When NPR used the assassination of conservative former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to smear him as a “divisive arch-conservative,” it reminded readers that its name might be more accurately spelled out as National Propaganda Racket than National Public Radio.
“Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a divisive arch-conservative and one of his nation’s most powerful and influential figures, has died after being shot during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan, hospital officials said,” NPR tweeted before deleting it.
It then replaced the tweet with a different one calling Abe an “ultranationalist.”
The story highlights Abe’s long tenure as prime minister but conveniently omits that far from being a fringe radical, Abe was voted in three times with a majority of votes, the third by a sweeping two-third “supermajority.” Thus, Abe was only “divisive” to the left-wing corporate media who didn’t like his devotion to a strong economy and military, as well as his rapport with Trump. Abe held the longest tenure as prime minister in Japan to date.
The article briefly cites his accomplishments, noting that the Japanese economy “unexpectedly returned to a healthy growth” in the hands of the conservative PM, before quickly closing with his alleged negligence in not closing down the country during the pandemic, which was a policy preference shared by mainstream conservatives.
The article stands in sharp contrast with one NPR published on Fidel Castro’s death, celebrating the despot. “One of the most prominent international figures in the last half of the 20th century, Castro inspired both passionate love and hate,” the article read. “Many who later lost faith in him can remember how they once admired the man who needed just a dozen men to launch the Cuban Revolution.”
Dictators are better friends of the corporate media than economic conservatives.
NPR wasn’t the only outlet to go after Abe in his death. CBS Mornings labeled Abe a “polarizing figure” and “right-wing nationalist,” whose “political opinions were controversial.”