Thursday, February 21, 2008

Castro News Network

Powerline links this morning to a CNN guideline note to writers on how to treat the subject of Castro's resignation when writing news stories.

Nobody tries harder than the left to see what's not there and to NOT see what's staring you in the face. And it's all the more damaging to public knowledge when they blatantly manipulate how broadcast news is presented so that their view is the dominant one, and comes to be accepted as fact by those who do not study the issue.

"Please say in our reporting that Castro stepped down in a letter he wrote to (Cuban news organization), and not 'in a letter attributed to Castro'. We have no reason to doubt he wrote the letter, he (sic) has penned numerous articles over the past year and a half."

Well, if you ASSUME he wrote the articles, then you have no reason to doubt the letter, I suppose. But that begs the question; is Castro lucid, coherent, ALIVE? We don't know, and it is a fool's game to presume the positive when dealing with a regime that owes its continued existence to maintaining public ignorance on matters of consequence.

It is just plain childish to cite other written works to provide provenance for a letter, when all such works are presently subject to the same possible sets of circumstances which lead us to use caution in attributing the letter.

It's childish, and it's an arrogant presumption that viewers aren't smart enough to wonder whether Castro is writing his own propaganda these days.

And in that respect it is unnervingly similar to that propaganda; weak proofs offered with confidence and pride, and (at least on CNN, thanks to this note) no other viewpoint available for the viewer to consider.

But it gets worse--

"please note Fidel (yes, a warm personal first-name reference from the CNN brass) did bring social reforms to Cuba - namely free education and universal health care, and racial integration. in addition to being criticized for oppressing human rights and freedom of speech."

The grammar of these superior journalist types is atrocious, and so is the blindness; Cuba's "free education" is propaganda and sufficient basics to get the young slave to work in the cane fields, no more.

The 'universal health care' wasn't good enough for "Fidel" himself, as he imported a Spanish surgeon to deal with his own health care.

Powerline notes that Eldridge Cleaver, a man with some unfortunate experience in fighting racism, went to Cuba to live in the worker's paradise while on the run from American law. He found racism was worse than ever under Castro and came back to the States, commenting that Fidel's real Cuba didn't match the fantasy.

But if you're CNN's brass, you stick to the fantasy.

And note the end of that graf -- "being criticized for oppressing human rights and freedom of speech."

The positive stuff - "did bring social reforms to Cuba" - is objective fact in CNN's view, and the negative stuff is asserted to be someone's opinion of what he did, some criticism he suffered, some whining rightwinger's idea of how Cuba was.

"while despised by some, he is seen as a revolutionary hero, especially with some leftists in Latin America, for standing up to the United States."

There can be little doubt how CNN sees Castro. Standing up to the United States is at present the policy of the network, no matter what the issue, for as long as Bush or conservatives remain in charge of anything.

Fidel Castro is a mass murderer; God alone knows how many deaths he is responsible for and how much suffering he has inflicted on his nation. He is a thief, having secured for himself more money in foreign bank accounts than Saddam did, than Arafat did, than any other dictator in history.

I'll never forget the tale told me by a Cuban emigre I met, of late night knocks at the door, of the men in the town being whisked off in darkness to work at cane fields on the other side of the island, families not notified where they were or when (or if) they would return.

And when there were no more men, they came for the women.

Castro had a policy of allowing a few families to leave, so nobody could criticize him for imprisoning his people. It was by lottery, and families waited years to find out that they had to go in two weeks or lose the chance. They left everything behind. At the airport, they were searched and all valuables taken, including the wedding ring of a young boy's mother (the boy having grown to be the man I knew).

Castro was and is a pillar of evil, the worst this world has to offer. The amount of mental and moral gymnastics one must go through in order to write that note to CNN's news writers is beyond my imagining.

But those are the people who shape public opinion.

Thank God they don't have a monopoly on it anymore.

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