Ask AP: Why Describe Castro As Having 'Presidential' Powers?

High on the list of annoying media tics is their tendency to call murderous totalitarian dictators "presidents." That ought to be an honorific reserved for elected leaders. But here's the AP dispatch that ran in Tuesday's Washington Post:

Fidel Castro temporarily relinquished his presidential powers to his brother Raul on Monday night and told Cubans he underwent surgery...

Castro said he was temporarily relinquishing the presidency to his younger brother and successor Raul, the defense minister, but said the move was of "a provisional character."

Not only is this inaccurate, but if one can imagine someone who does not know who Fidel Castro is (I once had a brother-in-law who thought he ruled Jamaica), they might actually think he's a democratic leader from the tone of AP's report.

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