“Chavez is Gay: An Ever More Insistent Rumor”

Immundo.es
“La polémica surgió, a partir de un artículo publicado por el reconocido periodista Luis María Anson, en el diario El Mundo de España, hace unos días.”

Attribution to another publication … cannot serve as license to print rumors that would not meet the test of The Times’s own reporting standards. Rumors must satisfy The Times’s standard of newsworthiness, taste and plausibility before publication, even when attributed. And when the need arises to attribute, that is a good cue to consult with the department head about whether publication is warranted at all.The New York Times, Guidelines on Integrity

“Newspapers are like revolvers: You keep them around so you can pull them out when it’s time to open fire.” — Julio Mario Santo Domingo

Item: ¡Qué machera la de Chávez!

Political columnist “D’Artagnan” of El Tiempo (Bogota) defends the validity of reporting on rumors.

File under

In this case, the rumor that Hugo Chávez says, as Crassus (Lawrence Olivier) insinuates to the Greek slave Antoninus (Tony Curtis) in Stanley Kubrick’s great Spartacus:

My taste includes both snails and oysters.

The front-page callout to the column: “Chávez and Homosexuality: An Ever More Insistent Rumor.”

Con su sexto sentido, ya son varias las venezolanas que lo repiten insistentemente: el Presidente de Venezuela es lo que aquí denominamos, con tanta gracia, de doble ojal. ¿Bisexual?

Using their sixth sense, quite a few Venezuelans are repeating insistently: The president of Venezuela is what we call hear, with such great wit, [a two-way hole(?)]. Is he bisexual?

Plays for the other team. A switch-hitter. That sort of thing.

No pocos dirán que se trata de un vil chisme y, peor aún, que recoger ese tipo de infundios carece de todo rigor profesional. Otros alegarán que eso resulta increíble, pues si lo que Chávez ha demostrado de sobra son actitudes de chafarote, constituye un imposible físico que alguien presumiblemente tan macho y corpulento tenga preferencias homosexuales.

Many will say this is nothing more than a vile rumor and, worse still, that picking up on this type of malicious rumor is a complete lack of professionalism.

The needle on my NMM-Tabajara signal-to-noise meter immediately snaps to the hard right, pegging out in the red (“Diogo Mainardi” or “vicious stupidity”) zone.

The NMMTSTNM® recommends that I stop reading immediately because I am being crudely bullshitted. The NMMTSTNM® is not infallible, of course, but it serves me reasonably well in my quest not to believe in too many nonexistent factoids or get overexcited about too many gabbling trivialities.

Others will argue that this rumor is not credible, given that, if it true that Chávez has amply demonstrated [how handy he is with a cavalry sabre [?]], it would be physically impossible for someone presumably as macho and full-figured as he is to have homosexual tendencies.

Que sea gay no es una condición que en modo alguno lo descalifique. Lo grave es que esconda una inclinación que cada vez toma más fuerza, en la medida en que el círculo que lo rodea lo conforman no solo hombres solteros sino en no pocos casos con perfil de efebos.

But being gay would not be a condition that disqualified him in any way. …

I have been wondering if El Tiempo would overhaul its editorial line with the change in ownership control. On which see

The enormous volume of bullshit coming from Planeta and the El Tiempo Group on the nature of the deal, I thought, prefigured a certain loosening of the paper’s commitment to the Reality Principle. Just a guess. I would not have bet the farm on it, but I would have bet you a beer, at least.

ET has always had a very wide-open opinion section, but I think you could probably point to a higher density of Mainardian nonsense like this since the acquisition.

And I think its news coverage has acquired a perceptible slant as well.

Which is too bad. El Tiempo used to be a very fine paper, despite the fact that it was controlled by the family of the current vice president and defense minister (“the Santos Bros.,” though they are actually first cousins.)

Afirmar todo ello, sobre todo en un entorno que no deja de ser militar, parecería una ligereza, por decir lo menos. ¡Pero no!

[tktktktk]

No se trata apenas de chismes de costurero ni de antichavistas que lo atacan o incluso lo ofenden por esta razón. Es nadie menos que Luis María Ansón quien hace eco de un rumor persistente entre los venezolanos.

[tktktktk]

El señor Ansón no es ningún pintado en la pared. Durante varios años fue director del ABC de Madrid y luego de La Razón. Dos periódicos serios y respetables, este último cada vez con mayor tiraje. Ansón es uno de los miembros más ilustres de la Real Academia y jamás incurriría en la irresponsabilidad de estigmatizar a Chávez.

[tktktktk]

Al revés. En artículo publicado en La Razón con el título ‘¿Hugo Chávez, gay de armario?’, Ansón reconoce que en las naciones gobernadas por una democracia pluralista, “llamar a un hombre, homosexual, o a una mujer, lesbiana, no es ya un insulto sino, por el contrario, en muchos casos robustece el orgullo gay. Digo esto -agrega el académico- para que no quede duda de que no trato de ofender a nadie al hacer eco de lo que muchos homosexuales serios afirman a través de Internet del caudillo venezolano. Aseguran que es gay aunque no haya salido del armario”.

[tktktktk]

En efecto, si el tema antes era comidilla en todos los mentideros de Caracas hoy cobra candente actualidad. Como dice Agapito Prieto, otro articulista, puede que a don Hugo “le gusten algo las nenas, pero los chicos lo animan también. Y parece que le gustan más”. O sea, ¡ambidiestro! Nunca hay que olvidar que cuando el río suena…

[tktktktk]

Succinct critical verdict, rendered in Brooklynese: [cups palm in armpit and pumps, producing sound resembling flatulent discharge.]

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