Back in January of 2005 a scandal broke out when USA Today ran an article that exposed how the Bush administration was doling out money to the conservative African-American television commentator as part of a stealth public relations effort to sell its policies on education to a public that never knew that Williams was not only being paid but also being told what to say and how often (the Bush government was also producing pro-government television segments made to look as unbiased 'syndicated' journalist reports that often did not have proper attribution to a production team).
Mr. William's star, as the darling of the right due his conservative credentials for his willingness to say what he was being told to say and his access to a much-desired minority population, was in the stratosphere. But the revelations badly damaged his reputation and he was deplored by many, particularly within the African-American leadership in this country.
Well, it's been a week since The Miami Herald announced that ten Florida journalists, some of whom are well known syndicated columnists for several Spanish-language newspapers, were also on the Bush administration's dole for work done for the anti-Fidel Castro US-based Radio Marti and Marti TV. So far, though, the scandal has remained a mostly local issue and has received minor attention from the national Hispanic organizations or political leadership.
Interestingly, it's other journalists that have kept an eye on this outrage including Bob Norman, who writes for the Broward Palm Beach New Times. On Monday, Mr. Norman wrote about the scorn and abuse that the reporter who broke the story, Oscar Corral, has come under since the expose was published. He says that some of the threats posted on Corral's blog have verged on threatening, and ads:
One thing about real hardliners, their hatred has blurred over to other groups, especially Muslims and gays. The most extreme of them are soldiers for the most vicious and repugnant side of the right wing. So it’s not surprising that Corral’s blog became a vehicle for gay bashers-in-print. You can get a taste of the garbage that’s being spewed in the comments under the August 15 post if you want, I’m not going to dignify it by reproducing it here.Well, we cover homophobic outbreaks in the Latino community from time to time so let's take a look: