José Díaz-Balart.The 54-year-old Cuban-American newscaster, 30-year broadcast veteran, and son of anti-Castro exile Rafael Díaz-Balart was only five months into his tenure at MSNBC when news broke of American prisoner Alan Gross’ release from Cuban custody. It was 8:54 a.m., six minutes before that day’s show was set to air. Díaz-Balart in Miami and his executive producer in New York scrapped the entirety of the two-hour program. The newscaster “went on autopilot,” he said, plying information from Gross’ cousin, who called Alan’s release a “Hanukkah miracle.” Then, about an hour later, word began to leak that Gross’ release was an overture in an historic shift in U.S.-Cuban relations. Díaz-Balart would host six hours of English-language broadcast on the issue over the next three days, talking to foreign correspondents, Cuban dissidents, Republican legislators fiercely opposed to the deal, and still no one could tell what he thought.This was not true of all the Díaz-Balarts. Over on Fox News, at literally the same moment as Diaz-Balart was interviewing a woman whose brother had been murdered by one of the Cuban Five, Representative Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL) was denouncing President Barack Obama as the “appeaser-in-chief” for capitulating to the Castros. The contrast couldn’t have… Read full this story
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