Sarah Palin this week mistakenly called a democratically-elected president of a foreign state a dictator. In response, Hugo Chavez, who was in 2006 re-elected by a convincing 60% of voters, evoked Jesus, remarking, “Forgive her, for she knows not what she says.”.
So now you know the story: Chavez is not a dictator, he’s the popularly-elected leader of Venezuala. Palin didn’t know even this most basic fact about Venezuala, and yet felt qualified to threaten that country with sanctions.
The Associated Press’ version of this story does not once point out that Venezuala is a democracy. Without this significant piece of context, Palin’s innacurate assertion that Chavez is a dictator goes unchallenged.
The gaffe of Palin’s may be unclear to many readers, and the dismissive nature of Chavez’ comments may seem unfairly condecending and out of line without any clarifying statements.