Friday July 27, 2007

“When I started my blog, people were upset that I didn’t offer my opinion. Some of the hard-line exiles felt I should be out there as a champion for anti-Castro cause. There is a concept in parts of the traditional Cuban exile community where you have to pass a litmus test of opinion to be approved of or included. But that’s a minority point of view.” — Oscar Corral, interviewed by Rebecca Wakefield. Corral has been going some great work lately, but count me among those who find it odd that he doesn’t want his blog to be “anti-Castro.” (via Herald Watch)

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  1. Commandante Che    Fri Jul 27, 12:35 PM #  

    why is it odd that an honest Cuban American journalist doesn’t want to use his blog to bash Castro? Aren’t there enough militant hard liners already polluting Miami’s blogosphere?

  2. alesh    Fri Jul 27, 01:05 PM #  

    I’m not saying he needs to constantly bash Castro. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect that reporting about Cuba and Cuban-American issues would be done on the premise that Castro is bad for Cuba and the rest of the world.

    I interpret Corral’s position in the quote above to be that only “hard-line exiles” feel this way, and that it’s “a minority point of view,” and I think he’s just incorrect about that.

    I say this in the context of being basically a fan of Corral’s work. For example, unlike most Cuban-American hard-liners, I think his reporting on the Radio Marti thing was correct and fair.

  3. Steve Klotz    Fri Jul 27, 03:53 PM #  

    Perhaps this statement (from the same interview) informs the issue:

    “One of the things that bothers some of the older hard-line Cuban exiles in Miami is that there is in fact a rich diversity of opinion among Cuban exiles and Cuban-Americans, as to how they feel about policy toward Cuba, and how they feel toward politicians their parents or grandparents endorsed. As a journalist, you have to take that into account. You cannot feel that you are writing for one part of the community, but have to lay it all out there for people to absorb.”

    The “litmus test” demanded by the “minority” is not that he take a virulent anti-Castro position, but that he proclaim it daily. Hourly. Loudly. And if he doesn’t, he’s Castro’s “agent.”

  4. Commandante Che    Fri Jul 27, 04:49 PM #  

    Exactly. Corral’s problem is that he could be using his blog to open up the debate to include the diverse Cuban Americans he claims exists in Miami-Dade County. He certainly has a legitimate concern for the well-being and safety of his family. No one deserves death threats over something that was written in the newspaper. At the same time, I think Corral would earn more respect if, on his blog, he challenged what is written on blogs like Babalu and Heraldwatch. I think journalists worry too much about remaining or appearing objective when they should engage their audience with conviction backed up with the facts and the truth.

  5. alesh    Fri Jul 27, 06:09 PM #  


    The thing that doesn’t get said is that, for all the “rich diversity of opinion” which really does exist in the Cuban exile community, something like 99% of them DO agree that Castro is bad for Cuba.

    I think I speak for that majority of Cuban-Americans, and even a majority of regular Americans, when I say that that writing about Cuba and Cuban-American issues without “Castro is bad for Cuba” as a premise and an openly acknowledged fact is . . . well, it’s more then a little odd.

    You can be agnostic about the embargo and lots of other stuff, but about Castro? Arguments about journalistic integrity go pretty far, but does journalistic integrity extend to (as Alex would say) being neutral about killing babies?

    Commander (holy crap, I thought that pseudonym was sarcastic at first)~

    I think I agree, but I also suspect that Corral agrees with Val, Henry, et al more often then his journalistic integrity allows him to admit, and to a large extent I'm okay with that. Plus, if you keep track of how much reporting he's really doing for the Herald, I'm not sure he's got time to slog in the trenches with the bloggers.

    I think Corral is a good reporter, and I think the Herald should have a Cuban-American blog (at least insofar as I agree with their strategy re blogs, which is not very far) but I'm sure he's a good choice to be that blogger.

  6. Manuel A. Tellechea    Fri Jul 27, 08:51 PM #  

    Oscar Corral: The Man Without Principles

    Oscar Corral is the most despicable of all Cuban-American bloggers besides whom Val Prieto and Henry Gómez are monuments to disinterested patriotism and good sense. Oscar is the reluctant blogger, forced by The Miami Herald to run its house blog on Cuba, but hating every moment of it and absenting himself as much as possible from the irksome task. For years his blog literally ran itself; his only contribution being to post the occasional newspaper article while letting his blog’s habitues go at it with one another in what was once the most entertaining free-for-all in Cuban-American blogdom. Thanks to his indifference and the relative freedom it afforded, it was not unusual to see threads with more than 400 comments, something which few national blogs can boast and no local ones. This, which would have meant everything to other bloggers, meant nothing to Oscar. If anything, it only increased the headache for him.

    When things got out of control as inevitably things would, Oscar would let the proceedings continue unchecked as if deriving a smarmish pleasure from the havoc he was wreaking simply by making himself the least conspicuous presence on his blog. But this game could not continue forever and eventually the lunatics did take over the asylum, converting Miami’s Cuban Connection into, of all things, a covert for pedophiles to champion their lifestyle, with communiqués from NAMBLA and more such nonsense. Eventually all the regulars quit in disgust, even its most famous commenter, the irreplaceable John Longfellow, who was many things but not a pervert.

    Eventually Oscar had no recourse but to institute so-called “moderation,” which finally succeeded in bringing all this shenanigans to a stop, even if it all but killed his blog as “moderation” (i.e. preëmptive censorship) always will. It was a kind of poetic justice that his blog finally imploded at precisely the moment when Oscar became victim and facilitator of the biggest journalistic hoax that was ever perpetrated on or by a reporter from The Miami Herald. Having written thousands of words on this subject — more certainly than Oscar wrote — I do not want to re-visit it here but have no choice.

    One day, shortly before the implosion, there appeared a note from Oscar on Miami’s Cuban Connection announcing that he was going “underground” to cover an important story on Cuba. Most of his readers assumed that he was on a clandestine mission to Cuba, the kind that Herald reporters occasionally undertake because they are not normally granted access to the island. In fact, Oscar’s “secret mission” became a kind of joke on his blog — “Waiting for Corral-Godot.” After a month or so, Oscar finally resurfaced to break his long-awaited story, which led to the arbitrary discharge of three of his colleagues at The Herald and smeared at least 60 other Cuban-American journalists by the time it had run its course.

    Their supposed offense? They had moonlighted for Radio Martí while in the employ of The Herald. It was not reported in the story, however, that The Herald not only knew about it, but had actually reported that fact years before without the least hint of disapproval. Moreover, there was no internal Herald policy prohibiting it, though the editors attempted to improvise one after the fact, which was eventually exposed for the sham it was. None of the Cuban journalists, or, indeed, any reporter at The Herald had signed an exclusive contract at the time of their employment. All, therefore, including the Cubans, were free to proceed as they saw best. Nonetheless the Cubans had obtained the permission of the late El Nuevo Herald editor before appearing on Radio Martí. None of this was reported in The Herald’s original story and would only slowly come out under the prodding of others. Foremost in exposing the machinations at The Herald was Henry Gómez’s Herald Watch, perhaps the highest public service ever done by a Miami blog.

    Oscar’s story, which was widely reported by the MSM, as one would expect any story to be that discredits Cuban exiles, began to unravel when it was discovered that thousands of (non-Cuban) journalists had engaged in the same practice over the last 56 years, that is, since the very inception of public broadcasting, including the patron saint of American journalists, Edward R. Murrow, who even headed the government’s foreign broadcasting agency in the Kennedy administration.

    As a result of these revelations and others no less embarrassing, there developed a schism between The Miami Herald and its sister publication El Nuevo Herald, which, unintentionally and for the first time in decades, transformed Miami into a two-newspaper town, both housed under the same roof and receiving the same pay check.

