Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Damage Control by Mr. Gomez

Henry Gomez, over at the Babalu blog, made sure yesterday to let readers know about his feelings on a recent article from the Wall Street Journal. In two posts, Mr. Gomez responds to an article from Micheal Phillips about a 24-year old Cuban-American, Giancarlo Sopo, and his unwavering support for Barack Obama amid the hard-liners in Miami.

Mr. Gomez acknowledges that the Phillips article "did not contain a single factual error," but was biased nonetheless. Let's examine Mr. Gomez's charge of bias.

First, it is apparent that the Phillips article focuses on the experiences of Giancarlo Sopo, a supporter of Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama, and thus his profile will not be easily digested by loyal readers of Babalu blog (or the Wall Street Journal). Lord have mercy that an opposing view is published by the Wall Street Journal!

Many of the other grievances (dare I say whining) by Mr. Gomez has more to do with personal negative attributions, rather than fair observation. What Mr. Gomez calls an "obligatory attack," is really a quote from Sopo (most likely being honest) and an important part of the entire Phillips article.

What Mr. Gomez calls an "allegation of pandering" and an attempt to "pump up his messenger's bona fides" (or any other charges of partiality), are but standard reporting practices by Phillips to inform readers.

At the end, what really seems to irk Mr. Gomez is what he believes is an attempt by Phillips to peddle the myth that "the old [] order of things has crumbled" (meaning the hard-line position of Cubans in Miami). By reporting of "a few dozen older protesters waving signs," Mr. Gomez believes that Phillips "is like those jerks who think that there aren't any conservatives because we don't do rallies. We have better things to with our time, assholes."

The fact is that the story is about a 24-year old Cuban-American, and the truth is that members of Vigilia Mambisa (who were the protesters that day), and Cuban-Americans in general (median age is 40.7 according to the 2000 US census), are just OLDER than him. No its not a sin.

Mr. Gomez wraps up his thoughts with a second post of more grievances of bias. He believes that Ninoska Perez-Castellon, quoted by Phillips, was made to look bad. I doubt that is possible since she is a beacon of sunshine. But, Mr. Gomez repeats TWO FACTS that he believes Phillips (and the rest of the media) should have included in his article.

1) The political party affiliations of Cubans in Miami, as pointed out by the FIU Cuba Poll since 1991. No doubt that the great majority of Cuban-Americans are Republicans, and most likely vote along party lines, but the upcoming Presidential elections are not viewed like district elections (which Mr. Gomez points out), and neither are the issues or voter turnouts the same. But, don't tell that to Mr. Gomez who believes that a his calculations and theories will stand the test of time.

2) Phillips "leaves out the fact that in the same poll a majority of registered Cuban American voters favored direct U.S. military action to overthrow the Cuban government." I don't know where Mr. Gomez gets his numbers, but I couldn't find them on the FIU Cuba Poll. Instead, the recent 2007 poll shows [data table] that 43.7% strongly favor and 7.4% mostly favor (51.1% together favor) a US invasion to overthrow the Cuban government (a significant drop from 2000 and 2004). But, Cubans together OPPOSED to a US invasion come in at 48.9% (a steady rise from 2000 and 2004). How 51.1% is a majority over 48.9% (with a margin or error of 3.2%) is something you will ONLY SEE on Babalu blog.

And then to top it all off, Mr. Gomez accuses Michael Phillips of a "subtle manipulation" of the facts. You can't make this stuff up ladies and gentlemen.

Finally, in related news, the college newspaper over at Florida International University, "which boasts the largest number of undergraduate students of Cuban origin of any university (including the University of Havana)," yesterday published an editorial titled "Anti-Obama Protesters Don't Speak for Miami." It's a good read, unless you're Henry Gomez.

[Update 9/12: Blogger Alex from Stuck on the Palmetto has his thoughts on the Phillips article.]


Cuba Journal said...

Babalu is a typical anti-Cuba blog of the worms in Miami. I sometimes visit it to amuse myself. I laugh a lot with the things I read there. They generally do not have facts. Just insults and the unverified rumors of Miami's Radio Bemba.

Mambi_Watch said...

I don't share your characterizations of hard-liners in Miami. Use of disparaging remarks like "worms", is behavior typical of Henry Gomez and others on Babalu blog.

While you are correct in stating that "insults and unverified rumors" are abundant on Babalu blog, and other anti-Castro blogs, the facts presented are mostly accurate. But, to accuse others of "subtle manipulation" is pure hypocrisy.

I do not tolerate name-calling on this blog, and will make strong attempts to erase any repeated use of such calumnies.

Please refrain from such behavior here, that is better suited for others.