is a company whose clientele are American universities at which I teach. I do not fall into these sorts of thing.”

A “critical, democratic” newspaper fails to authenticate the source of information it vouches for, and is therefore to be understood as the victim of its anonymous sources.

A pro-opposition newspaper runs information attributed to a source allegedly known to be notoriously pro-government and fails to apply the Pilger Principle: “Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.”

You hear this rationale a lot.

I like to call it Judy Millerism, after the retired New York Times reporter’s famous comment on the “aluminum tubes” incident: “You are only as good as your sources.”

That is, the reader who pays for the information you provide has no right to expect that you will take the trouble of boiling the stuff to remove pathogens before sending it down the pipeline for you to consume.

Compare the plight of the Guardian (U.K.) in the incident of the phony Gabiria letter:

The Guardian was less than vigilant on behalf of its readers.

And we are supposed to sympathize with it, and continue to pay it money?

This is a bit like paying good money for bottled water that is in reality pumped directly out of the (astonishingly filthy) Rio Pinheiros here in São Paulo.

Sin embargo, los posteriores estudios relacionados con datos favorables a la tendencia del gobierno nacional, resaltados y usados por los voceros del oficialismo (José Vicente Rangel, Jesse Chacón, William Lara, etc.), revelan que IVAD (Seijas) es una encuestadora puesta al servicio del presidente Chávez, de acuerdo a los resultados de las investigaciones realizadas por los profesores Manuel Rodríguez Mena y Baldomero Vásquez.

However, later studies relating trends favorable to the national government, which were featured by official spokespersons (Rangel, Chacón, Lara, and so on) reveal that IVAD (Seijas) is a pollster in the service of Chávez, according to the results of investigations by Professors Manuel Rodríguez Mena and Baldomero Vásquez.

Professors of what? Where?

November 20, 2007: “Professors denounce Chavist manipulation of public opinion.”

Al desmentido de Seijas le siguió, entonces, la estrategia de descalificación del gobierno nacional porque el Ministro de Comunicaciones y jefe de Estrategia Comunicacional del Comando Maisanta, Jesse Chacón, arremetió contra El Universal y la oposición, agrupada para la época en la Coordinadora Democrática.

Following the denial by Seijas, then, came the government strategy of disqualification. Minister of Communications Chacón assailed El Universal and the opposition, which at the time was joined under under the umbrella of the Democratic Coordinator.

En su crítica implacable a El Universal, Chacón dijo que la encuesta fue falsificada y la atribuyó a “…un trabajo hecho en algún laboratorio de la Coordinadora Democrática y le pusieron el sello de Seijas a través de El Universal”. Cuestionó que el diario “descaradamente utiliza su periódico como herramienta de propaganda política”, mientras que defendió a Seijas al referir que el estudio “no se lo dio el señor Seijas”.

In his implacable criticism of El Universal, Chacón said the poll was faked and attributed it to “… a job ginned up in some CD lab and given Seijas’ seal of approval using El Universal.” He claimed the newspaper had “shamelessly let itself be used as a tool of political propaganda,” while defending Seijas and saying the study was “not provided by Seijas.”

Concluyó diciendo que “El Universal nuevamente le ha mentido a sus lectores como lo ha hecho en muchas ocasiones”. El Universal fue arrinconado, las encuestas favorables al Si desacreditadas y la oposición tuvo un traspié. IVAD, defendida a capa y espada por el gobierno nacional, resultó incólume.

He concluded by saying that “El Universal once again has lied to its readers as it has on many other occasions.” El Universal was cornered, the polls indicating an advantage for YES discredited and the opposition dealt a setback. IVAD, defended at all costs by the government, came out of the affair unscathed.

What was the actual source of the poll run by El Universal? What evidence do they have that it was actually the infinitely guileful Bolivarian Donald Segretti Patrol?

I mean, maybe it was. Stranger things have happened. But what is your evidence? Surely Globovision knows who it got the allegedly planted disinformation from? Or would make a point of knowing before actually running it? Globovision being the fine, world-class news organization that it is?

Tres años después, la historia vuelve a repetirse

Three years later, history repeats itself

Probada su efectividad, la trampa con la encuesta fue de nuevo aplicada en este año 2007, en esta ocasión contra la televisora Globovisión, fuertemente atacada desde diversos ángulos por el oficialismo.

Its effectiveness proven, the dirty trick with the plling was applied once again in 2007, this time against Globovision, which suffered powerful attacks from various officialist quarters.

Con fecha 16 de noviembre, Globovisión divulgó la encuesta de IVAD (Seijas Núñez), del 13 de noviembre, según la cual, el No le ganaría al Si en la consulta sobre la reforma constitucional. Un 42,7% del NO versus un 38,8% por el Sí (El Sí en esta ocasión significa la aprobación a la reforma de la Constitución Nacional).

On November 16, Globovision aired an IVAD poll (Seijas Núñez) dated November 13, according to which NO would defeat YES in the constitutional referendum: 42.7% NO versus 38.8% YES.

Siguiendo el mismo libreto del año 2004, el Ministro Jesse Chacón, en esta ocasión de la cartera Telecomunicaciones y miembro del Comando Zamora, salió el lunes –el 19 de noviembre– denunciando que el sondeo perteneciera a IVAD.

Following the same script as 2004, Chacón, now Minister of Telecommunications and a member of the Zamora Commando [?], came out on November 19 to denounce that the poll was [not produced by?] IVAD.

“En el programa Aló Ciudadano y en el Noticiero Globovisión utilizaron un tracking que reflejaba la intención de participación en el referendo y no la intención de voto de los consultados. Este tracking tiene un margen de error de casi un 10 por ciento, no tiene valor científico y sólo mide la opinión de 600 personas”.

“On the program Hello Citizen and Globovision News they used a tracking poll that reflected the intention to participate in the referendum rather than the preference for YES or NO by those surveyed. This tracking poll has a margin of error of nearly 10%, has no scientific value and only measured the opinions of 600 persons.”

Chacón se refirió a un sondeo anterior de IVAD (favorable a la tendencia del gobierno nacional) al señalar que “una verdadera encuesta de medición de la misma firma, efectuada entre el 15 y el 28 de octubre a mil 200 personas y con verdadero valor científico, dio como resultado que el 69,8 por ciento de los consultados votaría a favor de la Reforma Constitucional”.

Chacón referred to a previous poll by IVAD (favorable to the government position), saying that “a genuine survey by the same firm, conducted October 15-28 with 1,200 persons, with real scientific value, show that 69.8% of those consulted would vote in favor of the constitutional reform.”

A quick google — DA does not source this claim — indicates this quote was published by Globovision on November 19, 2007.

The pro-Chavist Aporrea reported entirely different results from that poll:

El 60,2 por ciento de los venezolanos da como un hecho que la Reforma Constitucional será aprobada en el referendo previsto para el venidero 2 de diciembre, según Tracking Poll: Resultado del referéndum ¿Por quién votará?, realizado por el Instituto Venezolano de Análisis de Datos (IVAD) el 13 de noviembre de 2007.

60.2 percent of Venezuleans believe that the reform will be approved, according to Tracking Poll: Result of the question “For whom will you vote?” asked by IVAD on November 13, 2007.

The numbers seem to vary wildly, like the number of Communists in the Dept. of Defense according to Sen. Johnny Islen in Frankenheimer’s The Manchurian Candidate.

Remember that scene? Islen complains to the Red Queen that some of the guys are ribbing him because the numbers of Communists he claims to have uncovered keeps changing. Can he not have one, simple number, easy to remember? Cut to a bottle of Heinz 57 catsup. Cut to the floor of the Senate: “I have proof that there are exactly 57 card-carrying Communists …”

Concluyó: “Esto prueba que la información que difundió Globovisión es falsa. Yo no soy periodista, pero protejo mi credibilidad. Por ello, antes de venir acá, llamé a Seijas y pedí una aclaratoria. Lástima que Globovisión, no haya hecho lo mismo. Esperemos que corroboren esa mala información”.

He concluded: “This proves that the information Globovision aired is false. I am not a journalist, but I protect my credibility. For that reason, before coming here, I called Seijas and asked for a clarification. Too bad Globovision did not do the same. You would expect that they would corroborate this bad information before running it.”

A los cuestionamientos de Chacón se sumó quien fuera presidente del Consejo Nacional Electoral para el momento del referéndum revocatorio, Jorge Rodríguez, quien es hoy el segundo a bordo en el gobierno nacional de Chávez por ejercer el cargo de Vicepresidente.

In addition to Chacón’s questioning, former CNE president Rodriguez, who presided over the recall election, who is now vice-president under Hugo …

Rodríguez atacó igualmente a Globovisión calificando la publicación de la encuesta de “campaña de desinformación” y afirmó que tergiversó unas encuestas de medición de la empresa consultora IVAD.

… also attacked Globovisio, calling the airing of the survey “a disinformation campaign,” and said it had distorted some polls conducted by IVAD.

Chacón afirmó que habló con Seijas y el encuestador negó que esa encuesta fuera de él. Es decir, la misma trampa aplicada contra un medio de comunicación, según similares parámetros del año 20004, con los mismos actores: IVAD y gobierno nacional.

Chacón said he talked with Seijas and the pollster denied the poll was produced by him. That is to say, the same trap laid for a news organization, with similar features to that laid in 2004, and the same actors: IVAD and the national government.

Have these people ever heard of the saying, “Once bitten, twice shy”?

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”?

The New York Times responded to the Judy Miller flap by tightening up its principles on the corroboration of anonymous sources.

De acuerdo al criterio de los profesores Rodríguez Mena y Vásquez, este contraataque del gobierno nacional tiene el mismo propósito del año 2004:

According to Profs. RM and V, this counterattack by the goverment had the same purpose as in 2004:

favorecer la tendencia del gobierno, desacreditar a los medios, desacreditar a las encuestadoras no oficialistas y tratar de apoyar los recientes anuncios de José Vicente Rangel, quien se apoyó en una encuestadora fantasma del régimen, North American Opinion Research, para decir que estaba ganando la tendencia favorable a la reforma constitucional.

“to favor the government tendency, discredit the media, discredit unofficial pollsters, and try to support the most recent statements by Rangel, who based his statements on a phantom pollster of the regime, North American Opinion Research, to say that YES was winning.”

NAOR is a whole other ball of wax on which a lot of blogging has been expended.

“Es la misma jugada inteligenciada, calculada, premeditada, fría y orquestada desde las altas esferas del poder para manipular la opinión pública”.

“This is the same premeditated, calculated, cold-blooded campaign, orchestrated from the highest spheres of power to manipulate public opinion.”

Según los investigadores, “otro aspecto importante es que pesar a expresar públicamente que trabaja para instituciones universitarias, el encuestador Seijas Núñez es el insumo principal que usan los voceros del gobierno nacional, especialmente José Vicente Rangel”.

According to the investigators, “another important aspect is that despite publicly stating that he works for universities, Seijas Núñez is the principal source used by government spokespersons, especially Rangel.”

“¿Objetivo, equilibrado?”, lo dudamos. “Diríamos que bajo el manto de lo científico está ejecutando una trampa contra la voluntad política de los venezolanos, al tratar de manipularla”.

“Objective, balanced?” We doubt it. “We would say that beneath the mantle of science he is executing a dirty trick against the political will of the Venezuelan people, by trying to manipulate it.”

La prueba más fehaciente de la manipulación de IVAD y su componenda con el gobierno es la frase de Chávez quien dijo recientemente la alabó en Alo Presidente:”Esta encuestadora casi nunca ha manipulado cifras”. Seguramente el Presidente se refería a uno de estos 2 supuestos sondeos de IVAD: 88,2% rechaza la abstención (El Nacional. 02 de noviembre de 2005) y la abstención será 17,3% (Ultimas Noticias. 24 de noviembre de 2005).

The most trustworthy proof of IVAD manipulation and its compact with the government is what Chávez said recently, praising it, on Hello President: “This survey firm has almost never manipulated numbers.” Surely the President was referring to one of the two supposed IVAD polls: 88.2% rejection of abstention (El Nacional, November 2, 2005) and that the abstention rate would be 17.3% (Ultimas Noticias, November 24, 2005).

Those are a lot of factoids to wade through, but the basis logic is clear enough: If Globovision and El Universal reported bad information, then that bad information had to have been planted in order to discredit them.

They are victims of infinite guile, not hapless, unprofessional Homer Simpsons, or — how could anyone suggest such a thing? — bad-faith FUD artists.

(Remember that episode of The Family Guy — basically The Simpsons with a very swinging musical backdrop and a Rhode Island twang, right? — when Peter, not happy with Meg’s political corruption scoop for the school paper — the mayor is the actor who played Batman on 1960s TV — goes out and tries to manufacture a scoop according to which actor Luke Perry is gay?)

True or not, no concrete information is presented here to substantiate this charge.

But who is this Seijas Núñez guy, anyway? Whoever he is, he seems — like so much of life, the universe, and everything, really — to be invisible to Google.

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