14 October 2006

Sun Sentinel Editorial

Since the election is only four weeks away, now is the Sun-Sentinel’s turn to use Cubans to bash Bush’s Foreign Policy. Nothing like stirring up the Liberal pro-Castro, anti -Cuban-American segment of South Florida to go vote agaisnt their two enemies.

Here’s the gist of the editorial:

As the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported last month, most of the $80 million the Bush administration and Congress have earmarked for dissidents on the island will be used to pay expenses -- from phone bills to staff salaries -- at go-between organizations in the United States. It now also turns out that some funds for Radio Martí, the U.S. government's broadcasting station, have been used to pay some U.S. journalists to appear on the station.

These revelations should prompt a re-examination of U.S. Cuba policy, especially because aid to Cuban dissidents is politically sold as just that -- a helping hand to people involved in a peaceful effort to bring democracy to their country. It's also wrong for the government to be paying, and journalists to be accepting, payment for appearing on state-sponsored broadcasts. Doing so compromises any journalist's claim to objectivity and independence.

Their problem really is that the Bush Government is spending money on Cuban American and Cuban – American issues. Therefore, there must be some nefarious, right wing and politically incorrect pro American conspiracy afoot. Please!

We don’t really think that $80 million is enough. Its chump change given the task at hand. Unfortunately, you can’t throw money out of a plane and hopes it lands in the right hands. In order for the funds to get into the right hands, some administrative expense must be incurred. They can either be folks already geared for that or it can be a new government agency. The folks at the Sun Sentinel would die if they actually knew the real amount that the US is spending on dissidents in Cuba or the amount the CIA spends on informants and other human assets on the island. Good thing its classified.

Again we have to hear the same tired tune that The Herald was playing about the journalistic objectivity and ethics of the TV/Radio Marti contributors. The editors at the Sun Sentinel must not be aware that it is the government’s policy that they MUST pay for contributors on their network. Otherwise, they get accused of coercing professionals into forced labor. The US government’s policy of paying a nominal stipend to contributors is actually a sound policy.

And…why is it that beaming the truth to captive people is not considered working towards democracy? Let’s ask these somewhat arrogant yet near sighted “professional journalists” what the most important aspect of our democracy is and they will probably scream out that it’s the free press. And we would have to agree.

We do find some common ground with The Sentinel in that we agree that more dollars need to reach the hands of the dissidents. More dollars must be earmarked specifically for that purpose now the that conduits to distribute these funds are funded and stablished.

Tough this article doesn’t go out to maliciously ruin people’s reputation like the Miami Herald did, it has the same anti Cuban-American tone.

The Sun Sentinel is going to try a lot harder to get that coveted news bureau in Havana. But hey, I hear that Oscar Corral may be looking for another job real soon.

No comments: