Journalists Hail Castro’s Achievements, ‘George Washington,’ ‘Folk Hero to Most of Us’

Fidel Castro, who died late Friday night, was a tyrant who oppressed Cubans and brought misery to many for several decades and while much of the breaking news coverage emphasized that reality, journalists on ABC, CNN and MSNBC – matching how too much of the media approached Castro for decades – couldn’t resist crediting him for supposed great advancements in education, literacy and health care.

(Video clips below)

On MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell insisted in a stock bio that Castro “gave his people better health care and education.” Appearing live by phone, she soon trumpeted how Castro “will be revered” for “education and social services and medical care to all of his people.”

Along a similar theme, in an ABC Special Report during Nightline, Jim Avila maintained that “even Castro’s critics praised his advances in health care and in education.”

In a relatively tough report on Castro’s abuses, CNN’s Martin Savidge, in a pre-recorded bio piece, highlighted how “many saw positives, education and health care for all, racial integration.”

A meandering Brian Williams popped up by phone on MSNBC to ruminate and recalled how in his last visit to Cuba, in 2015: “You see the medicine system they are very proud of.”

ABC’s Avila went so far as to tout how Castro “was considered, even to this day, the George Washington of his country among those who remain in Cuba.”

Reminiscing about his high school years, via phone on MSNBC, Chris Matthews asserted that Castro was “a romantic figure when he came into power” and, Matthews wasn’t embarrassed to relay, “we rooted like mad for the guy” who “was almost like a folk hero to most of us.”

>> More, media’s worst from the MRC archive as collected by Rich Noyes: “Fidel’s Flatterers: The U.S. Media’s Decades of Cheering Castro’s Communism

My video tweets, which include longer excerpts than quoted above, in rough time order as they aired during coverage from 12:30 to about 2 AM EST on Saturday morning, November 26:

[UPDATE: These Twitter videos will not be supported by Twitter forever. When they disappear, you can still watch several of them in “Notable Quotables Special Edition: Fawning Over Fidel” by Geoff Dickens which was posted on December 2, 2016.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center