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Monday, July 26, 2010
Weeks later, Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel & Miami TV newscasts STILL consciously ignoring Bob Norman's spot-on story re School Board's Jennifer Gottlieb
Daily Pulp blog
Emails Reveal School Board Chairwoman Romanced Schools' Banker
By Bob Norman, Fri., Jul. 2 2010 @ 8:48AM -
She was a second-year elected school board member at a political conference in Tampa, getting quite literally wined and dined by high-rolling bankers at Citigroup, enjoying the "luxury" of a night out in a town that didn't know who she was.
He was one of those bankers, working the deals behind what has become $2 billion in Broward School Board debt. Both were married with young children.
And after meeting and flirting at an all-you-can-eat lobster and steak dinner put on by Citigroup for elected officials at The Palm restaurant in Tampa, romance blossomed between current Broward County School Board Chairwoman Jennifer Gottlieb and Citigroup finance manager Rick Patterson.
Read the rest of the post at: http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2010/07/school_board_chairwoman_jennifer_gottlieb.php
That post from July 2nd currently has 499 comments as of 4 p.m. today, which shows that despite the local MSM's attempt to bury this story, people who actually pay attention to what's going on in the community, regardless of their opinion, are talking about it, anyway.
This foolish attempt to bury the story only makes the old traditional media in South Florida seem more irrelevant and ridiculous than ever, and it's not like they are that relevant anymore to begin with, since there are clearly many reporters on local Miami TV who ought to be in smaller TV markets, but are here, warts and all.
(That will be a topic of future posts.)
And seriously, when was the last time you read a lengthy and well-written story in the Herald about the goings-on at local Miami TV news operations the way that once was fairly common in the 1970's and '80's?
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and things are exactly what they seem, and in this case, there clearly seems to be a conspiracy of silence among the South Florida news media and chattering class about the personal and professional behavior of Jennifer Gottlieb.
But then as we are constantly at pains to remind ourselves, this is South Florida, an outlier more often than not in the best of times when journalism is either hard-hitting or popular, and this is hardly the first time since my family moved here in 1968 that a perfectly valid and compelling news story was ignored by the then-extant MSM on account of... well, whatever the popular excuse offered up at the time at One Herald Plaza or over at the old Channel 4 studio in downtown Miami was.
Usually, when pressed, the answer was always "lack of column inches" in the newspaper or available time on a newscast.
Try to imagine a current local TV anchor publicly going after a local pol like Demetrio Perez Jr. the way that anchor/news director Ralph Renick does here in 1982?
It's inconceivable in the current era of sycophancy, and our great loss.
1982 Ralph Renick editorial on WTVJ on political efforts in Miami to prevent Scarface from being filmed in Miami due to concerns of negative portrayal of Miami and its Cuban-American population.
The local TV and print reporters whom we've grown accustomed to seeing report regularly on the latest education funding/scandal/crisis/antics involving School Board Superintendents Alberto Carvalho in Miami-Dade and James Notter in Broward, overwhelmingly female reporters, are quite simply, NOT doing their job by ignoring this story.
They've collectively taken a pass on mentioning something embarrassing about an elected official in Broward County that should be of great concern to every Broward County taxpayer, especially those with children in the public school system.
And is part of the reason that there is such great reluctance among South Florida's news media to face this issue head-on precisely because the person involved is female? As I've stated previously in writing about other neglected education issues, I personally think the answer is YES.
There is a palpable dis-connect and obvious sense of hypocrisy among South Florida's news media in how they report on the foibles and legal problems of male and female elected officials, so it should hardly be surprising that once again, they just swallow their hypocrisy whole because this case involves a female.
If this had involved a male School Board chair, though, we all know that this same story would've made the front page of the Miami Herald, albeit, with lots of quotes from supportive friends
and work colleagues.
My own experience in corporate life from working with large nationally-known law firms on big cases, as well as from being involved at a high level in presidential political campaigns, plus my own personal relationships with people in South Florida, Chicago and Washington, D.C., is that people who have particularly bad habits tend to have those traits throughout the day, regardless of whether they are at home or not.
There's no OFF switch they hit.
People who are consistently NOT punctual, NOT properly prepared and who are generally untrustworthy, who can't keep a confidential secret about a client from others, tend NOT to be able to do the exact opposite when they are away from the office.
I've personally gotten lots of very smart and talented people re-assigned or fired from firms or political campaigns because of the above issues, and I had no qualms in doing so because I've found that personal recklessness almost always reveals itself at the worst possible time.
Just like a film director, I need to know that people around me on a project or campaign are on top of things and focused on the matter at hand, not worrying about extraneous matters, esp. involving romance.
If you see people consistently making poor decisions and exhibit carelessness in their job, are you really supposed to believe that their judgment is any sounder and grounded when you don't see them?
That said, this personal issue Bob Norman writes about so thoroughly doesn't make Jennifer Gottlieb a bad person, just human.
But it does indicate to me that she should be somewhere else, and NOT making important decisions.
Because Jennifer Gottlieb is running for re-election as an At-Large Broward School Board candidate, every registered voter in Broward County can and should vote against her and give her the time she clearly needs to get her personal life together, however that shakes out.
Having said that, on Saturday afternoon at the Hallandale Beach Parks Master Plan meeting, while I was setting up my camera tripod in the back of the A1A Community Center, I saw her husband Ken, the former State Rep. who's running for Circuit Court Judge.
I felt both sorry for him but also very uncomfortable, since he doesn't know whether or not people he runs into have read the story Norman wrote, which in my opinion was extremely fair.
Two years ago, I voted for Tim Ryan for State Senate to succeed Steve Geller when Ryan, Gottlieb and Eleanor Sobel ran for the seat that Sobel eventually won after a VERY NASTY primary race that left a very bad taste in Southeast Broward voters mouths, due to the influence of secretive groups affiliated with Sobel that ran untruthful TV attack ads and mail that savaged both Gottlieb and Ryan.
(Ryan later took Sobel to court about the groups' efforts, but after an initial flurry of stories about the trial, the press coverage completely disappeared. Shocker!
That's the current state of South Florida journalism in a nutshell: here one minute, gone another! Just like the summer rain!)
Unlike some people I know in the Broward political/citizen activist community who swear by the guy, I'm lukewarm to Ken Gottlieb, but I will acknowledge that he does seem like a genuinely earnest and hard-working guy who puts everything into his efforts, which makes him somewhat unusual in these parts, where coasting on the job and letting staff do all the work is the norm.
Personally, though, I'm just not crazy about the idea of enthusiastic activist pols becoming judges because I don't think people can fight that part of their nature.
I believe that the personal qualities that people clearly liked and admired about him in one job, State Rep., are not the same ones required to be a fair-minded judge that all parties can have full confidence in.
Frankly, if his wife Jennifer wasn't already on the Broward School Board, though I haven't put too much time into thinking this through to its logical conclusion, I'd much prefer him or Tim Ryan as Broward State's Attorney in two years against incumbent Michael Satz, who seems energy-deficient in the extreme.
Natural enthusiasm in a D.A. is much better than in a judge, especially in such a target-rich environment like corrupt Broward County.
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