While audiences applaud a new movie about Ernesto Che Guevara at the Sundance Film Festival others are fighting another aspect of his legacy, the brutal regime engineered by him and overseen by Castro. Raúl Rivero, a new resident of Che’s “labor camps” (which are really a system used to imprison dissidents, gays, and AIDS victims) is at the center of a new movement to bring a ray of democratic reform to the island country. A poet, Rivero is serving a 20 year sentence for acting “against Cuban independence”, and offers a striking parallel to Che’s tragically-hip mass murder. Rivero’s arrest comes in lockstep with the Cuban crackdown on librarians who are working to have some modicum of freedom when it comes to selecting books.

What’s striking to some is that while the world seems outraged, Americans by and large seem unconcerned. Vaclav Havel and Lech Walesa have written a piece that has found it way Le Monde and other major newspapers, yet it barely registers in the States. Nat Hentoff has blasted the American Library Association for turning a blind eye to the situation in Cuba. Amnesty International has condemned the actions of Cuba, and yet barely a ripple in American papers. Perhaps America’s fawning worship of Che is wholly incompatible with defending those who are imprisoned and killed by the system he’s created.


Turns out I'm a "stoned slacker". I wonder what that makes O’Reilly's views.


Does the media lean to the Left or to the Right? An interesting question in most times, a vital question today as America runs up to the most important election of modern times. While the pajama-clad revolutionaries trumpeted CBS’ folly as being indicative of a left-leaning bias, Ethan Rarick asks us to go back to the recent past for perspective.

Just four months ago, lest we forget, the New York Times issued its own mea culpa, acknowledging the repeated use of dubious information in its coverage of the run-up to the Iraq War and the Bush administration's repeated assertions that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. In the case of one story, the Times flat-out said it was duped, although it used the more decorous phrase "taken in."

While the bias of “the media” is understandable only in the context of one’s own political perspective, it’s vital to question the motives of news organizations, especially as the ramifications grow.

Comparing CBS’ mea culpa with the NY Times’ Rarick writes,

The two media apologies have a lot in common. In both cases, the issues involved have major implications for the presidential campaign. In both cases, a well-known national news organization admitted sloppy reporting and acknowledged that critical information could not be verified. In both cases, reporters were overly credulous in dealing with sources who had a political interest at stake -- in the CBS case the former Guardsman who is a vehement Bush opponent, in the New York Times case the Bush administration officials defending the president's decision to attack Iraq. The critical difference between the two stories is that the Times' mistake was actually the far more serious of the two.

Left leaning or Right? Does it matter or not? If democracy requires an informed populace, whom can we believe? Who can we trust?