The ABC, CBS and NBC evening new shows have yet to notice Fidel Castro's astonishing admission that Cuban Communism does not work. But non-journalist Jay Leno brought the news to his Tonight Show audience on Thursday, joshing: "Most Cubans heard this announcement on a 1954 RCA Deluxe console TV -- beautiful black-and-white, all mahogany...." (Video at right)
The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg recounted Castro's confession in a September 8 post:
During the generally lighthearted conversation (we had just spent three hours talking about Iran and the Middle East), I asked him if he believed the Cuban model was still something worth exporting.
"The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore," he said.
This struck me as the mother of all Emily Litella moments. Did the leader of the Revolution just say, in essence, "Never mind"?
I asked Julia to interpret this stunning statement for me. She said, "He wasn't rejecting the ideas of the Revolution. I took it to be an acknowledgment that under 'the Cuban model' the state has much too big a role in the economic life of the country."
Despite the fact that communist Cuba has been a key foreign policy issue for the U.S. for more than 50 years, none of the three evening newscasts thought that worth mentioning either Wednesday night or Thursday. NBC's Today show, however, gave it a few seconds on Thursday -- a news brief read by Ann Curry: "In a rare interview, Cuba's Fidel Castro was strikingly candid about his nation's economy. Castro reportedly told Atlantic magazine that Cuba's state-dominated economic system no longer works and is in need of change."
MRC President Brent Bozell issued the following statement to address the broadcast networks’ lack of interest:
“Jay Leno knows more about current events than do the “news” networks. Newsflash to the liberal media: Communism Fails! Period. You’ve had 50 years to report the abuses, suffering and oppression in Communist Cuba. But instead, you “journalists” were so infatuated with Fidel Castro that instead you did his bidding, continuously feeding Americans a steady diet of disgraceful propaganda. Aren’t you thoroughly ashamed it took the dictator himself to admit what you should have been reporting all along?”
For a review of the decades of Fidel-fawning coverage documented by the Media Research Center, check out this 2007 Special Report: "Fidel's Flatterers -- The U.S. Media's Decades of Cheering Castro's Communism."