Former President Jimmy Carter recently completed a tour of Cuba that created a flurry of network coverage and provided viewers with a fleeting glimpse inside the island nation.
And what did the networks show? Heres a quick review.
Cuba has a state-run Health Care System, it Covers Everyone
CNNs Kate Snow offered this enthusiastic appraisal of Cuban socialized medicine: You cannot go without health care here because there's a system set up, a safety net, where, if you live in a neighborhood, you're covered by somebody. The CNN correspondent also praised Cubas state-run athletic program and its incredible training.
Whats More, Health Care is Totally Free
Two days later, Snow gushed over Cuban health care and other Cuban successes again. (E)veryone has access and the concept of paying is completely foreign, she claimed.
...and the United States Needs to Stop It!
Cubans dont care about political freedoms, just economics. Ending the trade embargo against Cuba is more urgent than political freedom, according to NBCs Andrea Mitchell.
Cuban-Americans and President Bush not Fidel Castro and a Communist Government are Preventing Progress
The CBS Evening News said the Cuban-American community blocks policy changes and described President George W. Bush as taking an especially hard line with Castros government.
In separate interviews with the President of the Cuban National Assembly, former President Jimmy Carter, and a Cuban-American leader, CNNs Kate Snow argued that the Bush administrations tough stance precludes improved relations between the two countries.
The State Department Says Cuba has a Biological Weapons Program
Nothing to worry about, though. NBCs Andrea Mitchell said U.S. intelligence sources told her there was no hard evidence of such efforts.
Jimmy Carter also said everything was OK. The former president stated U.S. officials assured him the biological weapons charge was baseless. Secretary of State Colin Powell, however, said he didnt know where Carter got his information and Fox News Channel reported that Carters tour of the suspected weapons-making plant was cancelled.