NBC Proclaims 'Hero's Sendoff' for Chavez, 'A Harsh Critic of the U.S.'

Introducing a brief report on Friday's NBC Today about the funeral proceedings for socialist Venezuelan strong man Hugo Chavez, news reader Natalie Morales announced: "In Venezuela, a hero's send-off today for Hugo Chavez, a harsh critic of the U.S. who ruled for 14 years." The headline on screen during the segment read: "Saluting Chavez; World Leaders in Venezuela for President's Funeral."

Correspondent Mark Potter, reporting from Caracas, noted that Chavez would "lie in state for another seven days so more Venezuelans can pay their respects" after "thousands and thousands of people stood in a mile-long line for the chance to quickly file past the casket." Potter added: "Chavez's body eventually will be preserved, much like those of historic communist figures Lenin and Mao, for future public display in a special tomb."

On Wednesday, Potter eulogized Chavez as someone with a "larger-than-life personality," while ABC declared that he "appeared to never back down from a challenge."  


Here is a transcript of the March 8 report:

7:11AM ET

NATALIE MORALES: In Venezuela, a hero's send-off today for Hugo Chavez, a harsh critic of the U.S. who ruled for 14 years. NBC's Mark Potter is in Caracas. Good morning, Mark.

MARK POTTER: Good morning, Natalie. The funeral begins later this morning and will be attended by presidents and diplomats from Latin America and around the world. Among them, Cuban President Raul Castro, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and a small low-level delegation from the United States.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Saluting Chavez; World Leaders in Venezuela for President's Funeral]

After the service, Chavez will not be buried. Instead, he will lie in state for another seven days so more Venezuelans can pay their respects. All day yesterday and into the night, thousands and thousands of people stood in a mile-long line for the chance to quickly file past the casket. The vice president here says Chavez's body eventually will be preserved, much like those of historic communist figures Lenin and Mao, for future public display in a special tomb.

And soon, perhaps in a month or so, there will be an election to pick Chavez's successor as the new president of Venezuela. Natalie.

MORALES: Mark Potter in Caracas, thank you.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC