Reuters still hot for Chavecito’s bod

Come on, Reuters guys, admit it…you just wanna see Hugo Chavez naked. First you were obsessed with his genitals, and now you make THIS your lede?

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez in an interview with supermodel Naomi Campbell predicted that the U.S “empire” is about to fall, called Jesus Christ history’s No. 1 revolutionary — and offered to pose topless.

“Why not? Touch my muscles!” the burly, 53 year-old former paratrooper said, when asked if he would follow the example of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who caused a stir last year with a series of shirtless pictures.

Now, don’t get me wrong–I’d love to see pictures of Chavecito minus his usual two layers of shirts (button-down over a T, usually both in red). Sadly, though, I suspect he was only joking around with Ms. Campbell; he does that a lot, you know. The man is, in fact, physically modest to a fault. I seldom even see pictures of him in short sleeves, and when I do, it’s be still, mi corazon. I wish he would pose shirtless; there’s only so many times I can base a FLFB post on Evo’s legs.

But then again, I’m just a humble bloguera with a Jon Stewart/This Hour has 22 Minutes sensibility and a fondness for cute leftist guys who kick ass and take names. The fact that I get things right, though, and you Reuters guys don’t seem to bother…well, all’s I can say is tsk, tsk, tsk. Where did you all go to j-school, again?

And while we’re on the subject of shirtless men: How soon we all forget Sarko, who showed the world his love handles only to have Paris Match airbrush them thoughtfully away. Quel fromage! Seems the media only respect you if you’re a wealthy friggin’ wingnut who got into power on a union-busting, anti-immigrant platform.

If you’re Chavecito, on the other hand, they can’t wait to latch onto anything the least bit sniffy, and make THAT out to be the story. Just get a load of the rhetoric Reuters lards on here: “…known for his tirades against the United States…liked by many Venezuelans for his folksy, off-the-cuff delivery, but the opposition says his quirky style has often distracted him from the basic tasks of government such as fighting crime…” Sheesh. How many times do I have to tell y’all that he’s only the president, not the mayor of Caracas, and therefore not in charge of hiring the cops? Would they blame George Bush for the crime rate in the US? (Of course not; he’s a fascist. They all make the trains run on time.) Doesn’t anyone at Reuters do fact-checks anymore? Or are they just so firmly attached to the scrotums of the Venezuelan opposition–the same ones who were in power B.C. (Before Chavez), and who basically let things get this far out of hand in the first place? When will Reuters do a story on all the corrupt old-order politicians who still hold mayoralties all over Venezuela–and who are probably letting crime rates spiral just so they can have something to blame on Chavez? Probably when they finally work up the cojones to get out of their five-star hotels and start interviewing someone other than the rich bitches.

To be fair, though, they’re just as bad with Naomi Campbell: “…known for her fiery temper…for throwing a phone at her maid.” Would they even still give a shit about that if she weren’t doing something totally uncharacteristic of a temperamental supermodel–like, say, focusing on someone other than herself?

Look: I don’t kid myself that she’s some kind of brilliant journalist (not if her questions about the Spice Girls are any indication), but I think she is at least serious about turning over a new leaf. How do I know? Let me refer you to this piece in Venezuelanalysis:

Campbell was granted an audience with the outspoken left-wing leader as part of her new brief as contributing editor for British men’s lifestyle magazine GQ, interviewing leading figures from politics, sport and entertainment.

She wrote in the article, out Thursday but extracts of which were released in advance, that she was aware her choice of subject would be controversial, but insisted she did not go to Venezuela for political reasons.

“I’d always heard Hugo Chavez was a people’s president and I wanted to see if that was true… I didn’t want to judge Chavez, or probe him for his political views, even though he gave them freely,” she wrote.

“I simply went to interview Hugo Chavez the man,” she added. The catwalk star also said she wanted to get him to donate to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which she represents, and see some of his social programmes.

Campbell said the Venezuelan leader — who in November was told to “shut up” by Spain’s King Juan Carlos I — was forthright and “fearless, but not threatening or unreasonable”.

Venezuelans also seemed happier than her last visit 10 years ago for a Sports Illustrated magazine photoshoot, she added.

That snip came from Agence France-Presse. Quite a difference between the two agencies, no?

Here we actually get more information, too. Like Campbell’s observation that Venezuela is happier now than it was 10 years ago (also B.C., BTW.) And that she was genuinely interested in seeing how things are progressing. And oh yeah, how she wanted to make up her own mind.

Which, I dare say, is more than the Reuters Roto-Rooters have done; it took three of them to write that piece of crap. I wonder if they did it all by themselves, or if they had to phone head office to make sure they had the correct “left-wing nut” spin.

Body-rockin’ update: You know Reuters is in the toilet when their reporting is on a par with that of…drumroll please…Pravda.

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