    In the end, the fired reporters were rehired by the McClatchy corporation with half-hearted apologies, and The Herald’s publisher Jesús Díaz and its managing editor Tom Fiedler departed the paper (more or less voluntarily). Oscar, however, was unscathed by the scandal, though he was subjected to a great deal of criticism from other quarters, which he received with the same dispassion as had characterized his demeanor at Miami’s Cuban Connection.

    Only a few people know besides Oscar and his editors that he was the witless agent of a conspiracy hatched up in Havana to discredit Cuban-American journalists and the entire Cuban-American community. His reflexive disdain for anything and everything that his parents’ countrymen have done or might do to promote Cuba’s freedom made him an easy mark for every slanderer who wished to use him to malign us. He even cultivated such acquaintances in the hope that they would provide him with the materia prima that he needed to advance his career beyond the Miami “ghetto.” Oscar Corral has big dreams, ready ears and a none too facile pen and might even have obtained his desire if he had even one ounce of discernment and could tell when he’s being used and when he’s using others.

    The Miami Herald, which can always rely on him to do its dirty work without too many prompts as he is the consummate “company man,” has assigned Oscar, of all people, to the Posada Carriles story, as if anyone could possibly believe that he could bring anything to it but a lack of objectivity and malicious intent. In his reportage on Posada’s release on bond, Oscar seemed almost giddy with excitement at the 80-year-old’s mistreatment at the hands of federal authorities and the ordeals which he has thus far faced and the many more which are still ahead of him for being something that Oscar never was and never will be — a man of principles. To an opportunist like Oscar Corral principles are something to scoff at; and sacrifice, well, sacrifice is not even in the picture. Never has there been such a disconnect between the subject of a story and the reporter covering it.

  7. Manuel A. Tellechea    Fri Jul 27, 09:08 PM #  

    Oscar Corral: The Wrong Reporter for the Posada Story

    Oscar Corral’s textbook story of 8 September 2006 about the Herald Moonlighters — “textbook” because it has been held up by more than one expert on journalistic ethics as an example of what not to do when writing a so-called investigative report — did not appear first in The Miami Herald, but on Castroite television, where a propagandist on Mesa Redonda announced that The Miami Herald would shortly be publishing a story about Cuban-Americans reporters in the pay of the U.S. government (as if Cuban viewers could go out and buy a copy of the newspaper hot off the presses). This revelation indicates one of two things — either the original story was fed by Castro operatives to Corral, or the Cuban government has one (or many) moles at The Miami Herald who keep it apprised of upcoming stories that could be fodder for their propaganda mill. Indeed, if an Ana Belén Montes or a Juan Pablo Roque can infiltrate the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) or FBI are we to presume that The Miami Herald is impenetrable? This is a question that The Herald has never addressed because of the fear that any investigation would become a “witchhunt.” It has no scrupples whatever about firing or libelling anti-Communist reporters because they are anti-Communist, but it trembles at the thought of exposing Cuban Communist agents on its staff because that might expose them to the charge of McCarthyism. Maybe the demented cartoonist who recently tried to stage a coup at The Miami Herald was not so “demented,” after all. In fact, I am sure that the first sign that Communism is about to fall in Cuba will be the departure en masse of its compromised staff members to redder venues, the San Francisco Chronicle and such. But to return to Corral.

    At best, Oscar Corral is a dupe to whom others feed what they want him to regurgitate, and at worst he is a dupe again who spills all he knows to the wrong people at The Herald. I do not, however, believe that Corral is himself a mole: he is simply not intelligent enough and too conspicuously placed to function beyond suspicion, which would make him virtually useless. But whatever kind of dupe he is, having already fallen prey to Castro’s agents in the past, Oscar hardly seems the ideal candidate to cover the Posada Carriles story, quite apart from the personal animus that he has already demonstrated towards his subject in his reportage.

    Describing him in a April 20 article [“Posada in Miami, But He Can’t Leave”] as “a ghost of his former self” — as what man is not at 80? — Corral cannot comprehend, because he does not share it, the spiritual greatness of the man, which has sustained Posada through this ordeal and others like it which would surely have broken lesser men (say Corral). Yes, this old man who has been kept in “preventive detention” for 2 years and shackled in waist and leg irons is none the better for wear, but he still lives despite the best efforts of the Castro agent who shot him in the face or the U.S. government’s Bay-of-Pigs-like conduct towards one who fought for this country in 100 covert wars and Vietnam.

    Corral is even shameless enough to throw Posada’s honorable poverty at his face, as if that were not yet another patent of his greatness. What can it possibly matter to Posada that he must reside in an apartment in “a cookie-cutter development” in Kendall? In his wanderings through the world in the service of his country, and particularly in the last 2 years, Posada has surely endured a lot worse. Such a “punishment” — that is, to live in a “cookie-cutter development” in Kendall — is the worst that can befall any man from Corral’s snobbish perspective and he is stupid enough to rub that in Posada’s face!

    The lowest blow, because low blows are Oscar’s specialty, is when he sneers at Posada’s reconciliation with a wife he has not seen in 30 years. Posada is a lucky man to have a spouse (or former spouse) who, after 30 years, understands at last his spiritual greatness. Martí himself was not as fortunate. But Corral, rather than be touched by this timeless love story, chooses to scoff at it, as if love were something that Posada could not give or receive.

    Did I say the “lowest blow?” Now I am not certain since Corral goes on to question apropos of absolutely nothing Posada’s disfiguring facial scars, which are the result of being shot in the face by a Castro agent: “Posada, who says his facial scars are the result of an assassination attempt by Cuban agents…” Oh, he only “says” that Castro’s agents did it. Well, then, we must surely doubt it since Posada said it. Who THE HELL would shoot Posada in the face if not a Castro agent? Is Corral really that stupid or does he only challenge the origins of Posada’s scars because he fears that these will actually make anyone feel sympathy towards him and understand the nature of the enemy he is fighting — one man against an entire apparatus of repression? (Incidentally, Castro’s cartoonists also mock Posada’s mutilated face in their portrayals of him).

    To create the impression that Posada is isolated and viewed indifferently at best by his fellow Cuban exiles, Corral quotes only Posada’s lawyer and former comrades in his defense, including one even older than Posada. Corral could not be more misleading. Posada is a hero to every Cuban exile who still retains a shread of dignity and these are still the majority in Miami.

    Quoted against him and more extensively than anyone else is Posada’s Judas, Gilberto Abascal, whom the U.S. has identified as a double-agent in the service of Cuban Intelligence, but who, nonetheless, the government is using as its star witness in the prosecution of Posada on immigration charges. Nevertheless, Castro-agent Abascal volunteers that he knows (how?) that Posada is responsible for blowing up the Cubana Airlines plane in Venezuela. Corral also cites two “presidents” who also believe as Abascal believes: Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez. But Corral is not content with these luminaries of truth. He also quotes Giustino di Celmo, the 87-year-old father of an Italian killed in a hotel bombing in Cuba, who now himself resides in Havana; José Pertierra, a Cuban-American (?) attorney who represents the Chávez regime; and Camilo Rojo (interesting name), the son of a Cubana de Aviación “official” killed in the explosion of the airliner. Rojo gets the all-important last words in the article: “How is it possible that the United States has not charged him with terrorism, but with lying? That’s like if they arrest [Osama] bin Laden and charge him with telling lies. [Posada is] a terrorist. He has said so publicly. The United States knows this but allowed a killer free on the streets.”

