Does The Associated Press provide “full-disclosure” of it’s interviewees?
This afternoon the AP quickly cranked out a follow-up to it's blockbuster Cuba-Twitter story. In this one they seek reactions to the "scandal" from "random" Cuban-Americans, on whom they dutifully provide some background. Here's two of them:
"What's the story? That the United States supports people's ability to access open media? ... We're talking about Cubans (who) were not allowed to communicate on social media, who cannot even own a satellite dish, where there is no freedom of press." — Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., whose father served in the administration of Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista and fled Cuba after Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution.
"This is more of the same. ... It's clear the regime change policy is working in full mode." — Arturo Lopez Levy, a Cuban-born economist who lectures at the University of Denver.
Now the AP is technically correct in its mini-bios. And BOY!--they seemed REALLY diligent in digging WAY BACK for Republican Congressman Diaz-Balart's! But we ask ourselves: might there be a trifle more to Lopez-Levy's background that might have influenced his sound-bite? Should AP readers perhaps be better-informed about Lopez-Levy's background? Here AP, try this:
Arturo Lopez-Callejas (his real name) is Cuban dictator Raul Castro's nephew-in-law (first cousin of his son-in-law technically.) He's a graduate of Cuba's KGB-mentored spy school where he was classmates with a convicted Cuban spy currently serving two life terms in U.S. prison. He's a former intelligence analyst for Cuba's KGB-founded and mentored intelligence service. And we here at the AP contacted him because...well?...everybody else does....from the New York Times to the Washington Post to Reuters--but, to be perfectly frank--we'll be dammed if we can figure out how he attained this exalted status as an "impartial Cuba expert." Maybe it was a "tip" or "suggestion" from the fine folks who bestowed us our Havana bureau?"
(And WAIT-A-MINUTE?! Cuban "leader" Fulgencio Batista?" What happened to "Brutal U.S-backed dictator?" This AP reporter must be new. He'll catch on.