Alexandria, VA - As we approach the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall's collapse this November 9th, the Media Research Center has released an extensive 20-year review of how many in the liberal media utterly failed to accurately portray communism as one of the worst evils of the century, with their coverage actually leaning in favor of the totalitarian oppressors, not the oppressed.
The two-decade compilation "Better Off Red" reveals trends in coverage - from glowing reports of Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev to perverse arguments that the end of communism was a setback for human rights - and cites dozens of liberal, pro-communist accounts. Lowlights include:
• CBS anchor Dan Rather asserting in 1987 that "Despite what many Americans think, most Soviets do not yearn for capitalism or Western-style democracy."
• NBC's John Chancellor lecturing that "the problem isn't communism; nobody even talked about communism this week. The problem is shortages," as the Soviet coup unraveled in 1991.
• Time magazine's Strobe Talbott claiming the threat of totalitarian communism never even existed as he reported "Gorbachev is helping the West by showing that the Soviet threat isn't what it used to be, and what's more that it never was" [emphasis added.]
• CBS's Harry Smith scorned that "Yes, somehow, Soviet citizens are freer these days - freer to kill one another, freer to hate Jews," in 1990. "Doing away with totalitarianism and adding a dash of democracy seems an unlikely cure for all that ails the Soviet system."
Access the report and corresponding 19 audio/video clips online at MRC.org.
MRC President Brent Bozell commented on the compilation:
"The collapse of the Berlin Wall was the official end of a brutal and vicious dictatorship. But unfortunately for too many in the media, it was just the start of a shameful tirade against capitalism.
"This report shows the depths to which some 'reporters' went to cast a favorable light on communism. Their alarming distortions should offend those who suffered the nightmare of the Soviet Union and its satellite regimes in East Germany and across Eastern Europe. It should also enrage those of us whose children and grandchildren will have to rely on media for a firsthand account.