Monday, July 11, 2011

Mr. Tamayo's "Do-Over"

   A few days ago in the Miami Herald's website, Juan Tamayo wrote an article with the title "Cuban transgender woman says she was fired because her lover is with opposition."  Of course like most articles in the Miami Herald, the title alone would make an uninformed reader think that Cuba once again is repressing people.  For those people who get their news by reading through titles of articles without ever bothering to go any farther, they would easily form a negative opinion of Cuba.  But for those who take the time to read more than just the headlines, they would notice that in the very first line of the article, Mr. Tamayo contradicts the flashy title by writing, "A transgender woman has quit her job at a government-run sex studies center..."
   Amazing!  How can what Mr. Tamayo writes be considered journalism?  Can such blatant trickery be respected?  By the sympathizers of the anti-Cuba extremists this would be quite acceptable since they consider lying about Cuba the norm.  But to people who respect the idea of actual journalism, this type of thing is nothing short of offensive. 
   A few people brought up this point in the comments after the article.  After a couple of days, magically the same exact article appeared but with a new title which read, "Transgender activist resigns after clash with Castro daughter."  Amazing again!  What is even more strange is that both exact articles still stand in the same section of the Miami Herald with links to each other.  After the false impression was given and left for days without correction the damage was certainly done, at least for those who simply skim the titles. 
   What made Mr. Tamayo decide to change the title is any one's guess.  I would imagine that if not shame for such a blatant lie, embarrassment at the very least is what Mr. Tamayo felt.  But who knows.  Maybe the Miami Herald couldn't stand to let such an error slide.  People must be vigilant and thorough when looking through the news.  In this world of "free press" a lot more than just the truth gets by and it is our responsibility to point it out when a situation like this occurs.  So probably as a result of scrutiny, Mr. Tamayo was forced to make a "do-over". 

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