"[I]t’s important to remember that [Pete] Seeger, once an avowed Stalinist, was a political singer devoted to a sinister political system--a position he held long after the Soviet experiment drenched itself in blood and collapsed in ignominy."
With lines like that, the Daily Beast's Michael Moynihan might find himself crossed off a few Christmas card lists and curiously uninvited to some cocktail parties. And yet, things like that must be said. Kudos to Moynihan for recounting these inconvenient truths in "The Death of 'Stalin's Songbird'":
On the Friday, December 6, All In with Chris Hayes show on MSNBC, during a discussion of Nelson Mandela's support for violent resistance, the Daily Beast's Michael Moynihan admitted that the former South African leader had a "moral failing" because he "associated with" dictators who "did the same things to their people" as "was done to him."
Referring to an article by Moynihan on the subject, host Chris Hayes brought up the "Santa Clausification process" as he posed the question:
At the Daily Beast, Michael Moynihan attempted to overcome the tendency of journalists and celebrities to make Nelson Mandela a secular saint. Moynihan recalled that when Margaret Thatcher died, these same people denounced her for here "indulgence" of right-wing dictators like Agosto Pinochet in Chile, who allowed his country to become a democracy.
ABC called her reign an “elective dictatorship.” NBC reported several times that “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead” became a popular iTune after she passed away, and CBS predicted the funeral would be a "tense and controversial affair." It's safe to guess these networks wouldn't dream of recalling Mandela’s associations with despots like Fidel Castro and Muammar Qaddafi, as Moynihan insisted they should:
The Daily Beast is no stranger to criticism from yours truly nor from NewsBusters in general, but today I have to give kudos to Michael Moynihan for his excellent critique of sloppy journalism from CNN.
In "What Hassan Rouhani Really Said About the Holocaust," the Daily Beast culture news editor took the news network to task for reporting that the newly-installed Iranian president, unlike his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was NOT a Holocaust denier. But it seems that CNN was relying on Rouhani's official translator, who, it seems, deliberately watered down the English translation for American consumption. Moynihan explains (portions in bold reflect my emphasis):