The latest evidence of that detachment from reality came online Saturday evening at the New York Times, and appeared in today's print edition. Writer James McAuley, described as "a Marshall scholar studying history at the University of Oxford," wrote that Dallas collectively "willed the death of the president," and that it has prospered disproportionately in the subsequent 50 years because of "pretending to forget."
The Associated Press has published a great but disturbing story. Given the frequent and deserved grief yours truly administers when the wire service lets its readers, listeners, viewers, and subscribing news organizations down, it seems only fair to acknowledge fine work when it does occur. The real question is, in the politically charged U.S. health care environment, whether the AP's subscribers and other media outlets aware of Frank Bajak's Wednesday morning report will acknowledge its existence, and adequately relay the horrors contained therein.
The story is about what's left of Venezuela's "free" healthcare system. It's in shambles. The headline reads like it might be "only" doctors who say so, but Bajak's content says otherwise. Readers here need to go to the full report, because the excerpts which follow of necessity convey only a small portion of how awful things are, including indications that the country is moving ever closer to becoming another Cuba:
With attention drawn to government surveillance of citizens, some in the media are recalling that this has long been an issue. Columnist Phil Kadner of the Southtown Star, a publication of the Chicago Sun-Times, did so in a recent column, "Do you want security or freedom?":
When Communists were suspected of conspiring to undermine our country, innocent political activists were targeted in the 1930s, 1950s and 1960s. The FBI wiretapped Martin Luther King Jr. because he was campaigning for civil rights.
That was not the reason for King’s wiretap, which was carried out by the FBI after Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy authorized it on October 10, 1963. Kennedy believed that two of King’s associates had ties to the Communist party.
NBC's Today on Thursday completely skipped the violence associated with May Day protests in Seattle. CBS This Morning and ABC's Good Morning America covered the riots briefly, but ignored the socialist connection to the protest. GMA news reader Josh Elliott explained, "What started as a peaceful May Day protest in Seattle turned into violence and chaos as the march was winding down."
He added that "demonstrators suddenly began throwing rocks, bottles and metal pipes at police smashing windows." On Wednesday, however, Elliott blandly previewed, "May Day, May 1st is often a holiday used to focus attention on workers' issues." Yet, as the poster for the May Day rally in Seattle explained, the purpose was to "honor the history of May Day" and fight "against capitalism, all nation-states and borders!"
Philosopher George Santayana once said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” In regards to socialism, the media has turned a blind eye to the more than 100 million victims of the ideology. In fact, May 1 actually marks a socialist holiday – International Workers’ Day, or May Day.
“Socialist” is a word often used in conjunction with President Obama, but seldom explained by the major media. During the White House Correspondents Dinner, the president even joked that “I'm not the strapping young Muslim Socialist that I used to be.” It might be a joke to the president, but to millions who have lived under socialism, it has been a nightmare.
Maybe MSNBC was trying to deflect some of the controversy surrounding Melissa Harris-Perry's previous "Lean Forward" promo by pushing out a new one. MH-P had provoked outrage in that earlier promo by proclaiming that "kids belong to their communities," not to their parents.
But if anything, the new promo aired during today's Morning Joe just adds fuel to MH-P's socialist fire. While claiming to defend meritocracy, Harris-Perry could only grudgingly admit that the most successful should earn "a little more." She then proceeded to proclaim as a right "health care, education, decent housing and quality food at all times." From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs, anyone? View the video after the jump.
In a mild shock -- mild because it's mentioned before the elections, but probably won't be when it really matters after the polls close -- Frank Bajak and Jorge Rueda at the Associated Press, in a story about how the last opposition TV station in Venezuela is being sold to an insurance magnate who is reportedly "friendly with government," noted the extraordinary handicaps that Venezuela's opposition presidential candidate faces as he attempts to unseat the Chavista successor to the late dictator Hugo Chavez in April's upcoming elections.
Specifically, the pair wrote:
CNN, which if I recall correctly severed formal ties with the Associated Press some time ago, quoted former congressman Joseph Kennedy II's reaction to the death of Venezuela's authoritarian leader Hugo Chavez as follows: "President Chavez cared deeply about the poor of Venezuela and other nations around the world and their abject lack of even basic necessities, while some of the wealthiest people on our planet have more money than they can ever reasonably expect to spend" ... There are close to 2 million people in the United States who received free heating assistance, thanks to President Chavez's leadership. Our prayers go out to President Chavez's family, the people of Venezuela, and all who were warmed by his generosity."
Here is how Christine Armario at the AP, with the help of Steve LeBlanc in Boston, sanitized Kennedy's remarks:
Woody Guthrie was an American original who wrote some enduring music and did a lot to publicize the plight of the people of the Dust Bowl. There's just one little inconvenient truth about Guthrie: he ran in Communist circles. Though it's reported that he never officially joined the party, he's quoted as saying that the "the best thing that I did in 1936 was to sign up with the Communist Party." He also wrote 174 columns for the Communist Party's Daily Worker newspaper.
But nary a mention was made of Woody's Communist connections on Morning Joe today. Instead, Mika Brzezinski giggled like a schoolgirl over the numerous, explicit sex scenes contained in a recently-discovered novel that Guthrie wrote, House of Earth. View the video after the jump.
Surprised they didn't opt for the auto da fe analogy . . .
On Chris Hayes's MSNBC show this morning, Ali Gharib, editor of the "Open Zion" blog at the Daily Beast, described the questioning of Chuck Hagel at his Senate confirmation hearing as "a Republican purge" and a "Maoist public shaming." Michael Hastings of the Rolling Stone begged to differ, finding it more reminiscent of "Stalin." View the video after the jump.
At the end of Thursday's NBC Rock Center, host Brian Williams touted an "unexpected moment" with the widow of Robert F. Kennedy when he asked "what she remembered about Fidel Castro, who, it turns out, she's met several times." Kennedy fondly remembered: "He was very warm, very emotional. He clearly would have liked to have been friends with President Kennedy and with Bobby."
Williams lamented the friendship that never was: "It certainly didn't work out that way. And of the three men, only Castro survives."
In Caracas reporting on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez winning an "unprecedented third term" for Monday's NBC Today, reporter Kerry Sanders seemed to be swept up in the excitement: "For Chavez's supporters, his reelection is an emotional moment in history. Fireworks filled the skies as a street party continued well into the early morning hours. A Chavez victory, say supporters, means his brand of socialism is here to stay." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Sanders promoted Chavez as "a star among the poor in South America" and propagandized for his dictatorial regime: "Chavez's socialist revolution has captured the imagination of the poor here, in large part because he's taken this nation's oil wealth and used its profits to give away free homes and subsidize grocery bills."