You may have noticed over this Olympic weekend that the establishment media gave a big thumbs-up to the North Korean propaganda effort led by Kim Jong Il’s sister and the gulag nation’s “cheer squad,” despite having warned of said propaganda effort earlier. Much of the right, however, is misinterpreting this shameful episode of media misbehavior to Trump Derangement Syndrome.
In reality, the establishment media’s soft spot for leftist dictators and totalitarian states is a long tradition. I’m old enough to remember Ted Turner creating the Goodwill Games because the U.S. had the gall to boycott the 1980 Moscow summer Olympics after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan (which in turn caused the Soviets to boycott the 1984 Olympics in L.A.). Or when ABC, CNBC and various other outlets made Soviet apologist Vladmir Posner a mainstay. Or the general tendency of the establishment media to ignore prominent Democrats in Congress cozying up various Soviet client (or fellow-traveling) regimes in Nicaragua, Grenada, and so forth.
And that’s just from the the 1980s. The list stretches back through all of those in the media that thought Alger Hiss or the Rosenbergs were victims. And all the way back through the outright admiration expressed for the early Soviet Union, exemplified — but by no means limited to — the New York Times covering up the forced starvation of Ukraine. It’s the media mythology about the state of healthcare or literacy in Cuba, continuing even after the fawning obituaries for Fidel Castro have run.