Below, a copy of the email that I wrote and sent out last Friday to the Usual Suspects thoughout South Florida and journalism watering holes in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Sixteen months ago, I wrote the following on my blog, just one of many over the years on the faux newspaper in Hallandale Beach. My biggest problem wasn't writing it, of course, but rather trying to decide which was THE most outlandish and absurd front page of the dozens they've run that I've kept...
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2010
Csaba Kulin's common sense take on the faux newspaper in Hallandale Beach that gobbles up taxpayer funds, the South Florida Sun Times
It's hard to imagine a more ridiculous, self-serving and un-true headline than this one from August 13, 2009 in the faux community newspaper, the South Florida Sun-Times: AHEAD OF THE GAME: Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper continues to do the job residents elected her to do -once again!
Read the rest of my post above at:http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/csaba-kulins-common-sense-take-on-faux.html
That followed by five months the effort to create...
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4, 2009
Hallandale Beach insiders to offer goodies/new propaganda TV channel to HB City Hall for $200k CRA loan Wed. morning.
As you'll recall above, despite NOT meeting most of the very-low standards the city usually required for a loan, the loan was made... more money down the drain!
That eye-opening post of mine from almsot three years ago is at: http://hallandalebeachblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/hallandale-beach-insiders-to-offer.html
I'm planning on posting some more incriminating info about the SFST in a few days on my blog, possibly including some eye-opening video I still have from 2010 that makes clear how steadfast and stuuborn HB City Hall remains in trying to funnel money to people who, as I'll show, couldn't even do the one thing they needed to consistently do -reliably inform the people of this community.
That info will be news to most of you in Southeast broward and elsewhere I think, since what was in the Broward Bulldog and then the Miami Herald last Thursday is, as some of you already know, just the tip of the iceberg on this story about the mayor's ambition and desire to always get her way being subsidized by taxpayers dollars -yours.
http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/09/2633582/hallandale-beach-newspaper-gets.html Make sure you read the comments!
Below, more on Joy Cooper, Cub Reporter...
I was going to say Nancy Drew, but of course Nancy Drew in her stint as a reporter in the 1940's film series tried to bring facts to light, not to bury them; she cleared a girl of murder, after all.
Also, Nancy Drew never threatened a "publisher" before like the mayor and her husband did a few years ago when, out-of-the-blue, something true-but-unflattering about her somehow wound-up in the faux newspaper.
Again, I remind you, that something was true-but-unflattering, but as we all know, the mayor really hates hearing Inconvenient Facts, whether from me or any other citizen paying close attention to what's going on -or isn't- right in front of us, so, as you'd expect, she and her husband went to the "newspaper's" office and went ballistic.
They demanded that... well, that's the part of the story still to come.
I also commend to you the following piece as well on the blatant disregard for fairness and journalism ethics.
South Florida Business Journal
Why fight City Hall when you get a h andout?
by Kevin Gale, Editor in Chief
Friday, February 10, 2012, 12:10pm EST
If you have a Facebook account, you can leave a comment... I don't, so can't.
See this mention of our mayor from last month...http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/dc/2012/01/occupy-protest-leads-arrest-assault-officer/165117
And in case you forgot one of the previous Joy Cooper crony capitalism deals with the faux
newspaper... I still have a copy of the letter and envelope that was sent out on HB City Hall
stationary to try to drum up business for a fake newspaper that nobody trusts or believes.
Mayor, paper are very cozy in Hallandale
By Fred Grimm
January 13, 2009
It pays to be nice.
If only The Miami Herald had been a little nicer, a little more accommodating, a little less critical, some grateful mayor might be sending out swell letters to our potential advertisers.
Consider the South Florida Sun-Times in Hallandale Beach. A nice weekly paper. Very nice. Self-consciously nice. ''We do mostly positive stories. We don't do a lot of negative,'' Sun-Times President Craig Farquhar said.
No nasty (or otherwise) letters to the editor. (Too bad, given that Hallandale Beach residents are both literate and famously contentious. Their letters would liven up any newspaper.)
The Sun-Times (circulation about 55,000) especially eschews articles critical of the mayor of Hallandale Beach. Not exactly what you'd call a media watchdog when it comes to local government. More like a lapdog.
But niceness pays off. Last month, a surprising letter was mailed out to city businesses on official Hallandale Beach city stationery: ''Just about everyone is feeling the effects of the economy and doing what we can to get through tough times. In an effort to promote and support local businesses, the city encourages all businesses to advertise in the city's only local newspaper.'' The letter was signed by both Mayor Joy Cooper and City Manager Mike Goode.
For an old newspaper guy, who harbors an almost religious reverence for the contentious relationship between journalism and government, it was a startling read.
For Jeanne Roonoe, a businesswoman who has owned Dixie Top Shop down on Dixie Highway for 28 years, it was startling for other reasons. ''For one thing, the city mailed out these letters using first-class mail instead of bulk mail.'' But mostly she wondered why, when so many businesses are hurting, ``the city singled out just one to help.''
Because it pays to be accommodating. The Sun-Times runs a weekly column by Mayor Cooper. City Commissioner Keith London, often at odds with the mayor, claims that the paper refuses to print contrary opinions from him.
In particular, last fall after the mayor ran a column critical of a lawsuit London had filed against the city, the newspaper refused to publish the city commissioner's response. ''We chose not to run his article. We choose not to run lots of stories from people,'' Farquhar said.
London, using Freedom of Information requests to pry the information out of City Hall, found that Hallandale Beach city government spent $18,500 buying ads in the Sun-Times over the past two years. The commissioner suggests that the newspaper, at city expense, has become a kind of unfiltered house organ for the mayor's office.
(However, to be fair, Mayor Cooper's latest column is not exactly a scintillating read. Not a whiff of controversy. No political attacks. No mention of her blood enemy Keith London.)
Mayor Cooper told the Sun-Sentinel that in exchange for the letters to potential advertisers, she expected stories in the Sun-Times that would ``promote the city.''
That happened to be the same term employed by the very nice president of the Sun-Times. ''We all have to work together to promote the city and business,'' Farquhar told me Monday.
Not that I have anything against being nice, even to mayors. It's just a peculiar ethos for a newspaper.
I only wish the South Florida news media had taken this whole embarrassing situation more seriously when I knew about it and was writing about it before they were.
I constantly contacted all four English-speaking TV stations and both the Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel with the pertinent facts, delivering it on a silver platter with all dots already connected, but as you know if you read my posts at the time, the local news media just didn't care.
Not a whit.
All of which makes this sudden media interest in a longstanding situation that HB taxpayers have had to live with for years, now seem rather curious to lots of well-informed people I know and interact with regularly.
Adminstrators and elected officials from other cities and up at Broward County Govt. HQ and regular taxpayer citizens.
They all wonder why the concerns of HB residents didn't matter to the news media when it might've done some good.
It's a little after-the-fact, now.