Times Again Leaves Out Communism in Coverage of Khmer Rouge Atrocities

Seth Mydans' reports from Cambodia on the verdict in the trial of a Khmer Rouge jailer, but fails to explain or even mention the ideology that motivated the Communist group to kill almost two million of its citizens.

Seth Mydans' dispatches from Cambodia on Monday ("A Verdict Is Due in the First Trial of a Major Khmer Rouge Figure") and Tuesday ("Prison Term for Khmer Rouge Jailer Leaves many Dissatisfied") relayed the surprisingly lenient verdict in Cambodia of the Khmer Rouge jailer and killer known as "Duch." They were unsparing and graphic, but strangely incomplete.

The Communist Khmer Rouge killed almost two million of a population of just seven million 1975-1979, victims of forced labor, torture, and execution in the killing fields. Yet neither article explained or even mentioned the radical Communist ideology behind that totalitarian regime, which imposed radical agrarian Communism on the populace and deported city-dwellers to the countryside (the Khmer Rouge was also known as the Khmer Communist Party).

Mydans' previous coverage was faulted for the same omission.

On Tuesday, Mydans shared the International page with Victoria Burnett reporting from Cuba on"Revolution Day." That story also failed to identify dictator Fidel Castro or his brother Raul as Communist leaders.