    So the “United States knows [that Posada is a terrorist] but allowed a killer out on the street.” Isn’t this remarkable. The U.S. “knows” that Posada is guilty even though he has never been convicted and has in fact been acquitted by both civil and military courts in Venezuela; it “knows” that Posada is a “killer” but has no evidence to indict him as such and must instead charge him with entering the country illegally, an offense that 70% percent of native-born Mexicans residing in the U.S. could be charged with but are not. Two years in prison (and counting) for that?

    The indictment may read “lying to immigration officials about how he entered the country,” but, in reality, Posada is being tried for the 1976 bombing of which he has already been acquitted. And Corral, of course, knows this, approves and is doing his upmost to poison all the wells for Posada.

    Maybe I am wrong. Maybe Corral is far worse than I suppose.


    Because Corral can’t write English correctly and his editors don’t know enough to correct him, he refers to Posada in the first sentence of his article as a “warrior of lore.” He means, of course, a “warrior of yore” (time past, especially long past). “Lore” means a lesson or something learned, especially traditional knowledge or belief. Can Corral mean that Posada is a legendary warrior? Although true, I doubt that this is what Corral meant to say or would admit. What he meant to write is obviously a “warrior of yore (of a time long past), which, of course, isn’t true, because Posada, despite his age, is still in the trenches fighting the good fight. His heroism does not yet belong to the past although it will always be eternal.

  8. Manuel A. Tellechea    Fri Jul 27, 09:32 PM #  

    Oscar Corral is something worse than a bad reporter: he’s an ineffectual one. The three journalists that he smeared in the Miami Moonlighters story were re-hired by The Miami Herald while Corral’s bosses and supporters Jesús Díaz and Tom Fiedler saw their careers terminated.

    And Luís Posada Carriles had all charges against him dropped by a Federal Judge, who cited massive government fraud — yes, she called it “fraud” — as the reason for dropping all charges against the 80-year old Cuban.

    In the end, fortunately, those whom Corral has tried to smear have been vindicated. Still, it does not exonerate his malice or lack of journalistic ethics.

    It was a great day for Cuban-Americans and the cause of Cuban freedom when this fifth-columnist was taken off the Cuban beat at The Herald.

  9. Rick    Sat Jul 28, 11:43 AM #  

    Manny discovers “cut and paste!” Woo hoo! Maybe in another six months he’ll discover “links,” although if he does actually “link,” there’s a very good chance that many people won’t actually “click,” hence the “cut and paste.”

    I don’t agree with you, Alesh, when you say that Corral is “agnostic” about Castro. I have no doubt that he, like the 99% of people that you cite as believing that Castro is bad for Cuba, believes that, too. But like Steve says, in order for him to go far enough for the CA extremists in Miami he would have to want to slit Castro’s throat while he lays in his hospital bed or wish that his bowels would explode and a head pop out like the scene in the movie Alien. You think I’m kidding? Listen to the babalu radio hour this past week. The people behind that program think that type of thinking is not only totally okay, but expected if you are “truly Cuban.”

    Until you reach that crude and loutish level with the extremist community, you will always be less of a Cuban and more of a “communist,” “Castro sympathizer,” etc. Or, if you’re not Cuban, you are a racist.

    Corral choses not to travel that route and instead takes a higher road. And that is his downfall with the extremists here in Miami, particularly since he is in the position he is in with the Herald. As we all know, Menendez gets the same treatment. If Corral and/or Menendez were to write columns expressing their desires for a bloody, painful death for Castro, after the initial suspicion wore off, they would welcomed with open arms by the hardliners.

    Corral is exactly right about there being a litmus test. He and Menendez fail that test in the eyes of the extremists every time they don’t stoop to their level of discourse.


  10. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sat Jul 28, 12:34 PM #  

    Before the Miami Moonlighters case erupted, Oscar Corral was anything but “impartial.” He once debated the sexagenerian editor of Juventud Rebelde (“Rebel Youth”), the Castroite propaganda sheet aimed at the youth of Cuba. Of course, there is no hint of rebellion in Juventud Rebelde. The debate between Oscar and the editor of JR was exactly what a debate between the Communist and Díaz-Balart would have been. Corral was not in the least lukewarm in this criticism of the Castro regime and its human rights abuses or restrictions on freedom of speech and press. In fact, he had nothing good at all to say about the dictator or his reign of terror. In other words, Oscar was definitely among the 99% at that moment.

    Then, of course, Oscar Corral changed. How exactly he was co-opted I do not pretend to know, nor will I speculate. From an unapologetic critic of the Castro regime he has become the next best thing to an apologist — that is, someone who may see evil but never calls evil by its name; not an unbiased spectator, but an consciously indifferent one.

    Because of the criticism that he received, Oscar probably hates his “community” more now than he hates Castro; and the Cuban community, sensing his disdain, cordially returns it.

    It would certainly not do to have Oscar Corral continue to cover that community. So he is no longer associated in any capacity with the coverage of Cuba or Cuban exiles at the paper.

    It is pretty much a given that Oscar Corral will leave The Miami Herald by September 8, the 1st anniverary of the publication of his libellous story on the Miami Moonlighters. Everyone knows that this is necessary for the self-inflicted wounds at The Herald to heal and everyone welcomes his imminent departure.

  11. alesh    Sat Jul 28, 01:09 PM #  


    Um, thanks, I guess. I still think that having journalists moonlight in jobs for the government is shady, and exposing them was a good thing. Whatever. If you’re so inclined, kindly point me in the direction of some account of the “thousands of (non-Cuban) journalists had engaged in the same practice over the last 56 years,” and I’ll let you know whether I see a categorical difference, or whether I find them as tainted as the Marti crew.

    I missed the beginning of the whole Posada thing, and I’m taking advantage of that to ignore all subsequent news of it, so I skipped comment #7. I’m sure everyone else finds it thought provoking.

    Re. #8, the fallout from Corral’s story is irrelevant as to its validity and merit. That’s not how news works.


    I too believe that Corral is at heart anti-Castro. And I agree that the CA hardliners (“extremists”) might not be satisfied without a disproportionate anti-Castro emphasis in Corral’s reporting.

    But I, and the 99%, are not calling for that — I just want him to say it once: say that Castro is bad for Cuba, and proceed about his writing with that as a premise. I don’t think he needs to make a big deal about it, but if he went on the record with that, and proceeded from that fairly uncontroversial perspective, I think a vast majority of Cuban-Americans, and indeed all Miamians, would more readily embrace him.

  12. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sat Jul 28, 02:10 PM #  


    I don’t know what you are thanking me for; I suppose it’s my presence here again. Or, perhaps, I should be charitable and presume that you are thanking me at long last for the honors I lavished on your blog a year ago. Or perhaps you are thanking me for warning you against the unfortunate events that transpired on your recent trip to Bogota. Whatever.

    I find it remarkable that you did not keep up with the Miami Moonlighters story. Here’s Lesson #1 again: the fired Cuban journalists were re-hired by The Herald and their accusers fired (resigned, retired or whatever; they are all gone except Corral). Draw the logical conclusion.

    The only “categorical difference” that there exists between the Cuban-American reporters who worked for both mainstream media and government broadcasting and the Czech reporters who did the same thing during the Cold War is that U.S. media was never sympathetic to the Czech regime.

    So you claim not to have read post #8? Well, you can claim that if you wish. For myself, I choose to believe otherwise.

    As for your comments re #9: Of course, the fallout of a story is relevant. If a story is untruthful and proven so, then what can be more relevant?

