The AP's Apparent Disdain for Dissidents

Saturday, July 19, 2014
In announcing its new Havana bureau chief this week, the AP wrote in its release:

"AP continues to deploy top-notch journalists to tell the story of Cuba's people, culture and government with accuracy, fairness and insight."

One can't help but chuckle.

Many words can be used to describe the AP's reporting in Havana, but "fairness" and "accuracy" don't immediately come to mind.

In a nation where its continued presence is based on a constant fear of expulsion (and thus -- self-censorship), its insulting to claim "fairness" and "accuracy." The AP's Havana bureau even has a full-time Cuban "journalist" on its staff, who everyone knows (whether diplomats, dissidents or other foreign journalists) is a shill of the Castro regime.

But back to the point.

Earlier this year, the AP was scandalized by U.S. efforts to create an alternative social media site ("Zunzuneo") that would allow Cubans to inter-connect independent of the Castro regime.

The "scandal" here is that the Castro regime strictly censors the Internet. Thus, the U.S. should apparently respect the Castro regime's censorship efforts.

Today, the AP's "big story" is that the U.S. supports human rights and democratic opposition NGOs in Venezuela. 

The "scandal" here is that the Chavez-Maduro government bans any support of NGOs. Only the Castro regime is allowed to provide "support" in Venezuela. Thus, the U.S. should respect the authoritarian whims of the Chavez-Maduro regimes.

Can't wait for the AP's next "big story" -- will it condemn U.S. support for the Ukrainian people and NGOs, or maybe anti-Assad Syrians?

This week, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the following observation in The Daily Show:

"What I found when I became secretary of state is that so many people in the world—especially young people—they had no memory of the United States liberating Europe and Asia, beating the Nazis, fighting the Cold War and winning, that was just ancient history. They didn’t know the sacrifices that we had made and the values that motivated us to do it. We have not been telling our story very well. We do have a great story. We are not perfect by any means, but we have a great story about human freedom, human rights, human opportunity, and let’s get back to telling it, to ourselves first and foremost, and believing it about ourselves and then taking that around the world. That’s what we should be standing for."

She's absolutely right.

The AP could use a reminder as well.