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Miami Herald's Message of Apology for Pro-Castro Staff & Response
Yahoo Group For Freedom-Justice ^ | October 9, 2006 | Chachi Novellas

Posted on 10/09/2006 9:23:26 PM PDT by CHACHI

----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Tira - McClatchy Corporate
Sent: Monday, October 09, 2006 12:36 PM
Subject: RE: There are pro-Castro folk inside The Herald
As the new owners of The Miami Herald, we want to join in the apologies that have been extended for mistakes and missteps there, and to ask you to give us the time and opportunity to show what our ownership will mean.
The McClatchy Company is proud of almost 150 years of newspaper history and its long record of respectful community journalism. We want to assure you that we intend to bring that same attitude and behavior to our relationship with all the communities that make Miami such a rich and vibrant place.
We are committed to responsible, public service journalism that plays a central role in making Miami and South Florida even better places to live and work. We have great confidence in David Landsberg, who has taken the reins at the Miami Herald Media Company, and know that he looks forward to working with all involved to serve the broadest public interest.
Thank you for your comments, and for your consideration.
The McClatchy Company

-----Original Message-----
From: CHACHI []
Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006 7:47 PM
To: Tom Fiedler;;
Peter Tira - McClatchy Corporate
Subject: ETR: There are pro-Castro folk inside The Herald
Importance: High

There are pro-Castro folk inside The Herald
October 05, 2006

Frankly, the man is a total idiot. They fired three journalists of long standing for having consulted - publicly - for Radio Marti. The firings were announced in Havana and, prior to that, in a statement by Castro himself when he went to Argentina three months ago.
Evidently, the Cubans have people infiltrated in the Miami papers.
Apparently Fiedler was the hatchet man, but the head that fell when the owners of the newspapers forced a retreat - due to a community-wide campaign that resulted in cancellations of both subscriptions and advertisements - was that of the Director.
Fiedler is obviously furious and made these stupid statements in a stormy staff meeting. Now the reaction is worse than before. People are up in arms and are making fun of the newspaper and its management. Below is a sample of the stuff circulating in the Internet, I expect Fiedler to be forced out next.
Incidentally, we know of three people who are sympathetic to Castro who occupy positions of importance in the newspaper: Oscar Corral, Ana Menéndez and Janet Comellas.
Comellas was, until less than a year ago, the star writer of Granma -the official Cuban newspaper - and used to write scathing articles against the US and the Cuban-American community.
She came to the US on a US-govt. granted visa and, without saying a word against Castro, now works for The Miami Herald.
Unbelievable, isn´t it?
Best regards,
Enrique T. Rueda
2110 SW 100 Ave
Miami, FL 33165
(305) 220-2062

Did you already cancel your subscription to The Miami Herald?
¿Ya te borraste de El Nuevo Herald?

To the Editor
Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006

To the Editor, The Miami Herald:

The repeated insults by Mr. Thomas Fiedler to the Cuban-American community are despicable.
He dismissed the audience (mostly Cuban-Americans) of the largest AM radio station in Miami (per Arbitron) as the "22 people who listen to the Cuban radio". Then he called Cuban-Americans chihuahua dogs and, if this is objectionable to us, then Boston terrier dogs.
We need a strong, independent press, but one that is respectful to all segments of this community. Mr. Fiedler is not fit to be a manager in your newspaper.

Enrique T. Rueda
2110 SW 100 Ave
Miami, FL 33165
(305) 220-2062
Did you already cancel your suscription to The Miami Herald?
¿Ya te borraste de El Nuevo Herald?
Did you already cancel your subscription to The Miami Herald?
Did you already cancel your business & classified ads?
¿Ya te borraste de El Nuevo Herald?

To: Peter Tira - McClatchy Corporate

I appreciate your message and your apologies for mistakes and missteps that took place at the Miami Herald, and El Nuevo Herald.

Having said that, it is unclear how these mistakes came about and who was in control and responsible for the disarray.

It is well known that the unjustly terminated journalists were asked back, although with new terms & conditions.

In doing so the Miami Herald is again blaming the journalists for their termination.

New terms and conditions for rehire indicate that the journalists did something wrong. If a selected group of journalists at your newspapers have newly imposed restrictions that are against labor laws, and/or journalistic rules, then the Miami Herald must acknowledge and disclose these new terms to the public.

It is particularly peculiar and suspicious that the Miami Herald operates with a double standard when it comes to journalists that oppose the totalitarian regime in Cuba and those that are sympathetic, or cooperate with that regime in spreading propaganda. The latter should be questioned by the responsible owners of these newspapers, as it is distasteful, to say the least, to cooperate with a sworn enemy of this country.

