I share the irritation of Atrios concerning how Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is reported on by the corporate media and, in contrast, regarded by Chavez's American socialist apologists. Neither perspective is terribly informative about the facts and context of any particular situation.
The largely socialist Democracy Now! reported on Friday of last week that (a) the CIA was working in opposition to Chavez's referendum and trying to stir up trouble generally and that (b) the fact that former supporters of Chavez were against the referendum only served to illustrate the fact that many of Chavez's original supporters were a disparate group of sunshine patriots/corporatists who were really in up to their elbows in some kind of corruption or another and were now turning against Chavez because the reforms would undermine their livelihoods, etc.
Meanwhile, the NYT reported, also on Friday, that the document claimed by the Venezuelan government and Chavez supporters to reveal CIA involvement in the opposition to the referendum was most probably a fake.
Still, given the now acknowledged role the U.S. government played in encouraging and supporting the failed 2002 coup against Chavez, it's not surprising that Chavez and his supporters, in and out of Venezuela, are suspicious of present and future U.S. Government involvement and the words of the American corporate press, which also wrote in support of Chavez's brief ouster in 2002.
The upshot of all this mishmash of biased reporting is to make one more cynical in doubting that any news source can be trusted.