  13. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sun Jul 29, 08:13 AM #  


    Rick of SoTP has just commented that “Steve said” something that I have never heard you say or insinuate:

    “But like Steve says, in order for him [Oscar Corral] to go far enough for the CA [Cuban-American] extremists in Miami he would have to want to slit Castro’s throat while he lays in his hospital bed or wish that his bowels would explode and a head pop out like the scene in the movie Alien.”

    Please clarify if you actually said or believe this.

    For Rick, obviously, having Castro’s cut throat or his bowels explode (they did already) would be a bad thing. Surely you don’t share Rick’s “exalted humanity” towards tyrants. Someone who can take pleasure in Tammy Faye’s painful death wouldn’t begrudge Castro a comparable end. After all, look at the box score:

    People Murdered by Tammy Faye: 0
    People Murdered by Fidel Castro: 102,000

    People Robbed by Tammy Faye: 200,000
    People Robbed by Fidel Castro: 11.3 million

  14. Rick    Sun Jul 29, 09:04 AM #  

    STFU already, Manny, really.

    Steve said:

    The “litmus test” demanded by the “minority” is not that he take a virulent anti-Castro position, but that he proclaim it daily. Hourly. Loudly. And if he doesn’t, he’s Castro’s “agent.”

    Steve, obviously did not say exactly what I wrote, but the message is still the same, Manuelito.

    And while you’re digging up the information that Alesh has asked you to provide (which you can’t because it doesn’t exist), show me where I said anything regarding Tammy Faye (which you can’t because it doesn’t exist).

    You are the biggest fraud swimming the ‘net, Manuel.


  15. lmh    Sun Jul 29, 09:51 AM #  

    What exactly has Oscar Corral done wrong? He exposed the facts. And when someone exposes the truth, that should be commended, not ridiculed. The hard line exile community should be ashamed of themselves. Not once have they’ve done anything to progress the cause of freedom for Cuba. They don’t trust the media, fine I understand that. But they don’t trust the younger generation of Cuban rafters, they don’t trust the leadership of the opposition in Cuba, they don’t trust anyone with an opposing view, they don’t trust people who don’t think like they do or have the same view points. I’m surprised they haven’t started burning down churches and synagogues yet. It’s obviously
    a very well known fact that God, the great Creator is a commie for allowing Cuba to be ruled by a dictator for so long. But anyways, one thing that the exile community does not seem to understand is that none of us in the Cuban community or anywhere else for that matter, are the same. We all have different points of view due to different experiences maybe from the same situations. And that’s okay. I may feel deep down that Oscar Corral has done a very nobel thing, you may disagree, but that does not give anyone the right to label me as something that I am not. A commie, a worm, ect. ect. ect. That is the same mentalty that went on in Cuba in the 1960’s. You leave Cuba and fidel’s revolution, your a “gusano”. The fact of the matter is that we live in the United States of America where eveyone has the right to express themselves. That is our right protected in the Bill of Rights. We have the right to say, send Elian back to Cuba, without haveing to be subjected to mob rule. We have the right to pay and see a Van Van concert without having to fear for our lives. You have the right to protest, but not to inflict injury. The beauty of this nation is the fact that it was built on a series of compromises. Here we live in a country much larger than that of Cuba, yet we can’t seem to get our act together in a nation of just 11 million people? Smaller than the state of Pennsylvania? That is not something to be proud of. Can anyone tell me please what the embargo has done for Cuba? fidel still eats at night. Can anyone tell me what the harm is in trying to look for another solution one that will really bring an end to fidel and raul and any other commie lover grasp on Cuba. If we really love Cuba and wish for that nation to have a democratic society, then we should be using all our options, not place our bets on a policy that even Kennedy was getting ready to abolish shortly before his murder. I’ll tell you why I like Oscar Corral’s reporting. He exposed the truth. Not half truths such as the ones from certain blog sites. Fact: People do not leave Cuba because of political situations, they leave Cuba because there is no economy, no room for improving their lives. I’ve been to Cuba a number of times and just about everyone I’ve spoken to would love to make an honest decent wage to buy food, clothes, go to the beach, watch a movie, go to the bar or restaurant. I don’t hear people saying I got to get out of hear because I can’t speak my mind. Hell everyone speaks their minds in one form or another. Another half truth: TV Marti is seen by a larger number of the population now that our govt. has leased a military plane to transmit the signal. Ask any of the newly arrived Cubans to our country how many of them have seen TV Marti. Most people have a much easier time watching Don Francisco and Univision, Galavision or Azteca and Telemundo from Miami than they ever will getting a signal that fidel has jamed. Why not pay Don Francisco to make some PSA’s on our behalf, or better yet, put one or two hours of TV Marti on Telemundo. That’s a much cheeper alternative to what’s going on now. But I suppose if that type of information got out to the American public, that their hard working tax dollars was still being used to promote a program that hardly anyone watches, well I suppose that would be a “no, no” in the exile community, at least for the hard liners. I am very proud to be a Cuban-American. But it’s hard to always have to defend yourself due to the actions of a few extreamist.

    I’ll wait for any negative remarks.

  16. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sun Jul 29, 10:30 AM #  


    Thank-you for admitting that you misrepresented Steve’s views here; indeed, invented something that Steve never said. No surprise there, since you are always misrepresenting the views of Cuban-Americans and inventing words to put in the mouths of Cuban “extremists.” It’s your modus operandi.

    It was Steve, by the way, who celebrated Tammy Faye’s death on his blog. You would know if you ever strayed from reading my blog.

    I consider your personal insults to be a badge of honor, and the fact that you hate me even more than you hate Val Prieto conclusive proof of who really represents the views of anti-Castro Cubans.

  17. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sun Jul 29, 10:47 AM #  


    “Oscar Corral has done a very nobel thing…”IMH

    Maybe you should nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    How can you misspell noble, by the way? It’s spelt the same way in both Spanish and English.

    You can be no other than Longfellow.

    Greetings, old friend! Did you forget that I could always recognize you in any disguise?

    I would invite you to visit my blog, but that would deprive Stuck on the Palmetto of its only remaining attraction.

    Still, if you are so inclined:

  18. lmh    Sun Jul 29, 12:14 PM #  

    You’re no poet. Who exactly are you? What are your interest in Cuba? And how will you be an instrument for positive change on the island when all you can do, or what is seem that you’ve been blessed to do is to riducle others?

    Keep on doing what you do sir, your, are you ready for this big word??? IRRELEVANT to the cause of freedom, democracy, and justice in regards to Cuba’s future. Just the fact that you would even take the time to read my post and pick out a mistake in spelling and not get the bigger picture shows what’s wrong with you and your kind. YOU DON’T LISTEN, YOU DON’T WANT TO LISTEN, all you can do is point out what’s wrong with others. Pathetic.

    This is one Cuban American who will not stand down to you or your right wing buddies.

  19. Rick    Sun Jul 29, 01:37 PM #  

    Manuel: You accused me of taking pleasure in Tammy Faye Baker’s death. Where? Show me. You can’t. Just like you can’t come up with anything in response to Alesh’s request.

    It’s what you do, Manuelito. You have said things your whole entire life that are lies and fabrications.

    What I detest about you more than your lying, though, is your hate of this country. You hate everything about it and you put whatever measly or inconsequential connections you have to Cuba ahead of your allegiance to this country. Why don’t you just renounce your U.S. citizenship, Manuelito, and be done with it?

    Go ahead and scan this post for misspellings. If it helps you in someway feel superior to others as you plod through your otherwise miserable life, have at it.


  20. alesh    Sun Jul 29, 04:36 PM #  

    Manuel (#12)~

    Um, I said I wasn’t following the Posada thing. W/r/t the Radio Marti business, Corral’s article said that several Herald writers were moonlighting for the US Government program. I don’t believe anyone questioned that basic fact. They questioned whether the news was of any particular significance, and they obviously questioned the Herald’s response.

