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Committee to Free Venezuela Foundation: KRIV-TV (FOX 26 Houston) Censors Documentary Critical of Hugo Chavez, Citgo

May 5, 2011

“It’s shocking that a news station would censor content simply because they are ‘uncomfortable’ with its content. But that’s exactly what KRIV has done.

“The only logical conclusion is that what makes KRIV uncomfortable is that by airing our documentary, KRIV might upset those in Houston who are involved with an oil conglomerate that lines Hugo Chavez’s pockets with millions and millions of dollars of Americans’ hard-earned money.” - Jeffrey M. Cohen, Executive Director, Committee to Free Venezuela Foundation

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — KRIV television in Houston, owned by Fox TV Stations, Inc. has rejected airing a new 30-minute documentary critical of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Citgo, an oil-conglomerate controlled by Chavez, whose U.S. Headquarters is in Houston. The documentary was paid for and produced by the Committee to Free Venezuela Foundation (www.stophugochavez.com).

Despite the fact that the documentary was approved by the legal department of Fox TV Stations, Inc. (which owns KRIV), KRIV rejected the documentary because, “Station Management has made the determination that the show subject matter is one they are uncomfortable airing.”

In a letter sent today to KRIV Vice President / General Manager D’Artagnan Bebel, Jeffrey Cohen, Executive Director of the Committee to Free Venezuela Foundation, accused the station of attempting to protect Citgo and Chavez at the expense of the First Amendment. The text of that letter is below.

The documentary is available for viewing online at www.stophugochavez.com.

Text of the Committee to Free Venezuela Foundation Letter to KRIV:

May 5, 2011

D’Artagnan Bebel
Vice President / General Manager
KRIV FOX 26
4261 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77027

Dear Mr. Bebel:

I’m writing to ask you to explain why KRIV FOX 26 in Houston is protecting Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez and his oil company Citgo from criticism at the expense of the First Amendment and the American people’s right to be exposed to a legitimate public policy issue.

On April 29, 2011, the Committee to Free Venezuela Foundation purchased 30 minutes of airtime on KRIV to air a documentary on May 8, 2011 to raise the awareness of public policy concerns related to Hugo Chavez.

Despite the fact that this documentary was approved by the legal department of Fox TV Stations, Inc. (which owns KRIV), we were informed that KRIV chose to reject showing the documentary to your viewers on the basis that, “Station Management has made the determination that the show subject matter is one they are uncomfortable airing.”

The opinion expressed in the documentary not only critiques Hugo Chavez’s rabid socialist anti-American agenda, but also extends to CITGO – which is controlled by Chavez, and whose U.S. Headquarters are in Houston.

The only logical conclusion is that what makes KRIV uncomfortable is that by airing our documentary, KRIV might upset those in Houston who are involved with an oil conglomerate that lines Hugo Chavez’s pockets with millions and millions of dollars of Americans’ hard-earned money.

It’s shocking that you would reject – in fact censor – the re-broadcast of a speech that expresses the opinion of a respected expert in this area, Congressman Connie Mack. The Congressman’s speech was delivered to a live audience, has been re-broadcast in other areas and made publicly available. Our documentary simply introduces this issue and his speech to a broader audience, and concludes with a statement on this matter of real consequence to the American People.

KRIV’s failure to air this documentary reflects a disdain and disregard for America’s most basic freedom — freedom of speech. I’m sure any Houston area high school civics teacher would attest that the First Amendment does not provide an exception for your being, “uncomfortable.”

In the meantime, I’m sure others in the media and beyond will be fascinated by your peculiar interpretation of the freedom of speech. Except of course for Hugo Chavez, who no doubt applauds you for following his well-worn path of censorship.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey M. Cohen
Executive Director
Committee to Free Venezuela Foundation

SOURCE Committee to Free Venezuela Foundation


Source: newswire



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