NPR's Nina Totenberg: We Made Hugo Chavez Into a Global Spectacle
There still is a Blame America First lobby. On Friday's edition of "Inside Washington" on PBS affiliate WETA, National Public Radio reporter Nina Totenberg couldn't simply deplore Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez's remarks that President Bush was "the devil." She had to put the blame on the United States government for paying excessive attention to him. After Colbert King of the Washington Post dismissed Chavez as a "class clown," Totenberg went into her spin cycle:
Nina Totenberg: "I want to see -- say one thing about him. He is the class clown, but we have made him. We should have ignored him long ago. We were demonizing him at the beginning, trying to get him overthrown."
King: "Where is the evident that we tried to overthrow him? He claimed that."
Totenberg: "I am not saying we did that, we would have loved -- we openly -- openly endorsed his removal. We should have been doing all along what we did this week. Just ignoring him. We made it into something. He even denies his party visas to the UN. He went to Cuba and said I will swim there if I have to."