American Newspapers "Prize Neutrality"...Since When?
Wednesday's story by Katharine Seelye, "Miami Publisher Steps Down Over Payments to Reporters," features an unintentional laugh line as it tries to distinguish between proper journalism and the "partisan" rantings of a Cuban-American newspaper in Miami that actually criticizes Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
"The publisher of The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, its Spanish-language sister paper, resigned yesterday, saying he had lost control of his newsrooms over a growing controversy involving payments from the Bush administration to some reporters of El Nuevo Herald for their commentary broadcast on the anti-Castro outlets Radio and TV Martí."
"The publisher, Jesús Díaz Jr., had fired two staff reporters and discontinued the services of a third, who is a freelancer. But in a surprising reversal in his resignation letter, Mr. Díaz invited the three back yesterday, saying the policy against accepting payment for such appearances had been ambiguous and enforced selectively....His announcement reignited a fierce debate within the two newsrooms, raising fundamental questions about the role of journalists, particularly in what could be propaganda and with respect to Fidel Castro. While The Herald is a traditional American newspaper that prizes neutrality, El Nuevo Herald tends toward partisanship, especially against Mr. Castro. The firings had a unleashed an outcry among some Cuban-Americans in Miami who complained of a double standard and demanded Mr. Díaz's resignation."
Now, the Times would never "tend toward partisanship," would it?