The great Joel D. Hirst remembers RCTV – The Day the Music Died.
Hugo Chávez denied by decree RCTV’s license renewal, not by due process of law. Hirst writes,
Ten years ago now – ten years. Maybe that was when it ended. It certainly was dramatic. Hugo Chavez had just won a landslide re-election in a contest that was free but not fair (a distinction without a difference, thanks Jimmy Carter!). Rapid change was going to begin. 2007 – that was the year; nationalizations of Venezuela’s oil fields, collapsing Chavez’s own tri-color support base into one monolithic political party called – wait for it – the Socialist Party. A referendum on a new constitution that would do away with democracy once and for all. And, some payback. Ending the last public TV station whose editorial line did not bow to the whims of the despot.
Even then I knew this was a crucial moment. I did a podcast and posted on it, knowing democracy was done for in Venezuela. I can’t explain why I knew; maybe it was simple speculation that Chávez would never stop accruing power.
I even remember making the actual podcast from my kitchen table during a very warm evening. This is the only podcast, out of hundreds, that I specifically remember making.
RCTV was closed. Its assets were seized.
A year later, its anchorman was stabbed to death in his apartment.
Cross-posted at WoW!Magazine.