AP on Rubio Assumes He's Still the One on the Defensive Over Parents' Cuban Departure

Despite all the huffing and puffing over Florida Senator Marco Rubio's alleged "embellishing" at the Washington Post, the fact is that his parents were Cuban exiles (meaning number 5 at link: "anyone separated from his or her country or home voluntarily or by force of circumstances"). That fact essentially undercuts everything about the WaPo article except the problem with the opening sentence of the biography at Rubio's Senate web site, which has been corrected.

That didn't stop two Associated Press writers, Brendan Farrington and Laura Wides-Munoz from doing quite a bit of embellishing of their own (a better word would be "mischaracterizing") in an item currently time-stamped early Saturday morning, while pretending that the rebuttal to the Post written by Mark Caputo at the Miami Herald doesn't exist. The AP pair's pathetic prose has two particular howlers which simply must be debunked.


First, there's the matter of whether Rubio is getting a break from the Cuban exile community which he somehow doesn't deserve (bolds are mine throughout this post):

So far, prominent members of the Cuban American community are standing by him, including the head of one of Miami's oldest and most respected exile groups, who said Friday that he is willing to give the rising GOP star and tea-party favorite a pass.

Uh, no, that's not what the Cuban exile lead the AP pair quoted said:

The head of the Miami-based Cuban American National Foundation, Pepe Hernandez, himself an exile and longtime opponent of Castro, said Rubio's parents' initial departure date was unimportant.

That's not a "pass." It's an example of "Don't waste our time with this irrelevant garbage. His parents were exiles." . Giving someone a "pass" presupposes that the person involved has done something wrong. There's nothing which requires a "pass."

Second, the AP woefully mischaracterized Rubio's U.S. Senate victory last year to the point of parody:

But Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the GOP National Committee, said the attacks will only strengthen Rubio by causing Republicans to come to his defense. The conservative was elected in 2010 after an upset over the GOP establishment's choice, Gov. Charlie Crist.

Upset? What a joke:

  • Rubio's command of the GOP primary race during the Spring of 2010 was so obvious that incumbent Governor Charlie Crist withdrew before the party's primary even took place.
  • In the general election, Rubio was heavily favored for months and took 49% of the vote. Crist got 30%, and the Democrat received 20%.
  • An "upset," in context, means "to defeat or overthrow an opponent that is considered more formidable, as in war, politics, or sports." Rubio's was the prohibitive favorite on election night.
  • Besides breathtaking ignorance, which I wouldn't buy if claimed, the only reason the AP would want to describe Rubio's win as an "upset" would be to miscommunicate an impression that the election was close. It wasn't; it was an utter rout.
  • Besides, I wasn't upset about the result, and I suspect few readers here were either. :-->

Unfortunately, those who haven't followed the Rubio story closely and are relying on their local paper or broadcaster to relay accurate information will instead find some or all of the AP pair's work. That's why nicknaming the self-described Essential Global News Network as "The Administration's Press" is not at all out of line.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.