The "charismatic" Cuban dictator Fidel Castro's shock retirement for health reasons is covered on the New York Times web site this morning by James McKinley Jr., writing from Mexico City -- "Fidel Castro Resigns as Cuba's President."
President Castro? Was there nothing stronger in the NYT thesaurus this morning?
During a two part interview on the Thursday and Friday CBS "Early Show," co-host Maggie Rodriguez asked Hugo Chavez’s ex-wife, Marisabel Rodriguez, "Is Hugo Chavez a charismatic leader or a mad man?" This was followed later by the question, "Is he a Communist?" To which Marisabel Rodriguez responded: "If he's not, he's very similar to one."
Maggie Rodriguez, who is Cuban-American, had several other questions critical of Chavez:
Just last week Hugo Chavez reportedly boasted about chewing coca leaves, which is the base of cocaine. What do you think about this? Could this have altered his mind?...Do you think he should step down as president of Venezuela?
On the national holiday that celebrates the birth of famed civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr., the AP decided to remind us all that there was more to King than the popularized view of him affords. AP says that it is a shame that King has been "frozen in a moment in time that ignores the full complexity of the man and his message." Who can disagree with this? After all, very often notable historical figures end up being turned into cardboard cartoons known for that one "frozen moment" in history that made them famous.
But, even as the AP argues that we should learn more about the whole of MLK's life and take a more measured look at his life and works, the AP itself whitewashes several aspects of his real life. AP never mentions, for instance, his ties with communists nor do they mention Dr. King plagarized parts of his doctoral thesis. They don't mention his distrust of capitalism nor his support of the concept of special treatment and quotas, an idea that strays from his acclaimed position of "equal" treatment. So, the AP may want us to avoid putting Dr. King "on a pedestal of perfection," but it is also a fact that they only want us to know some of King's real record instead of all of it as they claim.
The '80s are back -- Sylvester Stallone has prepped another "Rambo" movie, Chuck Norris is an Internet icon and Mr. T is doing commercials. Alex Williams tackled the "trend" for the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times, "Tough Guys for Tough Times." Williams' story is a retread in its own way; the first sentence below in particular could have been been found 20 years ago in any college rag, pretentiously penned by an earnest liberal student straining for profundity:
"The leading action symbols of the Reagan era -- with all their excess, jingoism and good vs. evil bombast -- have returned, as outsize and obvious as they were in the decade of stonewash. Yet as stars of prime-time hits and feature films (not to mention Republican mascots), these actors are still as ripped and imposing as they were 20 years ago, and they continue to carry an undeniable authority with fans old and new."
Williams cracked on insecure conservative men, albeit in code ("likely not Hillary Clinton supporters"):
The wire service began by deliberately mischaracterizing the Cubans as “migrants” instead of calling them “refugees” or even “passengers.” Labeling them “migrants” ignores Cuba's political and economic straitjacket, and more importantly links Cuban refugees to the issue of illegal immigration.
The media are beginning to call everyone who comes to America with the intent to stay, “migrants,” whether here legally or not, which erases any distinctions. People who are anti-illegal immigration often support Cuban refugees remaining in the US, and linking the two issues can reduce opposition to illegal immigration.
While explaining why the Cubans risked their lives coming to the US, Reuters ignored Castro's totalitarian regime (bold mine throughout):
Politico is having some snarky fun, running a "populist pop quiz" challenging readers to guess whether it was John Edwards or Mike Huckabee who made the variety of class-warfare claims listed. You'll find a sampling of four of the questions below, but I'd encourage people to take the entire eight-question quiz and report back your scores. A cyber-statue of Karl Marx to the winner!
1. “No young person is more equal than another person because he has a higher IQ, or a higher net worth, or because he lives in a nicer home, or his clothes have a label of a designer that the other guy doesn’t have. That’s not what gives us equality.”
2. “There is unfortunately some disconnect between people who have never struggled and those for whom everyday life is a struggle.”
Well, here is a sad commentary on the fellow travelers over at Internet mega-corp, Google. Their Christmas graphic eschews that evil "Ch_ _ stmas" word giving us a bow and candy cane, instead. Apparently, Google doesn't want to cause any outrage by using the words "Merry Christmas."
Yet, the communists over at China Daily's on line news/propaganda site doesn't seem to have the slightest problem wishing us all a Merry Christmas as the graphic at the top of their mainpage shows!
What a sad commentary when even our Godless, communist enemies can say "Merry Christmas" but an ostensibly western, capitalist company won't do the same!
