I pay to have three (3) newspapers tossed on my driveway every Sunday. My idea of a good time on a Sunday morning is to spend a few hours propped up in a chair in the sunshine, getting newsprint on my fingers. First I read the Miami Hurled, then the New York Times, and finally the putrid Sun-Sentinel.
Here are some observations about the local papers.
In the Hurled’s front section, dedicated to international and national news, there were 20 stories. Just four were written by Hurled or McClatchy reporters, including all three on the front page. Six were reiterations from the New York Times, another six were Associated Press, two from the Washington Post, and two from others, including ‘wire services.”
Even given the time of year, that’s pretty bad — the Hurled never presents itself as a news aggregator, but this ratio of home grown to reprints suggests otherwise. If 80% of its national and international news derives from outside sources, what makes it the Miami Hurled? Ads?
I know. What do you expect from a newspaper that thinks Dave Barry is funny?
On the plus side, Leonard Pitts has a long and informative article in the Review section that dissects the concept of “race” in America. In which he points out one of my own favorite themes: i.e., the whole concept of race is scientifically bogus as well as a tenet of faith. Among his best insights:
Back in 2000, a group of scientists announced that, after mapping the genetic codes of five people, self-identified as African American, Caucasian, Asian and Hispanic, they had been unable to tell them apart. As one researcher put it, “The concept of race has no scientific basis.”
That same week, I was in New York City where I stood on 44th Street with my hand raised, watching empty cab after empty cab pass me by. The irony was pointed. Science could not define “black,” but a New York City cab driver certainly could.
Then there’s the abominable Sun-Sentinel. For several months, on its spare Op-Ed page, it has featured columns written by lame duck ‘Pub state Senator Paula Dockery, whose blistering critiques of Tallahassee politics confirms sensible speculation that the inmates have been running the institution up there for years. This week the clods at the newspaper ran the exact same column they ran last week — it truly is a terrible newspaper in every respect you can imagine — which includes this passage:
When political novice Rick Scott became Florida’s governor, he appointed Herschel Vinyard, a shipyard executive, to be secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. Many of us who have been involved with environmental and water resource issues were concerned about what message that sent and worried about the possible lack of commitment to protection.
I reluctantly voted to confirm Mr. Vinyard after meeting with him and asking numerous questions about his philosophy and intentions. Once confirmed, he validated my fears through his actions relating to water management districts, funding and selling state-owned lands.
At the time, anybody even casually acquainted with Florida’s environmental issues recognized this appointment for the outrage that it is. This hack, a political stooge and crony of Gov Dickwithears, was handed the reins so he can drive the wagon over the cliff. He was tasked to dismantle as many environmental regulations as he could, and told to respond to concerns by saying, “We’re trying to make Florida an attractive destination for employment- and revenue-generating businesses by getting rid of all the job-killing regulations that have stalemated our economy” urk urk ack ack ooga ooga.
But Dockery voted to confirm because like all the others she now condemns on her way out the door, she’s just another political hack out to preserve whatever power and influence she’d gained after securing a foothold in office. Her sanctimonious columns in Florida’s newspapers, where she attempts to portray herself as a frustrated public servant reluctantly leaving office after years of fighting the good fight on behalf of Florida’s vulnerable citizens and endangered environment, fool nobody with a handful of firing neurons. Don’t let her feigned outrage at Tallahassee’s corruption and incompetence obscure the fact that she was a major player whose departure is the result solely of term limits.
And keep in mind that her column, compared to those of Sir Kingsley Guy Fe Guy, Larry Hold the Mayo, and Gary Franken Stein, is among the best the ghastly Sun-Sentinel offers on Sunday.
Well, at least the sun was delightful.
Happy New Year!