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Cavuto Helping Stir Up Trouble with Chavez

Reported by Judy - February 20, 2006

If you want to make Americans hate somebody, just blame them for high oil prices. It's an old formula, and Fox News now is trying to use it against Venezuela, as it picks up the Bush Administration's theme that Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez is a danger to this hemisphere.

Neil Cavuto used Monday's "Your World with Neil Cavuto" to push the Bush line on Chavez (February 20, 2006) by framing a discussion around the idea that the Mideast is looking more stable as a source of oil than other places in the world, including Nigeria and Venezuela.

As Cavuto put it, "Isn't it a matter though, that if you buy the possibility that all the nations from whom we get oil are a little nutty, the biggest nuts are in Venezuela and Nigeria. That alone should give us caution."

OK, let's think about that. "All the nations from whom we get oil"? Oil comes from a lot of places -- the North Sea near Great Britain, Mexico, Russia, why, some even comes from Texas. They're all nuts? Excuse me, Cavuto said it was just a "possibility" that all countries that have oil are "nuts."

Nevertheless, Phil Flynn, of Alaron Trading, was ready to agree with the premise, claiming that events in Nigeria and Venezuela have caused oil prices to spike "a lot more" than events in the Middle East. Of course, he failed to provide any figures to back that up. He claimed that just because Chavez "gave some free oil to some poor people (heating oil to New Englanders) everybody thinks he's such a great guy. The truth is, he's a danger to this region. He's spreading anti-Americanism."

And Cavuto chimed in that Chavez has told Secretary of State Condolessa Rice "not to mess with me girl" and that he has suggested he might want to stay in office longer than 2012. What Chavez said was he might ask the people to approve a referendum allowing him to seek another term.

Tyson Slocum, of Public Citizen, pointed out that Chavez was Democratically elected, unlike the Saudi royal family, and that Venezuelans like Americans, while many Middle Easterners are anti-American. A regime change could bring in an unfriendly government there quite easily, he said. Flynn replied that he did not think regime change in the Middle East was likely. Neither did the Shah of Iran, but that's another story.

This segment was never about the Middle East at all. It was about justifying the Bush administration's desire to take a hard line against a leftist government in Venezuela and trying to get rank and file Americans to go along with it on the grounds that Chavez is a threat to "our" oil. What Bushit.

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