Like many Reaganites, he was no media darling; at least not initially.
In fact, he was intensely ridiculed at home and abroad in newspapers and magazines that frequently called his credentials and his intelligence into question. The media onslaught directed against William P. Clark was replete with misrepresentations and inaccuracies that were nevertheless widely circulated in the 1980s a political science professor, and best-selling author maintains in a recently released biography entitled "The Judge."
Although he was responsible for crafting "highly respected opinions" for the appellate and supreme courts in California, Clark remained "The Forever Unqualified Man" in eyes of the news media, Paul Kengor explains his new book.
Hollywood doesn't learn. Even though the latest round of America-hating movies flopped, Project Greenlight producer Chris Moore will turn "A People's History of the United States" by pop historian and Karl Marx fanboy Howard Zinn into a TV miniseries and a feature-length documentary.
Zinn's 1980 book influenced a generation of students with its negatively-framed distortions of American history which minimized successes like WWII. It exchanged traditional history for marginal topics such as Great Railroad Strike of 1877, Joan Baez and Angela Davis while omitting Washington's Farewell Address, the Wright Brothers and the Normandy Invasion.
The December 10 Variety stated production begins in Boston this January. Ironically, it will use wealthy celebrities like Matt Damon, Danny Glover and Josh Brolin to convey the book's Marxist theory (bold mine):
Miniseries will center on the actors and musicians as they read from the books or perform music related to their themes: the struggles of women, war, class and race. (...)
Always eager to promote another Hollywood film that casts a snarky eye on American foreign policy, Time magazine interviewed Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Philip Seymour Hoffman about Charlie Wilson’s War, a new movie about a conservative Texas Democratic Congressman who secured funding for the Afghan rebels, written by liberal West Wing scribe Aaron Sorkin. Hanks recalled that when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in December 1979, he just knew it was the beginning of the Soviets’ Vietnam, that "They have made a mistake equal to anything wrong America has done." Moral equivalence with the Soviets? Still in vogue in Hollywood in 2007.
Reasons to be skeptical? At the time, Hanks was 23 and had yet to get his big break as Kip-slash-Buffy in the ABC sitcom Bosom Buddies; and Hanks also suggested the Soviets freshly took over Hungary in 1956, instead of merely keeping the Soviet lid on the country. The interview began with Time’s Belinda Luscombe celebrating her own ignorance about American support for Afghan rebels:
Is the New York Times changing? In an article about Old Havana's rebuilding, NYT reporter John C. McKinley, Jr. bucked the media habit of inserting leftist messages into articles about Cuba. Instead, he exposed the average Cuban's poverty, giving the state-run socialist economy as the cause--all without mentioning “free” health care or the US embargo.
The article described how Havana historian Eusebio Leal Spengler “rebuilt and refurbished more than 300 landmark buildings in Old Havana, from fortresses built in the colonial days to famous nightspots and hotels of the city’s swinging era just before the Cuban revolution.“
McKinley countered that by explaining most Cubans don't have money for drinks at the bars made famous by Hemingway or the upscale inns favored by celebs like Jimmy Carter and Jack Nicholson (bold mine throughout):
Just a half block from the Bodeguita del Medio, another famous eatery favored by Hemingway that is constantly mobbed with tourists, Cubans troop into a sparsely stocked government store to get their monthly rations of beans, powdered milk, cigarettes and soap.
Dictator-groupies Sean Penn, Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover are at it again. They are among the “artists, scholars and performers” calling themselves “representatives of the cultural sphere in the US,” who sent a letter to President Bush asking him to “end the travel ban,” allowing a cultural exchange between nations.
Most troubling is the group did not address Cuba's lack of freedom and limited their travel demands to Cuba's “artists and scholars.” That wasn't a mistake. As faithful fans of the Cubano Dear Leader, they don't care about all Cubans' ability to travel, just those carefully-selected Party-approved “artists and scholars." Under heavy guard, of course, to avoid more embarrassing defections.
Imagine the ire the media would have, rightfully so, if George W. Bush, Karl Rove, and Dick Cheney (and Sean Hannity and whatever other liberal bogeymen the ultra-left fear) could even dream of, much less institute, a block-by-block patriotism patrol answerable to the U.S. government.
Of course that would not and could not ever happen under our Constitution. But the same essential thing was a building block of Fidel Castro's Marxist regime in Cuba, and, surprise, surprise, a Washington Post staff writer devoted an A-section article to its waning influence and substitute dictator Raul Castro's hope of reviving it.
