Oscar Corral the Miami Herald reporter that authored a controversial article about journalists moonlighting for Radio/TV Marti less than one year ago, has found himself in a bit of hot water. He was arrested for soliciting a prostitute on Friday night but word didn't come out in the media until the Herald itself reported it this morning.
The Marti Moonlighters scandal that shook out of Corral's September 2006 article ultimately led ultimately to the resignation of MHMC's publisher and the ignominious exit of its embattled executive editor.
Interestingly Corral had been keeping a low profile for several months and had been moved off the Cuban exile beat, Herald Watch believes his sources dried up and refused to talk to him based on his reputation as a muck raker.
Then a couple of weeks ago the SunPost's Rebecca Wakefield did a piece about Corral that included an interview. Corral tried to portray himself as someone who had been charged with an impossible task: covering Cuban exiles without inflaming public sentiment. Now he's charged with something altogether different.
The Herald article does not say the gender of the would-be prostitute he attempted to solicit, and it would be unfair to speculate.
Herald Watch wonders though, who knew about this arrest and when they knew it. It seems like this should have hit the electronic media Saturday and the Herald on Sunday morning, but instead we get a story with very few details three mornings after the arrest?
This is, once again, a case of the Herald's coverage of itself lacking transparency. One must ask how much importance and how much space the paper would have given this story if instead of Corral it had been a reporter from El Nuevo Herald, the paper's Spanish language sister whose reporters MHMC gladly threw overboard after Corral's reporting last year (only to have to hire them back when they completed the full investigation). Or God forbid it had been an exile leader? I'm sure the coverage would have been quite different.
Interestingly, after his arrest Corral did find time to post a note on his all but abandoned blog about a report Wolf Blitzer did yesterday on TV Marti and how it's reportedly a waste of taxpayer money. It seems that Corral relieves his stress by stirring up emotions in the exile community, that is when he's not having sex with prostitutes of undetermined gender in the low rent parts of Miami.