Earlier this week, we told you about the latest allegations that Charlie Crist paid men to cover up gay affairs and about how they weren't coming from anyone who'd actually investigated anything. They were coming from a lawyer in the Jim Greer corruption trial -- and now all the drama is seeping into Florida's major media outlets.
"[Greer lawyer Damon] Chase and Greer have twice leaked information to a Tampa WTSP 'investigative' reporter who seems more determined to file tendentious reports to show former Gov. Charlie Crist is gay rather than present facts in a basic, objective manner," Caputo wrote. "This latest WTSP report just isn't 'investigative.' It's more like stenography of public toilet-stall graffiti. Except it's being done with a camera."
He criticized WTSP reporter Mike Deeson (though not by name) for waiting until late in his stories to explain that the allegations were not coming from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement but from Greer's lawyers, who say they'll bring up allegations about homosexual affairs and cover-ups if Crist doesn't change sworn testimony.
If you think Caputo is exaggerating, here's the second paragraph of Deeson's online story:
These allegations come in the form of a Florida Department of Law Enforcement Investigative Report in the Republican Party Chair Jim Greer saga.
Certainly sounds like the FDLE checked this out, eh? Nope. Emails from Chase were included in a report -- that's as far as their involvement goes.
And it gets worse, Caputo says, when you look at Deeson's follow-up, which is another transcription of Greer allegations that Senate candidate George LeMieux blackmailed Crist into getting an appointment to a vacant Senate seat. That one held off on revealing the source of the allegations until "the ninth -- that's right, the ninth -- paragraph."
"Heck, even if they go back and read the sloppy online copy, [readers will] have to do it with extreme caution and skepticism," Caputo writes. "It makes for complicated reading, like translating Aquinas's teleological argument from the original Latin -- sans the sound reasoning."
Phone and email messages to Deeson for comment were not returned right away; will update if I hear back.