Chavez publicly criticizes reporter from French radio network

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  • September 28, 2010

By Ingrid Bachmann

The chain Radio France Internationale (RFI) came out in defense of its correspondent in Caracas, Venezuela, journalist Andreína Flores, whom President Hugo Chavez during a press conference accused of being ignorant and wanting to manipulate information, reported El Universal.

According to Europa Press, the journalist, who also is a correspondent for the Colombian radio network RCN, ran into trouble when she asked the president to explain why the government got 37 more congress members than the opposition, given the difference of only 100.000 votes in the elections this past Sunday, Sept. 26, and whether perhaps this gives standing to those who allege election fraud.

In response, Chavez hurled harsh criticisms at the reporter. “It seems as if you're totally ignoring what happened here, as if you lived on the moon," said Chavez, who also accused the French network of "shamelessly broadcasting lies," added El Observador.

In a statement, RFI replied to the president that its stories about Venezuela are aimed at an international audience and that its journalists adhere to an ethics code. “If you want, Mr. President, RFI invites you to express yourself before microphones during an interview," the statement concluded.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.