NBC Glorifies Russia's Soviet Past as 'One of Modern History's Pivotal Experiments'

NBC whitewashed Russia's communist legacy in the lead segment of its Friday broadcast of the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage narrated the network's lionization of the largest country by land mass: "Russia overwhelms. Russia mystifies. Russia transcends. Through every stage of its story, it's resisted any notion of limitation. Through every re-invention, only redoubling its desire to cast a towering presence."

However, Dinklage continued with a glorification of the Marxist-Leninist totalitarian state that slaughtered tens of millions of people between 1917 and 1991: [MP3 audio available here; video below ]

PETER DINKLAGE (voice-over): The empire that ascended to affirm a colossal footprint; the revolution that birthed one of modern history's pivotal experiments. But if politics has long shaped our sense of who they are, it's passion that endures....

This isn't the first time that NBC has cast a positive light on Russia's Soviet past. The Media Research Center, in its November 2009 special report "Better Off Red?" pointed out how Today anchor Matt Lauer suggested, during a February 12, 2004 segment, that Russians were somehow better off under the far-left regime:

MATT LAUER: We're gonna be talking about the New Russia, how a few people are doing very well and the fear that others are being left very far behind....Russia's rush to capitalism left the vast majority scrambling to survive. For many, life is worse than it was in Soviet times.

The Big Three network has also played up the accomplishments of other communist regimes, while glossing over their human rights abuses. Correspondent/anchor Andrea Mitchell acclaimed Cuba's medical system during a March 2012 report on MSNBC:

ANDREA MITCHELL: Cuba is highly regarded for its health care, and especially one of Fidel Castro's signature project, which is training doctors....We went back to the Latin American medical school here to talk to American medical students about what they're learning about medicine, about Cuba, and about themselves

CYNTHIA AGUILERA, MEDICAL STUDENT: The idea is that we come from under-represented and under-served communities and that after graduating with no debt, no worries about paying off loans and having to get a high-paying job, we can return to our communities and work in them and try to uplift them the same way that Cuba uplifted us.

— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.