Oops, let's not do it again
By Marc Másferrer
"I admit, I jumped the gun last month, when I repeated rumors of Castro's death... As a journalist, and as a blogger who has tried to instill my site with journalistic quality and integrity, I should have been more careful, more skeptical, in the absence of a proof of death.
The lesson to be learned is simple: Be careful with rumors. If you are going to report them, make clear that you don't have anything more to go on. Don't stake your credibility on something you don't know, can't know, for sure. Don't let your wishful thinking, the pain you and your family have felt for decades, get the better of you. I know many of you detest the "mainstream media," but the standards of the MSM — verify all your information, report only what you know, what you can verify — might serve all of us well in these turbulent times. Obviously, people are paying attention to us, so we all need to act accordingly." — Uncommon Sense, September 22, 2007.
At least in his mea culpa, Marc Másferrer didn't ask anyone to "Kiss [his] ass," as did the leader of the Babalunians. Marc hints at the fact that he is the only professional MSM journalist among the Cuban-American bloggers. He should have known better. In fact, he should have provided guidance to those like Val who don't have clue about how to handle news. It is true that no MSM newspaper has ever gone to press announcing Fidel Castro's death. Whether this is because they take their cues from the regime or are careful to avoid committing a "Mark Twain" (i.e. reporting prematurely a celebrity's death), or because Castro's death is a non-event for them — his obituaries having long ago been written and updated periodically — the fact remains that whatever malfeasance the MSM have committed in their reportage about and from Cuba (and they are guilty of every other kind), they have at least avoided this particular Castroite trap that has ensnared so many Cuban-American bloggers.
It is ironic that Cuban bloggers who have been trying for years to get the truth out about Castro have lost much of their credibility by spreading (or initiating) these rumors, while the mainstream media, which haven't told the truth about Cuba in more than 5 decades, should have escaped unscathed from this debacle. Of course, the media have one advantage which Cuban bloggers don't when it comes to reporting on Castro's alleged death. They can report the news as a "rumor" originating among Cuban exiles in Miami. If wrong, they lose nothing. If right, they were right, too.
Extreme caution — perhaps even exaggerated caution — is now likely to prevail among most Cuban bloggers in regards to Fidel's death (with the obvious exception). And maybe this is what Havana wanted all along: to discredit them in order to control them. If so, the plan has succeeded, with an assist from the self-admitted "dupes" at Babalú.
Albert Quiroga said...
We should ponder these wise words, stated in another time and place, when once a mere man, albeit a unique one, exerted undue psychological influence on his foes:
"There exists a real danger that our friend Rommel is becoming a ... bogeyman to our troops... He is by no means a superman, although he is undoubtedly very energetic and able... I wish you to dispel by all possible means the idea that Rommel represents something more than an ordinary German general... we must refer to 'the Germans' or 'the Axis powers' or 'the enemy' and not keep harping on Rommel."
Gen. Claude Auchinleck, Commanding British 8th Army, summer 1942
In fairness, comparing the Desert Fox to the vermin of Biran is like comparing Saladin to Usama Bin-Laden... still, hope this will somewhat illustrate the point.
Perhaps the best approach all of us can take, instead of allowing the castroites to play cat-and-mouse games, in the process mocking the Cuban diaspora, is to stop paying so much attention to this dying entity, instead thinking of and acting towards him AS IF HE WERE ALREADY DEAD. Because, for all practical purposes, he is. This sociopathic megalomaniac has thrived on being the center of attention during his entire un-natural life, getting his kicks at seeing both friend and foe fuss, rant, rave, fawn, and go through the gamut of human emotions as he mesmerizes them in cobra-like fashion. Even as death approaches, he is getting the last laugh, and perhaps this is giving him a psychological boost and keeping him alive longer.
We need to, psychologically, convert him into an irrelevancy and dismiss same from our thoughts. This is not easy - it certainly is not for me. Still, let him be dead in our minds and perhaps his body will soon follow. Our energies should be concentrated in helping Cubans achieve both physical and spiritual freedom. Let us keep this in mind at all times, and dismiss from our thoughts that dying, empty shell of a NOTHING.
9/24/2007 4:12 PM