Media discipline

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Ricardo Alarcón

On the 16th anniversary of the imprisonment of the Cuban antiterrorists, the real role of the United States’ major communications media was exposed once again. To them, Sept. 12 went by unremarked, same as the acts of protest against the injustice.

Nor did they publish anything about the Miami court’s delay in responding to the petition for a writ of habeas corpus that Gerardo Hernández Nordelo submitted in June 2010, more than four years ago, or to the petitions filed later by Ramón Labañino and Antonio Guerrero.

These are three appeals that, in great measure, are based precisely on the manipulation and payment by the government, with public money, to the journalists who promoted the campaign of hatred and disinformation that a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta, when overturning their convictions in 2005, described as “a perfect storm.”

Curiously, the operation was disclosed in 2006, when The Miami Herald found itself forced to fire some of its employees who were involved in the scandal. That violation of professional ethics was criticized by prestigious institutions such as the Columbia University School of Journalism in New York City, among others that, beyond Florida, expressed their alarm.

The lady judge has not responded to a request for the Government to surrender the information it still conceals about an episode that’s offensive to a profession that she should respect. Or to a petition from Gerardo for an oral hearing at which he could rebut the lies that have condemned him to die in prison. The lady judge does not respond, as if the lives of three human beings to whom she imposed the most exaggerated sentences were not within her purview.

Faced with this situation, the press is silent, but that shouldn’t surprise us. Language specialist Noam Chomsky defined the U.S. media in one word: DISCIPLINED.

Ironically, the silence itself is news. For half a century, Washington has aimed at Cuba a colossal and systematic propaganda that has missed no chance to inculpate its Government for anything and everything. If the Five had caused any harm to the United States, if their work had been so dangerous, [Washington] would have talked about them day and night, unceasingly.

The obedient silence of the media is proof eloquent of their innocence and the infamy of which they are victims.

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