Communism

By Jack Coleman | February 13, 2015 | 7:21 PM EST

Appearing as a guest speaker at the Reagan Library in 2008, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was asked who his "wow interview" was with, or what person would fit the bill.

Williams tweaked the question before responding in a way that prompted an approving murmur through the audience, which presumably was what he intended.

By Curtis Houck | January 21, 2015 | 11:00 PM EST

In conjunction with the U.S. diplomatic delegation arriving in Cuba on Wednesday for talks with the Communist regime, ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir and NBC Nightly News went out of their way to all but again ignore the brutal past of the Castro government  and instead stage unapologetic promotions of the country that lies 93 miles to America’s south.

All told, NBC Nightly News spent a whopping nine minutes and 19 seconds of its airtime to Cuba over the course of three teases and segments each. For ABC, with three teases and segments of its own (plus another that predominantly discussed Cuba), it devoted a total of eight minutes and 53 seconds of World News Tonight to fawning over the subject.

By Curtis Houck | January 15, 2015 | 10:25 PM EST

During Thursday’s NBC Nightly News, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell enthusiastically promoted the new and “dramatic changes” set to go into effect on Friday that will allow Americans to more easily trade with and travel to/from Cuba as causing the Cold War to end.

In leading off her report, Mitchell announced to viewers: “In Havana, dramatic change after more than a half-century. Tomorrow the Cold War will be over. A huge opening for U.S. and Cuban travel and trade.”

By Tom Blumer | January 13, 2015 | 7:30 PM EST

The latest report out of Venezuela by the Associated Press's Hannah Dreier has a time stamp of 1:15 p.m. today. This means that the wire service has had plenty of time to report, and has chosen not to report, a powerful pastoral letter issued yesterday by that country's Catholic bishops (original in Spanish; full Google Translation) denouncing that country's descent into a system they described as "socialist Marxist or communist."

That decision by AP and apparently other international wire services demonstrates once again that one cannot keep up with the news without at least occasionally going to the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, the UK tabloids, and Investors Business Daily. In this case, it's IBD's Monica Showalter who commented on the development Monday afternoon in an opinion piece. She also brought Pope Francis into the discussion (bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Tom Blumer | January 10, 2015 | 10:39 AM EST

Three results returned in a search at the Associated Press's national site on "Venezuela" tell us almost nothing about that country's deepening economic crisis.

An unbylined January 10 item reports on the visit of Nicolas Maduro, the country's de facto dictator, to Iran in hopes of "stabilizing" (i.e., raising) oil prices. A second unbylined report on January 9 tells readers that there's really nothing to worry (oh sure) about in China's growing Latin American influence. Only the faintest hint of the horrors everyday Venezuelans are now experiencing appeared on January 7. The following two paragraphs appeared at the very end of a report describing Maduro's visit to China:

By Tom Blumer | December 29, 2014 | 10:02 PM EST

What is it with the establishment press and communism? The earth's most murderous political philosophy and its most murderous practitioners still get undeserved and occasionally even complimentary attention, while their crimes against humanity get brushed aside, ignored, or downplayed.

A Christmas Day item from Romania at the Associated Press illustrates the point. The first six of its eight paragraphs follow the jump (underlines are mine):

By Clay Waters | December 20, 2014 | 11:11 PM EST

New York Times reporter Damien Cave reported from Havana that Obama's liberalized policy shift toward Cuba meant that that country was finished with its "venerable....leader" (not ruthless dictator) Fidel Castro, and also took a shot at "stiff-backed critics of Fidel’s government." As Miami bureau chief, Cave fostered a bizarre obsession with hypothetical inequality that might transpire in a freer Cuba.

By Tom Johnson | December 18, 2014 | 9:51 PM EST

Daily Kos founder and publisher Markos Moulitsas is exultant that we are “finally moving on” from the embargo “despite the wailing and teeth gnashing of the [Marco] Rubios and [Bob] Menendezes of the world, and the new generation of Cuban Americans is leading the way.”

By Tom Blumer | December 18, 2014 | 2:03 PM EST

Those who rail at Fox News for allegedly being a haven of unbridled, uninterrupted conservatism usually and conveniently fail to remember that Shepard Smith is there.

Smith's take yesterday on the potential pitfalls of a thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations, particularly on the commercial front, was nothing short of astonishing. His primary fear, expressed in an interview with Gerri Willis of the Fox Business Network, is that the new arrangements might "ruin the place." It would be "the last thing they need" to see "Taco Bell and Lowes" locations there. Smith also posed as a market analyst, wondering if the Dow was up 300 points because of President Obama's related announcement. Video (HT Mediaite and PJ Media's Ed Driscoll) and a transcript follow the jump:

By Tom Johnson | December 18, 2014 | 1:03 AM EST

The Esquire blogger is pleased that with Obama’s executive action on immigration and the shift on Cuba, “the Republicans now have two major freak-outs in their base that will do nothing except inflame the implacable Right, and thereby cripple the party's ability to reach out to the new Hispanic voters it claims it wants to attract.”

By Mark Finkelstein | December 10, 2014 | 6:52 PM EST

Two guests on this evening's Ed Show on MSNBC revealed what lies just below the surface for many in the current protest movement: opposition to capitalism.

First up was Rosa Clemente, a "hip hop activist" and 2008 Green Party VP candidate: "Capitalism, I think that is the institution all over this country. It is really the oppressive force." Next, Georgetown Prof. Marcia Chatelain, who said that the current moment has revealed "an incredible critique of capitalism that it isn't just police brutality but the way people are forced to live." Your $40,000/year tuition at work!

By Tom Blumer | November 26, 2014 | 9:17 AM EST

It's amazing how any reporter can cover the deepening economic crisis in Venezuela without saying a word about how the country got there.

But Associated Press reporter Hannah Dreier was up to the task. In a bizarre, sickening November 20 report on how its people are having to get "creative" in the face of chronic shortages of basic goods to get by, she acted as if those shortages — and the over five decades of worse problems in Cuba — somehow just happened.