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This Friday, the mainstream media covered the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. However, the way in which some outlets approached the situation drew attention.
This is the case of taxpayer-funded National Public Radio (NPR), which described Shinzo Abe as an “arch-conservative” and blamed him for allegedly dividing society in Japan. “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 wrote on Twitter, then deleted the message.
Amid the situation, social media users exposed how the news outlet addressed the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. About the tyrant, NPR said that he was one of the most prominent international figures and assured that he awakened “love” among Cubans.
“One of the most prominent international figures in the last half of the 20th century, Castro inspired both passionate love and hate. 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,” the media outlet reported at the time.
However, NPR was not the only media outlet to attack Shinzo Abe just hours after his death. CBS called him “a polarizing figure (…) a right-wing nationalist and conservative”. The channel called Abe’s political views controversial.
Shinzo Abe before the international community
The image that these media outlets have given about Abe, counteracts the opinion that world leaders have about him. From Boris Johnson to the U.S. government, they have agreed on the former prime minister’s importance to Japanese society. “His global leadership through unchartered times will be remembered by many. My thoughts are with his family, friends and the Japanese people” wrote the UK prime minister on Twitter.
An article published by El American shows that similar was the message from the U.S. ambassador to Japan, who described Abe as a great ally of the Americans. “We are all saddened and shocked by the shooting of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. Abe-san has been an outstanding leader of Japan and an unwavering ally of the U.S. The U.S. Government and American people are praying for the well-being of Abe-san, his family, & people of Japan.”