Thursday, September 21, 2006

"A moral lynching"

While The Miami Herald tries to get past the Martí Moonlighters affair, El Nuevo Herald continues to keep the story alive in its opinion pages. Today El Nuevo published a column by Daniel Morcate in which he characterizes the entire affair as a "moral lynching."

The moral lynching of prestigious exile journalists has caused a public relations disaster for The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. It is only comparable to the one it suffered first when [The Herald] refused to recognize the existence of political prisoners in Cuba in seventies.

As was the case then, now a perception exists among exiles and our descendants that the Herald fell into this new abyss through a mixture of ignorance and bad faith among some of its journalists and executives...

The scandal has been greater in the Cuban community because that community recognizes that some of the lynched journalists have a superior moral stature to that of their lynchmob. My friends Montaner, Pablo Alfonso and Juan Manuel Cao, for example, suffered political imprisonment in Cuba for their convictions.

For denouncing beatings or for simply criticizing to the Castro regime through Radio/TV Martí and other media, they and others that have been lynched have suffered intrigues from the Cuban political police, threats to their relatives and friends in Cuba and Stalinist claques in Latin America, Europe and the United States. Also they have been subjected to censorship and attempts at censorship by commercial media that has entered into negotiations with the Castro tyranny to open offices in Havana or to obtain such pathetic "favors" as an interview with Fidel Castro, opinion columns from the regime's propagandists, including Castro himself, or visas to work on the island. But what comparable professional sacrifices have the implacable judges of the 10 exile journalists made?

...I believe that, as an institution, the Herald would benefit from a rigorous examination of this dark episode, in which participated various persons. Needles to say that I exclude myself from the proposal. I have delayed in proposing this because I wanted to read the explanations of my former colleagues on the editorial board, and the editor, Jesus Diaz Jr. Now that I have read them, they continue to seem insufficient to me. For a journalist, there is no act more detestable than to censor or to impede another of his way of life. Those who do it, should at least understand their own reasoning and being able to explain it in a convincing way.



Hi Henry,

I noticed that in last post about Daniel Morcate's column, he referred to Jesus Diaz Jr. as "editor". Didn't Jesus Diaz Jr. tell you that he was not an editor? Maybe within the Miami Herald inner-circle, it's an unwritten rule - No article goes out without my (Jesus Diaz) approval or Daniel Morcate was mistaken.

Jose Aguirre said...

Excellent article by Montaner! The Miami Herald would be smart to apologize but the egos involved will probably prevent that and instead lead to their demise.

Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

I noticed that too. I have also noticed however that when you plug the English word "publisher" into language tools it spits out the word "editor" in Spanish. This is one of those cases where there isn't an exact translation.

Alex said...

"Editor" is used for both "publisher" and "editor" in Spanish. For example "publishing house" is "casa editorial".