Fighting the war on fiction


TNT’s series “Legends” stars British actor Sean Bean, better known for many as the “Winter is Coming” guy.

The shakeup that wasn’t and its future consequences has been the main story in the last few days, but right underneath the radar was the latest development in the “Media War” the central government claims to be waging.

A few days ago, Information Minister Delcy Rodriguez went ballistic on Twitter, accusing the TNT TV series “Legends” of conspiring. Her beef? In one of its episodes, a criminal confesses to an undercover FBI agent that Nicolás Maduro and the PSUV were using a middleman to buy a chemical weapon in order to use it against demonstrators.

Inmediately, the head of the Venezuean broadcasting authority (CONATEL) William Castillo announced that it would open an investigation against the show. After all, Ms. Rodriguez is his boss.

Here’s the thing… “Legends” wasn’t shown in Venezuela. The show was aired on TNT USA, not on TNT Latin America which is the one we get on cable over here. Therefore, Mr. Castillo has no case to investigate whatsoever. Yet FOX 21, the production company behind the show has publicly apologized while insisting this was only a work of fiction. And in a matter of coincidence, FOX 21 also produces “Homeland”, which used the Tower of David in an episode.

However, that didn’t stop Mr. Castillo from pushing the “mediatic war” angle. It’s so real they’re getting money for it.

18 thoughts on “Fighting the war on fiction

  1. I think Fox 21 should demand an apology from Castillo for claiming – without any evidence whatsoever – that they are involved in a conspiracy to promote US ‘aggression’ against Venezuela. But I suppose Castillo could also claim he was engaged in a work of fiction.


  2. Wait, wait, wait…one bit of Billionaire Tyrant Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is APOLOGIZING TO MINCI!??!?!?! Did somebody lace my coffee with LSD?!???!? Guatafoc is the problem with reality recently!??!?


  3. off topic / I have read today in twitter this
    “Una tarde-noche de cine: película+cotufas+refresco: Bs 240 por person”

    In English (I had to use google images to translate cotufas)
    film+popcorn+refreshment = 40 dollars (official exchange rate in Venezuela)

    Things so irreal or surreal like that, you choose the adjective, make Venezuela a truly fascinating country


      • But then why do we keep counting in dollars? Most Venezuelans don’t see a dollar in their whole lives.
        Count how many hours a school teacher needs to work to buy the same goods and services and compare that with a Chilean, a Mexican, a Colombian and a Spaniard


        • Good thing Kep is around to make a comparison in terms that actually matter. I have always thought that bringing foreign currencies comparisons when discussing an economy as distorted as this one is misleading. While if you put it in terms of salary, or in terms of other goods not artficially priced, those comparisons really come alive. Like how many empanadas per movie ticket, or how many salaries needed to buy a car tire. Then we compare those numbers to those of other economies. Then we realise how very poor we are…


          • For Jose Hernandez, the webs that calculate the exchange rate say that you need only 6.3 bolivares to buy a dollaṛ.
            For Kepler and beyond, you are right but I am afraid you are too righṭ The economist has a big mag index since “1986 as a lighthearted guide to whether currencies are at their “correct” level… [Cotufanomics] was never intended as a precise gauge of currency misalignment, merely a tool to make exchange-rate theory more digestible.” That was my intention here but you misread it.


        • “… why do we keep counting in dollars? Most Venezuelans don’t see a dollar in their whole lives.”
          Wrong, 97% of every single thing that’s consumed in Venezuela is imported, with dollars, starting from the computer or device you used to write that message.
          Even products that’re fully produced in Venezuela have their cost affected by the dollar cost, as there are imputs that cost dollars in any step of the production chain.
          Also, the government keeps claiming that Venezuelans have the best minimum salary comparing it to a blatant lie called “1$=6,3Bs”, for outsiders, it’s easier to grasp the shithole that Venezuela’s become in economy when they see how much actually venezuelans earn for a month of work.


  4. This was great. I had seen the episode on Homeland and Legends, and Venezuela was also in a chapter on Covert Affairs!

    Sent from my iPad Yvonne



    • There is also the appearance of Chavez in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where it turns out that Chavez is the fault of an underground erstwhile Nazi organization trying to destabilize the world. It has since been edited out of the home media release.


  5. In this case, I think Maduro and the Chavernment have a legitimate grievance. When fiction (printed or acted) has a real-world background, either historical or present-day, elements of that background become assertions of fact, unless very clearly marked as fictitious.

    There is a clear implication that the element is realistic – that what it says about some person, place, or event is largely true.

    Suppose the chavernment, through its media arms, began producing dramas in which leading members of the opposition were depicted (just in passing) as taking drugs, engaging in deviant or predatory sex, conspiring with criminals, plotting sabotage, embezzling funds, meeting with foreign agents…

    Say it’s a “heist” drama; one of the gang says “Let’s hit the target on Tuesday, the power will be off in the whole neighborhood.” How does he know? He doesn’t say explicitly, but it’s already been established that he is “connected” to the opposition, and does “jobs” for them. The implication is that “everyone knows” the power outages are oppo sabotage.

    Or the gang need money to set up the big job, so they go to rob some minor racketeer, but he is protected by some oppo mayor or governor. “Everyone knows” that oppo officials do this.

    This would be slander or libel, and barely covered by the fig leaf of fiction.


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