Friday, September 29, 2006

The silence is deafening...[UPDATED]

I sent the email below to Jesus Diaz Jr., publisher of TMH and ENH, yesterday. To date, no response. I'm sure Mr. Diaz Jr. is a busy man but I think these questions deserve some answers:

From: Henry Gomez
Subject: Andres Reynaldo
Date: September 28, 2006 2:30:09 PM EDT
To: Jesus Diaz Jr.
Dear Mr. Diaz Jr.:

As you know (or perhaps don't know) Andres Reynaldo, a columnist for El Nuevo Herald, outed himself as having contributed to Radio Marti in a column he wrote, which was published on 9/20. I am wondering what if any action MHPC has taken against him or intends to take against him. He is still listed on the El Nuevo Herald's web site, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything because Jim Defede is still listed on the Herald's site: [Link]

Reynaldo claims that his boss at the time of his moonlighting for OCB (2002-2004), Carlos Castañeda, knew about it. Did Castañeda also know about the others, the ones that were recently dismissed? Why would Reynaldo be held to a different standard than the others? What about other non-Cuban-American Herald writers that may have participated in OCP[B] programs and paid for it in the years prior those investigated. In an email to me Mr. Fiedler claims the FOIA requests only went back two years. Why limit the investigation to only two years? As an employer of at least three journalists that "violated journalistic ethics" don't you want to know who else might have, as well?

Thank you in advance for your response.

Henry Louis Gomez
UPDATE: Well I guess Mr. Diaz received and read my email because Defede profile page linked above now forwards to the listing of all of Herald Columnists.


Manuel A. Tellechea said...

The firing of the 3 Cuban-American journalists presents us with a case of the retroactive application of rules on ethical practice. Nothing is more odious to any sense of justice than what are known as ex post facto (retroactive) laws. This has always been the favorite tactic of dictatorial regimes for establishing control of the masses. It is the only legal (actually extra-legal) expedient that allows the state to criminalize the whole population and put it at the mercy of its whims and interests, by, in effect, blackmailing the whole nation into compliance.

Let me explain more carefully how ex post facto laws stifle dissent and you will have no difficulty understanding how they pertain to the present case. Suppose that you have no beard and that the government were to decree tomorrow that it was illegal for you and all men not to have beards. You don't have to suppose much because this is exactly what the Taliban did decree in Afghanistan. Now we should all cringe at the arbitrariness of such a disposition; yet even that is not as intolerable as if the government were to decree today that it was illegal for you to go beardless yesterday, or the day before, or even for a single day since puberty.

This is in effect what Castro did in Cuba in 1959. Before Castro came to power, there was no capital punishment in Cuba. Not only did Castro introduce the death penalty but he made it retroactive for offenses committed before 1959. But that's not the worst of it: he created a whole series of new "crimes" subject to the death penalty and proceeded to execute 15,000 Cubans whom he claimed had violated his new "laws" before the activity they engaged-in had been criminalized. To put this in the simplest terms: you walked on the right side of the street yesterday. Tomorrow the government makes it illegal for you to walk on the right side of the street today, tomorrow and yesterday. How can anyone living under such a regime feel safe? Even the perpetual leftside walker must fear that tomorrow his own conduct may be criminalized retroactively and himself thrown in jail alongside the erstwhile rightside walker.

Now let us apply these principles to the case of the 3 journalist fired by the Miami Herald. When they worked for Radio and TV Martí, it was not unethical for them to do so since there was no rule or agreement prohibiting them from doing so. In fact, the Miami Herald was aware of the fact, publicized the fact in their paper and never said or did anything to signify their disapproval with that fact. Then the Knight Ridder corporation sells the Herald to the McClatchy corporation. Shortly thereafter, the new regime decrees that not only will it be a terminable offense to work for U.S.-sponsored broadcasting in the future, but that all (or some) who have been so engaged in the past (even under another regime when it was acceptable) shall be subject to termination. This is what's known as retroactive penalties. Whether they are applied in the public or private sector, such dispositions fly in the face of the most elementary concepts of justice. In fact, even children know better than to apply new rules to old games.

So whether or no the McClatchy corporation is actually trying to appease Castro or following Castro's lead becomes, if not a mute point, then at least a lesser consideration than the fact that it has demonstratably embraced its policies and tactics by adopting workplace policies that are at their root as arbitrary and tyrannical as Castro's "laws." In fact, it has become the very thing that it purports to oppose.

It is not a question of the Herald joining with the enemy; but of the Herald becoming the enemy.

Jose Aguirre said...

Excellent comment by Manuel!!!

ziva said...

Ditto Jose, stunning. You nailed it Sr. Tellechea. Keep at them Henry, great work!

Anonymous said...

The answer arrived, Henry.

Penúltimos días