Prolific author and The New Yorker writer Jon Lee Anderson unloaded on Spain's La Razon newspaper over the weekend for misquoting him about the upcoming elections in Venezuela. The article in question has since been taken down, but Anderson says that the story, about potential fraud in the upcoming race, quotes him as saying that Chavez is too "delusional" to believe that he will lose the Oct. 7 vote.
On his Facebook page, Anderson says that he did, in fact, say that Chavez cannot imagine losing the race, but that there's nothing "delusional" about it since he's "won every election and Plebiscite" he's faced.
(Chavez did narrowly lose the 2007 push to change the constitution, but that's not the point.)
"This is what drives me nuts about this type of Spanish journalism: that they ask for an interview, you give it, and then they put words in your mouth," Anderson writes. "I will never give an interview to that sh**** paper again."
The interesting thing about this, to me at least, is that it's Venezuela's Ministry of Information and Communication that's been letting reporters know about the whole mess. Their headline: "They fabricated an anti-Chavez quote for a gringo journalist." It seems like a strange use of government resources, but I suppose all is fair in election season.
Here's Anderson's full post from his Facebook page:
Esto: Me saca de quicio este estirpe del periodismo espanol: Que te piden la entrevista; lo facilitas, y luego, te meten palabras en la boca. Lo que aca me "cita" el periodico La Razon simplemente no es cierto. Es decir: yo si dije que Chavez no se imaginaba perder las venideras elecciones jamas. Tal cual. Ni fa ni fu, ni mas ni menos. Pero nunca lo caracterize como un "delirio" de el. Porque seria delirio si siempre ha ganado todas las elecciones y plebescitos que ha propuesto? Pero el hecho que sea delirio o no, no es el lio. Es que no lo dije yo. Lo dijo La Razon. Poner esa caracterizacion en boca mia es burda, tabloidista, tendencioso y falso. En algunos paises, daria pie a una querella. No se si en Espana existen leyes ya, pero por si las moscas, nunca mas dare declaraciones ni entrevistas a ese diario de mierda.