When is a dead dictator not called a dictator? When he's a lefty, of course.
Brent Bozell points this inconvenient truth out in this column comparing the treatment of Augusto Pinochet in his obit with Deng Xiaoping and Kim Il Sung.
Pinochet's obituary had the headline "A Dictator's Dark Legacy" in the Washington Post, and "Dictator Who Ruled by Terror in Chile" in the New York Times. I have no problem with that, since Pinochet was a ruthless dictator.
But weren't Deng Xiaoping and Kim Il Sung dictators equally ruthless? Not according to the Washington Post which gave the simple headline "China's Deng Xiaoping, Dead at 92" for Deng's obit. Nor did the New York Times call Kim Il Sung a dictator. Its headline read "Kim Il Sung, Enigmatic 'Great Leader' of North Korea for 5 Decades, Dies at 82."
As Bozell says,
So let's review. A right-wing ruler responsible for the deaths of 3,000 -- but also responsible for an economic miracle of free enterprise, and who allowed the democratic process which forced him from power: "dictator." But communist despots who controlled their citizens with iron fists until the day they died, preventing all manner of political, economic and religious freedoms, and who caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands, if not millions: "leaders."
The more things change, the more they stay the same. While conservatives still seek to defend both democracy and American interests, liberals are still fawning over communist and terrorist thugs.