Sunday, May 26, 2013

Miami Herald sportswriter Armando Salguero's Memorial Day message for Vietnam veterans [UPDATED x4]


UPDATED 5-28-2013 @ 2:00pm: Armando Salguero emailed this apology today to Random Pixels and several other South Florida news websites:
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


UPDATED 5-27-2013 @ 6:50pm: A discussion focusing on this post is taking place at

UPDATED 5-27-2013 @ 12:35pm: Miami Herald executive editor and vice president Aminda Marques Gonzalez has emailed an apology to Billy Johnston.

From: Marques, Mindy
Date: Sat, May 25, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Subject: Re: Memorial Day MISSION:

Cc: Peter Tira , Jorge Rojas , Rick Hirsch

Mr. Johnston,

I want to personally apologize for the tenor of the exchange that you had with our sports columnist Armando Salguero.

In his job as a columnist, he is paid to give his professional opinion on the Dolphins, which is his expertise. 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.

His comments do not represent The Miami Herald. We are well aware of the incredible sacrifice made by thousands of American soldiers in Vietnam, particularly on this Memorial Day weekend.

Thank you for your service.

Please know that we will deal with the matter as an internal employee issue.


Mindy Marques

Aminda Marques Gonzalez
Executive Editor and Vice President
The Miami Herald | | Follow @MindyMarques


This post has been UPDATED with an additional email. See notation in red below.


A few weeks ago, a Miami Herald reader named Billy Johnston took exception to this column by Herald sports scribe Armando Salguero.

Salguero wrote that Florida House of Representatives Speaker Will Weatherford "crush[ed] an election," adding, "My parents brought me to this country to escape such practices." .

That rankled Johnston, a Vietnam vet, who told me in an email that as "a young man my friends would kid me when I would tear up while singing the National Anthem at sporting events."

Anyway, Johnston started emailing Salguero . Here's the first one he sent last May 7:
On Tue, May 7, 2013 at 3:42 PM, [Billy Johnston] wrote:


What third world rubbish coming from this benighted columnist. Armando where was your misguided ballyhoo when the citizens of Miami-Dade were clamoring for a say before the venal politicians shoved MARLINS PARK down our collective throats.That folly will remain as the standard for Miami-Dade's government dysfunction. pew

You are so foolish and easily swayed by the powerful that it is no surprise that your family has a past history of conforming to those who desire to control the masses. You believe that citizens of NFL cities, not just the football fans, should knuckle under to the extortion attempts by a loathsome, unconscionable group of billionaires. Little wonder the country your parents ran from, that it's citizens hasn't been able to unleash itself from its tyranical leader.

First lets get one thing straight, the Dolphins - ROSS, and his main henchnam 'pumpkinhead' DEE , strategically planned the beginning date of Jan 14 / 2013 to reveal their canard publicly, figuring that there probably wouldn't be enough time for a VOTE. Herald columnist Marc Caputo reported ROSS at one time remarking that he "ABSOLUTELY" wished the public had 'NO SAY'. That is the absolute reason they hid their agenda in the bushes and sprung it on the public on the late day they selected. That had received a Super Bowl Bid package, with secretive demands of the interested Cities, last year. More secrets Armando that your lack journalistic integrity prevents you from investigating and exposing.

After the display of 'poor sportsmanship' and all out vindictiveness [to include the SPARANO tirade] after matters didn't turn out as the entitled ROSS felt they should, you would have to be a total fool, or not understand capitalism or Democracy, to defend this cunning elitist. Both BOVO and Weatherford were voted to their jobs to protect their constituents from greedy extortionists who hunger for the revenue paid by others. That is called "character" Armando, mixed with patriotic principles.

Besides; the scheming BILLIONAIRE said he made an agreement - out of the sunshine - with the speaker. It wouldn't mean much to a guy like you Armando but I think 1st - its a lie - 2nd - it's definitely against STATE ETHICS [possibly illegal].

The only question left to be answered about the BILLIONAIRE BEGGAR ROSS is whether he looks more like Mortimer Snerd or Dill Dally?

Billy Johnston
Then it was Salguero's turn:
In a message dated 5/7/2013 5:20:01 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:


I don't know about you, but I don't live in a third-world country. Last I heard, this is America. When the Marlins rammed their project through, I was on radio saying it was bad, saying there should be a vote, saying Loria was a weasel. I've also written as much on The Miami Herald. So there's that.

Secondly, you don't know me or my family. You have no idea who in my family fought and died for the cause of freedom. So back off on that one, buddy.

Third, you apparently have a real issue with billionaires. You are totally bought in to the class warfare narrative that I loathe because rather than applauding success you feel the need to demean success. It frankly is low and echoes of envy. It is also, by the way, the reason places go from being first-world paradises to third-world dumps. If that doesn't make sense to you, look up the word socialism, look up which countries practice it, and you'll have your answer.

Finally, Ross never said he and Weatherford had a deal. He said Weatherford told him he'd bring the bill to a vote. Get your facts right.

Armando Salguero

UPDATED 5-27-2013 @ 8:45am: After that email, Johnston, for some unknown reason, decides to feminize Salguero's last name by addressing him as "Sally." If there was any semblance of civil discourse, it's now gone.
On May 7, 2013, at 11:10 PM, wrote:


No, I don't know you, nor do I want to know you, but It's strange that people who do all this admirable and heroic fighting for personal freedoms, then take flight, leaving other friends and family behind to suffer under the fascist oppression left behind. Your mentioning the fact of your parents flight, bringing you to my country, gives you no special insight to American politics Your complaining on ROSS'S behalf that he wasn't able to buy the political influence he expected, is contrary to what American Capitalism. You probably even believe the jobs canard, even though for the last four decades of the NFL extorting monies from Cities with loyal fans, the country's most renowned economists have dismissed such nonsense.

