Tags: CNN | Runs | 'Propaganda' | for | Castro

CNN Runs 'Propaganda' for Castro

Friday, 10 May 2002 12:00 AM

Media Research Center, parent organization of CNSNews.com, analyzed 212 news stories about the Castro government and Cuban life that were presented on the network's prime-time news programs between March 17, 1997, when the Havana bureau opened and March 17, 2002.

However, MRC Chairman L. Brent Bozell said he wanted to make it "perfectly clear" the study did not indicate CNN was promoting communism.

Bozell did say he believes CNN has ignored what he called "Cuba's lack of democracy."

"Despite the presumed advantages CNN enjoyed by reporting from the island itself, CNN only ran four stories on the lack of democracy," Bozell said. As an example, Bozell cited a 1998 report by correspondent Lucia Newman that he said trumpeted "Cuba's one-candidate elections as superior to those in the U.S. because they 'have no dubious campaign spending' and 'no mud slinging.'"

To improve their coverage, Bozell recommended that CNN increase the quantity as well as quality of their stories from Cuba, do more investigative reporting of the Castro regime and life in Cuba, report regularly on the status of political prisoners and dissidents and assist independent journalists working in Cuba by authenticating their reporting and giving it worldwide exposure.

If CNN can't do that, it should shut down its Havana bureau, Bozell said.

"If CNN believes it is too dangerous for its Havana-based reporters to be as adversarial with the Castro regime as they are with democratically elected world leaders, it should close the bureau. To do otherwise is to perpetuate the fiction that CNN is making Americans more informed about the realities of Castro's Cuba and that does more harm than good," Bozell said.

Bozell also criticized CNN for under-reporting the human rights situation on the communist-run island.

"On human rights, I think we can all stipulate that Castro has a horrific record, as amply documented by every human rights organization on the planet. Yet over five years, CNN saw fit to report on political prisoners and dissidents in only seven stories. Only seven stories in five years," Bozell said.

Dennis Hayes, executive director of the Cuban-American National Foundation, also criticized CNN for choosing not to report about the Castro government's alleged development of biological weapons and the possibility that Castro may even be exporting those weapons to America's enemies.

"In the post-September 11 environment that we are in, I would think that this would be a priority for any news organization," said Hayes.

Also attending the news conference were representatives from an anti-Castro group called "Cuba Libertad." The group posted banners at the news conference with the CNN logo, referring to it as the "Castro News Network."

CNN did dispatch a producer and a camera crew to cover the event.

CNN's world headquarters in Atlanta did not return repeated phone calls Thursday seeking comment.

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Media Research Center, parent organization of CNSNews.com, analyzed 212 news stories about the Castro government and Cuban life that were presented on the network's prime-time news programs between March 17, 1997, when the Havana bureau opened and March 17, 2002. However,...
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2002-00-10
Friday, 10 May 2002 12:00 AM
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