Those who rail at Fox News for allegedly being a haven of unbridled, uninterrupted conservatism usually and conveniently fail to remember that Shepard Smith is there.

Smith's take yesterday on the potential pitfalls of a thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations, particularly on the commercial front, was nothing short of astonishing. His primary fear, expressed in an interview with Gerri Willis of the Fox Business Network, is that the new arrangements might "ruin the place." It would be "the last thing they need" to see "Taco Bell and Lowes" locations there. Smith also posed as a market analyst, wondering if the Dow was up 300 points because of President Obama's related announcement. Video (HT Mediaite and PJ Media's Ed Driscoll) and a transcript follow the jump:



The journalists of Good Morning America on Thursday cheered Barack Obama's efforts to "help thaw a Cold War" and offered little in the way of criticism for the President's actions to normalize relations with Cuba. Reporter Jim Avila hyped, "Well soon many more Americans will be able to hop a plane to Havana, take a tour, even legally buy one of those famous cigars."



It's good that we live in a country where citizens feel free to criticize elected officials to their face.  Just wondering, though: when was the last time that freedom was exercised on MSNBC to tell a Dem official that something he said was "inane?"

On today's Morning Joe, Donny Deutsch angrily asked Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Miami "why do you say an inane thing like that?" Deutsch's diss came in the context of a heated exchange in which Diaz-Balart told Donny that his notion that the Cuba deal was "liberating" for the Cuban people was "naive" and that Deutsch was living "in la-la land."  Deutsch later retaliated, calling Diaz-Balart naive.



In the lead editorial for Thursday’s paper, The Washington Post blasted President Barack Obama’s decision to move toward normalized relations with the communist regime in Cuba as “naive” in awarding “an undeserved bailout” and “new lease on life” to “a 50-year-old failed regime.”



Following the trend set when news broke early Wednesday, the major broadcast networks continued their praising of the move by President Obama to seek normalized relations with Cuba on their Wednesday night newscasts. 

Between the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC, they made only a few, brief mentions over the course of their 30-minute programs that Cuba was both a communist country and brutal in the treatment of its own people (especially dissenters). 



During Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News, correspondent Mark Potter reported from Havana, Cuba on the news that President Obama was altering U.S. relations with the communist state and parroted a long-standing liberal argument as to why Cuba’s economy has struggled for over half a century.

Speaking about the regime of Fidel and Raul Castro, Potter chose not to blame the policies of the Castros, but those of the United States in why the island nation has suffered economically: “His revolution is showing its age too and Havana, known for its charm and vintage cars, is on life support, its economy crippled by the long-standing U.S. Embargo. People here now hope that will change.”



Ed Schultz one-upped colleague Chuck Todd on his MSNBC program on Wednesday. Hours after Todd likened President Obama's policy announcement on Cuba to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Schultz compared the Democrat's address to a famous 1987 speech given at the Wall by his predecessor, Ronald Reagan: "Isn't this Barack Obama's 'tear down this wall, Mr. Castro' – that kind of a moment? I mean, if change can take place with the Soviet Union, why can't it take place with the Cuban people here?"



Twelve years after interviewing communist leader Fidel Castro, Barbara Walters is still mesmerized by the "charismatic" dictator.



MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell’s love affair with former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro reared its ugly head once again on Wednesday, August 13 when she hyped the socialist’s 88th birthday. 

Appearing on her daily Andrea Mitchell Reports program, the MSNBC host gushed at how “Cuba is celebrating Fidel Castro's 88th birthday today, starting the party early with a special concert last night. The opening of an exhibition called Fidel is Fidel.” [See video below.]   



Do Gaza civilians support Hamas' military operations that use them as human shields and store weapons in their schools and mosques?  Ayman Mohyeldin would have you think so.  On today's Morning Joe, the NBC reporter claimed that among Gazans, Hamas' military wing is "very highly revered."

To which Israeli spokesman Mark Regev had a stunning comeback: "I mean, if you walk down the street in Gaza with an NBC camera and you ask people, well, was Hamas shooting from this building that the Israelis targeted? No, everyone will say, of course, not. Because you have a regime that is ultimately authoritarian and violent to its own people and they have that ability to control the message. It's like walking down the street in Cuba with a camera and saying do you like Fidel Castro? What can people say?"  View the video after the jump.



MRC's Scott Whitlock found a newsy tidbit from an April article in Variety magazine. Former Newsweek writer Ramin Setoodeh reported from a Barbara Walters interview that "The View" lost both its edgier political personalities -- right-leaning Elisabeth Hasselbeck and leftist insult comedienne Joy Behar -- due to network pressure on her and the show's producer Bill Geddie.

“These are not Barbara and Bill’s decisions,” Walters says. “The network is also involved. I think the feeling was if one went, both had to leave. We needed to shake things up.” It sounds like co-hosts from both sides may return in the fall:



Nowhere in her 15-paragraph March 11 obituary of Melba Hernandez did Associated Press writer Andrea Rodriguez find space to cite a critic of the late Cuban Communist revolutionary.

In her story  -- headlined "'Heroine of the Cuban Revolution' was lifelong Castro loyalist" in the Washington Post -- Ms. Rodriguez paid significant attention to the role Hernandez played in aiding Castro's rise to power as well as to the "human rights awards" she received in 1997 from that great humanitarian Col. Moammar Gaddafi, all the while using gauzy language to describe her exploits (emphasis mine):