In Today’s “Journalism”, it’s not always about what’s said…

..but what is not said.

From Hank Tester’s “Follow File“:

The recent two-part series produced by the Miami Herald asked some hard questions about U.S. funds to promote democracy in Cuba.

The point was that much of the money was being spent in Washington and Miami and not getting to Cubans on the island in the form of good and services. Questions were raised about what is being sent into Cuba. What made headlines were Nintendo Game Boys, Harry Potter books, an exercise bike, all sent by a group called Grupo de Apoyo a La Democrcia.

The charge was that only 13 percent of GAD’s funds were spent on products that got to Cuba. GAD was not the only local group whose spending was questioned, but I did hear from Frank Hernandez Trujillo, the organization’s executive director. Frank is hot as a skillet, claiming the Herald did not get the entire story out.

Here is a portion of his e-mail:

“The Herald reports we only spent 13 percent of our budget purchasing food and medications. The reason is we received over $3 million in food and medications donations, primarily from two well-known South Florida corporations.

“We have sent over 350,000 pounds of assistance in food, medications, clothing, short-wave radios, medical equipment, etc. The Herald mentions an exercise bike sent to Cuba. I explained to the writer of the article the exercise bike was sent to a doctor in Santiago, Cuba who maintains an independent clinic at his house and offered to provide him with the telephone number of the doctor so he could verify the facts. Also, that part of our budget is for medical equipment, so in any case the item was covered under the agreement. He chose to publish it without any explanation.

“We have sent over 100,000 books and magazines with over one hundred different titles. He chose to mention Harry Potter and The Alchemist and “forgot” to mention the rest.