It started about two weeks ago: Miami Herald political reporter Marc Caputo wrote a blog post criticizing the "sloppy, trashy Tampa TV reporting at WTSP" about the Jim Greer corruption trial -- more specifically, criticizing reporter Mike Deeson, who Caputo said "seems more determined to file tendentious reports to show former Gov. Charlie Crist is gay rather than present facts in a basic, objective manner."
Deeson responded in a statement to New Times that could be paraphrased as "I'm not sloppy -- he's sloppy," and then Caputo said Deeson's reporting "borders on Kafkaesque." Now, they're exchanging passive-aggressive emails. Deeson quoted James Joyce.
"Since you have taken such an interest in my Journalism career, I'm sure you will be thrilled to know I won 4 Sunshine State Awards this weekend including 3- 1st place awards," Deeson wrote to Caputo yesterday. "However, despite being recognized my peers, as James Joyce said, 'The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.' And perhaps this proves Joyce's point 'A man of genius makes no mistakes; his errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.'"
Of course, Joyce also wrote, "I fear those big words... which make us so unhappy," so maybe it's better to keep the ;Ulysses allusions constrained to responding to requests to get drunk and go bowling ("yes I said yes I will yes").
Deeson concluded, "Warm Regards, Mike."
Caputo, because how do you not respond to that? responded:
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I was just interested, in the short term, in your egregious sloppiness related to the Greer-Crist stories. This speaks poorly of the awards if they were granted in connection with that reporting.
As for your other work, I have no knowledge of it. So, if the awards relate to the latter work of which I'm ignorant (and if that work doesn't exhibit the same shameless disregard for ethical reporting) then congratulations.
I'm not sure if I should praise you or bemoan the sorry state of awards.
I'm on vacation for the next few weeks, so I'm sorry I won't be able to continue this discussion consistently.
Cheers. And congratulations. Maybe.
It seems Caputo's vacation will put a damper on the drama, which is probably for the best. Here's hoping both will be on duty for the Greer trial.