Perhaps the reason why Monday’s network morning shows only spent a combined 74 seconds discussing socialist Senator Bernie Sanders singing the praises of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was because journalists on NBC, ABC, and CBS knew full well that they had provided even more effusive commentary on the communist autocrat.
On NBC’s Today show, while Andrea Mitchell noted Sanders “defending past comments about Cuban dictator Fidel Castro,” she seemed to forget that in November of 2016, as news broke about Castro’s death, she told MSNBC viewers: “A declared socialist, he dramatically improved health care and literacy....I think he will be revered as someone who brought education and social services and medical care to all of his people.”
At the top of ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos declared that the 2020 Democratic frontrunner was “now facing backlash for what he said about Cuba’s Fidel Castro...defending some of the dictator’s programs.” However, in 2016, the network’s then-senior national correspondent Jim Avila fondly proclaimed: “Fidel Castro was considered, even to this day, the George Washington of his country among those who remain in Cuba.”
Reporting for CBS This Morning, correspondent Ed O’Keefe touted Democratic lawmakers “raising concerns about Sanders’ comments about the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro on 60 Minutes.” In 2016, the broadcast’s disgraced former co-host Charlie Rose engaged in pro-Castro propaganda from Havana:
Though his iron fist no longer ruled Cuba, the 90-year-old was still a potent symbol of the revolution....Whether you love Fidel Castro because of what he did in education and health care, or hate him because of civil rights and human rights, there is no doubt that he is considered here a revolutionary hero. Not only in Cuba, but in many place around the world, and also for his defiance of the United States.
Beyond those fawning eulogies for Castro, the liberal press spent decades promoting his brutal regime as reporters insisted that there was nothing “sinister” going on in the authoritarian nation, where “health and education are the revolution’s great success stories” and “if literacy alone were the yardstick, Cuba would rank as one of the freest nations on Earth.”
The sycophantic media adulation for Castro might have even made Sanders blush.