Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.
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Sunday, November 8, 2009
South Florida media blows easy lay-up on health care reform -what else is new?
during the summer or last month or last week,
and the answer would be the same, but here
Where exactly are the interviews by reporters
from the Miami Herald and South Florida
Sun-Sentinel and Channels 4, 6, 7 or 10
with the various candidates running to replace
Kendrick Meek in Congress on what they
think about the particulars of the current health
care debate and the bill that got passed by the
House late Saturday night, one of whom will
likely get elected?
Well, they are invisible to the naked eye
because they have never taken place.
Instead, South Florida's apathetic media have
taken to drowning us in the smug, snarky and
arrogant comments of South Florida media pet,
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the woman
who wouldn't even meet her own constituents
face-to-face on the issue, preferring to go the
Tele-Town Hall, which is to participatory
democracy what Publix frozen pizza is to
Not that South Florida media even got up
long enough from their summer slumber
to chide her about this, or even commented
on how imperious this made her look.
As if she didn't have that attitude down pat!
Can you guess where DWS was when she
'participated' in the group telephone call
masquerading as constituent work sessions?
Actually, I know, but the real answer is that
sometimes it doesn't matter what you as an
elected official think, what's important is
showing that you care enough to listen
with an open mind.
She couldn't even gather up enough energy
to fake it for an hour or two.
As we all know by now, DWS is not exactly
known for being one of the great listeners
among South Florida's elected officials,
nor is she someone with a rep for keeping
an open mind.
Her robotic Goldilocks empathy may cheer
some Broward condo commanders who only
want to hear her stay "on message," but it
leaves many moderate Democrats like me
So returning to media issue avoidance, as is
usually the case when it comes to news,
rather than actually being a tool for well-informed
news junkies in South Florida on this issue,
it's even worse when WIOD gets into the act,
because they play the same damn comments
every thirty minutes for over at least six hours
And when you know you're looking at hearing
dreary DWS all afternoon repeating Team
Pelosi's talking points, that's a real tune-out
Even makes you wonder what Jim Rome
is talking about in The Jungle on WINZ
By the end of four hours, you almost yell
out in Pavlovian anger what's about to be
(This is also known as 'The Susan
MacManus Problem' to me and my
circle of friends on account of her
consistently insipid comments that
are no doubt supposed to sound
high-minded if not droll, but which
are usually neither.)
I did a thorough search of all news stories and
columns in the Herald or Sun-Sentinel for
the entire year to see if they quoted any of the
candidates' position on health care, based on
a few different popular lists of announced
candidates for CD-17, and guess what
That's my CD and that's your South
Florida media hard at work.
Or is it hardly working?
I know some of the most well-informed
people in the whole ocean-side duchy of
Hallandale Beach and SE Broward County,
and yet with less than a year to go before
the election, nobody I know has seen
a single one of the roughly a dozen
announced CD-17 candidates in Hallandale
Beach at a non-partisan public event.
Part of the problem of a large part of Hallandale
Beach being in a gerrymandered district
like Kendrick Meek's -see maps
and http://www.nationalatlas.gov/ -of literally
being just a few miles south of FLL Airport,
yet merely being the appendage to a CD
like 17 based in Liberty City, Overtown,
Opa-Locka and Miami Gardens, is that the
candidates based there think they can
But guess what?
Our votes count, too.
And we can vote against candidates just
as easily as we vote for them, too.
With purpose or spite or whatever
particular emotion we feel at the time.
That makes you wonder how close the
fastball questions you ask of the candidates,
in front of the media, ought to come
to their head when you eventually
get the chance, since eventually,
How badly do you want to show how
unprepared THEY are to represent the
area in Washington?
Do you pepper them with simple questions
they consistently strike-out on, or do you
ask them hypotheticals, and then argue that
their answers actually show there's little
in their background to indicate they have
the chops for the job?
Trust me, Washington doesn't need
Have they ever been to Washington, D.C
before, a la Edward Markey?
Sometimes, a brush-back pitch or two serves
a very useful purpose, especially for people
who've already shown a pronounced tendency
to take you for granted.
I've wondered for months what would happen
to all the political calculations and CW if an
Anglo candidate with some demonstrated
organizational and people skills like a
Kevin Burns got into the race for CD-17?
And what if such a candidate declared
publicly that they'd let the other dozen
candidates ignore Hallandale Beach if
they wanted to, but that they'd actually
visit cities located within the CD,
and NOT take them for granted?
As they used to say during the beginning
VO narration to MTV's The Real World,
at least the first few season I watched,
I think these candidates who've ignored
voters here are going "to find out what
happens... when people stop being
polite... and start getting real...
The Real World"
The Real World: Washington, D.C.
premieres on December 30th.
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