1A: Fare in "blankets" (PIGS) took me a couple crosses, but when it went in I smiled, and had a good feeling about the puzzle from then on. I like the related clues, like 15A: Bahamas cruise stop (NASSAU) and 16A: South American cruise stop, for short (RIO) (even though neither came to mind immediately), and 42D: It carries a shell (SNAIL) and 51A: Shell carries it (GAS). Those are nice touches.
The theme is, I guess, the addition of "IST" to various phrases. Is "Cub Reporter" a thing? A young reporter? A reporter who only reports on the Cub Scouts?... The other three are all good, especially POMPOUSASSIST (26A: Help from a jerk?). That, and STARKISTNAKED (44A: Canned tuna without mayo?) are both nicely risqué.
I liked a lot about this one. The Orwell reference - EURASIA (10D: "1984" superstate), CALYPSO (41D: Harry Belafonte genre), GUEVARA (24D: Compadre of Castro), SPORK (29D: Picnic utensil) (!), and more. Sure, there are a few ORA, ESE, CAF, and EEL (!!) -type clues, but not too many, and the overall good vibe outweighed them. At least for this reviewer.
A fine Wednesday.