Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Cuba: Greatest Hits from the US Mainstream Media

Though the point of this fantastic trove of historical TV news reports was to "expose" the mainstream media's "infatuation" with Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution, we're sharing it as a facinating record or a different time in American media - when journalists could report what they felt and not felt an obsessive need to balance every sentence. You will notice hardly any of the reports were made post-9/11 - something that is probably reflected in the polling of what Americans think of Cuba released today (they don't like Castro but want to resume diplomatic relations...)

So pull up a seat and enjoy watching Jennings, Mitchell, Rather, Zahn, etc. offering up the positive side of Cuba. Watch



Blogger jsb said...

"when journalists could report what they felt " ...unlike anytime recently in Cuba's state run media.

5:12 AM  
Blogger leftside said...

JSB, find me an article from the Cuban press that is untrue, or where the journalist did not write what s/he felt. I think if you read the press you would find it responsive to the problems Cuba faces.

Juventud Rebelde (Young Rebel) is an excellent paper focused at the youth. Here is an article from yesterday lamenting the lack of affordable options for young people at night - and the "vice" that can result.

Last week they published a poll on the aspiratios of Cuban youth. A few weeks ago they printed an expose on retail establishments that cheat their customers - and why socialism may be to blame for inefficiencies. Raul has begun a study on the issue...

From Rueters: In a series of end-of-the-year speeches, Raul Castro expressed frustration with bureaucracy, demanded answers to declining food output, urged Cuba's press to be more critical and authorized a study of socialist property relations.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on, you can't say that the Cuban media is free to say and report on whatever they want.

All you have to do is ask all the exiled writers, journalists and poets about how free the actually are.

4:52 PM  
Blogger leftside said...

I never said the Cuban media is as "free" to say anything, but few journalists are. Writers are always constrained by their environment, whether it is political, economic or or just pleasing your boss. Cuba, under attack for 47 years by a Superpower 90 miles away, has had to remain disciplined - but it is easing and not as insiduous as you imagine.

Again I'll ask for a specific exaple of manifestly untrue or distorted journalism from Cuba. I read a lot of it and, while it certainly has a pro-Cuba slant, I find it little different from the pro-US slant of US papers.

Most of those who left were not important intellectuals, nor are those who write for "independent" (US funded) internet sites or what not. There are many of these so-called independent (or free if you like) writers, but few can be called serious journalists. There are hundreds of real Cuban jouralists working for state publications that would be very offended by saying they are censored, or just a Communist mouthpiece.

5:34 PM  
Blogger jsb said...

Keep believing. It's government-run media. I don't think you'd want that for yourself here in the U.S.

And what about the recent announcement about confiscating satellite dishes?

BTW, "Close to 500 Cuban slave doctors have defected in the last few months."

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So who is the arbitrator of who is a serious journalist or not? So you are saying Raul Rivero is not a serious journalist? Amir Valle not a serious journalist?

You can't compare the media here in this country to Cuba's. At the very least the U.S. has an alternative media and we hear about problems this government has had in Iraq, etc...

10:25 AM  
Blogger leftside said...

JSB, the American people have said that they prefer and trust their news from "government-run media" - namely PBS and NPR. You can find the citation....

I'll deal with the disgrace of the US on the doctor issue later, though you can check below too.

Anon, everyone judges who they consider serious. Do you think the writers on CubaNet are serious?

As far as Raul Rivero goes, no I do not consider him serious (i made that decision after reading his book of "potetry"). It;s common knowledge that his disasfaction with Cuba came as his writing got worse and his drinking more.

Regarding our supposed model media, I refer you to the US media's performace post 9/11 and pre-Iraq War. Regading our freedom I refer you to the journalists forced to give up their confidentiality for Valerie Plame. The fact that there was some "alternative media" out there (I hardly remember them) is in some ways less significant than the impact of the so-called independent journalist media in Cuba - which are largely tolerated (except when involved with the US Govt).

Yes journos in the US may have more freedom, But the "right" to write untruths should not be held higher than the right of readers to receive truth and justice.

1:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

leftside, I agree that there is bias in both the US media and the Cuban media.

But I don't think that's the point that these folks are making.

The point is that people in Cuba can be jailed for what they write. I'm not comparing Cuba to the US, because each country should be judged on its own merits, not in comparison to anything else. Cuban journalists can be jailed for what they write. That goes against my beliefs, and I'm sure, yours.

leftside, if you don't like Rivero's poetry that's one thing. But it's another to ignore the fact that he has been imprisoned for the content of his poetry. And that is wrong.

Finally, if "Bill" is out there: a while back you wrote to me a very Stupid response, attempting to explain some very simple concepts of international law to me.

Gee, thanks. But no thanks. You simply revealed your own ignorance, hatred, and intolerance of others.

And finally, no, I don't live like a monk. I probably buy some goods that came from China, and I do use gas in my car. I live my life like a normal person. So basically, your argument is that anyone who falls short of these standards can't speak out? Ridiculous. By that logic, no one would have the right to speak.

No. I live my life the best I can, but I do try to make a difference in the ways that I can. And I try to care about others as much as I can, given my situation and circumstances.

Which is more than can be said for you. But I will agree with you on one point. Maybe you're not a xenophobe, after all. I have a much better word for you:


-A Human Rights Lawyer

9:24 PM  

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