Ten Miami Journalists in Uncle Sam's Pocket

Apparently, the golden age of government-journalist payola didn't end with radio host Armstrong Williams and "marriage expert" Maggie Gallagher taking cash to push political agendas. Ten Miami journos — three from El Nuevo Herald, the Spanish-language paper run by the Miami Herald's corporate owner — have been paid by the U.S. for appearances and punditry on Radio Mart and TV Mart . Both Mart s are themselves United States government entities created to broadcast pro-American propaganda at Cuba. Icky! The top earner was Cuba columnist Pablo Alfonso, who took home almost $175,000 since 2001 in exchange for his program hosting duties. Alfonso, plus another El Nuevo Herald staffer and a freelancer, were kicked to the curb. Several of the reporters were hardly contrite, such as Channel 41's Juan Manuel Cao ($11,400 this year): ''There is nothing suspect in this ... I would do it for free. But the regulations don't allow it. I charge symbolically, below market prices.'' Way to take a hit for the team, fiscally speaking. Of course, given that El Nuevo Herald has long been regarded with serious hostility by Cuba's government already, it's not like these columnists were deviating much (if at all) from their paper's regular editorial stance. Why not make a little extra dosh on the side for the same material? It's almost patriotic.

10 Miami journalists take U.S. pay [Miami Herald]