Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My two cents on Oscar Corral's Blog

Val has posted some opinions regarding Miami Herald Reporter, Oscar Corral, and his blog. I posted the following in the comments section of Babalu but feel its worth it's own post here.


For my part, I was excited when Oscar started his blog as I am with any new blog about Cuba. But the thing is that in his blog Oscar doesn't really post any opinions. He basically reports goings on from other sources (which we all do) but he doesn't offer any personal perspective which we also do. So it's very easy for him to put a post up like the one about the pro-castro writer, without any personal perspective.

It leaves me wondering what his take on the man's assertions are. I understand that as a reporter (and not a columnist) that he can't really take sides, at least in the paper. But other Herald writers like Greg Cote (who is primarily a columnist but also reports) give opinions on their blogs.

So with Oscar we have to interpret what he believes by the stories he chooses to post. Why is it important to know what he believes? Well because I personally don't want to create traffic for anyone whose ideas run really contrary to mine. That doesn't mean we can't disagree. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but I don't have to generate publicity for you. In about a year my writing partner, Songuacassal, and I have built up a loyal (if small, compared to Babalu) readership. That's because they know where I stand.

People have a different view are free to go elsewhere or start their own blog. I will publish any dissenting comment as long as it's serious. If it attacks me personally or the Cuban exile community, the delete button is instanly hit. Why? Because you can't walk into my house and insult me or my family. Plain and simple.

This isn't a first amendment issue. The first amendment protects us from an intrusive government. Don't believe me? Tell your boss to fuck himself and then tell him about the first amendment as he walks you out the door.

And lastly the biggest problem with Oscar's blog is certain individuals that post comments there. They post really looooooong and insulting comments. Oscar does nothing to regulate the tone of the debate and that has resulted in a free-for-all with all kinds of insults being hurled.

I don't need that. I certainly don't need to have to be exposed to all that garbage to see what one or two "real" people have to say about a particular issue.

It's just not that important to me. That's why I've posted my last comment there and have decided to never link to that blog as long as its owner doesn't do something to moderate the discussions that are generated by his posts.

I don't blame you Val for not linking either. You've invested to much time, blood, sweat and tears to build up your considerable readership to basically legitimize a site where nobody is minding the store and every creep and his brother is stirring up dirt.


benning said...

Sounds sensible to me! If he doesn't care to let folks know where he stands why should anyone care to visit?

Tim said...

I disagree with you about the freedom of speech comment.

Freedom of speech means that you can say what ever you want, where ever you want, as long as it isn't: slander, libel, and doesn't present a clear and present danger to other individuals.

But this doesn't mean your rights are unlimited. For example you have the right to say Fidel is a piece of shit until your blue in the face. But you can't burst into my living room to do it.

That's because your right to free speech doesn't trump my property rights. Your freedoms only extend until the point that they are infringing upon other peoples rights.

That is the reason why your boss can walk you to the door after you tell him: "fuck you". Because your freedom of speech doesn't trump his property rights. You can tell him to: 'fuck off' all you want, it's your right. And likewise you can ban you from his property for life, that's his right.

Like I said before there are also other limited protections on freedom of speech in cases of slander, liable, and a clear & imminent danger.

For example saying: Joe Shmoe is an alcoholic pedophile who rapes his son every night is not ok. If it's untrue and you can not prove it.

But saying: Fred Phelps is a: washed up, alcoholic, physically abusive, formerly bi-curious, crooked lawyer who was disbarred because of massive fraud is ok. Because you can back that statement up with facts.


Also since Fred Phelps has chosen to thrust himself into the public eye the courts generally rule that he can not enjoy the same level of legal protection against libel and slander.

And as I said before speech that presents a clear and present danger is not protected.

So if you're a construction worker who has to demolish a building that you know contains squatters but you say: "Blow it up." Your speech in that instance is not protected.

But if Joe Shmoe says something like: "We should turn the Middle East into a glass parking lot." His speech is protected, because he doesn't know anyone with nuclear weapons that is in a position to launch them. And the people with that capability aren't going to listen to him.

Other then those exceptions you can say what ever you want. So if you're ready to deal with the consequences [such as getting fired] then go for it.

Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

I readily admit that I am not a lawyer but in the context of the bill of rights, which is a list of things the government can't do, the first amendment protects our right to speech (specifically political speech Mr. McCain and Mr. Feingold) from an over-reaching government. Remember the context of the framers of the constitution was setting up a new form of government coming off of a monarchy.

You essentially said the same thing I did when you said I can't yell that I can't burst into your living room and say whatever I want. But I don't think it has to do with property rights. What if you rent? You don't own the property.

What if you told your boss to fuck off in the street during non working hours. He would still be within his right to fire you. Your speech rights weren't infringed upon.

Now if Cindy Sheehan were thown in jail for disagreeing with George Bush, like Oscar Elias Biscet has been rotting in a Cuban jail for disagreeing with fidel castro then it would be an abridgement of her rights under the first amendment.

Nothing you said substantially differs from what I said. I have no obligation to post your comments or anybody else's. You can't bring a claim against me under the first amendment because I refuse to publish your comments.

Now if I'm not fair about my comments policy then people may not find my blog appealing and vote with their feet. And that's what I'm doing with Oscar Corral. I'm voting with my feet. I've looked at his blog enough to know that it doesn't offer me anything of substance. And his comments section is a flame war that I don't wish to participate in. So there you have it.

Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

Oh and by the way wikipedia has no credibility in my opinion. Since it has no editors and anyone can contribute, any hot topic is often filled with propaganda, half-truths, and outright lies. I'm sure there are better sources for legal advice out there with real people that stand behind that advice.