Nets Mourn for Gorbachev, Falsely Claim He ‘Took Down Iron Curtain’

With the breaking news that former Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev was finally being a good communist on Tuesday, the broadcast networks collectively mourned for the man who violently cracked down on peaceful demonstrations in Lithuania and Latvia. Both CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News took part in dangerous revisionist history as they “credited” Gorbachev with “lifting the Iron Curtain.”

NBC was by far the most obscene in their mourning for yet another communist dictator. Anchor Lester Holt led into the segment claiming Gorbachev had single-handedly “oversaw the end of the Cold War.”

And, of course, no praise for a communist dictator would be complete without chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell, who has a very long and public history of getting smitten with communist dictators. “Mikhail Gorbachev, the communist leader whose brief six-year reign transformed the map of Europe and the world,” she said.

Contrasting leaders from the time, Mitchell lauded Gorbachev for his “a larger vision for his country” and willingness to meet with President Ronald Reagan, who she framed as unreasonable for calling the Soviet Union “an evil empire.”

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“Mikhail Gorbachev, the man who changed the world but could not save his own country from falling apart,” she went on to lament.

As they ended the segment, Holt and Mitchell teamed up to tout how “prophetic” Gorbachev supposedly was:

HOLT: Boy, Andrea, a different time. You can’t help but contrast the relationship between the U.S. and Russia of then versus today.

MITCHELL: Absolutely, Lester. They’re so dramatically different these times. I interviewed Gorbachev back in 2001. And I asked him what his legacy would be. First, he laughed and said, “they will be big.” Then getting serious, he answered, “my ideas go well beyond the time when I was president and I believe they are still important.” Let’s see what happens next. Well, that certainly proved to be prophetic.

Over on CBS, anchor Norah O’Donnell lionized him as “the consequential world leader that took down the Iron Curtain.” She then handed it off to international correspondent Charlie D’Agata who glorified Gorbachev as “a revolutionary” who “changed the course of history” and “set out to change the face of communism.”

D’Agata opined about how Gorbachev was not like the Soviet leaders before him:

Before Gorbachev, soviet leaders never ventured into the streets, let alone press the flesh, but in 1985, the youngest-ever secretary-general of the Communist Party swept the old ways aside. His twin policies of glasnost and perestroika opened the country up.

Meanwhile, on ABC’s World News Tonight, anchor David Muir took his usual superficial approach to covering major events. After suggesting Gorbachev “helped end the Cold War and the threat of nuclear war,” he gushed about a picture of him driving a golf cart. “The image of him with then-President Reagan and Vice President George Bush, the Twin Towers in the background. Here, driving President bush in the golf cart at Camp David,” he recalled.

This obscene glorification of a communist dictator was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Amazon ABC, LendingTree on CBS, and Dawn on NBC. Their contact information is linked.

The transcripts are below, click “expand” to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
August 30, 2022
6:54:11 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: Now to that passing to note, making global headlines at this hour. We have learned this evening that Mikhail Gorbachev has died. The last leader of the Soviet Union who helped end the Cold War and the threat of nuclear war. And we’ve also learned tonight of his final request.

[Cuts to video]

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union. Rising to power after seven decades of communist rule. He helped end the Cold War. Breaking the mold of the Soviet leaders before him, he was outgoing, charming those he met. Heads of state, Fidel Castro, Margaret thatcher, Pope John Paul II. The image of him with then-President Reagan and Vice President George Bush, the Twin Towers in the background. Here, driving President bush in the golf cart at Camp David.

(…)

CBS Evening News
August 30, 2022
6:31:01 p.m. Eastern [Opening tease]

NORAH O’DONNELL: The breaking news tonight about Mikhail Gorbachev, the consequential world leader that took down the Iron Curtain.

(…)

6:36:24 p.m. Eastern

CHARLIE D’AGATA: He didn’t look like a revolutionary or set out to be one, but Mikhail Gorbachev changed the course of history.

Born into a farming family in 1931 in what was then the Soviet Union, Gorbachev went to Moscow to study law, join the communist party, and met and married Riesa. Together, they set out to change the face of communism.

Before Gorbachev, soviet leaders never ventured into the streets, let alone press the flesh, but in 1985, the youngest-ever secretary-general of the Communist Party swept the old ways aside. His twin policies of glasnost and perestroika opened the country up.

When Gorbachev met President Reagan in Washington D.C. in 1987 to sign the nuclear arms reduction treaty, it was clear that former enemies had found common ground.

(…)

NBC Nightly News
August 30, 2022
7:01: 21 p.m. Eastern [Opening tease]

LESTER HOLT: Remembering Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union credited with lifting the Iron Curtain.

(…)

7:12:34 p.m. Eastern

HOLT: And as Russia’s war with Ukraine grinds on, there is a passing of note tonight. Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union who oversaw the end of the Cold War has died at 91. Andrea Mitchell now on his legacy.

[Cuts to video]

ANDREA MITCHELL: Mikhail Gorbachev, the communist leader whose brief six-year reign transformed the map of Europe and the world. The first soviet leader with a larger vision for his country. And who was willing to hold a summit with Ronald Reagan, the American president who called the Soviet Union an evil empire.

Little did Gorbachev know he would preside over the end of that empire. Years later saying, “we could have and should have saved the Soviet Union, but we lost politically.” The two men clashed famously at their next meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland. But by December of 1987, partly through the influence of Nancy Reagan on her husband, they were at the White House signing a treaty to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons. The same year Gorbachev gave his first American television interview to NBC’s Tom Brokaw. And by the next year, a return summit in Moscow. The two were walking arm in arm in red square.

And later Gorbachev let the Berlin wall come down without sending in Russian tanks; for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.

Americans were charmed by this new kind young Soviet leader with his ideas of glasnost and perestroika, openness and economic restructuring and his very modern wife Riesa. But back home, his Kremlin colleagues tried to overturn him in a three-day coup and failed. Gorbachev returned from house arrest in Crimea to find Boris Yeltsin in charge and soon resigned. He said to avoid a bloody civil war in a country saturated with nuclear weapons.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the man who changed the world but could not save his own country from falling apart.

[Cuts back to live]

HOLT: Boy, Andrea, a different time. You can’t help but contrast the relationship between the U.S. and Russia of then versus today.

MITCHELL: Absolutely, Lester. They’re so dramatically different these times. I interviewed Gorbachev back in 2001. And I asked him what his legacy would be. First he laughed and said, “they will be big.” Then getting serious, he answered, “my ideas go well beyond the time when I was president and I believe they are still important.” Let’s see what happens next. Well, that certainly proved to be prophetic. Lester.

HOLT:  All right. Andrea Mitchell, thank you.

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