Progressive Media’s Appalling Failure on Greece and Venezuela

Here is the subtitle of Scott Sumner’s article about Venezuela: “Basic Economics Has Been Exiled from Reporting.”

Want to know why more Americans don’t understand socialism? Because conservatives don’t fight the information war —  and they have surrendered most of the dominant media to the lefties.

Scott Alexander recently pointed to the appalling record of the left-leaning media on economic policy:

Venezuela is collapsing, with the New York Times describing it as“uncharted territory” for a semi-developed country to be so deep in economic disaster that its hospitals, schools, power plants, and basic services are simply shutting down.

So it’s a good time to reflect on the media’s previous glowing Venezuela stories. In 2013, Salon praised “Hugo Chavez’ Economic Miracle,” saying that “[Chavez’s] full-throated advocacy of socialism and redistributionism at once represented a fundamental critique of neoliberal economics, and also delivered some indisputably positive results” (h/t Ciphergoth). And the Guardian wrote that “Sorry, Venezuela Haters: This Economy Is Not The Greece Of Latin America.”

Prediction is hard, and I was willing to forgive, e.g., the pundits who were wrong about the Trump nomination. But I am less willing to forgive here, because the thesis of these articles wasn’t just that they were right, but that the only reason everyone else didn’t admit they were right was neoliberalism and bad intentions. Psychologizing other people instead of arguing with them should take a really high burden of proof, and Salon and Guardian didn’t meet it. Muggeridge, thou should be living at this hour…

Read more: Education Freedom Foundation

Image credit: Matyas Rehak / — (“SANTA ELENA DE UAIREN, VENEZUELA – AUGUST 12, 2015: Empty shelves in a supermarket. Shortages of basic supplies are common in Venezuela.)