Accuracy in Media

After Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) defended his praise of Cuban communist leader Fidel Castro, the mainstream media neglected to correct the record by condemning his comments. Now, the media overlooked how the Cuban Communist Party’s newspaper featured Sanders’ praise on its front-page.

The Miami Herald reported that the Cuban communist party’s newspaper, Granma, said, “U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, today one of the strongest candidates for the nomination of the Democratic Party to the November presidential elections, recognized Cuba’s role in sending doctors worldwide.” Granma also praised Sanders for bringing up “some of the social programs implemented by the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro.” Echoing what some of the American mainstream media said about Sanders, Granma predicted that Sanders is “unstoppable” in his path towards securing the Democratic Party’s nomination.

Among the national newspapers and cable news channels, only The Hill mentioned Granma’s praise of Sanders. That means that the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox News, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News did not cover Sanders’ front-page treatment from Granma.

Sanders, in an interview on “60 Minutes,” praised Castro for increasing literacy among Cubans. He said, “It’s unfair to simply say everything is bad…When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?” He defended his “60 Minutes” comments in the recent primary debate in South Carolina, which is when his primary opponents criticized him on-stage.

However, Sanders’ claim about Castro increasing literacy was misleading. Data contradicted the United Nations report at the center of Sanders’ claim and pointed out that Cuban literacy was already highly-ranked among Latin American countries prior to Castro’s rise to power. Under Castro’s rule, Cuban educational progress has slowed in comparison to its Latin American counterparts to the point that other countries closed the gap on literacy and other education metrics.

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