Monday, January 21, 2019

Why Radio/TV Marti is a joke

How is the U.S. government broadcast to Cuba covering the announcement about Title III of the Helms-Burton law?

In this story, TV Marti reporter Tomas Regalado explains the State Department statement and presents some reaction: from Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, from Miami radio powerhouse Ninoska Perez, and from a guy who would like to file a lawsuit based on his property claim. Regalado did not indicate that alternative points of view exist, much less say what they are or show anyone espousing them.

On the evening newscast, they brought out reporter Pablo Alfonso to explain the news, and in addition to explaining the issue of lawsuits, he proceeded to describe an aspect of the legislation that doesn’t exist. He said that Title III “prohibits subsidiaries of foreign businesses, who have subsidiaries in the United States, from doing business with Cuba” (see 3:00). That is nonsense, but it’s not hard to guess why he said it. Someone probably told him, accurately, that the desired effect of the law is to induce companies doing business here to stop doing business there. Rather than doing actual reporting, it appears he went with that and garbled it. (Note also at 4:25 that after referring to the Cuban “government” he quickly corrects himself and says “regime.”)

On the Radio/TV Marti website, there’s a story about Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart supporting the implementation of Title III, and another about dissidents in Cuba with the same point of view.

This is not the first time Radio/TV Marti covers a story by providing information and a single point of view, as if it aspires to be a mirror image of Granma. You get the impression that if you were to read the Voice of America’s charter to it management (VOA represents “America, not any single segment of American society,” and presents “a balanced and comprehensive projection of significant American thought and institutions”), they would look at you as if you were speaking Chinese.

Obviously the funding for Radio/TV Marti will go on forever, so I repeat my suggestion: call it Radio Exilio and spare Marti and the rest of us with any association with it.

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