Martel: 5 Times the New York Times Defended Communism

A New York Times article from February 4, 1957, by reporter Herbert Matthews embellishing
New York Times

The New York Times confused many on Tuesday publishing an opinion piece calling for “fully automated luxury communism” (?), a supposed “new politics” to liberate us from disease, starvation, and boredom.

Communism is nothing new; it is a nearly 200-year-old death cult that has taken 100 million lives, a low estimate given that communist states like China, North Korea, and Cuba continue to add to the death count on a daily basis – and the fact that the ideology has spread even further to places like Venezuela, South Africa, and Sri Lanka through its cuddlier alter ego, “socialism” or “democratic socialism.”

Only slightly younger than the political dinosaur that is communism is the New York Times‘ insistence on publishing propaganda that defends it. Aaron Bastani’s asteroid mining fever dream is merely the latest in a century of apologism, revisionist history, and fake news designed to promote authoritarianism. Below, seven of boundless examples of America’s most prominent newspaper using its rights in a free society to glamorize, fetishize (literally), or otherwise defend violent Marxist totalitarianism.

‘Fully Automated Luxury Communism’

Monday’s gem by Bastani, who has penned a book of the same name and stands to profit from it thanks to not living under communism, is a strange twist for the Times, as it veers away from defending the brutal realities of communism on earth and opts instead to promote a science fiction version in which automation and gene editing have solved all of humanity’s problems, including stripping it from the dignity of work. Bastani beams over nearly every tired young adult dystopian fiction trope – asteroid mining, robot overlords, synthetic meat – and argues that a “new politics,” the same communism of the 1800s that has had a 100-percent fail rate, is the only way to this new life.

The only thing standing in the way of humanity living a reality where no one eats meat, has jobs, or avoids having scientists tinker with their DNA is capitalism. This, the New York Times column argues, is a bad thing.

‘Women Under Communism Had More Sexual Pleasure’

The New York Times showed its true face (again) in 2017, celebrating 100 years of the bloody Russian Revolution with a series of articles rewriting communism’s deadly history, telling the story from the perspective of wealthy white leftists who could afford to glorify it without thinking about its victims in Southeast Asia, Latin America, or Africa.

In the piece “Why Women Had Better Sex Under Socialism” – the article does not distinguish between “socialism” and “communism,” and neither should you – writer Kristen Ghodsee uses an isolated, Anglocentric example to argue that communism is universally more apt to grant women opportunities for sexual satisfaction:

A comparative sociological study of East and West Germans conducted after reunification in 1990 found that Eastern women had twice as many orgasms as Western women. Researchers marveled at this disparity in reported sexual satisfaction, especially since East German women suffered from the notorious double burden of formal employment and housework.

It comes as no big shock that the piece would not dare to argue that women were having better sex while Pol Pot massacred 2 million people or during the Great Leap Forward, but given the left’s fetishizing of post-Castro Cuba (see below), it does come as something of a surprise that Ghodsee did not also use underaged Cuban prostitutes as a positive example.

The omissions in this story are prodigious. No mention of the widespread rape that defines the plight of North Korean women. No explanation of the fact that individual ownership of one’s body simply does not exist under communism, which has made forced abortions a hallmark of communists from China to Colombia. No mention of the sex lives of LGBT women under communism, not a surprise given that all communist regimes have repressed its gay minorities, either executing them, castrating them, or placing them in labor camps.

‘Happy Birthday, Karl Marx. You Were Right!’

A real headline in a newspaper claiming to be objective and using the tagline, “the truth is worth it,” this opinion piece claims that “educated liberal opinion is today more or less unanimous in its agreement that Marx’s basic thesis … is correct.” The piece does not specify if “liberal” is being used in the American sense of “leftist” or in the more common global way of meaning “anti-authoritarian,” though the context suggests the latter. Marx’s claim that capitalism is destructive and will end itself has no serious naysayers, the piece declares.

The boldest statement in this birthday celebration, however, is the blatant dismissal of the fact that every real-world attempt to apply Marxism has failed. Marx’s entire goal of a “classless and stateless society” – and the millions killed to impose it, don’t matter – or, as the piece puts it, “their philosophical relevance remains doubtful, to say the least.”

Touting North Korea’s Propaganda Master as Diplomatically Superior to Mike Pence

The Times was hardly the only mainstream American media outlet to fall in love with Kim Yo-jong, sister to ruthless dictator Kim Jong-un and head of North Korea’s Propaganda and Agitation Department, but its legacy of decades of communist apologia makes their attempt to cast Kim as superior to Vice President Mike Pence during the 2018 Winter Olympics notable. In a news – not opinion – piece, the Times gushed over her “sphinx-like smile” and “no-nonsense hairstyle and dress.”

