Thursday, October 05, 2006

Bush's Disinformation Machine (Miami)

Carl Hiassen:
Now we find out that the U.S. government-run stations are actually running a charity for needy journalists, at least 10 of whom have been paid to appear on their programs.
Some people might call this corrupting the press; I call it compassionate conservatism...Look what it did for Armstrong Williams, a newspaper columnist and conservative talk-show host. Back in 2004, he got $240,000 from the government to babble wonderful compliments about President Bush's No Child Left Behind education program....Over the last five years, while staff reporter Pablo Alfonso wrote columns and covered Cuba for El Nuevo Herald, he was getting paid nearly $175,000 to host programs on Radio and TV Martí. During that same period, staff writer Wilfredo Cancio collected almost $15,000.
The publisher has been forced to resign.

The fired reporters were given their jobs back because, Diaz wrote,
ethical standards were not clearly articulated within the El Nuevo
Herald newsroom. Columnist Hiaasen says journalists at The Miami
Herald would never have been allowed to accept money from the
government -- but that reporters at El Nuevo Herald were operating in
a different world.

"You're either the voice of the free press, or you're the voice of
the government," Hiaasen says. "You aren't the voice of both."
Listen to this story... by David Folkenflik
'Herald' Publisher Quits, Reporters Reinstated