Sunday, September 10, 2006

Journalists line up for the Bush gravy train

In testimony to the fact that supporters of Haiti's disgraced former president are not the only ones greedy or stupid enough to accept money from a government in exchange for defending backwards policies, today's New York Times reveals that the Bush administration’s Office of Cuba Broadcasting paid 10 journalists in the United States "to provide commentary on Radio and TV Martí, which transmit to Cuba government broadcasts critical of Fidel Castro." The group included three journalists at El Nuevo Herald, the Spanish-language sister newspaper of The Miami Herald. This would seem yet another example, much of a piece with the payments doled out by the Education Department in 2005 to the conservative commentator Armstrong Williams for newspaper columns and television appearances praising Mr. Bush's education initiative, the No Child Left Behind Act, of a government obsessed with dipping its fingers in aspects of civic life where it doesn't belong. A report from the Government Accountability Office after the Williams affair came to light in 2005 said the Bush administration had disseminated "covert propaganda" in the United States, in violation of a statutory ban.

It would seem that there is more than enough legitimately critical reporting to be done on the Castro government, and incidents like this only serve to harm people who want to report objectively from the region. One wonders what these journalists were thinking, and who was asleep at the switch at the Herald to let them get away with it. For my own part, I'll prefer to remain poor and independent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, mon.