Following the trend set when news broke early Wednesday, the major broadcast networks continued their praising of the move by President Obama to seek normalized relations with Cuba on their Wednesday night newscasts.
Between the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC, they made only a few, brief mentions over the course of their 30-minute programs that Cuba was both a communist country and brutal in the treatment of its own people (especially dissenters). [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On the CBS Evening News, substitute anchor Norah O’Donnell uttered the lone reference at the top of the program in introducing the multiple segments devoted to the move: “Nearly 54 years after President Eisenhower severed diplomatic ties with the Communist dictatorship, President Obama said it is time to restore them.”
David Muir of ABC’s World News Tonight brought up the regime in Cuba during his exclusive interview with President Obama and asked him if he agreed with former Florida Governor and likely 2016 GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush that President Raul Castro is “a dictator.” Later, Muir asked the President about those who are against the move and point to “the political prisoners that still do exist” plus “the fact they can’t have demonstrations against their own government there.”
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams took a brief moment between segments to give viewers a brief historical overview of U.S./Cuba relations and stated that, after overthrowing the previous regime in 1959, Fidel Castro “declared a revolutionary socialist state.” Reporting from Havana, correspondent Mark Potter would only refer to the overthrow by Castro as a “revolution.”
In a story by correspondent Jacob Rascon about reaction among the Hispanic community in Miami, Florida, one man wondered: “When are they going to free Cuba from this dictatorship? This guy has been intervening in all the controversies in the world and nobody touch him. Why?”
The network’s glossing over this fact about the Cuban regime is far from surprising when considering how they’ve covered the topic of communism over the years. As the Media Research Center’s Rich Noyes wrote in January regarding the media’s coverage of communism leading up to and after the fall of the Berlin Wall:
But before, during and after those momentous events, the liberal media in America too often whitewashed the true nature of communism, or suggested capitalism was somehow worse. Even as European communism was gasping its last breaths, reporters touted its supposed success stories. After the Iron Curtain lifted, the media disparaged the uncertainty of life without the “guarantees” and “safety net” provided by the former communist masters.