Chavez says Bush is the worst, Ali is the greatest

Fresh off the firestorm of indignation he created at the United Nations General Assembly last week, which earned him the moniker the bad boy of U.N. summitry’ by the Washington Post, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, after castigating George W. Bush for his policies at home and overseas, took some time to sit down with Tavis Smiley on Friday, September 22, to discuss a wide range of subjects.

Starting off with his signature Good evening from Los Angeles. I’m Tavis Smiley, before introducing Chavez to his audience, the PBS talk show host described Chavez as an outspoken and controversial leader, which is putting it mildly, to say the least.

Once the announcer announced that ‘Tavis Smiley’ is brought to you in part by Wal-Mart. Every member in a community has a responsibility to help it grow stronger. Every community partner has that same responsibility. Wal-Mart is committed to the community and to the people it serves, whatever that means, Smiley got down to the business at hand.

He and Chavez spoke about the Venezuelan Prez calling Bush the Devil at the U.N., the ongoing and presumably never-ending wars in Iraq and the Middle East, the distinction between anti-Imperialism and anti-Americanism, the politics of oil and AIDS, and other fun stuff like that.

It was only when Smiley asked Chavez about the deceased civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. that the conversation took on a rosy hue.

I’ve heard you speak in Venezuela and I’ve heard you speak here in the United States, Smiley said. I’ve never heard you speak once without referencing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I happen to believe that Dr. King is perhaps the greatest American we have ever produced and, for whatever reason or reasons, his work has impacted your life and you are a student of him and reference him rather consistently. Why is that? What’s that about?

I share your opinion. He’s not perhaps the greatest,Chavez said, contradicting Smiley ever so slightly. One of the greatest Americans ever is Muhammad Ali. He’s the greatest. I admire Muhammad Ali enormously.