“Her clout, because of her shared bloodline, is unmistakable,” the piece read. “Ms. Kim managed to outflank Mr. Trump’s envoy to the Olympics, Vice President Mike Pence, in the game of diplomatic image-making.”

The article does not mention her title or what the Propaganda and Agitation Department does: produce the only legal media in the country, dedicated to indoctrinating North Koreans into hating the United States, Japan, and the free world generally, and to worship Kim’s family.

The Original Fake News: The NYT Invents Fidel Castro

In 1957, Cuban terrorist Fidel Castro, architect of the 1953 Moncada barracks attack, was all but washed up. He had, perhaps, 20 supporters backing him. He was hiding from the larger political turmoil on the island in the Sierra Maestra, waiting for various political factions to destroy each other before swooping in. Leaders like José Antonio Echeverría and Frank País were far more successfully challenging President Fulgencio Batista, their political careers ended by their untimely deaths.

Then the New York Times decided to intervene, publishing a blatantly false story claiming that “General Batista cannot possibly hope to suppress the Castro revolt.” The author, Herbert Matthews – an American leftist with a clearly woeful expertise on Cuba – alleged that Castro was “fighting hard and successfully in the rugged, almost impenetrable Sierra Maestra” (against who? Batista was fighting in the cities) and that “thousands of men and women are heart and soul with Fidel Castro.” The “rebel leader of Cuba’s youth” was inevitable as the country’s new leader.

Two years later, when Castro finally made Batista flee the country, he bragged that the “hundreds” of men that Matthews reported were behind him were actually the same 20 men marching in a circle around Matthews, too dense to notice. He faked “messengers” interrupting his talk with Matthews claiming to bring news of Castro battalions that didn’t exist. It was, Castro said, his “greatest ploy.”

It is true that Castro, at the time, had lied about his Marxism. Yet his communist rhetoric was transparent despite the denials and, even if they weren’t, he was already a convicted terrorist. Castro and his guerrilla had attacked the Moncada barracks in 1953, the terrorist act that resulted in the would-be dictator’s notorious “history will absolve me” speech and Batista’s greatest mistake: the so-called brutal dictator let an unrepentant terrorist free – free to use American leftists for a PR blitz that ended Batista’s presidency.

Printing Ads for Nicolás Maduro

Some will quibble that defenses of Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro do not count as defenses for communism because Maduro identifies as “socialist.” As mentioned above, defenders of communism in the Times’ own pages have dismissed that distinction and, more importantly, so has Maduro. His government, insiders say, is largely a puppet of the Communist Party of Cuba. It survives thanks to a financial lifeline from the Communist Party of China. It counts on international support from North Korea. In other words, communists don’t seem to have noticed that Maduro is not one of them.

The New York Times’ defenses of the Maduro regime are markedly different from the others on this list because Maduro paid for them. The Times took $200,000 in 2017 to publish “An Open Letter from the People of Venezuela to the People and Government of the USA,” a plea from Maduro for President Donald Trump to reduce sanctions. A similar ad two years prior, whose price remains unknown, defended Maduro’s policy at the time of violently evicting Colombian nationals from homes on the Venezuelan border and deporting them, a move that then-Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos called a “Nazi ghetto tactic.”

Tarek El Aissami, a former vice president now in charge of the nation’s oil industry, also published an ad in 2017 defending himself from sanctions on his person. El Aissami is a U.S. “Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker” believed to have close ties to the jihadist organization Hezbollah, but that did not stop the Times from taking his money to publish his anti-American screed.

On rare occasions, Maduro got access to the New York Times‘ prominent megaphone for free.

“Much of the foreign media coverage has distorted the reality of my country and the facts surrounding the events,” Nicolás Maduro, New York Times op-ed contributor, wrote in 2014. “We have created flagship universal health care and education programs, free to our citizens nationwide. We have achieved these feats in large part by using revenue from Venezuelan oil.”

Venezuela has had no access to most basic medicines, and people have been eating out of the garbage due to food shortages, for years. Like all communist societies.

‘There Is No Actual Starvation’

Perhaps the most notorious example of the New York Times defending communists, the Gray Lady actively denied reports that Joseph Stalin was starving millions to death in Ukraine in the 1930s. The Holodomor, as the atrocity grew to be known as, killed over 3 million Ukrainians and 7 million total, according to historians. It followed thousands of protests by Ukrainians against Soviet communist takeovers of their farmland, which many accurately saw as a predecessor to mass starvation.

Americans who relied on the New York Times to be knowledgable on current events were told at the time that “any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda” and “there is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation.”

The author of these reports, Walter Duranty, received a Pulitzer Prize. The Pulitzer committee refused to strip it away even after the horrors of Duranty’s lies were revealed because his “gravely defective” reporting on the Soviet Union was not what won him the prize.

As recently as 2014, the New York Times listed Duranty’s prize among an “honor roll” list of awards for its journalists, with no mention of his genocide denial.

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