Castro: the Mainstream Media’s Favorite Dictator

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“When the world had given us up for dead, the interview with Matthews put the lie to our disappearance.”

Che Guevara, January 1958

Alas, if the mainstream media had only been half as questioning of Castro as the late Stuart Novins was when Castro appeared on Face the Nation on January 11, 1959.  Novins published several stories detailing Castro’s embracing of Communism and the blood stained methods he used to sustain his rule.  In short, Novins was a serious journalist interested in reporting the facts and alerting the American people to developments in Cuba.

Most of his colleagues had a different story to tell about Castro as detailed in Humberto Fontova’s book, The Longest Romance:  The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro.  In writing this book Fontova certainly has rich examples to choose from.  Go here to view a sample of pro-Castro reporting over the decades in the US media.

It could be argued that Castro became dictator in Cuba largely due to the favorable coverage he received in The New York Times, courtesy of Herbert Matthews:

At age 87 Castro has far outlived the tens of thousands executed by his regime and many of  the million Cubans who fled his regime.  Many factors contributed to the tenacious hold his regime has had upon the luckless Cubans to live under him, but surely not the least important factor is that many within the American media viewed the brutal dictator as a hero.

Time Fidel Castro

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  1. What’s interesting about that is there has been little of it-bleeds-it-leads going on in the Caribbean other than the annual hurricane season. There have not been any wars there since 1965 and the only discrete spikes in civil strife were in Grenada in 1983, an attempted coup in Trinidad in 1990, and serial troubles in Haiti from 1986 to 2004. There was the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and there was the Jim Jones horror in Guyana in 1978. You cannot say there was much of what they habitually term ‘news’ in Cuba during the period running from 1988 to 2002.

    Do you think that network news broadcast that many special reports from Guatemala or Ecuador during that period? They are more populous countries than Cuba and likely have a larger economic base to boot. Ah, but their May Day celebrations do not have near the panache.

  2. The Castro/MSM thing is the longest (outstripping the Kennedys, Stalin, and Ho Chi Minh) love affair in history. It’s symptomatic of the left’s (useful idiots) knee-jerk infatuation with dystopian mass-murderers.

  3. It was all in El Salvador (FMLN,) Nicaragua (Sandinistas) and Panama (Noriega.)

    That’s blood. I would not endorse the habitual priorities of reporters and editors. I merely note what they are. However, if you are going to broadcast profiles or travelogues of countries south of the border, what would you find distinctive about Cuba.

    1. The world’s only attempt to set up a command economy in the context of export crop monoculture.

    2. In civic and political matters, the most retrograde country in the hemisphere. Without a doubt. Since 1990 if not earlier.

    3. The most enduring example in history of the bureaucratic authoritarian party- state conjoined to a caudillo’s cult of personality. If Castro had retired or died 25 years ago, he still would have graced the scene longer than any other such creature bar Marshal Tito, Enver Hoxha, and Kim Il Sung. (The milestone of ‘most enduring Latin American autocrat in history’ was passed in 1994).

    Of course, pointing that out kind of kills the theme.

  4. Seriously? You guys make Castro out to be a bad guy. Here’s why conservatives should accept Castro as their lord and savior… oops, I mean a model leader worthy of emulation. Conservatives usually are in favor of the death penalty. So is Castro. Conservatives want controls on immigration. No one migrates to Cuba, and they have a negative net immigration rate. Conservatives believe the government should leave the economy alone. After the Cuban economy was destroyed, government economic meddling was significantly reduced. Conservatives generally believe that we should worship God and seek Heaven. Castro has proclaimed Cuba to be Heaven ( Conservatives believe the U.S. to be the land of opportunity. Castro has instilled that belief in millions of Cubans.

    If Castro were such a bad guy, wouldn’t the MSM tell us that? But they didn’t. It’s not like he advocated an immediate nuclear strike on the United States or something (

  5. A/S:

    The smartest man on the planet, Obama, and his leftie stooges are pursuing all of it: death penalty = drone assassinations; hope and change – too soon illegals will be fleeing south as the US economy implodes; all attempts to institute Heaven on Earth result in Hell on earth; etc.

    “Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own. The harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional do-gooders, who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means.” From The Mainspring of Human Progress by Henry Grady Weaver

    The MSM has been ignoring facts since Napoleon was a stable boy.

  6. “Conservatives usually are in favor of the death penalty. So is Castro.”
    The death penalty is for capital one homicide and the bloodguilt for treason. Puttng patriots and statesmen to death is the greatest form of treason.
    “Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves,” “well-meaning people”?: Where there is a (good) will, there is a way. Hitler’s trains ran on time. Hitler killed millions of good people.

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