Fontova: CNN's Fake Film About Elian Gonzalez

The honeymoon with a vicious tyranny continues.

Thursday night, CNN (the first Fake News outlet to be bestowed a “press” bureau by Cuba’s totalitarian regime) ran a “documentary” on Elian Gonzalez.

You know that look on your pooch’s face when he promptly fetches a Frisbee, tail-waggingly returns it, and you’re massaging his face and neck while cooing: “GOOD-BOY!”

Well, please don’t take this personally, amigos: but (very briefly) picture your joy and gratification in the pooch-scene on the faces of Castroite apparatchiks -- and your quivering, slobbering, tail-wagging pooch as CNN.

CNN really outdid itself this time. It satisfied every lust of its Cuban suitors, however kinky, ignoring over 15 years of revelations that exposed the whole Elian drama as an elaborate (and yes, masterful) Castro/Fake News media production. No wonder Castro’s so popular in Hollywood.  In Tinseltown they recognize a skillful producer of yarns and fantasies.

Jack Benny had his Rochester. Louise Jefferson had her Florence. Scarlett had her Mammy.  Marineland has its seals -- and Castro has his CNN.

Lest we forget: the entire Elian Gonzalez Fake News pageant was built atop the outrageous lie that Elian’s father Juan Miguel was a sincerely grief-stricken father who simply wanted his son back in Cuba. Any mention that this desire might have been “prompted”  in any way by a Stalinist dictator who reigned as absolute ruler longer than Hitler and Stalin combined, who jailed and tortured political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin during the Great Terror and murdered more Cubans in his first three years in power than Hitler murdered Germans during his first six, any mention of this totalitarian dictator’s possible intrusion into the matter was promptly denounced by liberals as typical: “RIGHT-WING CUBAN-AMERICAN  REPUBLICAN HATE SPEECH!” 

Any mention that a totalitarian dictator that mandated (under penalty of prison or firing squad) what his subjects, read, said, earned, ate (both substance and amount), where they lived, traveled or worked, who shattered -- through mass-executions, mass-jailings, mass larceny and exile -- virtually every family on the island of Cuba, any mention that such an absolute ruler might have somehow “persuaded” his subject to mime for the Fake News media of the time was promptly denounced by liberals as typical: “MIAMI CUBAN HARD-LINER  PROPAGANDA!”

But, in fact, the legs from this Fake News/Castro production were completely and conclusively kicked out by blockbuster revelations as early as 2005 -- and by an eye witness to the revolting backstage scenes. To wit:

On the April 6, 2000 edition of the historic Fake News vehicle 60 Minutes, America saw a bewildered and “heartsick” Juan Miguel Gonzalez “pleading” to be allowed to have his motherless son accompany him back to Cuba, his cherished homeland. Fake News pioneer Dan Rather (who hailed Fidel Castro as “Cuba’s Elvis!”) was the one interviewing Elian’s “bereaved” father.

"Did you cry?" the pained and frowning Dan Rather asked the "bereaved" father during the 60 Minutes drama."A father never runs out of tears," Juan (actually, as we’ll see, the voice of Juan's drama school-trained translator) sniffled back to Dan. And the 60 Minutes prime-time audience could hardly contain their own sniffles.

Here's what America didn't see: "Juan Miguel Gonzalez was surrounded by Castro security agents the entire time he was in the studio with Rather." This is an eye-witness account from Pedro Porro, who served as Dan Rather's translator during the famous 60 Minutes interview. Rather would ask the question in English into Porro's earpiece, whereupon Porro would translate it into Spanish for Elian's heavily-guarded father.

"Juan Miguel was never completely alone," says Pedro Porro.

He never smiled. His eyes kept shifting back and forth. It was obvious to me that he was under heavy coercion. He was always surrounded by security agents from the Cuba Interest Section (i.e. Cuban embassy) in Washington D.C. When these agents left him alone for a few seconds, attorney Gregory Craig would hover over Juan Miguel.

Porro continues:

The questions Dan Rather was asking Elian's father during that 60 Minutes interview were being handed to him by attorney Gregory Craig, It was obvious that Craig and Rather where on very friendly terms. They were joshing and bantering back and forth, as Juan Miguel sat there petrified. Craig was stage managing the whole thing - almost like a movie director. The taping would stop and he'd walk over to Dan, hand him a little slip of paper, say something into his ear. Then Rather would read the next question into my earpiece straight from the paper.

A reminder: officially (Bill Clinton and Dan Rather crony) Gregory Craig then served as attorney for Elian's father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, who worked as a hotel doorman in a nation where the average monthly salary was $16. The high-rolling Gregory Craig worked for Washington D.C.'s elite firm, Williams & Connolly, one of America's highest-priced law firms.

Upon accepting the case at the Clinton administration’s behest, Gregory Craig had flown to Cuba for a meeting with Fidel Castro. Craig's remuneration, we learned shortly after his return, came from a "voluntary fund" set up by the United Methodist Board of Church and Society and "administered" by the National Council of Churches. The same reporters and pundits, who routinely erupt with snide snorts midway through any statement by a Republican press secretary, reported this item with a straight face.

Gregory Craig had led the Juan Miguel/Cuban-Security entourage into the studio, then presided over the interview as a movie director. At one point Craig stopped the taping almost like a movie director yelling, "Cut!" "I was confused for a moment," says Porro, "until Greg Craig complained that Juan Miguel's answers were not coming across from his translator with 'sufficient emotion.' So Dan Rather shut everything down for a while and some of the crew drove to a drama school in New York. They hired a dramatic actor to act as a translator, and brought him back!"

Okay roll 'em!

"I probably should have walked out," says Porro. "But I'd been hired by CBS in good faith and I didn't know exactly how the interview would be edited -- how it would come across on the screen. I mighta known, but you never know these things play out until you actually see it."

"Midway through watching that 60 minutes broadcast, I felt like throwing up," said Porro. "My stomach was in a knot." His worst fears were confirmed.

You will be astounded to hear that CNN – though they featured Gregory Craig at length in their “documentary” -- somehow overlooked Pedro Porro.

(For the record: Pedro Porro’s blockbuster revelations were featured in Human Events, The Drudge Report, and the Rush Limbaugh Show upon the release of the book, Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant. AIM (Accuracy in Media) forwarded them to Gregory Craig, who denied them. AIM then set up an interview/debate with your humble servant and Craig. “Let’s RUMBLE!” I whooped while rubbing my hands. Alas, Gregory Craig stood us up--he wimped out. He was obviously afraid to face the music.)

Humberto Fontova is a Cuban-American blogger, political commentator, conservative polemicist, and author of several books, most recently The Longest Romance: The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro,

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