Imus and Carlson invoke Chavez to smear Dem presidential candidates

››› ››› ANDREW WALZER

While discussing Hillary Clinton with fellow radio host Jay Severin, Don Imus asked, "Well, why do we think that we -- I mean, why don't we just select [Venezuelan President] Hugo Chavez, then, if we want some rabid nut? I mean, why do we think that that's a face we want to put on America?" Severin answered: "I think you've got that, that's pretty much it. With Hillary Clinton you've got Hugo Chavez in a dress, and about the same size." Separately, discussing John Edwards' performance in the Nevada caucus, MSNBC's Tucker Carlson asserted, "It turns out that Hugo Chavez and his ideas are still not that popular in this country, liberal as it's become. That's the lesson I take away."

On the January 22 edition of ABC Radio Networks' Imus in the Morning, while discussing presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) with fellow radio host Jay Severin, host Don Imus asked, "Well, why do we think that we -- I mean, why don't we just select [Venezuelan President] Hugo Chavez, then, if we want some rabid nut? I mean, why do we think that that's a face we want to put on America?" Severin answered: "I think you've got that, that's pretty much it. With Hillary Clinton you've got Hugo Chavez in a dress, and about the same size."

On the January 22 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, while discussing Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' performance in the Nevada caucus, host Tucker Carlson asserted, "It turns out that Hugo Chavez and his ideas are still not that popular in this country, liberal as it's become. That's the lesson I take away."

As Media Matters for America has noted, conservative media figures continue to invoke Chavez to smear Democratic presidential candidates and their respective policies. Carlson has previously referred to Chavez as an "enem[y] of America."

During the same episode of the January 22 edition of Imus in the Morning, Imus asked, "What is it that the Clintons would not do? Can you think of anything?" Severin responded, "No, there isn't anything. They would kidnap their own child."

From the January 22 edition of ABC Radio Networks' Imus in the Morning:

IMUS: What is it that the Clintons would not do? Can you think of anything?

SEVERIN: No, there isn't anything. They would kidnap their own child.

IMUS: Like the great Jimmy Breslin, one of the great columnists of our generation, and anybody else's for that matter -- [sportswriter Mike] Lupica was telling me last night Jimmy has a phrase entitled -- describing people as having "no bottom."

SEVERIN: Yeah. I think that's way off, though, when it comes to Mrs. Clinton.

IMUS: Well, no, no, no. That'll be fine, Jay. Nineteen till the hour here at the Imus in the Morning program.

CHARLES McCORD (news anchor): That's not necessary.

IMUS: That's just not necessary. That's just -- just cruel.

SEVERIN: It happens to be true.

IMUS: Yeah, but I asked Charles, I said, "Well, is there anything that you think they wouldn't do?" Charles said, "Poison a municipal water supply." But I mean, I don't even -- I -- that's -- of course they would.

SEVERIN: No, theirs is an epic story of two people, you know, whether they're working together or not, who really would -- that's sort of the sad part of this. The charge that Obama made last night, which is the essential indictment against the Clintons, either one of them or both, is that they will say and do anything to win, to capture or retain power. And if people realized that, maybe the Clintons wouldn't be part of this, you know, dynastic model, but apparently it doesn't put people off as much as I think it ought to.

IMUS: Well, why do we think that we -- I mean, why don't we just select Hugo Chavez, then, if we want some rabid nut? I mean, why do we think that that's a face we want to put on America?

SEVERIN: I think you've got that, that's pretty much it. With Hillary Clinton you've got Hugo Chavez in a dress, and about the same size.

IMUS: It's 17 till the hour here on the Imus in the Morning program.

From the January 21 edition of MSNBC's Tucker:

NICK GILLESPIE (Reason editor in chief): I feel like John Edwards is being marginalized in this discussion.

CARLSON: He is. And why is he in the race anyways?

PETER BEINART (The New Republic editor-at-large): Not to mention Dennis Kucinich.

CARLSON: No, at least Kucinich you can say -- Kucinich is carrying the torch of the department of peace. No matter what happens, David, it's not about Dennis, it's about the ideas he represents. But John Edwards?

BEINART: Who got 4 percent in Nevada?

CARLSON: Yes!

BEINART: I mean, he -- he got marginalized himself. It's a big union state. If he can't win more than 4 percent there, come on.

CARLSON: It turns out that Hugo Chavez and his ideas are still not that popular in this country, liberal as it's become. That's the lesson I take away.

Network/Outlet
ABC Radio Networks, MSNBC
Person
Tucker Carlson, Don Imus
Show/Publication
Imus in the Morning, Tucker
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