Monday, January 3, 2011

More slanted Cuba coverage

The flag of Cuba. Colors are from http://www.n...Image via Wikipedia
Except for the colors, the Cuban flag, above, and the flag of Puerto Rico are identical.

Editor Francis Scandale made sure only two staffers wrote about Cuba for The Record. Both were Cuban exiles who hated Fidel Castro and who turned out one slanted story after another -- quoting the same anti-Castro Cubans year after year. Did Scandale's wife, who is Cuban, have any influence on that policy?

The reporters, Miguel Perez and Liz Llorente, are no longer with the Woodland Park daily. But the paper's strong anti-Cuba stance continues, despite increasingly moderate views among Cuban-Americans and other readers.

The Record and other media continue to treat Cuba as if it is still a U.S. colony, and deliberately portray the Caribbean's biggest island in negative terms. I recall that Llorente once even called Cuba "tiny" in the lead paragraph of one of her stories.

Not close, no cigar

Today's Page 1 story is by Staff Writer Giovanna Fabiano, who isn't Cuban, but she uses the same loaded language Perez and Llorente did, and through ignorance or deliberate malice, leaves out Cuba's many positives.

The story and headline -- "Anniversary divides Cuban passions" -- are almost identical to many stories The Record ran in the past decade. As usual, Fabiano makes no mention of the U.S. economic embargo and how it has slowed the island's growth.

She invokes "the fabulous [19]50s" and Cuba's "glory days," but ignores that era's deeply ingrained racial and economic inequality; the lack of health care and schools in rural areas, the Mafia-run casino-hotels; and the live, biracial sex shows for American tourists.

Today's story, as did those in the past, makes no mention of free education, health care and food rations enjoyed by all Cubans; the lack of gun violence and the absence of a drug problem.

Crackpot on A-1

The rest of the front page is a joke. 

Why is Scott Garrett, the arch-conservative congressman from Wantage, given a bully pulpit for his radical notion the federal government shouldn't spend money on public education and local transportation projects?

Washington Correspondent Herb Jackson reports the Tea Party supports Garrett. Wonder why Jackson -- in covering a Tea Party rally in Washington -- failed to mention the banner comparing President Obama's health-care plan to the Holocaust?


What's the new owner of the Nets doing on the front of the Local section, which is fast becoming a garbage can as head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and her lazy minions scramble to fill empty columns.

A photo-graphics package on L-1 reports North Jerseyans are more likely to take public transportation to work than workers nationwide, but doesn't address why transportation reporters Karen Rouse and John Cichowski are so lazy they refuse to ride mass transit and assess the quality of bus and train service in their stories or columns.

Nor is there a photo of public transportation with the package -- only cars. When you don't cover mass transit, you won't have any file photos of buses or trains. It's as simple as that.

No Hackensack or Teaneck (or Ridgewood or Westwood or Fort Lee) stories appear in Local today, and the dull Englewood story is by a weekly reporter.


  1. "Not close, no cigar"


  2. I thought this was a non=smoking blog.

  3. I loved the young waitress they "interviewed" who claimed "everybody, everybody wants to leave". I wonder who gave her that script to read.

  4. I can't tell you how many times in the past decade stories have contained that quote.

  5. Liz LLorente is not a Cuban exile. She was born in the Bronx, NY to cuban parents who came to USA right after the 1959 arrival of Fidel Castro to power. Miguel Perez is a cuban exile, he came to USA at the age of 11.

    January 3, 2013

  6. Liz LLorente is not a Cuban exile. She was born in the Bronx, NY to cuban parents who came to USA right after the 1959 arrival of Fidel Castro to power. Miguel Perez is a cuban exile, he came to USA at the age of 11..

    EA January 3, 2013

  7. That surprises me about Liz. I copy edited her stories and she writes as if English is her second language. Plus her politics were that of an exile.


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