    Again, if you have a reference regarding those Czech reporters, please share. Sorry if I’m not willing to take your word for it, but this is a case in which the details matter.


    I pretty much agree with you. But so, do you agree that Castro is bad for Cuba? If so, don’t you think it would behoove Corral to say so (assuming he too agrees)?


    I’m anxious to hear if you have a response to my comments in #11?

  21. Steve    Sun Jul 29, 05:29 PM #  

    Wow. Maybe I should read blogs on weekends, too, but then it would be on my OWN time. Can’t have that.

    I much prefer to fan flames than put them out, but I guess in all honesty I can’t this time. So back up to some of these exchanges:

    1. My view on Oscar Corral was only trying to interpret his own comment about writing for everybody. I thought Alesh had mischaracterized the sentiment behind it, and tried to give it a context. Hence the remark about a portion of the local CA community who want to hear him (and everybody else) chant Castro curses all day, every day.

    2. Yeah, Castro is a whole lot worse than dear dead Tammy Faye Bakker, on whose delightedly grave I piddled last week. I absolutely take great pleasure in her demise, that’s just the kind of nasty vindictive putz I am. She actually had worse taste in clothing than Fido, though, and was obviously a whole lot stupider. And whatever else one might want to say about Castro, I doubt he’d suck off Jim Bakker. But I could be wrong. (I have worse scenarios, which I’ll post on my own blog rather than soil this one further.)

    3. I have a whole of trouble with news reporters moonlighting as government propagandists, even if the Miami Hurled doesn’t or didn’t.

    Everybody have a nice wet weekend?

  22. lmh    Sun Jul 29, 05:36 PM #  

    Do I agree that castro is bad for Cuba? Nope, not bad, he’s a DISASTER for Cuba. And really not just Cuba but the region in general. Do I think that it would behoove Corral to say so? I’m not sure. Anyone who deeply cares about Cuba knows for a fact that fidel is not Heaven sent. We all know the atrocities, lies, and deceit which the castro’s have inflicted upon Cuba. That’s common knowledge. All you have to do is look around. Why would so many people take to the Florida straits in rafts to leave a country? What was the October missile crisis all about? You do a little research and you can start to put the puzzle together. So should Oscar be reporting on fidel and his crimes? That should be up to him, his conscious and his employers. It’s their newspaper to report as they wish. If I don’t agree with viewpoints, I’ll buy another paper becasue I have that option living here. Something they can’t do in Cuba. I may get upset to the point where I’ll write a letter to the editor as I’ve done with the L.A. Times in the past, but I won’t label him as something he’s not, or call in threats.

    He reported the facts on a subject as he is employed to do. Some people benefited from it, some did not. That’s life. There’s so many organizations out there: Cuban American National Foundation; International Committee for Democracy in Cuba; Brothers to the Rescue and others that place the issue of Cuba in the public eye. So if Oscar can’t or won’t do that, to bad for him. I’ll keep fighting by informing others. But I won’t be asking for a lynching either.


  23. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sun Jul 29, 05:39 PM #  


    I addressed my remarks vis-a-vis Tammy Faye not to you but to Steve. He wrote the post. It may help in the future to look at whose name is at the top of my comment. In this comment, your name is at the top. This means that this comment is directed to you. In the comment to which I allude Steve’s name is at the top. That means that that particular comment was addressed to Steve. See how simple it is? I’m sure that with a little practice you’ll become a wiz at it! As I’ve always said, I am here to serve your diminished intellect, never asking how it got that way.

    So you admit that you “detest” me. And, yet, a year ago, you were referring to me as “Stuck on the Palmetto’s favorite, the beloved Manuel A. Tellechea.” Since we are strangers to each other it seems to me that your emotions towards me are altogether too exaggerated.

    FYI, it is not necessary for me to renounce my U.S. citizenship because I was not born in this country. I was born in Cuba and have never renounced my Cuban citizenship. Bigots like yourself must throw something else at my face.

    I point out misspellings only when they are humorous and since your blog went on life support you have not been very humorous. Be nice to Longfellow, btw, he is the only life that is left on Stuck on the Palmetto.

  24. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sun Jul 29, 05:53 PM #  


    Since I last commented here, it seems a certain smugness has replaced your wonted humility; for which I am truly sorry.

    You will find on Henry Gómez’s Herald Watch all the information you could possibly want or need on the Miami Moonlighters case, including confirmation on the thousands of journalists (including Czechs) who worked for the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe over the entire span of the Cold War and who also at the same time held jobs in mainstream media.

    And, yes, my word is good enough for you and you are expected to take it at face value. Otherwise, what purpose is there even in addressing you? Apparently, not much.

  25. Rick    Sun Jul 29, 05:58 PM #  

    Alesh: remember when I posted “I Am Not A Racist.” and people complained that I was playing into the hands of those that were making that baseless allegation?

    Perhaps Corral doesn’t want to give the hardliners any amount of satisfaction in dictating his message. When bullies accomplish that, they have won in a certain sense.


  26. Rick    Sun Jul 29, 06:07 PM #  

    Oh boy, Alesh, now you’ve done it. Manny praised you at one time and now you don’t take every word he says at face value. Actually, that’s a very good practice to get into given his track record.

    Hey, Manuelito, how’s about cutting and pasting that pertinent info that Alesh wanted over here at CM so that everyone can read it? You cut and paste your own blog very well, so save us a trip over to Herald Watch, and post it here.


  27. antonio r.    Sun Jul 29, 06:47 PM #  

    Talk about selfish promotion….henry gomez blah blah blah…these blahblahlu blogers need to go find a deserted island and live among their desolate hapless lives.

  28. alesh    Sun Jul 29, 06:51 PM #  


    “It’s their newspaper to report as they wish.”

    It’s our newspaper. The Herald management knows that, as much as they botch the implications. It’s Miami’s newspaper, or it’s a doomed and irrelevant publication. Does that mean the Herald should kowtow to local prejudices? No. But its reporting needs to bear in mind the reality of its community. Saying you have alternatives (not technically true, btw) does not excuse anything. The Herald needs to do what every good newspaper in history has done — find a way to serve its community and maintain its integrity at the same time. I think it’s beyond cynical to say that those two goals are not mutually attainable.

    I said what I’d expect from Corral in #2, and in some ways it was deliberately vague, because I haven’t read every word he’s written, or everything that’s been said about him. But the heart of it is this: Reporting about Cuba and Cuban-American issues sould be based on the premise that Castro is bad for Cuba and the rest of the world.


    Um, ok, I’ll dig through HW archives in my spare time and look for what you’re talking about. Till then, I still say that it’s WRONG for journalists to simultaneously report objectively and be on the payroll of the government. [edit: BTW, please no cut-n-pasting from HT — if you’re so inclined, a link will do.]


    You keep fixating on the hardliners, and I keep steering you to the 99% of Cuban-Americans. We agree that only if Corral’s every word was anti-Castro venom would the hardliners be satisfied. The rest of us just want to understand him as sharing the basic world-view that we all share re. Castro — that he’s a murderous dictator (to use the phrase from a previous post).

    He need not use those exact words or anything. I think if he were writing from that perspective (rather then some manufactured “neutrality”) it would have been obvious to everyone from the start where his heart was. So — I think this quote puts the cart exactly before the horse:

    Perhaps Corral doesn’t want to give the hardliners any amount of satisfaction in dictating his message.

    But what you’re saying is that Corral realizes that the hard-liners are right, but he’s refusing to say so because he doesn’t want to give them the satisfaction. Do you really mean to paint him as such a cynical, petty, and calculating person?

