Why Legacy Media Have So Much Trouble Calling Castro What He Was: A Murderer
The most telling indictment of the death of Fidel Castro this past week came not from a network TV savant but from an anonymous partier in Miami’s Little Havana. Asked how Castro’s brutal regime should be portrayed by the media, he said, “You didn’t see anyone trying to launch a Toyota Prius flotilla to go from here to Havana, did you?”
Indeed. But watch CBS/ PBS pool boy Charlie Rose in Cuba parsing his language over the death of Castro. The poor man can’t seem to form the word “murderer”. “Global reputation”, “hero to some” and “enormous political figure” come tumbling from his lips, but making note of the blood-soaked ground beneath him seems to escape the poor man. He can’t bring himself to condemn evil.
No one in Rose’s respectable press row would would ever describe the death of Hitler or Mussolini or Augusto Pinochet without some descriptives about mass murder, torture or watching snuff videos of their terrified victims. Those crimes were true about all of them, and their place in history is blackened by by these inhumanities. These crimes were also true of Castro over a period of 50 years. His history is drenched wth death.
But like Bernie Sanders’ pals in the Kremlin, Fidel was part of the Great Project. For the generations brought up on the romance of revolutionaries in the Spanish Civil War or Bethune’s China, Papa Joe Stalin was a man of a “shaper of destinies”. Just ask the 10 million he starved to death in the Ukraine what they thought of the destiny Stalin decreed for them.
The Great Helmsman Mao, hero to so many undergrads, was a man who’d been pushed to his limits by the imperialists, so we can excuse him killing 45 million or so of his fellow Chinese in the quest to purify the nation. But Hitler? The condemnation can’t be strong enough.
This willful blindness continued into the modern age, even when the truth about these abominations were fully exposed. Ché was gentrified from savage killer to poster art in the dorms of 1960s flower children. Venezuela’s petro tyrants like Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro have enriched themselves even as they arrested their countrymen, only to be extolled by Hollywood meat puppets Sean Penn and Oliver Stone.
While even famed film maker Costa Gavras was able to admit the true nature of leftish coercion ( translation: torture) in his 1970 film The Confession (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0128137/), today's limo liberals can’t summon the integrity to put truth to words.
Where Hitler et al. are rightly vilified by the western press, the nice ladies and gentlemen of the legacy media such as Mr. Rose go all squishy whenever a caudillo like Castro bites the dust. They squirm and get parenthetical about these beasts of the left, because their hearts were made pure by the struggle gloriousus against America or Britain. They supplied health care (unless you were about the receive a volley from a firing squad.)
It’s the same whiff of faculty lounge nostalgia that allowed Obama’s longtime associations with former terrorists in Chicago to be considered a boyish fling not worth troubling ourselves about. There is something about a bespoke revolutionary or a kharki commie that causes the Charlie Rose types to get weak in the knees.
The orgy of equivocation over Castro reached its apogee this past week in the useful idiot performance of Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau. As a prop at the side of his gadabout Papa, Pierre, Justin got to know the alleged warm and fuzzy side of Fidel back in the ‘70s (when Fidel was a puppet of Moscow). The bearded one returned the favour by being one of the very few from the ranks of world dignitaries to schlep his butt to Montreal for the funeral of Trudeau père.
Trudeau the Younger felt a pang of personal loss when Castro’s number finally came due in hell. So he just had to share. As has been reported internationally, Justin’s mawkish tribute to a stone-cold dictator/ murderer broke new ground in the field of obsequity. His “sure, he was a bastard but Cubans now have better teeth” tome has been endlessly savaged on #trudeaueulogies. Our personal favourite was John Wilkes Booth: “While a controversial figure, he will be remembered as a lover of the theatre.”
He had company from British Trotskyist… er, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn… who gushed about Castro’s courage in the face of American tyranny etc. Corbyn’s muse at the Toronto Star, the unhinged Heather Mallick raved, “American atrocities dwarfed Cuban ones. Yet Castro lived to see his American tormentor pay the ultimate price: President-elect Trump and a descent into authoritarianism.”
She then suggested blaming the Canadian tourists who invested tourist dollars into Cuba as the real hypocrites. You can’t make this stuff up.
Perhaps, having never dipped a paddle into the Gulf of Mexico while riding a chicken coop to the Florida Keys, these bien pensants don’t know what the quest to escape real tyranny will force a person to do. Maybe they consider this life-or-death desire for freedom like a gentle stroll down the Sparks Street Mall in Ottawa.
But nothing excuses media mavens like Rose looking the other way when leftist thugs oppress their own.
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy. Bruce is the host of podcast The Full Count with Bruce Dowbiggin on anticanetwork.com. His career includes successful stints in television, radio and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster, he is also the best-selling author of seven books. He was a featured columnist for the Calgary Herald and the Globe & Mail.