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2/20/08

CNN Memo Whitewashes Castro

CNN issued this memo to its journalists:

From: Flexner, Allison
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2008 7:46 AM
To: *CNN Superdesk (TBS)
Cc: Neill, Morgan; Darlington, Shasta
Subject: Castro guidance

Some points on Castro – for adding to our anchor reads/reporting:
* Please note Fidel did bring social reforms to Cuba – namely free education and universal health care, and racial integration...
* Some analysts would say the US embargo was a benefit to Castro politically – something to blame problems on, by what the Cubans call “the imperialist,” meddling in their affairs.
* While despised by some, he is seen as a revolutionary hero, especially with leftist in Latin America, for standing up to the United States...

Nevermind the thousands of political prisoners, the torture and killing. Now, let's look at CNN's reports after this memo (Newsbusters):

"During the first segment, which was six minutes into 7 am Eastern hour, Amanpour heralded Cuba being "a leader in many things such as education, health care -- all of those things that it has been able to bring to its people, but not the fundamentals"...

At the beginning of the 8 am hour, Amanpour noted that "there’s a lot of difficulty in day-to-day living," and focused on the jailing of political dissenters. She immediately followed this by saying, "that offsets some of the genuine progress that he's made, in terms of education, health care.

CNN International’s Isha Sesay commented on the sparse coverage of Castro’s resignation on Latin American television. "And the interesting thing to point out to our viewers is, despite the fact that Fidel Castro is seen by many in Latin America as a hero, these networks are largely going the course of business as usual."

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