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. Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of HB's North Beach and southern Hollywood Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Fact-checking the Miami Herald's local coverage of the "fiscal cliff" budget issue shows their obliviousness; Charles Krauthammer ponders "Cliff-jumping with Barack"; I suggest everyone check their ropes now!

Louisthx YouTube Channel video: Countdown clock for an NBC News Special Report. Uploaded on July 27, 2007. http://youtu.be/41sQCLKpi78 
Since I don't have my own Breaking News countdown clock yet... 

Question: How many of South Florida's 8 present or future Members of Congress have been interviewed or quoted by the Miami Herald regarding the "fiscal cliff" federal budget issue since Election Day?
Answer: ZERO.

But we all know that this would hardly come as Breaking News to any well-informed person who reads the 2012 version of that newspaper, though they still might be surprised that the Herald could do such a poor job of following a big national story by not writing about the local angle, i.e. have meaningful reporting on what this area's elected representatives to Congress were inclined to do.

The Herald of the 1970's and 1980's would've not only done something, they'd have had an entire page about it in Section A or in their Sunday Op-Ed section, with each rep. having the opportunity to try to explain -in some cases, explain away- why they believed what they did.

Not the lackluster and lazy Herald of today against the worldwide talent and resources of the N.Y. Times of today, but rather than the lackluster Herald of today against the Herald of 25 and 35 years ago that had to make do without cell phones and the crutch of the Internet, but with hard-working reporters who wanted to get the story done right, NOT run away from it.
There's your compare and contrast.

To repeat what I've written here on the blog in the past, when I lived and worked in the Washington, D.C. area from 1988-2003, because of what I did, whom I knew and what the full array of my interests were, I spoke fairly often to some print/TV reporters and columnists based in the Beltway whom you've heard of. 
We talked about all sorts of things, of course, but among them were also the general state of journalism, trends in the industry and general industry gossip.

Sometimes that took place over the phone after some bit of Breaking News, or over an Orioles game up at Camden Yards, sometimes after movies at popular restaurants, 
Other conversations took place over a hot dog and Coke from a vendor at a nearby park at lunch time -McPherson Square- on one of those sunny Spring days in Washington that are amazing, and which pull everyone out of their offices after months of cold weather, a sure sign that the baseball season is approaching.

The fact that some of these people had earned Pulitzer Prizes for their hard work and resourcefulness and had become known "names," was not something they spoke about, per se, but because they were so recognizable, it was always something in the back of my mind, even when we pretended it wasn't.

So it's with that in mind that I can tell you this with absolute certainty.
Newspapers and reporters do NOT receive the Pulitzer Prize for making a very bad habit of habitually ignoring what's right in front of them and NOT asking hard questions of elected officials facing difficult choices.
People are elected to Washington to make tough choices, after all, and reporters are supposed to ask them how they made their choice and what it is.
That's their job.
And yet...

Which of the 80 federal entitlement programs does Frederica Wilson or Joe Garcia want to seriously reform in order to avoid the fiscal cliff?

To repeat Charles Krauthammer in his Washington Post column titled, Cliff-jumping with Barack:
Where are the spending cuts, both discretionary and entitlement: Medicare, Medicaid and now Obamacare (the health-care trio) and Social Security?

I can't tell you that now because the very people in the best position to actually find out, the South Florida news media, don't want to ask, in large part I suspect because they really don't care. But I do.

If only I could bolster my argument by linking to a single example of this. 
Oh, okay, here are eight examples of that media obliviousness, courtesy(!) of the McClatchy Company's Miami Herald.
Is that enough for you?

FL-17 Frederica Wilson

FL-18 Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

FL-19 Ted Deutch

FL-20 Debbie Wasserman Schultz

FL-21 Mario Diaz-Balart

FL-22 Congressman-Elect Patrick Murphy

FL-23 Alcee Hastings

FL-25 Congressman-Elect Joe Garcia

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