Monday, February 18, 2019

Where is Booker Regarding Venezuela? NJ Media Challenge

Where is Booker Regarding Venezuela?  NJ Media Challenge

This is an open letter to all media outlets, reporters, social media, the NJ blogosphere – everyone sharing news and opinions in NJ around political matters.

On Friday, February 15, a $1000 a ticket 'happy hour' in Newark hosted by Cory Booker as part of his presidential bid launch was met by 3 dozen protesters who were demanding opposition from Booker to current attempts of the US to intervene and use what we consider extra legal means to change the government of Venezuela and to transfer ownership and control of the resources of Venezuela, including the world’s largest reserve of oil.

A description of the event is here.

A live stream from the event is here.
Facebook Livestream from event

Preceding the event, organizers of Hands Off Venezuela – NJ group sent press releases to over 300 media outlets and reporters.  Commendably, there was a single outlet, NJ Today, that did provide a decent advance article and there was a Spansih radio station Rebelde that live streamed the event to their website.

No other media showed up or covered it.

After the event, our press release of the event was sent to the same 300 plus outlets and reporters, including live stream link and so far we are not hearing back from any of them or seeing any media coverage.

We are possibly a few days away from what the US is promising will be a major challenge to the Venezuelan nation, an attempt to strong arm weaponized humanitarian aid into Venezuela.  The International Red Cross and the UN humanitarian agencies are refusing to provide cover for the hostile operation.  This could cause a provocation that leads to military intervention by the US and it’s regional allies, the militarized state of Colombia and the far right regime of Bolsonaro in Brazil.

Booker has been quiet on this issue in recent days – not making any strong opinion known.  That is a problem for his image as a progressive candidate.  For many, a progressive candidate should reflect opposition to regime change and militarism – a pro-peace position on issues.  Should Booker make it to the primaries, NJ voters have a right to know what he did and where he stood on the US operations against Venezuela  - especially if US is successful in imposing the disaster it currently threatens against Venezuela.

Most I believe would agree – including editors and reporters and media outlets – that a serious presidential candidate should be willing to stake out a clear position, especially before such a significant escalation as is planned for February 23.

I am hereby challenging NJ media – to help uncover where Booker stands on Venezuela.  I am also challenging you to turn some attention to the concerns of NJ residents who are in opposition
I challenge the editors, the bloggers, the reporters – to reach out to Booker for his position and if you can not track him down, go to his top aid Matt Klapper who could be more accessible.  He actually met with us when we were protesting – even brought coffee and a refill to one of the protesters.  I asked him to take pictures of our signs and banners to show Booker and to take copies of my paper NJ AntiWarAgenda to give to Booker and staff members.  So there is no doubt that our concerns were brought to Booker’s attention, if our 2 hours of speaking and chanting outside his fundraiser venue was not clear enough.

I am going to be encouraging colleagues to retweet this article to the media outlets of NJ – we are looking for NJ media to step up to the plate to find out where NJ’s presidential candidate stands on the Venezuela situation and also hopefully to provide some coverage of the important opinions of those of us who are calling for a pause of this sure to be major disaster of a policy that the US is propagating toward Venezuela.

When I originally learned about activism in the 70’s and 80’s – we would do a press release, fax it, do a follow up phone call, talk to actual reporters and usually there was interest in writing about out concerns or activities.  It is understood nowadays that there have been staff reductions and that there is an abundance of noise and competing interests trying to get media attention for one thing or another.  It is a much more challenging endeavor to try to convince media outlets and even individual reporters about the importance of what they are doing – so I am resorting to this public challenge.  Hopefully some reporters or media outlet will figure out a way to determine:


If US brings warfare to Latin America and Booker was silent on the eve of this disaster it will definitely blemish his credentials for President – and even for his reelection for US Senate in 2020 if he comes up short in the primaries.

If the NJ media fails to bring out Booker’s position – or even to bother at all asking what is Booker’s position – it too must share the blame from whatever resulting bloodshed and mayhem results.

Any of you that would like to discuss this further – call or write me at 908-881-5275

All readers are invited to RT the below and also to send similar tweets to your favorite reporters.

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