Marc Caputo; wrote ' "BILLIONAIRE [does Marc also have a hang-up on billionaires?] pouts that a politician misled him over a CLANDESTINE out-of the-sunshine deal to help steer public money to his stadium. You can argue the semantics in your sick attempt to defend a greedy conniving NFL Billionaire, but an honest citizen knows what goes on in the real world of politics. Just ask former Mayor Alvarado.

Yes; you slammed Loria recently, and the Shipiro bashing as the Herald sportswriters have a habit of jumping on the bandwagon when the unscrupulous are uncovered by others.. I have been around and witnessed the NFL when you were playing tag in your old man's bag. So don't tell me about socialism, or much of anything, as your just a appeasement to the Latino sports crowd. I know your probably disappointed that maybe you'll miss out on some soccer matches, or your job will be in jeopardy if the government assistance you believe in, isn't given to the eighty-third richest American. Don't socialistic and Fascist societies distribute the revenues?

You're more foolish and worldly immature than I figured. Enjoy your soccer some place else.

Billy Johnston
Vietnam Inf. Veteran 68

Instead of letting it go, Salguero now feels the need to match every one of Johnston's insults with a few of his own...and then some.

He starts off this email - written on his iPhone sometime after midnight - by also feminizing Johnston's name. Billy is now "Billie.

And because Johnston is now signing off with a notation that he's a Vietnam vet, Salguero - who emigrated to the U.S. from Cuba when he was a child, and who has never served a day in the military - unloads on Johnston with this garbage (emphasis mine):
In a message dated 5/8/2013 12:11:35 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

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.

Sent from my iPhone
I've emailed Salguero several times seeking his side of the story. He has yet to respond.

Miami New Times: Herald Editor Apologizes After Armando Salguero Slams A Vet For 'Sucking As A Soldier'


  1. Shocked this would come from one of the outstanding Herald journalists.


  2. Where are the emails leading up to that last email?

  3. My what a perfect heart-warming exchange to celebrate Memorial Day weekend. Excuse me while I go wash my hands.

  4. Who is the source of the e-mails? Going by your post it appears that Mr. Johnson is the one that provided you a copy of the thread.

    Are you confident that the e-mails are authentic (i.e.: that they haven't been edited)?

    Salguero's first response was fine. If he hadn't responded to Mr. Johnson's last e-mail this would just be one of the many irrational pieces of correspondence from Herald readers and we would likely not even be analyzing it. However, if Salguero actually wrote that last e-mail then he obviously gave up his moral high ground and lost everything, including, possibly, his employment status.

    It seems like a very rapid escalation of the argument from one e-mail to the next. We are all human and prone to fits of anger but in all the years that I've been reading Salguero it just seems so out of character for him to assume the role of defender of Cuban culture. But, stranger things have happened.

    I'd just like to wait until the dust settles before passing judgment.

  5. This exchange is an example of why you don't argue with fools. Armando should've known better.

  6. Being a Vietman Vet does not give you the right to be a Racist and a bigot.

  7. Sounds like Armando responded late at night after drinking or feeling tired and what he said is just downright awful.

  8. Agreed. Salguero's lone bad decision came around midnight when he decided to snap off the first thing that came to his head with good ol fashioned vitriol. If he really wanted to respond, he should've let his temper simmer some. I am both a Cuban and a Veteran, and Billy's tone is extremely bigoted. Up until his last response, this whole thing could've been chalked up to another kooky Herald reader. But unluckily for Salguero, he decided to sink to his responder's level.

  9. Walk a mile in a man's shoes before you disrepect him. Not cool to disrepect a man's service to this great nation. It's because of him that you have the freedom to write for the disgraceful Miami Herald. Freedom isn't free sir...many have paid the price with their blood and lives. Be Blessed sir

  10. Good for Armando. Saying what he thought. Somebody who disrespects me gets no respect back. I don't care if what I say isn't 'politically correct.' This was a private exchange between 2 adults and it sounds like the other guy had his feelings hurt so he ran and told on Armando.

  11. "Billy" may be a vet, but he is also a bigot who stands to lose nothing by voicing his prejudices. Sadly, Salguero made a poor choice and stands to lose much more. Yet it is Herald execs who stand to lose the most if they take the side of a bigoted reader who wants to talk about Miami and it's people but hasn't crawled out from under his rock in years.

  12. Armando, Please restart your Blog ASAP, YG4L And the other no-life,no job posters must be going thru withdraws

  13. I want someone to verify Billy's veteran staus. He is a disgrace to the American Veterans everywhere with his childish, bigoted rant against Armando Salguero. This so called Veteran attacked a man and his family for escaping Communism, the very thing he says he was fighting against. Since "Billy" wanted to start this, I suggest you post "Billy's" full email address so we can bring his bigotry out into the light.

    1. @bobbyd12: send me an email and I'll send you Billy Johnston's email address.

      My email address can be found here:

    2. "I want someone to verify Billy's veteran staus."

      And exactly how will this alter Armando's moronic comments?


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