Blatant Spin in BBC Hugo Chavez Headline

BBC News - 14 January 2012
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A BBC headline about Venezuela reads "Chavez 'would accept' Venezuela election defeat". To take this quote in its proper context, the spin is clear.

The Chavez government has never implied that it would retain power undemocratically. Hugo Chavez's statement marked not an about-face, but was directed at the opposition who previously, in an attempted coup, had tried to undemocratically remove the Venezuelan president: "If any of you win the elections I will be the first to recognise it, and I ask the same of you".

That Chávez would leave office if not re-elected is presented as a news-worthy turn of events and as such appears anomalous.

The technique of referring to "some ... critics" is similar to the Fox News style "some people say", allowing claims to be made without attributing them to accountable sources.

Headline: Chavez 'would accept' Venezuela election defeat

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has told opposition leaders that he will relinquish power if he loses elections due in October.

Some of Mr Chavez's strongest critics have suggested he might cling on to power at all costs if he were defeated at the polls.

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