Our language has become Orwellian. Communists are described as "social activists"; and when communists are investigated by a democratic government, the government is the villain and the communists are victims.
To better appreciate the nonchalance with which mainstream (i.e., liberal and leftist) journalists greet Communist Party affiliation, imagine if Mrs. Bernstein had been a member of the American Nazi Party or the Ku Klux Klan, and had gone on to be a prominent "social activist" on behalf of right-wing causes in America. Needless to say, if her death would have been reported at all, her membership in those organizations and her subsequent right-wing social activism would not merely have been noted in passing. They would have been noted in the headline and featured in the body of the text.
As a New York-born and raised Jewish liberal, when I am asked when I left liberalism, I answer that I never left it. It left me -- first and foremost over the issue of communism. At one time, to be a liberal meant being anti-communist as well as anti-fascist. Shortly after the death of John F. Kennedy, however, liberalism ceased being anti-communist. Instead it became anti-anti-communist.
Though communism is largely dead, this has not changed. That is why our press regards Sylvia Bernstein merely as a social activist.