Last week we promoted a clip that ran on ABC’s 20/20 about Cuban health care as portrayed by Michael Moore. The piece had more truth about the real Cuban health care system in 4 or 5 minutes than has ever been said in the mainstream broadcast media in 48 years. Well Stossel recaps the clip and plugs the upcoming special on American health care that will run this Friday night in his weekly email.
Last week’s piece featuring Cuba’s health care system caused quite a reaction. It was just a small snippet to introduce my special “Whose Body Is It, Anyway? Sick in America,” which will air this Friday at 10 p.m. EDT. I’ll send another e-mail Thursday with more about that.
The Cuban government reacted swiftly. The Central Committee met to discuss the “case” and then called members of the ABC Cuban bureau in for questioning. That’s all I have until the ABC foreign desk tells us more…
Memo to ABC: This is how the Cuban government reacts to independent evaluations of its operations. They will intimidate and threaten you. They will threaten to expel your journalists and close your Cuba bureau. They will tell you that you will be on the outside looking in when the big story happens (fidels funeral).
Don’t be fooled. Your Havana bureau is insignificant in comparison to the story that you are beginning to break for the first time in the major US media: the truth about castro’s Cuba. If the regime closes your bureau in Havana you should be proud. Then you can report on that and how the regime has expelled other reporters who it found to be authoring “inconvenient” stories like Gary Marx of the Chicago Tribune and Stephen Gibbs of the BBC. But you will still be able to report on Cuba. You can send in journalists posing as tourists as some other media outlets have done.
fidel’s funeral will be a scripted affair with complete Cuban government control anyway. You can simply rebroadcast Cuba’s own feed of the events surrounding it. It would be the same thing. It’s not worth continuing to trade your integrity for it.
Your colleagues at NBC news recently went to Cuba to broadcast the Today show. During two hours we heard from Cuban government officals, saw Cuban dancers and musicians and attacks on US policy. We did not see the picture of or even hear the name of a single political prisoner or dissident on the island. We heard Matt Lauer utter 12 sentences in two hours that could be considered critical of the regime.
As I said earlier, ABC has an opportunity to report a story that has been 48 years in the making and that unfortunately none of your big media colleagues is reporting. Be bold and get that story. Don’t allow the Cuban government to treat you in ways that would never accept from the US government or any other government for that matter.
There are 11 million people in Cuba waiting for their story to be told. Are you brave enough to tell it?
UPDATE: The Stossel quote at the top of this post came from a page where he posts his latest weekly email. If you’ll notice in the quotation that I posted that he says he’s going to send out another email on Thursday (that’s today). So what you’ll see now if you click the link is latest email he sent out, overwriting the previous one.