Over the last four years, there have been an incredible number of high profile stories regarding the cruise industry: the "missing honeymooner" case of George Smith IV on Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas, the cover-up of Merrian Carver’s disappearance from Celebrity Cruises’ Mercury cruise ship, and the case of Laurie Dishman who, after she was sexually assaulted, was handed a trash bag by the cruise ship’s officers and instructed to go and collect evidence from the crime scene herself.
These terrible tales rocked the Miami-based cruise industry. Connecting these tragedies have been five Congressional hearings – four hearings before the House of Representatives and one hearing before the U.S. Senate – leading to the introduction of the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security act of 2009. For the first time in the history of the 40 year old cruise industry, cruise lines will be forced to report shipboard crimes to the U.S. Coast Guard and the FBI.
And throughout this incredibly historic period of time for cruise victims, the Miami Herald has refused to report anything of significance.
Miami is rightfully called the "Cruise Ship Capital of the World." Home of Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises which together own and operate 75% of the cruise lines in the world, Miami should be the hot bed of a never ending cycle of cruise-related news stories. These events deserve the best and brightest of journalists and the highest standards of ethical reporting.
Instead, we have the Miami Herald.
The Herald is a provincial newspaper, with a travel fanatic as the business editor. The paper is entirely beholden to the local cruise lines which pay the Herald for advertising and invite the Herald "reporters" to free cruises and parties where they hob nob with the executives and promoters. In return, there is a quid pro quo where the Miami Herald looks the other way when stories break which could embarass its cruise lines friends.
These stories have to be covered by legitimate newspapers like the New York Times, L.A. Times, and San Francisco Chronicle and many other smaller yet reputable newspapers which have filled the void created by the Herald’s abandonment of its journalistic obligations.
I have touched upon the Herald’s sell-out in prior blogs:
For the last week there have been multiple stories about the cruise-crime crisis in the Bahamas. Carnival and Royal Caribbean passengers departing from Miami have been robbed by shotgun in broad daylight in Nassau on tours sponsored by the Miami-based cruise lines. The crime problem in Nassau poses a particularly troubling problem for Royal Caribbean’s excutives in Miami who have to use Nassau because it is one of the few ports which can accomodate its mega-ship Oasis of the Seas.
And today, a story broke about a Princess Cruises’ crew member "disappearing" under suspicious circumstances off of a cruise ship from South Florida which scream out for for the FBI to board the ship and try and determine what happened. Although Miami-based Carnival Corporation owns the cruise line, this is the type of story which the Miami Herald writers won’t touch out of risk of embarrassing their sugar daddies who, in essence, pay their salaries and keep them employed.
So who covered the stories? ABC News, the Associated Press, AOL Travel, the Bahama Journal, Cruise Critic, FoxNews, the Freeport Journal, the Nassau Guardian, the Sun-Sentinel, the Telegraph, the Tribune, and USA Today. But the Miami Herald? Of course not – this is a compromised rag which
Sees No Cruise Evil
Hears No Cruise Evil
Speaks No Cruise Evil . . .
Censorship Eric Drooker www.drooker.com
Herald Vending Machine Daquella Manera Flickr Photostream
See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil Tom Otterness (via MeijerGardens Flickr Photostream)