Mar
27
2009

NPR's Salvadoran History Lesson

Proving that the Washington Post is not the only purportedly "liberal" outlet interested in whitewashing the dark history of U.S. involvement in Latin America, Mytwords (NPR Check, 3/23/09) has blogged NPR's March 21 episode of Weekend Edition Saturday, in which the show

returned to the scene of the crimes of El Salvador's 1980s bloodbath–a U.S.-nurtured extreme-right orgy of torture and murder against organized labor, the poor, church leaders and leftists (and their families, friends, associates or potential associates).

There were a few problems with the report. Jason Beaubien's reporting isn't great; he does a little plastic surgery on history, claiming "the Reagan administration jumped into the Cold War conflict, spending billions of dollars to fight the Marxist guerrillas while Cuba and other communist states backed the FMLN." That's a rather tidy and truncated version of the long history of U.S. support for the murderous right in El Salvador–gathering steam and corpses especially in the 1960s.

Mytwords notes how Beaubien's segment conveniently "also ignores the historical record of who killed most of those 75,000-plus civilians in the 'Cold War conflict.'"