Teele's main concern voiced during the conversation with DeLede was the effect on his son of the male prostitute story. When DeLede, at his own volition, told Jesús Díaz Jr., The Herald's publisher, and Robert Beatty, its general counsel, what he had done. "I realized Art was headed in a direction that scared me," said DeFede. "And my first reaction, looking down at the tape, is this is basically Teele's suicide note. These are his final words about the torture that his life has been through all this up and down. This is his last words; what do I do with it?"
DeFede says that, at first, Díaz and Beatty were supportive. Then, a few hours later they fired him.
Now comes the rich part. The Miami Herald then published excerpts from the recorded phone conversation in their newspaper.
"Less than two hours before his death, Teele told DeFede he was upset about the records linking him to the transvestite," and "Teele also complained that his financial problems - a burden throughout his 15-year political career - had become overwhelming."That's from the tape. And now the police want the tape and the Herald's Díaz says the newspaper has refused because,
The Herald doesn't turn over unpublished notes and Teele had requested that the conversation be off the record, he said."We're going to honor that," Díaz said. "We expect we will get subpoenaed and we will say we will not meet the subpoena and we'll end up in court."So the Herald fired the reporter for making the tape (a misdemeanor in Florida, like running a stopsign) after the reporter immediately told his bosses he had done so "with shaking hands", thinking he might be listening to the last words of Arthur Teele, Jr., which he was, then publishes quotes from the tape, then refuses to give up the tape. This is ethics?
TAGS: Miami Herald, Arthur Teele, Jim DeFede, journalism, ethics