Media outlets refrained from offering kind coverage to former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in their obituaries following his death this week, but many of them went gentler on the passing of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro back in 2016.
Conservative commentator Drew Holden returned to Twitter on Thursday with one of his iconic threads that point out media hypocrisy.
However, this thread drew attention to the vilification of the Bush appointee and juxtaposed various obituaries to the coverage of the ruthless Castro’s death.
Holden began with the Associated Press, which ran “Rumsfeld, a cunning leader who oversaw a ruinous Iraq War” and “Fidel Castro, who defied US for 50 years, dies at 90 in Cuba” as headlines.
“Notice anything different between the obits of a former military leader and a brutal tyrant?” Holden asked.
NPR gave Rumsfeld the colorful headline, “Donald Rumsfeld, The Controversial Architect Of The Iraq War, Has Died,” versus the relatively bland, “Former Cuban Leader Fidel Castro Dies At Age 90.”
The Washington Post appeared more complimentary to Castro, calling him a “revolutionary leader” who “remade Cuba as a socialist state” while declaring that Rumsfeld was George W. Bush’s “influential” and “controversial” defense secretary.
The Atlantic offered similar but slanted framings with articles titled “How Rumsfeld Deserves to Be Remembered” and “Remembering Fidel Castro.”
The Daily Beast tweeted out a “BREAKING” news headline following Castro’s death. With Rumsfeld, the news outlet sent out a quote from contributing editor Spencer Ackerman who wrote, “Do not mourn the defense secretary. Mourn his victims. There were nearly too many to tally, but his Pentagon refused to count anyway.”
Business Insider similarly kept it simple for Castro’s obituary while running the headline, “Donald Rumsfeld’s legacy is defined by a disastrous Iraq War and America’s disgraceful use of torture.”
Teen Vogue and New York Magazine’s Intelligencer were straightforward with Castro’s death but slammed the lifelong U.S. government official with headlines such as “Accused war criminal and torture defender dead at 88” and “The Hell Donald Rumsfeld Built” respectively.
The Guardian praised Castro as a “guerilla leader, dictator – and an unrepentant revolutionary” while this week running the headline “History unlikely to forgive Donald Rumsfeld Iraq warmongering.”
Perhaps no outlet went in completely opposite directions that The Nation, tweeting, “Unlike those killed in the wars he launched, Donald Rumsfeld died peacefully” versus “In all the goodness and badness, Castro was a full man of the Enlightenment” in 2016.