The Miami Herald’s Oscar Corral followed up yesterday’s “bombshell” article with more of the same “shocking” news today. In today’s piece he focuses on Omar Claro, a sports anchor from Miami’s WLTV-TV whose photograph the Herald posted yesterday with no further explanation.
Here’s some excerpts:
Claro received $4,850 from the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, or OCB, this year, according to federal records obtained by The Miami Herald.
OCB managers told The Miami Herald on Thursday that Claro does a weekly sports show for TV Martí called Resumen Deportivo, or Sports Round-up. One of his TV Martí contracts, valued at $5,600, is for Béisbol de las Grandes Ligas, or Major League Baseball.
In December, Cuban exile players designated Claro as their spokesman in their failed bid to win approval from the International Baseball Federation to compete as the Cuba team.
In an unusual move, Claro advocated for the group during a news conference, then a few minutes later began reporting on the issue for Univisión from the same room.
At the time, a journalism ethics expert said Claro’s representation of the group posed an ethical dilemma.
”It’s a problem,” said Gary Hill, chairman of the Ethics Committee for the Society of Professional Journalists. “He can’t be the spokesperson and then be the objective, independent reporter.”
Claro said he wasn’t getting paid to be the group’s spokesman and did not sacrifice his objectivity. He said he consulted with his bosses over that decision.
According to federal records, Claro was not under contract with Radio or TV Martí at the time.
First of all the guy is a TV sports anchor. We’re not talking Woodward & Berstein here. The fact that Claro was doing a show for TV Marti was not a secret. Anyone that logs on to the TV Marti website can view live streaming of its video feed. Do Oscar Corral and his editors at The Miami Herald expect him to work for free?
That Mr. Claro acted a spokesperson for some Cuban players wanting to field a free Cuban team in the World Baseball Classic doesn’t bother me. Jimmy Cefalo, the radio voice of the Miami Dolphins is not only a TV sports anchor but is the sports director for WPLG-TV . He’s an employee of the Dolphins and must also cover them for his “day job.”
Oh, by the way, Dan Lebatard who is a columnist for the Miami Herald also works for the station that carries the Dolphins. He has to cover the team in the Herald, why isn’t this a conflict of interest and a violation fo journalistic ethics?
Let’s face it, Claro’s moonlighting gig as a sportscaster may not be 100% above board, but the “news” media has been doing a lot blur the line between journalism and commercialism over the last 30 years (a much greater sin in my opinion) and that has nothing to do with Cuba and Cuban-Americans.
The principals at the Herald can write as many exposes and mea culpa’s, in trying to salvage their reputation, as they want but that horse has already left the barn.