NPR fires Juan Williams - Big Deal?

Humberto Fontova
|
Posted: Oct 26, 2010 12:01 AM

They finally nabbed Al Capone—but for tax evasion. Legislation to de-fund The Corporation for Public Broadcasting will finally be introduced—but because of Juan Williams’ pink slip. Senator Jim DeMint explained his motivation, “Since 2001, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds programming for National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting Service, has received nearly $4 billion in taxpayer money..there’s simply no reason to force taxpayers to subsidize liberal programming they disagree with.”

Good for you, Senator DeMint. Many taxpayers indeed find it galling to fund lopsidedly liberal programming. Even more galling for some is funding the distribution and broadcasting of films produced by Fidel Castro’s propaganda ministry, a PBS specialty.

Equally as galling for many U.S. taxpayers was paying part of the salary for Alan Sagner, who was appointed chairman of Corporation for Public Broadcasting by President Clinton and served on the board from 1994-98. Mr Sanger was a founder of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. You may recall that one of its members really racked up some headlines on Nov. 23rd 1963. Less well known is how, a year earlier, two members of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (Marino Suero, Jose Garcia), acting in concert with Castro’s delegation to the United nations, and under the direction of Che Guevara’s “Foreign Liberation Department,” plotted a terrorist attack against New York civilian targets would have dwarfed the 9/11 death toll. Fortunately J. Edgar Hoover’s crackerjack FBI foiled it. Alas, no alternative media was around to investigate, report and comment on the CPB indiscretions above, as they’re around to report and comment on Juan Williams’ pink slip. So allow me to make up for lost time.

PBS hails Estela Bravo’s 1992 documentary Miami-Havana, as among the “10 best documentaries” of its POV (Point of View series.) Estela Bravo has lived off and on in Havana since 1959 and functioned as an executive in Castro’s Oficina de Publicaciones Consejo de Estado (Publication Office of (Cuba’s) Council of State.) For obvious reasons Ms Bravo’s film are among the most widely shown in Fidel Castro’s fiefdom. Cuban Dissidents refer to her a “Fidel’s Personal Documentarian,” and PBS refers to her as among their top ten filmmakers of 1992.

Along with the usual Cuban-exile bashing, Bravo’s “Miami-Havana” also features Jimmy Carter’s top Cuba diplomat, Wayne Smith, claiming, "If elections were held today (in Cuba) he (Fidel Castro) would probably still win."

Note the word, "still." The PBS documentary implies Castro would win again—apparently just like in all those other Cuban elections he’s won. This documentary also showed Cubans expressing immense gratitude to Fidel Castro for allowing them to return to Cuba from their horrible ordeal in the U.S. As Dave Barry used to write: “I swear I’m not making (any of the above) up.”

"As Fidel spoke I could feel a peculiar sensation in his presence!” gasped filmmaker and former Fair Play for Cuba Committee activist Saul Landau. “It’s as if I am meeting with a new force of nature! Here is a man so filled with energy he is almost a different species! Power radiates from him!" continued Landau. No trifling “tingle up his leg” for Sol Landau. Fidel Castro really Rocked -His-World! Sol Landau’s 1988 film “The Uncompromising Revolution,” which fully delivers on the director’s above-mentioned hyperventilations was run nationwide by PBS in 1990.

In 1985 Oscar-winning director Nelson Almendros released the film “Improper Conduct,’ documenting Castroite oppression, especially against youth and gays who were herded at Soviet bayonet point into forced -labor camps decorated with signs reading, “Work Will Make Men out of You”. Oddly for an anti-Castro documentary, it was shown worldwide to wide acclaim and several awards. The Cuban-exile Almendros had won an Oscar for earlier work.

PBS refused to show Improper Conduct, despite repeated entreaties from the late Mr Almendros. Now over to former CPB chairman Alan Sagner’s Fair Play for Cuba Committee. On Nov. 17, 1962, J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI cracked a

plot by Cuban agents that targeted Macy’s, Gimbels, Bloomingdale’s, and Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal with a dozen incendiary devices and 500 kilos of TNT. The holocaust was set for the following week, the day after Thanksgiving.

A little perspective: For the March 2004 Madrid subway blasts, all 10 of them that killed and maimed almost 2,000 people, al-Qaeda used a grand total of 100 kilos of TNT. Members of the group co-founded and funded by Alan Sagner planned to set off five times that explosive power in the some of the biggest department stores on earth, all packed to suffocation and pulsing with holiday cheer on the year’s biggest shopping day.

The chief plotter was Roberto Santiesteban, chief aide to Carlos Lechuga, Cuba’s UN ambassador. The FBI found many of the explosive devices and detonators in the very apartment belonging to the Fair Play for Cuba Committee members, Suero and Garcia.

Ah, but a CPB subsidiary handed Juan Williams a pink slip.