FLASHBACK: Barbara Walters Cheering Cuba as ‘One of the Freest Nations on Earth’

October 9th, 2021 12:15 PM

One of the more distasteful habits of liberal journalists has always been the tendency to flatter and fawn over brutal dictators. Reporters, who are supposed to speak truth to power, often fail when it comes to charismatic communists. That’s exactly what happened when ABC's Barbara Walters interviewed Fidel Castro almost 19 years ago.

On October 11, 2002, she gushed, “For Castro, freedom starts with education. And if literacy alone were the yardstick, Cuba would rank as one of the freest nations on Earth. The literacy rate is 96 percent.” Of course, if one were to use freedom as the yardstick for freedom, Castro’s brutal legacy would fail miserably.       



(The quote, from a 20/20 segment, would win the MRC’s “media hero award” for the Media Research Center’s 2002 Best of Notable Quotables.) 

Castro clearly made an impact on the former View host/ABC journalist. In the December 23, 2013 People, she gushed, "I spent 10 days with him, traveled through the mountains and held his gun in my lap...People thought we had a romance, but we never did." 

On the December 12, 2014 View, Walters praised Castro: "Maybe the most charismatic person I have met."

For more journalistic praise of the communist dictator, go here. For more examples from our flashback series, which we call the NewsBusters Time Machine, go here

[Editor’s note: A version of this article originally appeared on October 12, 2019.]