Nets Give 74 Seconds to Bernie’s Castro Love, 34 Minutes to Trump/Putin

Listen to the Article!

On Monday, all three network morning shows combined could only manage a little over a minute (74 seconds) of air time to mention 2020 Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders defending deceased Cuban dictator Fidel Castro on Sunday’s 60 Minutes. However, after President Trump held a summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in July of 2018, the same broadcasts devoted 34 minutes to excoriating the meeting – and that was just in the first half hour of the respective shows.

On NBC’s Today show, while correspondent Andrea Mitchell promised that Sanders’ frontrunner status “comes [with] a lot more scrutiny of his record and his proposals,” her report only featured 24 seconds on the self-avowed socialist Senator “defending past comments about Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.”

A clip ran of Sanders telling 60 Minutes correspondent Anderson Cooper:

We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba. But you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad. When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing, even though Fidel Castro did it?

Despite such short shrift to the controversial remarks, moments later, co-host Savannah Guthrie worried to former Obama White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs: “...whether in 2016 when he ran against Hillary Clinton, whether in this cycle, do you feel like Bernie Sanders has really been vetted and scrutinized?...has he really had to take that kind of scrutiny yet?”

 

 

Isn’t it the job of media to vet and scrutinize presidential candidates?

Leading off ABC’s Good Morning America, after touting “Bernie’s big win” in the Nevada caucus, anchor George Stephanopoulos noted Sanders was “now facing backlash for what he said about Cuba’s Fidel Castro in an interview overnight, defending some of the dictator’s programs.”

During her report minutes later, correspondent Eva Pilgrim briefly acknowledged “a potential stumble amid his surge in popularity,” with the far-left candidate “drawing criticism for comments on communist leader Fidel Castro.” A soundbite then ran of Sanders’ comments before the coverage quickly moved on, after only 22 seconds on the topic.

“And Congresswoman Donna Shalala, a Democrat representing parts of south Florida, is raising concerns about Sanders comments about the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro on 60 Minutes,” correspondent Ed O’Keefe highlighted on CBS This Morning. In addition to the same clip of the interview that was aired on NBC and ABC, a small amount of push-back from Cooper was also featured:

BERNIE SANDERS: We are very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba. But, you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know? When Fidel Castro came into office you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?

ANDERSON COOPER: There’s a lot of dissidents in prison.

SANDERS: That’s right. And we condemn that.

Given that Sanders made the controversial remarks on CBS, the morning show did provide the most coverage – 28 seconds.

When President Trump met with Putin in the summer of 2018, networks anchors and correspondents lost their minds on the July 17 morning shows the day after the summit, universally labeling Trump’s deferential comments regarding the Russian autocrat to be “treasonous.”

So how would the liberal press define Sanders’ defense of Cuban totalitarian communism?

Here is a transcript of the February 24 coverage on NBC’s Today show:

7:06 AM ET

(...)

ANDREA MITCHELL: Sanders is now the clear frontrunner. But with that status comes a lot more scrutiny of his record and his proposals.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Sanders Defends Comments About Castro; Comes After Candidate Wins Nevada Caucuses]

In an interview with 60 Minutes, Bernie Sanders opening up about his emergence as the frontrunner and defending past comments about Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

BERNIE SANDERS: We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba. But you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad. When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing, even though Fidel Castro did it?

MITCHELL: He also struggled to provide details on how he plans to pay for his sweeping proposals, including Medicare for All.

ANDERSON COOPER [60 MINUTES]: How do you know it’s going to be paid for if you don’t know how much the price is?

SANDERS: Well, you know, I can’t rattle off to you every nickel and every dime, but we have  accounted for – you talked about Medicare for All, we have options out there that will pay for it.

(...)

7:11 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Quick question for you, Robert, whether in 2016 when he ran against Hillary Clinton, whether in this cycle, do you feel like Bernie Sanders has really been vetted and scrutinized? For example, he keeps saying, “Look, when you put me in a head to head in these polls, it shows me beating Trump.” But the question is, has he really had to take that kind of scrutiny yet?

ROBERT GIBBS: Well, look, I don’t think he’s ever been quite in the political position as the unquestioned frontrunner that he is today. And I think he wasn’t the target in the last debate, that was Mayor Bloomberg. But he knows, his campaign knows, everybody knows he’s going to be the focus of attention tomorrow in South Carolina during that debate and really for the next eight days.

(...)

Here is a transcript of the coverage on ABC’s GMA:

7:00 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Bernie’s big win. The Democratic frontrunner scores a huge victory in Nevada, but now facing backlash for what he said about Cuba’s Fidel Castro in an interview overnight, defending some of the dictator’s programs.

(...)

7:07 AM ET

EVA PILGRIM: But a potential stumble amid his surge in popularity. Sanders drawing criticism for comments on communist leader Fidel Castro.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Sanders Defends Fidel Castro; “It’s Unfair to Simply Say Everything is Bad”]

BERNIE SANDERS: We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba. But you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know, when Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing, even though Fidel Castro did it?

(...)

Here is a transcript of the coverage on CBS This Morning:

7:07 AM ET

(...)

ED O’KEEFE: And Congresswoman Donna Shalala, a Democrat representing parts of south Florida, is raising concerns about Sanders comments about the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro on 60 Minutes.

BERNIE SANDERS: We are very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba. But, you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know? When Fidel Castro came into office you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?

ANDERSON COOPER: There’s a lot of dissidents in prison.

SANDERS: That’s right. And we condemn that.

(...)

Research NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Cuba Liberals & Democrats ABC Good Morning America CBS 60 Minutes CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Andrea Mitchell Savannah Guthrie Ed O'Keefe Eva Pilgrim Bernie Sanders Fidel Castro

Sponsored Links