When all these issues become crystal clear, the readers in the community will make an intelligent decision, and not before. Political correctness and the throwing of some bones will not work this time.

It is unfortunate that efforts were made to stain the dignity of the Cuban-American community.

In trying to make mends, no efforts should be made to buy services with dubious conditions.

The dignity of Cuban-Americans is not for sale.



TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Cuba; Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: bias; biasmeanslayoffs; castro; cuba; intrigue; miamiherald; trysellingthetruth; unethical
Did you already cancel your subscription to The Miami Herald?
Did you already cancel your business & classified ads?
¿Ya te borraste de El Nuevo Herald?
1 posted on 10/09/2006 9:23:27 PM PDT by CHACHI
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Not breaking news. You're old enough to know better, too...

2 posted on 10/09/2006 9:25:15 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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some people here act really 'old' with their scolding posts, don't they? The same ones are the know it all jerks.

3 posted on 10/09/2006 9:30:29 PM PDT by RDTF (Iraq: terrorist flypaper)
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Is the Miami Herald a mouth piece for Castro's propaganda?
Did you already cancel your subscription to The Miami Herald?
Did you already cancel your business & classified ads?
¿Ya te borraste de El Nuevo Herald?

4 posted on 10/09/2006 9:39:02 PM PDT by Dqban22
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Dqban22

The article you posted in response #5 was a complete unlinked article from the Wall Street Journal.

All material from the Wall Street Journal must be excerpted and linked.

6 posted on 10/09/2006 10:08:20 PM PDT by Admin Moderator
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To: Timesink; martin_fierro; reformed_democrat; Loyalist; =Intervention=; PianoMan; GOPJ; ...

Media Schadenfreude and Media Shenanigans PING

7 posted on 10/09/2006 10:21:51 PM PDT by weegee (Remember "Remember the Maine"? Well in the current war "Remember the Baby Milk Factory")
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To: weegee


By Hugo J. Byrne

Whence come the fanatics? Mostly from the ranks of the non creative men of words?.

Eric Hoffer (?The True Believer?)

The Editor of the Miami Herald is an odd-looking fellow with a high pitched, nagging voice by the name of Thomas Fiedler, and he dislikes most Cuban-American journalists. Fiedler abhors Cubans who entertain the ?radical, right- wing notion? that Castro is a tyrant and not a President. Tom hates their noisy daily condemnation of the Cuban regime through their Miami-based Spanish radio. So much does Mr. Fiedler dislike those irritating Cubans, that he recently equated them with dogs.

No, dear reader, this is not a figure of speech. In a recent interview Mr. Fiedler literally compared Miami?s ?Radio Mambí? commentators to little dogs ?nipping at his heels?. ?Little Chihuahuas?, he called the object of his derision. Later on, ?smoothing? this racist slur, Fiedler promised next time to compare Cuban journalists to ?Boston Terriers?.

Not that Mr. Fiedler, his Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald publishers object to all Cuban ?journalists?. No sir! There is a certain kind they definitely love, like some servile pencil pushers who recently arrived from Castroland with a good record of praise for the Castro regime and of hatred toward the U.S. Take for example Janet Comellas and Alejandro Armengol, paid contributors to ?El Nuevo Herald?, Spanish language sister publication to the Miami Herald. Comellas worked for the Castro-Communist daily ?Granma? until September of last year.

In her work for Granma, Comellas regularly expounded the superior moral standing of the Castro regime and derided the U.S. government and the American way of life. Comellas' last known piece for Granma was dated Sept.17 2005. In that article, she gave a detailed account -based upon science fiction- of how Eastern Europe's former Soviet Union satellites were in much better shape under totalitarian communism than with their present democratic system.

Alejandro Armengol is El Nuevo Herald's official basher of anti-Castro Cubans. Almost one out of every three articles written by this revolting individual is a blistering biased attack against the Cuban exile community as a whole- as well as the U.S. government- not unlike those printed daily in Granma. Armengol does not bother with facts. His essays are plagued with inaccuracies and outright lies.

Getting caught red handed in a lie is not a big deal for the Cuban-basher; Alejandro simply ignores any objective information proving his blatant dishonesty. Example: In a recent article, Armengol stated that Luis Posada Carriles is presently free in the U. S.

When he wrote his diatribe, Armengol must have known that Posada remained detained in a Texas prison. He still is. But, to my knowledge, despite many reminding him of that fact, Armengol never bothered to set the record straight. Keen on trying to demonstrate the inner malady of his former Cuban nationality, which he is obviously not very proud of, Armengol recently wrote an essay painting nineteenth-century Cuban revolutionary José Martí -Cuba?s counterpart of George Washington- with the darkest colors.

