A special treat for Jim DeFede fans!

Dr. Antonio de la Cova, a professor in the Latino Studies Department at Indiana University, Bloomington, wrote several letters to our favorite mild-mannered reporter working for a great metropolitan newspaper. I present his letters, in full, with Dr. de la Cova’s kind permission. (Thanks to my buddy Mike Pancier for sending me the first letter.)

The first deals with DeFede’s inflammatory column several weeks ago that implied that our elected representatives condoned terrorism:

Mr. DeFede:


Your Miami Herald article “Terror is terror, whether its in London or Cuba,” was reprinted in Granma International, the official organ of the Communist Party of Cuba.

You must be very proud that the Cuban Communists appreciate your journalistic skills. Your biased and slanted perspective could make you a candidate for one of their official awards. It will certainly merit you another trip to Cuba.

You once again used selective and erroneous information by saying that Guillermo Novo “a member of the violent anti-Castro group Omega 7, was convicted in the 1976 bombing murder of Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier. The verdict was overturned on appeal.” You apparently plagiarized that quote from a Herald article by Jim McGee on December 20, 1983, page 8. That would certainly merit you an F grade in my class. Had you done further research into the subsequent trial of Omega 7 leader Eduardo Arocena, you would have discovered that Novo never belonged to that group. You also omitted the fact that Novo was retried in the Letelier case and declared not guilty by a jury in Washington, D.C.

While your article accuses Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen of hypocrisy, it is your writings that are stamped with this trait. You must be aware that Fidel Castro’s 26th of July Movement seized power after a six-year terrorist campaign of indiscriminate bombings in public places that killed and wounded innocent people, kidnaped scores of U.S. military personnel, did assassinations, and airline highjackings.

Members of Castro’s organization carried out the first international airline hijacking during a flight between Miami and Cuba in November 1958. The plane crash-landed in Nipe Bay, killing most of those aboard, including women and children. The Herald interviewed a female survivor who actually resides in Miami. All of these events were widely reported in the news media, yet you have never mentioned it in any of your articles nor have shown any interest in interviewing any of the victims of Castro’s long terrorist campaign.

Jack Kofoed would have been proud of you. He disparaged Cuban exiles in his Herald column for more than a decade, yet the Cuban press never reprinted any of his ravings.

Dr. Antonio de la Cova
Latino Studies
Indiana University, Bloomington

The second letter is about the recent unpleasantness regarding Arthur Teele and alledgedly illegal tape recordings:

Mr. DeFede:

Today?s Herald reported that you were fired as a reporter for breaking the law by secretly tape recording a telephone conversation with your friend Arthur Teele, who shortly thereafter committed suicide in the Herald lobby. It reveals a lack of ethics and scruples on your part and leaves me wondering how many times you have done this before, especially against your political enemies. Your previous favorable articles on behalf of the convicted and corrupt Mr. Teele and favoring the Cuban government now have me convinced that you were probably on their payroll. You apparently thought that your journalistic license gave you carte blanche to be above the law.

Do you recall when reporters like yourself denounced Linda Tripp when she secretly tape recorded Monica Lewinsky?s confessions about her affair with President Clinton? You have been hypocritically preaching morality in your underwear.

Although you probably will never again be hired by a major newspaper firm in the United States, your talents may be appreciated by the sensationalist tabloid journals found on supermarket checkout counters. You could continue defending O.J. Simpson there. If not, I am sure that the Cuban government will hire you as a reporter. Granma newspaper has previously reprinted your articles and they highly value your style of slanted and biased journalism. The Cuban Communists will certainly miss your Herald column.

Dr. Antonio de la Cova
Latino Studies
Indiana University, Bloomington

The third deals with the Carlos Lazo affair. It is brilliant.

Mr. DeFede:

Your article “Congress blocks vet’s attempts to see children” in today’s Miami Herald is yet another example of your selective reporting that omits criticism of the Cuban government. While you put all the blame of the U.S.- Cuba travel restrictions on the U.S. government, you fail to mention the draconian migration policies enforced by the Castro regime.

If Elian Gonzalez’s parents and grandmothers were allowed to visit Elian in the U.S., why does the Cuban government not allow Carlos Lazo’s family to visit him here? This is a question that you should have addressed to Cuba’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Alarcon when you interviewed him last month.

That interview was an example of “soft-ball” journalism. I found it interesting that while questioning Mr. Alarcon on Cuba’s support for international terrorists, you omitted mentioning William Guillermo Morales. He is the Puerto Rican FALN member who blew off his hands and an eye while making a bomb in New York City in 1978. Morales, who escaped from prison after receiving an 89 year sentence, received asylum in Cuba in 1988 and has openly lived there since.

You also forgot to ask Mr. Alarcon about Victor Manuel Gerena, a member of the Puerto Rican Macheteros terrorist group, who fled to Cuba in 1983 with $2.4 million from a $7 million Wells Fargo robbery. He is on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list and has lived in Cuba for more than two decades.

While you advocate Luis Posada’s extradition from the U.S., you fall short of requesting the same from the Cuban government regarding these two terrorist fugitives.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Miami Herald had a looney columnist named Jack Kofoed, who repeatedly offended Cuban exiles with boorish comments. He once complained in his column that Cuban exiles apparently responded by mailing his articles to him covered with excrement. Kofoed’s articles ceased after he met a tragic death. It appears to me that your columns make you the Herald’s inheritor of Kofoed’s biased style.

Dr. Antonio de la Cova
Latino Studies
Indiana University, Bloomington

Mr. DeFede, since you have a lot of time on your hands now, maybe you’ll honor this humble public forum with a reply. (P.S., Dr. de la Cova’s comparison of you with Jack Kofoed in spot on.)

9 thoughts on “A special treat for Jim DeFede fans!”

  1. Yeah, I remember ol’ Jack the Crack(pot)Kofoed. Truth be told, as obnoxious as he was, his writing was better than DeFede’s. At least I don’t recall him being a plagiarizer, and he did not try to pass off opinion as fact, unlike Defeated Defede.

    Dr. De La Cova’s letters are, simply, BRILLIANT!

  2. Hmmm, one bad thing in those three letters, namely in the last paragraph of the third letter. Expect the moonbats to accuse Dr. de la Cova of threatening to kill DeFede. (After all, why else mention that Kofoed died tragically will be their claim.)

  3. Antonio de la Cova is one of Cuba’s greatest historians. His biography of General Ambrosio Gonzalez, Narciso Lopez’s second in command and the first man to shed his blood in battle for Cuban independence, is the best ever penned by a Cuban: a model of scholarship and of historical writing. In fact, no historian writing in English even approaches his absolute command of every resource and nuance of the language. He is truly the Cuban Tacitus. De la Cova’s book is entitled “Cuban Confederate Colonel” and I urge you to read it.

  4. An excellent idea, George. I corresponded with Antonio de la Cova some years ago regarding Narciso Lopez (annexationist or separatist?), and I know he will have something interesting and instructive to say on this subject as well.

    What goes around comes around, and it must have taken a long time for Justice to travel the circumference of Jim DeFede.

  5. I’m really glad I ran into this post…I live in Miami and have not followed the DeFede case closely but I did read his article about Ross and his trip to Cuba…that was enough for me to decide that DeFede was not a good journalist.

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