Orlando Sentinel Editor Gets Cozy With Hugo Chavez In Caracas:
President Hugo Chávez says Venezuela's beef with the United States is all about George Bush, and the government will reach out quickly to the new American president.
In a wide-ranging interview Thursday with a group of visiting American newspaper editors, Chávez said he respected the American people and wished to "beg for forgiveness if in my speech I have hurt any feelings back in the States."
He said his criticism is aimed at "the elite that is governing the United States, and not even all the elite."
Of the American presidential candidates, Chávez said, "It would be a lie to say I have no preference." But "I shouldn't say anything that would be used against someone."
I'm not one to start a war with a newspaper editor but what follows must be said. Charlotte Hall is a useful fool, at best. At worst she is a willing participant in a propaganda-laced puff piece on a Venezuelan ne'er do well who stomps out free speech and starves his country. I'm referring, of course, to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The long-winded egotist welcomed a large group of newspaper editors embarking on a 'fact finding' trip to the region.
Hall was in management for some time before being passed over for an open editor position at Newsday. This lead to her move to Orlando and appointment as editor of the Sentinel back in 2004. She's been responsible for such classy moves as splashing photos of former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer's call girl nude on it's pages. All of this has led to a slight increase in circulation at the Orlando Sentinel. In 2005, suffering a major year to year drop in subscribers, circulation of the Sentinel was around 220,000. In 2008 under the tutelage of Sam 'F*#k You' Zell and with Hall firmly installed as editor the average circulation has slowly climbed back to 227,000. During this period the Orlando Sentinel was one of the few newspapers in the country to see an increase in its subscriber base. Hall is trying to parlay her newfound power into a tool to push her political viewpoints.
Why does all of this matter? Because Charlotte Hall is the ASNE (American Society of Newspaper Editors) President. The ASNE bragged about the trip on it's website and the group snapped a photo with Chavez after a 90 minute meeting. While a majority of the editors present at the meeting wrote of the horrors of life under Hugo Chavez, Hall chose to paint a dreamy, romantic picture of life in Venezuela under a misunderstood leader.
'Chavez blames Bush, not U.S.,' the headline reads. What a relief! He doesn't hate us, he just hates our President. Oh yeah, and freedom of speech and dissension in general - he hates those too. Also, he's not a big fan of television or newspaper outlets that don't parrot the Chavez line. Way to look out for your brethren abroad Mrs. Hall.
Hugo Chavez is a dictator with a child-like mind. The man talks for hours on end while hosting his own television and radio show 'Halo Presidente' in Venezuela. Seriously, the show sometimes runs for as long as five hours. During 'Halo Presidente' Hugo Chavez routinely calls United States leaders including George Bush, Condoleezza Rice and everyone else who gets a paycheck in Washington by the foulest of names. In front of the United Nations Assembly Chavez called President Bush 'the devil' and joked of a sulfuric smell.
The man is beyond disrespectful, he's downright dangerous. He's been know to order his supporters, sometimes armed, to disrupt Chavez protests. I haven't spoken with a single Venezuelan living in the United States that respects, much less agrees with, this vile man. While Hugo Chavez and his freedom-hating friends in Latin America position themselves for a lifetime in leadership and lead the way to the destruction of both life and culture in the region, Charlotte Hall and the Orlando Sentinel rush to defend on principal.
This report does the Venezuelan people, some waiting in line for food that will never arrive, some resisting the urge to speak out for fear of repercussion, such harm and injustice that it must be said - both here and elsewhere that Charlotte Hall, in association with the Orlando Sentinel and the ASNE, is a useful tool of the worst kind. Both she and the paper should be ashamed of this piece.