Presiding over this nauseating pen is Mr. Fiedler, who was interviewed about the -likely forced- resignation of the previous Editor of El Nuevo Herald, Jesús Díaz. It was during the interview that Fiedler likened the Commentators at Radio Mambï to ?little chihuahuas nipping at my heels?. Díaz' resignation followed a protracted scandal involving that paper late last month, and he was replaced as Editor of E N H by David Landsberg.

The sequence of events resulting in Fiedler?s insult to Cuban journalists deserves a brief summary. It all began with the bitter exchange between Castro and the Cuban-American journalist, Juan Manuel Cao, in Buenos Aires a couple of months ago. The Tyrant accused Cao of ?being paid? to ask tricky questions that Castro refused to answer. Then the parrot-like Havana ?Round Table? TV show, continued carping on the theme. They announced that some ?Miami mafia? journalists were ?receiving payments from the U. S. government, but that ?they soon would be punished for their infamy?.

Within hours, two veteran columnists and regular contributors who covered Cuban issues for El Nuevo Herald with a semblance of objectivity were banned from work and promptly removed from the paper?s payroll. Their names are Wilfredo Cancio Isla and Pablo Alfonso. In addition, Olga Connor, a contributing freelance writer, was sacked as well. In an incredible Editorial echoing Castro?s propaganda, El Nuevo Herald accused the dismissed journalists -together with others who did not even work for the paper- of a breach of the Herald?s ethical code, which prohibited receiving payments from any governmental agency.

The Cuban community's universal outcry, coupled with substantial loss of revenue (the paper admits to not less than 1800 cancelled subscriptions, and the number of cancelled of advertisements is anybody?s guess) forced El Nuevo Herald to do a shameful about-face. Díaz' resignation was immediately followed by an official offer of reinstatement for Alfonso, Cancio and Connor.

Yet this action did not convey an honest reassessment of the enormity of the paper?s blunder. El Nuevo Herald stated that the Cuban journalists were just victims of administrative mistakes. Despite the fact that all three accepted the offer of returning to their jobs, the wound is still open and bleeding profusely. Alfonso said as much in his first essay upon his return. His legitimate hurt has ominous legal implications for his employer. The obvious double standard applied by the Herald to the writers would eventually lead to a multi-million-dollar litigation, an event predicted in this column two weeks ago. Another prediction: El Nuevo Herald will either loose that civil case, or settle for a similarly large amount.

It is against this background that Mr. Fiedler, when asked if Cuban community pressures had any impact on the recall of the three journalists, answered with his infamous remark. Does Fiedler have a professional death wish?

It only took 24 hours to defame ten or more journalists, fire three from El Nuevo Herald and one from Univision-WLTV Channel 23.

Fire Tom Fiedler
Fire Humberto Castelló
Fire Oscar Corral
Fire Andrés Reynaldo
Fire Alejandro Armengol
Fire Janet Comellas
Fire los Castro-Comunistas

8 posted on 10/12/2006 6:33:17 AM PDT by Dqban22
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To: Southack

The Miami Herald's Meltdown Over Cuba
by Paul Crespo Posted Oct 12, 2006

While the Miami Herald's recent front-page attempt to smear 10 decent Miami journalists (including me) who worked on U.S.-government TV Marti broadcasts to Cuba, blew up in its face, the paper's scandal has unmasked more serious concerns. Clearly visible now are the Herald’s arrogance, latent anti-Cuban American bias, and lack of professionalism.

When the original Herald story broke September 8, many asked, "With Fidel Castro dying, and his brother Raul struggling to succeed him, why is the Herald doing this now?" That question was even more pressing since in prior weeks, Fidel Castro and his mouthpieces publicly had prodded the Herald to investigate the Cuban American journalists in Miami who Castro accuses of being "agents of imperialism."

As local Cuban American radio commentators (including me) increased their questioning of the Herald's unprofessional reporting and began demanding better explanations about the paper’s motivations and practices, the pressure grew. Thanks to this effort, similar to the pressure on disgraced former CBS anchorman Dan Rather during his forged memo-gate scandal, we discovered that, among other journalistic lapses, the Herald hadn't done its homework.

On October 3, Miami Herald Publisher Jesus Diaz implicitly admitted the Herald had screwed up, announcing that the three Nuevo Herald (the Herald’s Spanish-language paper) journalists unjustly dismissed for "conflict of interest" had been offered their jobs back. The three fired Herald journalists, in fact, had permission to appear on paid TV Marti broadcasts. Diaz then resigned, saying he had lost control of his newsrooms.

