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Posts Tagged ‘Fidel Castro’

José Díaz-Balart: ‘I’m Not an Activist, I’m a Journalist’

JoseDiazBalartPolitics may be the family business, but José Díaz-Balart decided long ago that journalism was his passion. This morning, Díaz-Balart, who anchors Telemundo’s evening news and its Sunday public affairs show, adds another hour of live TV, as host of MSNBC’s 10amET hour. (MSNBC and Telemundo are both owned by NBCU.)

“If you’re going to watch my show to be strictly reaffirmed that your personal opinion is the only good ones, you’re going to have some moments of bitterness,” Díaz-Balart told us in an interview last week. “It really is about opening up lines of dialogue, opening up to other communities, opening up to other thoughts across the board.”

That goes against the grain of most of MSNBC’s afternoon and evening programs, which lean left, toward a progressive audience. Díaz-Balart is the younger brother of republican congressman Mario Díaz-Balart and former GOP Rep. Lincoln Díaz-Balart. The family has strong ties to South Florida’s Cuban community. Díaz-Balart’s aunt was Fidel Castro‘s first wife.

Born in Ft. Lauderdale, Díaz-Balart graduated from New College in Sarasota, where he began his career as a radio reporter. With TV jobs on both sides of the border — as Central American bureau chief for Univision in El Salvador, later reporting for WTVJ in Miami as well as CBS News This Morning — doubling his workload pales in comparison to what the people he reports on, are facing right now.

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Katie Couric On Diane Sawyer, Missing Matt, and Her ‘Dream Interview’ List

Couric_12.8.jpgKatie Couric made a guest appearance on the Rachel Ray show today, which was a re-air from October.

Excerpts:
• On Diane Sawyer becoming World News anchor: “I think it’s great. First of all, I have a lot of respect for her…She’s very accomplished and has done a lot of extraordinary work. I think it’s great because the idea that men are outnumbered on the big three evening newscasts is really very unusual and extraordinary…”

• On what she misses about the Today show: “I…of course miss Matt. I was watching the other day and Ann had some funny story about a kid bowling. I sort of got the tail end, she said, ‘Obviously it must not be up his alley.’ And…then Al says something like, ‘Spare me.’ And Meredith said, ‘I’m not going to be involved.’ I’m like, ‘No, you should say, ‘Al, your mind is in the gutter!’…So I miss sort of having fun and joking around with them…”

• On her ‘dream interview’ list: “Fidel Castro, I would love to interview him…Kim Jong Il would be fascinating…Hugo Chavez would be interesting…Mahmoud Ahmadinejad…I’d love to interview Harper Lee, who has never done an interview, who wrote To Kill A Mockingbird.”

“Journalist Jake”: Tapper Gets Name-Checked By Fidel Castro

tapper_4-22b.jpgIn a column bylined by Fidel Castro, published in state-run newspapers, the former Cuban leader says President Obama “misinterpreted” Cuba’s offer to discuss various issues with the United States.

But also in the column are several references to the person who asked the President the question about Cuba during his Sunday news conference in Trinidad — ABC’s Jake Tapper.

“Journalist Jake” is quoted as part of a transcript put in the column by Castro. Later, he writes, “When he stated, responding to Jake, that today, 2004 seemed like eons ago, that was superficial.”