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Fred Barnes Lies About Chavez Popularity in South America

Reported by Janie - March 13, 2007 -

During last night's (3/12) Special Report, the "All Star Panel" briefly discussed President Bush's trip to South America, and the response he was met with. While discussing Hugo Chavez's response to Bush's visit, panelist Fred Barnes claimed baselessly that Bush is more popular in South American than Chavez.

Barnes, without correction, claimed "The angry crowds were small. And Chavez had to buy up to $3 billion Argentine debt or promise too, to have an Argentine soccer stadium and then have them send the crowd. You know, they bussed this crowd in, and they probably paid them as well.

Look, Chavez isn’t popular in South America. Bush is more popular than he is, as polls show."

In fact, this is blatantly untrue. According to the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, while America has positive ratings in South America, President Bush does not - and Chavez scores higher amongst South American citizens than Bush does.

"Among those in the ten South American countries polled, Peru registered the highest approval of the United States, with 71 percent having either a very good or good opinion of the U.S. The country with the lowest assessment was Argentina, with a mere 32 percent. The most anti-Bush governments, Bolivia and Venezuela, respectively had 50 percent and 41 percent of those polled answering either very good or good. When asked to rate leaders on a scale from 1 to 10, on which 10 was the best, South Americans gave Bush a score of 4.1, while ChĂĄvez received a 5.2 figure."

Barnes' quote was allowed to go unchallenged, and viewers of Special Report were provided, once again, with biased, incorrect information.