CAMAGUEY, Cuba -- Children swarmed the table outside Blanca Peleaz's concrete home in this central Cuban city. There were cakes and cookies, gooey frosting and candy speckles, rare abundance in a place where food shortages are the norm.
The sweets came with a history lesson on a recent muggy evening during a celebration of the Cuban Revolution. Peleaz and other neighborhood adults told the youngsters about the Moncada Barracks raid that started it all. They told the little ones that the Communist Party would lead the nation to glory.
Then they sang.
"Marching, we move toward an ideal," the grown-ups blared, urging the youngsters to join in. "Onward, Cubans. Cuba will reward our heroism."
For decades, Peleaz and her mother before her have been keepers of Fidel Castro's communist message, using their position as the head of the neighborhood's Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, or CDR, as an ideological wedge into the minds of their neighbors. Now, in the twilight of Castro's reign, the fate of the CDRs could provide a clue about Cuba's future.
To commemorate the Media Research Center’s 20th anniversary this month, we’ve just published a special expanded edition of our ‘Notable Quotables’ newsletter. This issue contains more than100 of the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes we’ve uncovered over the past 20 years.
Over the next few days, I’ll be writing about some of the more obnoxious quotes we’ve uncovered over the years. To read the full issue, and watch any of the 50 video clips that accompany the issue, please visit www.MRC.org.
Today’s installment: The liberal media and communism. Probably the most sickening display of pro-communist propaganda to air on an American network was the seven-hour series ‘Portrait of the Soviet Union,’ produced by (you guessed it) Ted Turner. It aired back in March 1988 on Turner’s TBS, and was narrated by ‘Jaws’ actor Roy Scheider. Here are a few excerpts from the first night’s installment:
Man, after reading this AP report on the retiring of a Chinese official, you'd think that the folks at the Associated Press were star struck by this communist oppressor. I mean, I've seen less adulation on a Britney Spears fan site! You wouldn't expect to see more slobbering, sycophancy from a 12-year-old waiting in line to see the latest boy band to appear. Their adulation of vice premier Miss Wu Yi ranges from calling her a "master problem solver," to saying she has "charm," and an "unusual degree of personal warmth." You'd think that the AP is ready to cast her as the new Aunt Bee in a remake of The Andy Griffith Show.
Starting out with obvious marvel at Yi's indispensability for those lucky Chinese, AP seems to totally forget that she is part of an oppressive communist regime that kills people daily, oppresses all manner of religious sects, and withholds the basic freedoms from their people.
The media is very pleased to report about the United States' occupation of Iraq, and they never seem to tire of insinuating that it is both unpopular and illegal. However, they seem to be strangely shy of reporting on other occupations, which are both more long-standing and of a imperialistic nature. A case in point is the Associated Press story today on President Bush's meeting with the Dalai Lama, the exiled god-king of Tibet. Tibet, a historically independent kingdom, has been under a Chinese military occupation since 1951. Yet the AP chooses not to mention any of this in their report, which instead concentrates on the Chinese outrage that President Bush would meeet with the leader of an occupied state. The AP wrote in their second paragraph that,
Both Bush and members of Congress - who are presenting him with the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal on Wednesday - are stirring anger in China by honoring the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet's Buddhists. "We solemnly demand that the U.S.
On the 40th anniversary of Che Guevara's death, October 8 New York Times penned a peppy little story about how his well-to-do children feel about their father's legacy as a Communist “revolutionary icon” and the commercialization of his image.
Glaringly absent was any mention of his unpleasant history, especially the nickname he was given when he was Cuba's high executioner, The Butcher of la Cabana.
The NYT lamented that Che's image has fallen prey to the claws of capitalism and his “message” diluted. Too bad there was no description of the brutal way that “message” was delivered (emphasis mine throughout):
"Sixty years after a Congressional panel grilled 10 uncooperative writers, directors and producers about their supposed Communist connections, Hollywood still quarrels over the heroes and villains of its Red Scare."
Notice how the phrase "Red Scare" comes without quotation marks, as if that liberal term is the objective view.
"The propriety of giving Elia Kazan -- one who 'named names' -- an honorary Oscar in 1999 remains a contentious subject. And only five years ago Stanley Kramer's widow bitterly battled the makers of a television documentary that depicted her late husband using the blacklist to deny his former partner Carl Foreman a producer's credit on 'High Noon.'