By Henry Percy
Scott Simon had a story on NPR last Saturday about CBS and NBC doing documentaries of tunnels under the Berlin Wall during the Kennedy administration. “People died trying to climb over it while others labored to carve tunnels beneath it.” Died. That’s antiseptic. No mention of border guards shooting people. Those who do not remember Camelot (Gen X, Gen Y, Millennials, Snowflakes) would come away with the impression that people just couldn't climb or dig fast enough.
The number of fatalities at the Wall is hard to pin down. Estimates run from 138 to 245, but no one really knows. The former number is well documented. Of those, 70% were shot. Simon said say a word about shootings. He would no doubt be surprised and offended if accused of whitewashing the horrors of Communism. He is probably not even aware how he distorted history. But that was not the purpose of the piece.
He was conducting an interview with Greg Mitchell, author of The Tunnels: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill. It was essentially a lighthearted piece to flog a book and heap more praise on the late Daniel Schorr, for many years a correspondent for CBS who ended his career as a political commentator on NPR..........Read more