Mainstream Media Frenzy Over Bogus Scandal
Humberto Fontova Friday, Sept. 15, 2006
Last week the headline flashed from the New York Times to USA Today and from the BBC to Drudge. Both the AP and Reuters ran with the scoop. Even Editor & Publisher ran a story.
The breathless reports told of intrepid reporters at the Miami Herald – prompted only by ingenious hunches and inspired only by public spirit – uncovering a scandal of stupendous international import. The article in the Miami Herald that ignited the frenzy even included photos (mugshot-style) of the ten miscreant journalists.
The Herald's findings were staggering:
"U.S. Paid 10 Journalists for Anti-Castro Reports," headlined the New York Times.
"Journalists Paid to Blast Castro," said CNN.
"10 Miami Journalists Take U.S. Pay," read the headline in the Miami Herald itself, whose staff contained two of the reporters besmirched by the scandal, Pablo Alfonso and Wilfredo Cancio. By an odd coincidence, these two were conspicuous on the Herald staff for their strong anti-Castroism. In a sanctimonious huff, the Herald brusquely fired them and canceled all assignments with the besmirched Cuban-American freelancer Olga Connor.
From the Huffington Post to Michael Moore.com, leftie blogs are all gloating, and characteristically so. The reports in the Miami Herald and New York Times depict a Republican payola scheme where knavish Cuban-American commentators were variously bribed and duped into parroting vicious Bush-ite propaganda against the Castro regime, which was broadcast into Cuba via the U.S. government-funded Radio and TV Marti.
Upon reading all this, and especially upon reading who were among the ten "bribed" journalists, Cuban-Americans could hardly apply themselves to the first business at hand (canceling their Miami Herald subscriptions) for their convulsions of laughter.
To think that such as Miami radio star Ninoska Perez-Castellon (whose husband is among the longest-serving political prisoners of the century after almost 30 years in Castro's Gulag) and Pablo Alfonso and Carlos Alberto Montaner (both former political prisoners themselves and authors of multiple anti-Castro books) require bribes to submit anti-Castro broadcasts is beyond funny, beyond pathetic, beyond stupid.
So we have to expect it from the MSM (mainstream media), which also flip-flopped on this issue. Think about it. For years they've been telling us the opposite. The liberal mantra has it that those rich, dastardly and politically powerful Cuban-Americans deviously direct U.S. policy. Traditionally, we've been portrayed as the most fiendishly clever cabal to ever grease a palm, plant a story, fund a PAC, or place a severed horse head in your bed.
We make up a minuscule 1/300 of the U.S. population, yet according to the MSM and the Democrats, we control U.S. foreign policy with a firm testicular grip, against the wishes and interests of the entire U.S. population. That takes talent.
"Cuba Policy isn't made in Washington," harrumphed Bill Press in a CNN column. "It's made in Miami by former Batista supporters who think they can reverse history!"
"Bush's defense of the embargo serves a family voting bloc and little else," snarled Kathleen Parker in a column.
"A small number of powerful exiles in South Florida cow our politicians into keeping the crazy Cuban policy!" snapped media baron Al Neuharth in USA Today.
Back in the '80s, liberals claimed that Radio Marti itself was a blatant kickback from the Reagan team to Reagan friend and backer Jorge Mas Canosa, then head of the Cuban American National Foundation. In brief, the Cuban-American tail traditionally wagged the U.S. policy dog. Now they tell us it's the reverse. Consistency, please, MSM.