Softball Chavez Interview From Leader Of U.S. Editors

Ryan Tate · 05/21/08 02:06AM

At left is the top of an interview with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez filed by Charlotte Hall, Editor of the Orlando Sentinel and President of the American Society Of Newspaper Editors. Other editors who recently accompanied Hall to Venezuela, like Marty Baron of the Boston Globe and Margaret Sullivan of the Buffalo News, led their stories with unflattering facts about Chavez, like recently-autheticated evidence he sought to supply missiles to Colombian rebels, his country's skyrocketing homicide rate and a rebuke in a December national referendum. Hall, in contrast, introduced her story with a series of anecdotes supplied by Chavez himself, descriptions of his clothing and a button he used to summon coffee, plus the observation that he kissed female editors on their cheeks. This fluffy treatment, and Hall's sycophantic smiling in the accompanying photo, we hear, horrified some in the Sentinel newsroom, particularly among those who already regarded the editor as a "clueless" transplant from the tabloid Newsday.