    (btw, I’m staying away from the ‘I am not a racist’ stuff — we can get into that sometime, but this thread already has too much going on.)


    Self-promotion? That ain’t Henry talking!

  29. lmh    Sun Jul 29, 07:49 PM #  

    The Miami Herald is a daily newspaper owned by The McClatchy Company. It primarily serves the Miami-Dade and Broward counties in the U.S. state of Florida, but also circulates throughout South Florida, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

    The McClatchy Company NYSE: MNI is an American publishing company based in Sacramento, California, that operates a number of newspapers and websites.

    So how exactly is the Miami Herald “your” paper? The Miami Herald can report on issues as they see fit. Regardless who likes and dislikes it. Just as Oscar Corral reported the facts as he saw fit. The Miami Herald is no much your newspaper as CNN is your cable news station of choice.

  30. lmh    Sun Jul 29, 07:54 PM #  

    The Miami Herald is not only the paper for the people of South Florida, but since it reaches just about anybody with a computer it is their obligation to report the truth and facts for everyone. Which is what Oscar Corral did. The fact that Oscar has not reported what a segment of the community in Florida did not like is not their problem nor mine.

  31. Rick    Sun Jul 29, 08:01 PM #  

    No need to get into the “racist” stuff…it was meant as an example.

    Alesh, do you and 99% of CA’s really need to hear Corral pronounce that Castro is a “murderous dictator” before you believe that Corral believes that Castro is a “murderous dictator?” I do not. Given what he says about loving Miami and loving the Cuban exile community and his schooling as a young boy, I have no doubt that he believes that, whether he says so or not. And I believe he does, in fact, agree with extremists on that point. Where I believe he has a problem with them is their methods of expressing themselves and their, well, extremism.

    I think he wants the CA discourse to be more refined and more representative of the 99%. Is that cynical? Is that petty? I don’t think so.

    To believe otherwise, you almost have to believe that he is a Castro sympathizer or an agent of Castro which is the thinking of extremists and, by your own stats, the other 1%.


  32. alesh    Sun Jul 29, 08:20 PM #  


    The Herald is circulated in the Caribbean? That’s great. You can also get the New York Times in Sri Lanka. The herald is “my” paper in the sense that if I and my neighbors stop buying it, it’ll fold. I don’t claim ownership of it in a “shareholder” sense, I claim it in a real-world, pragmatic (OK: “non-literal”) sense.

    The Herald is my newspaper in the same way, but to a much greater degree, that CNN is my news network. They report as they see fit at their peril if “as they see fit” is incomprehensible to me.

    Of course Corral should report the facts as he finds them. But don’t kid yourself — reporters are human, and their world-view colors their work. If Corral believes that Castro is bad for Cuba, and he has deliberately excised that perspective from his reporting (as I believe he has), then he is doing a disservice both to the facts and to the community for which he, ultimately, works.


    No, I don’t need to hear him say it. Not in those words. But I do need to know that he believes it. I do think he should openly say that “Castro is bad for Cuba.” I think that if he wrote honestly (see above), those beliefs would be plain to see to anyone looking for them, and would not in any way color the accuracy of his reporting.

    But look: here you have this completely casual interview, with Corral more or less wearing his heart on his sleeve, and STILL he can’t slip in a token “of course Castro is vile” or similar comment. The absence is conspicuous and indefensible, whether it’s because he’s dug his heels in against the hard-liners or because he really doesn’t believe any such thing.

    Yes, it’s extremely unlikely that Corral is a commie sympathizer. On the other hand, it’s not unimaginable, and if true, it certainly would be something we would all like to be aware of. So, why wouldn’t he put the fears to rest?

  33. Rick    Sun Jul 29, 08:35 PM #  

    “Fears?” Come on, Alesh. But to answer, see #25. I would just be repeating myself otherwise.


  34. lmh    Sun Jul 29, 09:03 PM #  

    So alesh, I suppose your calling what “your” paper quotes as lies??? Straight from the Miami Hearld Online, and I’ll you figure it out:

    [aprox. 2,000 words of crap pasted from the Herald's "about" page deleted. next time try linking or summarizing. ~alesh]

    And I personally know this because I’ve read the Miami Herald on vacation in the Bahamas and in Puerto Rico. Oh and I’d hate to bust your bubble, but yeah, the New York Times does circulate in Sri Lanka, as well as Cambodia, Azerbaijan, Nepal, Ghana, if you even know where that’s at, Qatar and elserwhere. With a circulation of over 1,120,000 you better believe they’re not only in Manhattan. So believe me, if you stop buying the Herald, they won’t fold. They may change the way they do things but for a company that’s been in the business of reporting the news for over 100 years, it’ll take more than a group of unhappy hard line exiles to dictate how they report the news. If you think I’m wrong, I’d suggest you take Monday off and go to their main offices and get their imput on things.

    Oscar will continue to report as he see’s fit, and if not him then Frances Robles or someone else. The Miami Herald is the newspaper of whoever purchases it. And they have the responsibilty to report the news truthfully to the greater public, not just one segment of the population. Oscar Corral expose of the TV Marti mess was a job well done. If he wishes to report on the crimes of the castro regime even better. If he doesn’t I’ll just look elsewhere.

  35. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sun Jul 29, 09:08 PM #  


    There is nothing that Oscar Corral can do to regain his lost credibility among Cuban exiles. Absolutely nothing. Therefore, it his useless for him even to try. Besides, those few who still defend him would not appreciate being rewarded with negative comments about a regime which they also defend. I have no doubt that Corral knows the truth about Castro: it’s pretty much ineluctable in the mileau in which he was reared and educated. But he can no longer say that truth and must try, insofar as possible, not to let his reporting reflect it.

    Although he was certainly insulted enough on Miami’s Cuban Connection, Oscar was never threatened by anyone there. It was his own paranoia and self-importance that caused him to go into “hiding.” I should not be surprised if he were “hiding” at some vacation retreat in the Caribbean. It must be nice to author an inaccurate, incomplete and slanderous article intended to deprive one’s colleagues of their livelihoods and then be rewarded with an all- expenses-paid vacation to the Bahamas.

  36. alesh    Sun Jul 29, 09:41 PM #  


    I dunno… there are earnest communists in the USA right now — well-meaning people who believe in the cause, and believe that, while some of Castro’s techniques went too far, his heart was in the right place and his goals justify his specific actions. If Corral is one of them, I think it would be intellectually dishonest of him to report on Cuban-American and Cuban issues as a “neutral” party. So yes: it’s those fears he ought to put to rest, if nothing else. (Next week you’ll accuse me of accusing Corral of being a commie sympathizer, but whatever.)

    I’m bummed that you have nothing to add to #25. I think that truth that throws some meat to the dogs is no less worth telling for doing so.


    Your freedom of speech (read: cut and paste) ends when it starts to tire my scrolling finger. I like a good stunt as much as the next guy, but save that shit for somewhere else.

    Anyway. I wasn’t being facetious when I mentioned the NYTimes in Sri Lanka, and I know damned well the Herald circulates throughout the Caribbean (South America too, FYI). In terms of their profit base, nothing outside Southeastern Florida is relevant.

    More to the point, the Herald is a particularly weak node in a dying industry. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I care a lot about the newspaper industry, and I talk about its predicament often. It’s perilous, and while nothing will hasten their demise quicker then bending the standards of truth, the Herald in particular needs to be aware of the perspective of the community it serves.

    Of course that isn’t the issue here — the issue is Oscar Corral. I’m not actually suggesting that his bosses at the Herald tell him how to report his assignments, and insofar as Manuel may be correct that Corral’s future lies at another paper in another part of the country, this may all be academic. I’m really addressing what I think Corral owes the community — a statement of his values on this subject.


    With all due respect, you are one of “hardliners” we’ve been referring to. As such, I respect your opinion, but I do not believe you are correct that “There is nothing that Oscar Corral can do to regain his lost credibility among Cuban exiles.” I think the silent majority of Cuban-Americans would take an “of course Castro is vile” sort of statement from Corral to heart.

  37. Steve    Sun Jul 29, 10:22 PM #  

    Alesh: “the silent majority of Cuban Americans…” How long have you lived in south Florida? If there’s one thing that the CA community ain’t ever, it’s silent.

  38. Manuel A. Tellechea    Sun Jul 29, 10:33 PM #  


    Let’s just say that I am an Equal Opportunity hardliner. I treat Oscar and Val, Henry and Rick, in exactly the same way. If that is not fairness, then tell me what is?

  39. alesh    Sun Jul 29, 11:01 PM #  


    Don’t be an idiot. Every group has a vocal fringe. Talk of a “silent majority” is meaningful in proportion to the distance of the fringe from the group at large. If you’d been following the conversation, you’d realize that that distance, w/r/t the Cuban-American population, has exploded over the last decade or so.


    I grant you all of that and then some. My point was simply that we take your statements with a grain of a particular flavor of salt. In #35, for example, you (if I understand you correctly) accuse Corral of being a Castro apologist. While I acknowledge the sincerity of your statements, that is so far outside the scope of the current conversation that I simply have to let it lay.

  40. Manuel A. Tellechea    Mon Jul 30, 12:08 AM #  


    Salt is salt. There are no “flavors” of salt. It’s a chemical formula that yields the identical product every time. Moreover, my statements are flavored with just the right quantity of salt, just as all the great chef’s dishes are. Only an imbecile would ruin the balance of flavors by the addition of salt to the finished product. I hope you don’t include yourself in that barbarian “we” who doubts my statements for then you would be as big a fool as Rick and destined to share his unhappy fate and well-deserving of doing so.

    And you are right: you don’t understand me correctly. I never said in comment #35 that Corral is an apologist for Castro. The word “apologist” is never mentioned or implied. In fact, Oscar is the opposite of an apologist: he does not excuse Castro’s usurpations, he just never mentions them. His silence may mean acceptance but this is far from advocacy.

  41. lmh    Mon Jul 30, 12:42 AM #  

    Sorry about the long reply, but when I see someone trying to justify ignorance, I get a bit carried away.

    alesha, this is directly from the Miami Herald web site: Circulation Area: Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties in South Florida. The International Edition of The Miami Herald is distributed in nine cities in Latin America and the Caribbean.

    Customers: Readers in South Florida, the Caribbean and Latin America; web visitors from around the globe.

    Bottom line is that the Hearld is circulated and read the Caribbean. I’ve read it on vacation in the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. Regarding the N.Y.Times: Established in Paris in 1887, today the IHT is owned by The New York Times Company and continues to expand the reach of its authoritative journalism through the newspaper which is sold in 180 countries and via computers and mobile devices at

    Again the Miami Herald is in the business of reporting the news. Good or bad. Thanks to Oscar for reporting the truth and exposing the hypocrisy of the hard line Cuban exile community

  42. lmh    Mon Jul 30, 12:44 AM #  

    alesha, I don’t believe that either you or manuel know anything about anything.
    Sweet dreams.

  43. Rick    Mon Jul 30, 08:38 AM #  

    I think that truth that throws some meat to the dogs is no less worth telling for doing so.

    Say what?


  44. Steve Klotz    Mon Jul 30, 09:06 AM #  

    Rick: Don’t you get it? He’s talking about the silent majority of truth-telling dog meat.

  45. Manuel A. Tellechea    Mon Jul 30, 11:31 AM #  

    Neither Steve nor Rick knows how to translate Longfellow. I do.

    Here’s what the priceless dolt meant to say:

    It doesn’t make it any less the truth if you have to throw some meat at the guard dogs in order to gain access to the temple so that you can expose its so-called mysteries.

    Yes, Longfellow is the fifth language that I speak fluently.

  46. Steve Klotz    Mon Jul 30, 12:35 PM #  

    Manny: the quoted text is from Alesh, comment 36. I don’t what Longfellow is, but I suspect the language spoken here is Bushmills or Jack Daniels.

  47. Rick    Mon Jul 30, 12:52 PM #  

    Haaaaa! Manny gives me a smart ass lesson on thread reading and he effs it up himself. What a numbnuts.


  48. nonee moose    Mon Jul 30, 01:19 PM #  

    Manuel, I think your 2nd or 3rd fluency misspelled milieu in #35. Just remember, you only have to spell it correctly once. Then you can just cut-and-paste it the rest of the time…

    BTW, shouldn’t you be violating Godwin’s Law right around now? I watched The Fog of War with my 10 year-old… she got it, I didn’t. We’re putting her under observation.

    You’re startin’ to slip MAT

  49. alesh    Mon Jul 30, 02:32 PM #  

    I think that truth that throws some meat to the dogs is no less worth telling for doing so.

    Admittedly an odd formulation, but quite parseable. Also: true.


    FoW is great. Godwin’s Law is BS — there are situations in which Nazi analogies are perfectly appropriate. The Cuban regime works.

  50. nonee moose    Mon Jul 30, 04:09 PM #  

    WHOA there, Alesh! Don’t go all Niagra Falls there… Besides Godwin’s Law is not a value judgement.

  51. Manuel A. Tellechea    Mon Jul 30, 04:10 PM #  


    So Alesh is Longfellow. But of course! Only a mastermind could have figured that out. Now all the pieces fall into place. Come to think of it, neither one could ever distinguish between “then” and “than.”

  52. Manuel A. Tellechea    Mon Jul 30, 04:45 PM #  


    We have not exchanged opinions in so long and your parthian shot to me is that I am “slipping?” I assure you I am still on my pedestal and there is no slippage.

    You know, of course, that it’s Niagara,” not “Niagra.” It must have been a Freudian slip on your part. There must be some association in your mind between “Niagara” and “Viagra.” Since most of those who honeymoon nowadays at Niagara Falls are of a certain age, the association is self-evident. If I am correct in my assumption, accept my most fervent congratulations.

  53. Steve Klotz    Mon Jul 30, 05:20 PM #  

    Steve ~ Don’t be an idiot. Every group has a vocal fringe.”

    Perhaps Alesh/Longfellow could direct us to the vocal fringe of the Falun Gong. Perhaps it would be the ones standing silently as they await arrest and imprisonment by Chinese authorities.

    Hmm. Seems there should be a connection with “Niagra,” “Viagra,” and “Longfellow.” To say nothing of the silent dog meat majority.

  54. nonee moose    Mon Jul 30, 05:49 PM #  

    MAT, perhaps it wasn’t slippage at all. More like leakage, on second thought

    Nevertheless, touche. :-)

  55. Alex    Mon Jul 30, 06:16 PM #  

    You brought up baby killing, Alesh. I build my strawmen much more carefully. As far as litmus tests, response forthcoming at SOTP.

  56. NicFitKid    Mon Jul 30, 06:53 PM #  

    In reference to #39 (alesh) and #40 (MAT)
    I would just like to say that Wikipedia currently believes flavors of salt do exist. I mention this in case any of the current participants would like to branch out and try their hand at edit wars.

    As an aside, I have no opinion on the silent truth-telling dog meat majority.

  57. conductor    Tue Jul 31, 02:39 AM #  

    I have several beefs with Corral, but the one about his blog is that it’s not a blog. The Herald did not (does not) have a clearly articulated plan for what its journos are supposed to be doing on those blogs. I interviewed the online editor at the Herald a while back and he couldn’t commit to anything (at least he didn’t want to with me). I’ve been told by an anonymous source that many of the Herald blogs for forced upon the journos who resent the additional work for no extra pay. Corral’s blog was (past tense because it’s nothing now) just a place for him to say “Look at this article I wrote for the paper” or for him to link to some article he knew was controversial just for the sake of stirring up the crap.

    Even his blogroll didn’t make sense. He had Havana journal as one of the “anti-castro hardliners” forever. And that joint is not hard-line at all.

  58. conductor    Tue Jul 31, 02:52 AM #  


    Anybody that thinks that the Marti Moonlighters story was a good piece of journalism at this point is just blindly hating. Kind of like those who say the sky can’t be blue if the president says it is.

    In brief, the story was wrong on many levels:

    1. It did not distinguish between reporters and columnists/radio commentators. Reporters are supposed to be unbiased. Columnists are paid to give their opinions.

    2. The article falsely clained that Herald management didn’t know staffers were working at Radio/TV Marti. It turned out that they had actually written a story about one of the implicated journalists working for radio marti a couple of years before. It also turns out they had cleared it with their then boss.

    3. It did not give any historical context for the journalists who freelance for media operated by the broadcasting board of governors (the organization that oversees Radio/TV Marti and also the Voice of America et al). The New York Sun, a newspaper you probably never even heard of, actually did the follow up reporting exposing the fact that many mainstream (i.e. non-Cuban) journalists had the same deal going on including the Washington Bureau Chief for the Harftford Courant.

    All of these errors and more could have been avoided if the Herald had been more concerned with getting the story right and perhaps even trying to portray their employees in the best light possible instead of attempting to do damage control and sacrificing their people to the wolves.

    But in a case of instant karma striking the publisher lost his job and the executive editor had to beat feet out of there too.

    Good. Screw em.

  59. alesh    Tue Jul 31, 07:59 AM #  


    You are dramatically missing my point. The NY Times is a national paper. It’s read internationally, but mostly by Americans. The Herald is a local paper. It’s read outside of Miami, but the overwhelming majority of its readership is in Southeastern Florida. If that readership goes for whatever reason, the Herald is finished.


    I'd be shocked if I really believed you had trouble understanding the point of the baby killing example. I'm not really shocked because I think you're toying with me. Can't wait for the SotP post -- I'll be stopping by tomorrow to look for it.


    I was talking to Steve about this the other day. We speculated that Corral used the online search to look for articles in the Herald’s archives about this subject, and of course failed. That would explain why the older story never came to his attention. It might simply have been forgotten.

    The stuff about “portray their employees in the best light possible instead of attempting to do damage control and sacrificing their people to the wolves” doesn’t make sense, though — changing the tone or substance of the story to make the reporters look better would have been damage control. It would have saved the Herald a lot of trouble to kill the story, in fact. The fact that they ran it the way Corral gave it to them, without softening it to protect their own hides, should be to their credit.

    That said, it’s shocking that nobody who saw the story before it ran remembered the previous articles and mentioned them (“btw, here’s something you might want to be aware of before you drop this bomb”). It’s even more shocking how stunningly the Herald botched the fallout. Almost a “material for a movie” type of botching there.

    (I still would appreciate links to where all the information of other mainstream journalists moonlighting for the government is spelled out.)

  60. alesh    Tue Jul 31, 08:11 AM #  

    Oh, here’s from Alex’s response:

    Let’s not be naive. It’s not a litmus test what’s being asked of Oscar Corral, but repentance and penance for being a “bad Cuban” and writing about the ugly underside of exile politics. He could have “Castro is a tyrant” as his subhead on every article, and he would still be crucified by that vocal minority who doesn’t think the dirty laundry should be aired in public, who believe every method is sanctified as long as it’s for the “cause”, who still hasn’t realized what country are they living in.

    (This is proceeded by some dramatic imagery from Stalinist purges, and followed by a misquoting of my immortal line. )

    No big deal: Alex doesn’t get that it’s not just the vocal minority we’re talking about. It’s a rapidly growing majority. It’s damned near everybody.

    If you’re intellectually honest, and you’re in a debate, you concede the points on which your opponent is wrong. Corral isn’t willing to do that, and he’s not even in a debate — he’s a reporter for a newspaper.

    (BTW, sorry for not replying over there, but I'm so over the SotP comment system.)

  61. Manuel A. Tellechea    Tue Jul 31, 10:49 AM #  

    “If you’re intellectually honest, and you’re in a debate, you concede the points on which your opponent is wrong. — Alesh

    Shouldn’t that be right? You concede the points where your opponent is right.

    Actually, you shouldn’t. In a debate, concede nothing. Debating has nothing to do with how “intellectually honest” you are but how good a polemist you are.

  62. alesh    Tue Jul 31, 11:40 AM #  

    Right: “right.”

    Meanwhile, at the SOTP post, Alex continues to insist that it’s all about the vocal minority, not the MAJORITY, that Corral needs to be concerned with.


  63. lmh    Tue Jul 31, 06:16 PM #  

    this boat sailed out of port some time ago, if you missed it too bad. This topic is done with. By the way, The Marti Moonlighters story was a good piece of journalism.

  64. conductor    Wed Aug 1, 12:14 AM #  


    First of all regarding the light that Herald employees were portrayed in, it’s simple. You have to give your people the benefit of the doubt and assume their innocence until proven guilty. One thing Corral and Fiedler might have done to avoid a big part of the fiasco was ASK THE PEOPLE IMPLICATED. They only confronted those people at the 11th hour with a deadline approaching. They should have conducted a full and impartial investigation before printing a single word.

    It’s transparently obvious that in order to minimize damage to Herald the company threw these people overboard. Their having to rehire the fired employees afterward indicates that they botched the whole thing. Anybody that doesn’t see that (lmh) as a clear sign that it was a big mistake is clearly an idiot with an axe to grind. Not only that, the Herald tried to throw the shit around so others would be smeared. Talk show hosts and syndicated columnists whose standard for objectivity is vastly different than straight news reporters were implicated in a shielding action. A sports reporter lost his job despite the fact that there’s no apparent conflict of interest. Did he lie about the score of the Yankees game?

    As far as mainstream journos who were doing the same thing I posted about it at the time at herald watch, it was a New York Sun news report that investigated that angle:

    Link to post

    One of the journalists implicated by the Sun’s report was the Hartford Courant’s Washington Bureau Chief, David Lightman, who was doing work for VOA. As a result of the Marti scandal the Courant asked him to stop his moonlighting and announced this development in their pages but at the same time they were quite positive about the “independent mindset to his work”.

    Why couldn’t the herald have done a complete investigation and said, “we’ve discovered that some of our employees have been working for radio marti in apparent contradiction of our policies but they had been authorized by a previous editor so we are asking them to stop. We don’t believe this influenced their reporting but in order to prevent even the appearance of a conflict of interest we are going to clearly articulate a zero tolerance policy for government moonlighting.”???????

    That would have been 100% accurate, 100% reasonable, and 100% commendable. Instead the Publisher and Executive editor had to fall on their swords because they they were more concerned with appearances than facts. Also the incident resulted in more than 1000 subscribers cancelling their subscription to an already dying paper. But lmh thinks corral should get a pulitzer. I say put him back on the exile beat, the herald will be out of business in 12 months.

  65. lmh    Thu Aug 2, 10:01 AM #  

    I’ll be looking forward to your comments in 12 months. See you August 1st 2008