Cold War Hangover: WashPost Celebrates Che Guevara "Freedom Fighter" Chic

At a time when radical Muslims are rioting in the streets over images of Muhammad, the Washington Post somehow thinks it's a perfect time to pretend once again that images of communist guerrilla/butcher Che Guevara are cool. In an article headlined "The Che Cachet," Post reporter David Segal writes about how "An Exhibition Traces How the Marxist Revolutionary's Photo Inspired An Army of Capitalists."

This article has been done before. And done before. And done before. But that apparently doesn't mean it can't be done again. And badly again.

The dumbest sentence by far: Segal writes "Rifle-wielding freedom fighters around the world have revered this image the way Christians revere saints." Appalling. The second half is not untrue -- communists and leftists do revere the image like a religious icon of "socialist realism." It's the first half, the idea that communist guerillas are "freedom fighters." As if Marxists ever brought anyone freedom. That's so 20th century...

The exhibit's curator, Trisha Ziff, does insist the image "derives from a visual language of mythologized heroes harking back to an era of socialist realism, yet it also references a classical Christ-like demeanor." (Personally, I'd rather be a fool for Christ than a fool for Che, like this woman.)

The second dumbest sentence: "Even his ideological foes admire him because he represents the great virtues it takes to be a revolutionary," says Che biographer Jon Lee Anderson, a New Yorker writer (and former reporter for Time magazine.) "Bravery, fearlessness, honesty, austerity, and absolute conviction. Those are the prerequisites to carry others into what is actually quite a miserable existence. He lived it. He really lived it." (Did he intend the Sally Field Oscar speech echo in that?)

Is there a more abusive thing liberal reporters do to conservatives than insisting "even conservatives" admire that thug Che, or other propositions conservatives would spit out like someone put paste in their mouth?

Over at The Corner, John J. Miller recommends The New Criterion for what conservatives should know and recite. Jay Nordlinger tackled the Che chic issue in National Review here.

Segal brings his irony to the table to sum up: Capitalism won, because "It's the only system that understands that we'd all like to change the world, but we are way too lazy for that sort of thing." As if we had a couple of energy drinks, we'd really like to enslave the globe for Castro. I personally favor the Bureaucrash images, like this....or this.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis