Letters to the Editor

Letters from the issue of June 8, 2000

Rick ... or Red?
Could Rick Sanchez, Miami's most notorious journalistic windbag, actually be an agent of Fidel Castro?
By Robert Andrew Powell

Oh Brother! La Familia Strikes Back
I was very disappointed at Robert Andrew Powell's June 1 cover story titled "Rick ... or Red." What you did was a hatchet job! To accuse Rick Sanchez, who happens to be my brother, of being an agent for Fidel Castro, knowing the pain and hardship that Castro has caused my family and other Cuban immigrants, was tantamount to calling a Jewish person a Hitler sympathizer or an African-American a Ku Klux Klan lover. It was evident that the purpose of your "story" was to attack, hurt, and ridicule. You brought up past things you could not resist talking about, things that had nothing to do with the focus of your story. You mention his involvement with Alberto San Pedro but fail to add there was never any wrongdoing attributed to my brother by any investigating police agency. Other hatchet writers like yourself simply found him guilty by association. You then go on to mention that he left in shame and landed at a Houston television station, but you couldn't confirm it. Couldn't confirm it??? A person goes to Houston for two years and then comes back to Miami and you couldn't confirm it? That in itself says more than we need to know about your reporting abilities and skills, doesn't it, Mr. Powell?

You also go on to mention a 1991 traffic accident where he pleaded no contest to charges of driving while intoxicated after hitting a pedestrian. What you failed to mention was that he pleaded no contest against the advice of his attorney and gave a televised apology because he thought it important to assume responsibility for his actions. Also, for the record, the person he hit was no pedestrian, but a man who unfortunately had jumped out of a moving vehicle and was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine. But then, why would the truth matter to you? The truth is not important to you. What is important to you is getting noticed. Maybe you believe that "stories" such as this will get you noticed. They do, Mr. Powell. Stories like the one you wrote about my brother point out your ineffectiveness as a writer and your insensitivity as a human being. You have the right to dislike whomever you want. There is no law that says you have to like Rick Sanchez. But accusing my brother of being a communist just for the sake of kicks and shock value, knowing full well the possible ramifications, is an act of irresponsible journalism and pure hate.

Carlos Fernandez
Miami

Sanchez Lulls Us into the Unthinkable, but New Times Is Imponderable
Your flare for dramatic innuendo has about as much substance as the garbage Rick Sanchez calls news. You deserve a spanking, but Sanchez deserves life in prison for impersonating a news anchor.

I am so sick and tired of Channel 7's (WSVN-TV) mind-numbing approach, where anchors' personalities are more important than the news they report. If it weren't for WSVN's glinty-toothed, smiley-faced newscasters going yadda, yadda about murder and mayhem in Miami, perhaps South Florida would not be so jaded about violence.

I blame local television in large part for community indifference to crime. Sanchez-style newscasters cover the horrible and unthinkable with smooth, soothing voices. Human misery and suffering have become a macabre form of entertainment -- and the local evening news, day after day, year after year has an effect. If this wasn't so, companies would not pay huge bucks for television advertising. The negative consequences of watching are an undeniable truth to anyone who thinks.

Sanchez and those like him in television harm America each day. No one seems to notice the result of pretty people in suits telling us over and over how violence is out of control. Gee ... build your house on the side of a volcano and wonder why there is lava in the living room! Create a nation that is indifferent to crime and wonder why our streets, our schools, and our homes are not safe.

The only thing worse than the creeps making the news are the creeps reporting the news. American broadcasting could take a lesson from the BBC. Your general criticisms of Sanchez uncover the tip of an unpleasant iceberg: the failure of American journalism, at least as it is televised.

John Bunnell
via the Internet

Don't All News Guys Eat This Way?
Rick Sanchez is actually a disgusting human being. I used to work at an excellent restaurant next to the TV station. One night, Rick came in with his family and decided to eat at the salad bar. Everyone was watching him as he proceeded to, not dip, but thrust his hand into the lemon bowl, dump the lemons on his plate, and then suck each of his fingers and go for more. It was quite amazing. Please don't print my name. The last thing I need is for Channel 7 to be up my ass.

Name Withheld by Request
North Miami Beach

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