Herald Editor Apologizes After Armando Salguero Slams a Vet For "Sucking as a Soldier" UPDATED

Categories: Media Watch

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If you're a columnist at a big metro daily, there's never really a great time to lash out at a Vietnam vet by telling him he "must still be pissed off he lost" the war and adding, "I'm sure the South Vietnamese appreciated you sucking as a soldier, failing in your mission and then leaving." But doing so within shouting distance of Memorial Day weekend is a plus-one bonehead move.

Just ask Armando Salguero, the Miami Herald's Dolphins-centric columnist. Herald executive editor Mindy Marques has apologized and Random Pixels has published Salguero's long, heated exchange with a reader and veteran.

Update: Salguero has sent his own apology, saying, "The most hurtful aspect of this incident for me is that it belies who I am and what I believe. I have never served in the U.S. armed forces but I respect the service of the men and women who have." Click through for his full response.

"While there can be disagreements about his opinions on sports -- and I do not know the full extent of your correspondence -- we do not condone this type of response to a reader," Marques writes in a message sent to the reader and forwarded to Random Pixels.

Salguero's exchange began with a reader named Billy Johnston earlier this month after Johnston took exception to a column bemoaning Tallahassee's refusal to OK an election for Dolphins Stadium upgrades.

You can read the full exchange over at Random Pixels, but suffice to say that Johnston wasn't pulling any punches -- and was happily pushing the race card as well, calling the piece "third world rubbish" and slamming Salguero's family.

"It is no surprise that your family has a past history of conforming to those who desire to control the masses," Johnston writes. "Little wonder the country your parents ran from, that it's citizens hasn't been able to unleash itself from its tyranical (sic) leader."

Salguero's first reply was fairly measured, telling Johnston, "You don't know me or my family."

(Though he does hit on some classic Tea Party rhetoric as well, telling Johnson " You are totally bought in to the class warfare narrative ... (That is the) reason places go from being first-world paradises to third-world dumps." Salguero became a bit of a conservative hero two years ago when he sent a newsroom-wide email blasting the decision to run an anti-Sarah Palin column.)

Johnston struck back, again intoning against a "Latino sports crowd" that supposedly prefers soccer to football.

That's when Salguero went off the rails, sending this on May 8:

Hey Billie, you must be still pissed off you lost in Vietnam. Talk about leaving people behind ... I'm sure the South Vietnamese appreciated you sucking as a soldier, failing in your mission and then leaving.

I'm wondering how you feel that immigrants like me came here with nothing and now we run the place? There are three Cubans in the US senate. Did you know that? By the way, cubans love baseball not soccer, so that piece of bigoted shit coming from you doesn't apply to me. I suggest you blow it out your ass old man.

Oof. It's tough to blame Salguero for getting defensive at Johnson's anti-Latino race baiting. But it's also tough to understand how a major daily columnist could touch the "you were a shitty soldier" third rail of insult politics and not think it would come back to bite him in the ass.

Marques' apology, which she forwarded to Random Pixels as well as emailing to Johnson, promises to "deal with the matter as an internal employee issue."

Salguero hasn't tweeted or updated his Herald blog since last week, and he hasn't responded to Random Pixels' emails. Riptide has also emailed him and we'll update this post if we hear back.

Update: Salguero sent Riptide a statement apologizing for the exchange with Johnston:

I apologize. I sent an angry, unprofessional and inappropriate response to a reader with whom I was engaged in a heated email exchange, and I should be better than that.

I receive thousands of emails disagreeing with me and have been able to manage those exchanges. I should have been able to make my points to this reader without attacking his service to this country.

The most hurtful aspect of this incident for me is that it belies who I am and what I believe. I have never served in the U.S. armed forces but I respect the service of the men and women who have. This isn't lip service. I have lived by this credo when no light was being shed on my comportment.

I was wrong to let myself be baited into a personal exchange with a reader, and I deeply regret my comments.

Armando Salguero

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8 comments
CheckpointCharlie73
CheckpointCharlie73

Armadillo Slugnero is a douche. He used to write every column about Drew Rosenscum back when he was starting, and made Drew the reference source for every football question. Salguero is the master of the obvious, and I think he writes his columns directly off Sportscenter, unless he can get Drew to help him. 

drakemallard
drakemallard topcommenter


Every Cuban American family has at least one wanna be "VICTIM" as a member.


Marco Rubio and  Mario Diaz-Balart,leana Ros-Lehtinen. ted cruz/other cubans have credibility on immigration issues when they advocates that immigrants from other countries are treated the same as those from their homeland – Cuba. So either grant automatic legal status as soon as they set foot on American soil, or make Cubans go through the same process as any other immigrant. Until then, just another hypocrite

 
It costs U.S. taxpayers almost $10 million a year — more than $100 million since TV Martí began — to keep broadcasting TV Martí's anti-Castro invective into the ether.In order to provide aid to recently arrived Cuban immigrants, the United States Congress passed the Cuban Adjustment Act in 1966. The Cuban Refugee Program provided more than $1.3 billion of direct financial assistance. They also were eligible for public assistance, Medicare, free English courses, scholarships, and low-interest college loans. Some banks even pioneered loans for exiles who did not have collateral or credit but received help in getting a business loan. These loans enabled many Cuban Americans to secure funds and start up their own businesses.

South Florida is known as the capital of Medicare fraud,

the Conservative Group wants a government handouts now? aka social welfare organization

I thought they were opposed to government handouts. .”

 

common
common

there is only one cuban in the US senate, and he was chosen by the tea party.

common
common

there is only one cuban in the US senate, and he was chosen by the tea party.

Claudio
Claudio

This country is full of Whiney bitches like the two above me, get over it! Crying and bitching about a convo two guys had, that had nothing to do with u?

Kevin Clark
Kevin Clark

this guy has been passed around south florida like a $2 hooker for years now...

Andy Torres
Andy Torres

Funny coming from someone who sucks as a sports columnist and (ex) radio host. His columns and rants are always negative and cynical, so this outburst fits right in for his intelligence level.

drakemallard
drakemallard topcommenter

@common 

Only in America can people this stupid be allowed to reach such positions

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