I also made a prophecy about Oscar Corral that day (Sept. 9, 2006). I don't take credit for any clairvoyant powers. It is just that evil so rank is marked by God for a good and complete spin of fate's wheel.]
So this is the "big" story on which Oscar Corral has been "working diligently from an undisclosed location" (which he describes as the "underground") for the last few months, causing him to ignore his more mundane responsibilities (such as running this blog). Some speculated here that Oscar was in Cuba getting the "real story" on Castro's medical crisis and Raúl's temporary succession. Oscar did seem to be obsessed with Raul's rise to (higher) power and devoted countless threads to that subject in the last few months. But, no, it was not Raúl that Oscar was going after, but Raúl's enemies, namely, his own Cuban-American brethren in the Fourth Estate, indeed, in The Miami Herald itself. Under the cloak of journalism, this kind of "exposé" is simply regarded as "reporting." In any other profession it would be characterized in another way.
First of all, this is not news because it is not new. Exiled Cuban journalists (and journalists from all the Captive Nations) have been reporting for the Voice of America since its very inception (long before Oscar was born). And, of course, they were all compensated for their work.
I fail to see why such an association with Radio Martí (an offshoot of the Voice of America) should compromise the integrity of any Cuban-American journalist. If Oscar had uncovered that any of his colleagues were receiving payments from Castro (as will undoubtedly be revealed and documented after the demise of Communism in Cuba), then he would have had a real scoop, but one which would certainly have destroyed his career, since he would have been accused of McCarthism and worse. But it is always safe to attack and defame Cuban-Americans in the U.S. media, and this story, which, I have already said, is not even news at all, will likely earn Corral many friends and boosters in circles that will be useful to his career advancement. It is those whom he has vilified who will have to face the consequences of this generational shift, which is really what this story is about: the newcomer making a direct hit at the old guard. The only problem here is that the "bomb" is a dud.
You, Oscar, underestimate the old guard. They are smarter than you and far better polemists, and won't be reciting mea culpas at your feet. You have succeeded, however, in capturing their attention with your coup de main, and, if they didn't before, they certainly know your name now. I suppose that their recognition is what you were after in the first place, and you certainly have that now.
Posted by: Manuel A. Tellechea September 09, 2006 at 01:14 PM
No, this wasn't by any means a stellar job of reporting. The reason that it took Oscar several months to wrap-up his non-story is that he was hugging his mailbox until he finally received the Freedom of Information documents which are the basis for his "investigative reporting." Maybe he received the FOI reports from a "safe house" and hence his specious allusions to having gone "underground" like the weasels and moles.
Two important facts have just come out that seriously compromise any claims that Corral might have had to a "scoop" or The Miami Herald to even one ounce of self-righteousness over this matter:
1). It was reported in The Miami Herald itself, in 2002, that a freelance journalist under contract to The Herald was also working for Radio Martí. The freelance journalist was not fired at that time because the editors saw nothing wrong in her conduct. She has been fired now due to Oscar's non-story. Even full disclosure is no defense against arbitrary discharge at The Herald.
2). The original cue for Oscar's story came from a Cuban television program, called "Mesa Redonda" (Round Table), where an official Cuban propagandist, speaking on state television (the only television in Cuba), made the same charge of "inobjectivity" against reporters at The Miami Herald.
Oscar is now apparently the "house Cuban" at The Herald whose job it is to ferret out all dissent from the official Herald party line.
Posted by: Manuel A. Tellechea September 09, 2006 at 03:19 PM
I hope that Oscar is purer even than Caesar's wife, because you better believe that his own past will be scrutinized with a fine-tooth comb for any conflict of interest or semblance thereof. I hope also that his resumé has not been embellished in any way, because that's all going to be looked into. In fact, every aspect of his life before and after The Herald has now become fair game for any reporter that wants to make a name for himself. Like Corral.
Posted by: Manuel A. Tellechea September 09, 2006 at 04:43 PM