The Herald’s new owner, the McClatchy Co., tried to spin things differently. Using as a diversionary smokescreen the charge that Diaz had tried to censor (as too provocative) two stridently anti-Cuban American columns; McClatchy’s News Vice President Howard Weaver proudly proclaimed that this had been unacceptable and that McClatchy believed in “strong columnists,” and “strong voices.”

Of course, at the Herald, these strong voices are almost exclusively “strong liberal voices” such as Leonard Pitts Jr., Robert Steinback and Carl Hiassen, often with a tinge of anti-Cuban American attitude thrown in. But it was useful subterfuge. Not surprisingly, the New York Times misreported the issue completely as its incorrect October 4 headline read: "Miami Publisher Steps Down Over Payments to Reporters." A more accurate headline would have read: "Miami Publisher resigns because he admits the Herald published an unprofessional smear job."

The mounting pressure seems to be too much for Tom Fiedler, the Herald's executive editor and vice president. On October 5, he snapped when he dismissed the notion that the paper had caved to its critics, derisively saying the ''22 people who listen to Cuban radio'' were being stirred up by ''little Chihuahuas nipping at our heels.'' Fiedler later apologized for his choice of words, probably because Chihuahuas are generally associated with Mexicans not Cubans.

As one of those “Chihuahuas” on Miami Cuban radio though, I was a bit offended. Fiedler seriously undercounted the large Hispanic listening audience of “Cuban” radio, which the Arbitron ratings list in the tens of thousands. Maybe Mr. Fiedler is upset that the Herald, unable to arrest the decline in its steadily dwindling readership, has had roughly 2,000 subscriptions canceled these past two weeks in protest against the paper over its smear piece.

But the confused ethnic slur simply was the most egregious example of the Herald's arrogant defensiveness: "Who are those little Miami Cubans to question us?" Though the paper had essentially, and falsely, implied that all who ever had collaborated with TV Marti were tools of the U.S. government, Fiedler blew a gasket at the mere suggestion that the Herald may be doing the same for the Cuban government, calling the accusations that the Herald was a "tool of Castro"—"ludicrous." Can we say “double standard?”

This brings us back to the original question. Why did the Herald choose this critical time to write such a poorly researched, poorly sourced, hit piece about Cuban American journalists?

Most of us who have worked with TV and Radio Marti are proud to provide the Cuban people uncensored information and perspectives that their totalitarian Communist masters deny them. Some, especially the Castro brothers in Havana, want to silence these voices. Most agree that the Herald's story helped Castro.

Previously I noted that Castro and his goons seemed to be forewarned about the Herald story. How did they know? And, was the paper doing Cuba’s bidding, intentionally or unintentionally?

There are many unanswered questions and much speculation. Why smear several opinion commentators not employed by the Herald like me for the alleged transgression of three of its own reporters? Was involving us a cover to fire them, or were they fired as a way to help smear us all?

The McClatchy Co., America’s second largest newspaper company, recently took over the Miami Herald when it acquired Knight Ridder. But the Herald doesn’t have an office in Cuba, and Cuba bans most of its reporters from the island for not being hard enough on the Miami Cuban exiles and for being too hard on Castro.

Was McClatchy’s trying to show Cuba that under their new management, The Herald will be much harsher with Castro’s opponents? Could they be negotiating with Cuba to open a Havana bureau before Fidel Castro dies? The Herald publicly has denied this, but many observers remain skeptical. At minimum, the paper could be doing this unilaterally, hoping for better treatment from Castro later. Perhaps they hope to secure visas so their intrepid investigative reporters may travel to Cuba.

Then there's the 800-pound alligator in the room: Cuban government influence over, or penetration of, the Herald. Humberto Castello, the Nuevo Herald Editor, publicly has defended his oft-criticized policy of hiring recently arrived Cuban “journalists” who worked at all levels of Castro's propaganda organs. Janet Comellas, a copy editor at the Nuevo Herald, who until November 2005 was a senior propaganda writer for Castro's state-controlled paper, "Granma," is just one example.

Has Cuba used this misguided policy to infiltrate the Miami paper with its intelligence operatives?

Tom Fielder and Humberto Castello may think that is “ludicrous,” but intelligence experts believe it's not only possible but likely. The Herald is a prime target for a Fidel Castro obsessed with his Miami opponents. The Herald should police itself as aggressively as it pursues false stories about Cuban American journalists working for TV Marti.

9 posted on 10/12/2006 9:51:29 AM PDT by Dqban22
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