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Kristina Ruiz Healy defends plagiarism: Part 3

Kristina called me back last night, Monday. Seems she's been out of town for a few weeks, when I was trying to get a quote from her on the Plagiarism Polka story.

After talking to her, my deepest fears were realized. Does language matter anymore in journalism? Have journalists forgotten how to tell the truth?

La Kristina's voice was crinkly, muy lastimada that she was fired. She believes she's a victim.

"I was an intern... I was learning...I wasn't a [full-time] person."

In case I didn't spell it out in the previous blogs about plagiarism, let me do it now. What Kristina did is called stealing. La girlfriend got caught before she left the house with the goods. It's poetic justice that a commentator who wrote about crime incessantly - committed a crime herself. But who doesn't think she deserves to go to jail.

The reason that the San Antonio Express-News should make the plagiarism public:

1. Bob Rivard, the Executive Editor, has made a national platform on the issue, i.e. Macarena Hernandez. He raised the bar, or does he want everyone to think that plagiarism is the rule not the exception over there? Kristina was, according to SAEN high-level sources, an intern and a little more - she was on her way to bigger and better things.

2. Kristina isn't just a nobody nadie. She was a public figure, known for her "Between Two Countries" series on the local public radio affiliate, Texas Public Radio. The fact that Rosemary Catacolos, the Executive Director of GeminiINK didn't know means that the SAEN's silence risks embarrassing this esteemed writer's organization and every other place where Kristina has spoken, or may speak, like at UTSA. Kristina led a workshop on writing in the month prior to her firing at GeminiINK. If 'd taken that class, I'd want my money back.

3. If Kristina doesn't understand what plagiarism is, and feels victimized as seemed apparent to me in our phone call, then the SAEN needs to help her and other journalists understand this word.

4. Since it doesn't look like the SA-EN will be transparent on this issue, as they demand of others, then it leaves me to conclude that Kristina was being groomed as an up-and-coming columnista because of her very influential connections.

And that there are now double standards for plagiarism. If you're a right-wing Jonathan Gurwitz you don't get fired, period. If you pick the best strawberries from someone else's plate like a Mexican fresa who has the right connections, then Chut-uuuup! As they say on the westside.

I"m not quoting exactly here, but Kristina said that everybody does it.

Besides, she indicated, she was the only Latina doing commentary for Texas Public Radio. When I tried to explain that she's not the only one with an opinion or story to tell, but the one most digestible to the advertisers and influentials in our commercialized media cloud, she refused to keep talking with me.

This always happens when I actually try to engage columnists in a real conversation. They don't want to defend their position - because they can't.

Anyways, I believe in the redemption of criminals. Though I doubt Kristina does. And though I forced myself to read her ouevre in order to write these blogs, who knows what or who she might become with a public platica.

I found myself wanting to like her in that one phone call. To encourage her to find her voice, and to quit trying to please others, to speak from her real corazon. No amount of glory can compensate for writing alot of nothing. I wanted to confess how I've also fucked-up, and that it can be a good thing if you learn the lesson.

Everyone has a voice that deserves its grito. I know.


Rundy said…
I am so glad you're speaking out on this topic. There are many shenanigans going on that the Express News. Bob Rivard has questionable judgement and I agree - he has a thing for Latinas. In fact, there was a Christmas Party three years ago where ......but I digress. KRH's commentary on TPR made me cringe. She has no talents - aside from being an easy on the eyes guera. And to hear she was being "groomed" - no surprise there. Other reporters have to go schlep around the Valley for a couple of years before they're deemed worthy for the SAEN. And I agree with the problem you picked up on with the True situation. I was told ( by an SAEN reporter) that Phillip was about to be fired - that's why he was desperate to take the trip and get a good story. And now Rivard is out defending hs memory? Por favor.
The 411 Show said…
La Barbara does it again. I'm glad that someone speaks for the rest of us who see the discrimination in
both the national and local media.
The views and opinions of the morenos and morenas are not mainstream here or in other cities for that matter, unless you have the connections, money or are "hot" looking (according to European standards). Which is why I had to start a public access show to be able to have other people's views seen and heard. And now that is under attack with little comment from the mainstream local media (except for Current last week, thanks to Lisa Sorg). The coverage that the pending loss of the public access channel has received little commentary from the SAEN, and most of it has been
"just the facts ma'am." (nor TPR)Is it maybe because most of the people who do public access shows are people of color and not wealthy, white or lightskined, or magazine-cover types? I'm having to call people outside of San Antonio (Washington DC, right now) to try to get some attention and pressure applied to what I see as a historical loss for the San Antonio public.

Barbar, you go girl and keep telling it from the viewpoint of the rest of us, even if it bites.

Patsy Robles
adriana said…
those who agree that NPR/TPR are stonewalling the Kristina Ruiz Healy incident should write to: and ask for an accounting. Also write to Bob Richter the new ombudsman at the Express News (
as to why no accounting of Ruiz Healy has been made either by the Express-News or Conexion. since she wrote for both.

To Ombudsman, NPR
I want to know why Kristina Ruiz Healy left NPR/TPR.
All her columns, audio files, and even letters written about A View from Two Countries have been removed from the TPR website.

I was told by a reliable source that she plagiarized her last commentary in late October, 2005, and that TPR had issued a regrets disclaimer the day after. Can I get the text of that statement?

In her blog of San Antonio media, writer and commentator Barbara Renaud Gonzalez says she spoke to Ruiz Healy and that she admitted she was
fired. Whether she was fired or resigned under pressure is not the point.

Whether she committed plagiarism is. Either way, the fact that all mention of Ms. Ruiz Healy has been removed from NPR archives leads me
to believe that NPR is hiding behind the true fact.

In this age of full disclosure, NPR and TPR owe it to its listeners and contributors to be forthright and acknowledge what has been stonewalled for several months.

The results of your investigation into this incident will reveal the truth behind this shameful coverup that has tarnished the sterling reputation and shaken the confidence we have in public radio.

Adriana Montemayor
charlie said…
Now Jonathan Gurwitz decides to attack the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) and Texans for Peace directly in his editorial: Jonathan Gurwitz: Peace isn't made when real wrongdoing goes ignored

My response:

What does Jonathan Gurwitz - SA Express-News - know about it? This vocal critic of CPT and Texans for Peace has never been to Iraq (or even Sudan) despite being repeatedly challenged to do so. Instead he exhibits a blatant anti-Muslim and partisan bias frequently on his platform as a paid newspaper editorialist.

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