Networks Ignore Greedy Gas Grab By Bolivian Socialists

     Bolivias government announced on May 1 that it will nationalize its natural gas fields. This comes just weeks after Venezuelas Hugo Chavez further tightened his grip on his countrys oil reserves.

     President Evo Morales nationalized Bolivia's natural gas industry and oil Monday, ordering foreign energy companies to send their supplies to a state company for sales and industrialization, reported the Associated Press on May 1.

     An analysis of Nexis search results shows no mention on ABC, CBS, or NBC about the seizure of natural gas fields currently operated by private companies. These energy grabs by socialist governments have been largely ignored by broadcast media outlets critical of windfall profits by American oil companies even though energy experts believe nationalization efforts by Bolivia, Venezuela, and Russia have had an impact on the oil market.

     The impact of Bolivia's nationalization is being reflected in prices,'' Reuters quoted Wachovia economist Jason Schenker in a May 3 article. Anything that raises the specter of supply disruptions will send us higher. The implication of the move is sending shudders through the market.''

     Moraless decision came days after a weekend summit in Cuba with dictator Fidel Castro and Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, who recently strengthened the grip of state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela on the countrys oil reserves.

     While ABC News ignored Moraless May Day seizure of oil industry property, correspondent Steve Osunsami reported on the April 29 World News Tonight how the summit between three of Latin Americas most anti-U.S. leaders forged an exclusive trade agreement between the countries. Osunsami noted how Cuba is working with the Chinese and the Canadians to drill oil off its shores or near the Florida coast.

     With oil prices at record levels, U.S. analysts say the three Latin leaders are hitting the Bush Administration at a vulnerable time. Leading a backlash against the U.S. in Latin America, added Osunsami.

     On April 30, Osunsami told his Good Morning America audience that Venezuela will now send Cuba 90,000 barrels of oil a day. That equals more than 32 million barrels a year.

     The Business & Media Institute has documented how the media attack American Big Oil for windfall profits but fail to hold socialistic oil barons like Venezuelas Chavez to the same scrutiny.