Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Lack of Compassion

In the Miami Herald, veteran Cuban-American journalist Bonnie M. Anderson, whose father was tortured and executed by the Cuban Communist regime, considers the week of celebrations of Fidel Castro's birthday, together with the U.S. media response to it, and wonders why Americans seem to have so little compassion for the pain that Cuban exiles have experienced:

Americans show compassion for cancer survivors, for DUI and rape victims, for people suffering from depression, physical and mental abuse. We show compassion for famine victims in Africa; as an NBC news correspondent, I broke stories about genocide in Ethiopia, and the world -- but especially the United States -- responded with millions of dollars of money, but most important, with compassion.

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The day that Castro's illness was first reported, I woke up very early and was watching CBS. On their early morning shows, they repeatedly said that ''Castro is considered a ruthless dictator by some in Miami.'' I fired off an e-mail to CBS President Sean McManus. What I wrote, in short, was this: If a man who murdered 20,000 people, imprisoned for decades hundreds of thousands of others, caused countless hundreds of thousands to flee the country (many losing their lives in desperate attempts to reach freedom on flimsy rafts) and has repressed a nation for nearly five decades -- denying them the most basic of human rights -- is not considered a ruthless dictator by all, who the hell is?

I haven't heard back from him. I don't expect I will. In fact, I suspect he, and other network executives, will continue to cozy up to the Cuban government (whoever leads it) in order to make sure that when Castro dies, their networks have access to the coverage. That's the way it is in the corporate news world.

Read it all.

(via Babalu Blog)

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