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Better Off Red?

Twenty Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Recalling the Liberal Media's Blindness to the Evils of Communism

 

Scorning the Anti-Communists: "Nobody Likes a Snitch"

Given the vast human suffering caused by communism in the 20th century, one might think that liberal-minded Westerners would have cheered those leading the fight to free those trapped in its grasp. But many liberals — including those in the media — chose instead to attack those fighting communism rather than those perpetuating it. From the contras fighting to free Nicaragua from its Marxist government to U.S.-based refugees from Castro’s Cuba, liberal reporters heaped insults and scorn on those who “still” deemed communism evil.

“Personally, I think the contras are worthless.”
— CBS News producer/reporter Lucy Spiegel quoted in the January 1987 American Spectator.

“Whittaker Chambers was mostly right about communism and Alger Hiss, but he was a nasty piece of work and nobody likes a snitch. Even Joe McCarthy may have been on to something, but he was a crude and cruel man who ruined people’s lives for 48-point type. You might call this the When Bad People Spoil Good Things school of history.”
— Richard Stengel writing on “Heroes and Icons” for the June 14, 1999 Time magazine.

 

“Some suggested over the weekend that it’s wrong to expect Elian Gonzalez to live in a place that tolerates no dissent or freedom of political expression. They were talking about Miami.... Another writer this weekend called it ‘an out of control banana republic within America.’”
— Katie Couric opening NBC’s Today, April 3, 2000.

“In Miami, it’s impossible to overestimate how everything here is colored by a hatred of communism and Fidel Castro. It’s a community with very little tolerance for those who might disagree.”
— ABC correspondent John Quinones on World News Tonight, April 4, 2000.

“Communism Still Looms as Evil to Miami Cubans.”
— Headline over April 11, 2000 New York Times story.

“Cuban-Americans, Ms. Falk, have been quick to point fingers at Castro for exploiting the little boy. Are their actions any less reprehensible?”
Early Show co-host Bryant Gumbel to CBS News consultant Pam Falk, April 14, 2000.

TextBox6a“As President [George W.] Bush toured Asia last week, some world leaders worried publicly that the war on terrorism was starting to look suspiciously like the last great American campaign — against Communism....The McCarthy years in some ways were eerily similar to the present moment.... Communists were often conceived as moral monsters whose deviousness and unwavering dedication to their faith made them capable of almost anything....The first victims of anti-Communist hysteria were immigrants, and hundreds of immigrants have been detained since Sept. 11, many with little apparent cause beyond the fact that they were Middle Eastern men.”
New York Times reporter Robert F. Worth in a February 24, 2002 “Week in Review” article headlined “A Nation Defines Itself By Its Evil Enemies.”

“In 1952, [film director Elia] Kazan earned a much darker notoriety when he offered the names of colleagues he claimed to be communist to the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Many felt betrayed. Some never forgave him. When he was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1999, a few refused to acknowledge his accomplishments.”
— Tom Brokaw on the September 29, 2003 NBC Nightly News.

“2003 was not the first time dissent, the American virtue, the unique right of us Americans, suddenly became an ugly word....Everybody who ever tried to shut the dissenters up wound up hated and reviled, their accomplishments overshadowed by their lack of faith in freedom of speech....When we talk about the death of [director] Elia Kazan, overshadowing his work was the time he unreluctantly and unremorsefully identified eight of his personal friends as communists during his testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee.”
— Keith Olbermann on MSNBC’s Countdown, September 29, 2003.