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Former Tampa area reporter Mario Diaz gets Connecticut mayor's "taco" remark on tape

Published Jan. 26, 2012

maturo-tacos-2012-01-25.jpgTampa Bay area TV viewers saw a familiar face asking East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo about allegations his police unfairly targeted Latinos, sparking a response that lit up the Internet.

When a reporter wanted to know how he might reach out to area Latinos, Maturo replied "I just might have a taco at home tonight."

And the guy asking the question was former WTSP-Ch. 10 anchor Mario Diaz, now a new reporter for WPIX-TV in New York.

mariodiaz2.jpgThe last time local audiences heard about Diaz was back in 2008, when he left WTSP to work as a regional communications staffers for then GOP presidential candidate John McCain. WPIX hired Diaz last year; one of his first stories challenged an advertisement Coors created for the city's Puerto Rican Day parade that some found linked drinking to their heritage in an insulting way.

Now Diaz is the co-star of one of the biggest viral sensations yet, telling Maturo "you realize that's not quite the comment to say right now."

As the interview goes on, Diaz gets more agitated as Maturo tries to defend himself. But they both know that, in a moment of rare honesty, the mayor has confirmed what all the Latino citizens in that town already knew from bitter experience -- how little regard local officials have for their concerns.

A wise man once said a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth. And after this performance, I'm predicting Maturo ate a lot of crow that night instead of, as he called it, "a Latino meal."

Good job, Mario. You learned your lessons well here in the Sunshine State.