Fourth Estate and Long
Oh, guess FIU forgot about the goal: A day after the revelation of the identity of the secret "Deep Throat" Watergate source, I read Edmund Newton's June 2 story about the Florida International University Journalism School, "Adios, Ink-Stained Vets," with sadness and disappointment. I am a late-1980s graduate from the school and have watched the profession sink into the slime of agenda-pushing and self-glorification since the Washington Post exposed corruption at the highest political level -- perhaps a watershed moment in the history of journalism. As conglomerate ownership has consolidated media outlets, objectivity, freedom of speech, and open-mindedness have diminished proportionately.
What is happening at FIU seems to be a continuation of the trend. But this is also true: Because of professors such as Kevin Hall, Mike Fowler, and Marilyn Moore, I learned lessons that have served me well both professionally and personally. I took the writing/grammar test and "boot camp" class mentioned in the article, and my life changed for the better. These professors were tough, demanding, unrelenting. They prepared me for what lay ahead in the real world far more than any other teachers I had in college.
I cannot imagine that the FIU Journalism School is better off without them or their colleagues. I am proud to call myself a graduate of the school but see this as another hit at a profession that is a shell of what it once was. Fourth Estate, indeed.
Not Dead Yet
The dreams of this developer persist: The Pompano Beach Commission could care less about what music is played at the Wharf on Thursday nights -- they're just trying to save their deal ("I've Never Seen 'Em Fing," Jonathan Zwickel, May 26). Get this: The folks who complain about wanting a more family-friendly restaurant really just want to pave over the only public beachfront parking lot in the city. That's right. Ocean Properties wants to build a ten-story hotel on the parking lot in front of the Wharf, but the residents in the surrounding area blew a gasket when they heard about it. So Michael Walsh, president of Ocean Properties, decided that the only way he can sustain a six-story hotel on the location is if he gets control of the wharf too -- what he calls the whole package.
Forget about Dead night. The band can play anywhere. The disgusting fact is that the commission seems hell-bent on paving over the only public beachfront parking in the town. I bet I know what happened: The mayor's daughter walked on the beach last week and got whistled at, so the mayor has decided to close the beach. For God's sake, the place is called Pompano Beach, and the mayor and his council want to make it as difficult as possible for the people of the town to get to the beach. But, hey, they can always go rent a room at the new hotel. I'm sure validated parking is included.
Mayor: Just think about all that new tax revenue we'll bring in.
Resident: I just want to go to the beach.
Mayor: But can't you just see all that money, piled to the sky?
Resident: There's nowhere to park at the beach.
Mayor: Think of the money, the green, the dollars, please.
Resident: I'll just drive down to Fort Lauderdale, thanks.
More Than We Wanted
To know: In regard to Trevor Aaronson's May 19 story, "Doctor's Orders," I don't know why guys should be surprised that sperm tastes different from man to man -- and in many cases doesn't taste bad at all.
I can attest to different flavors among men. For instance, a guy who smokes has a musky taste. Vitamin C gives a bit of a sour taste, but asparagus is really nasty. Guys who live what could be termed a "healthy" lifestyle and don't smoke, drink, etc., have a sweet taste. It's literally a factor of what goes in that determines the taste of what comes out.
Via the Internet
Shear smut: There are three forms of talk radio that require no talent to execute: gardening shows, partisan political bickering (by elephants and jackasses alike), and potty talk. Talk of orgasms and manhood sizes alone does not make for good radio. Even the lovable old Neil Rogers, with his belch drops and risqué double-entendres, reads a news story or two every hour.
If "The Smut Doctors" and their imitators (indeed, the doctors themselves are imitating a tired, unimaginative genre) are the future of radio, a career switch to sheep shearing in Vermont is looking pretty good to me right now.
Joe Cassara, Operations Manager
Justice in Print
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And maybe an investigation? I would like to thank Bob Norman for his piece on the death of my uncle, Rick Weed, and Jane Gosnell, as well as the exposure of many of the questionable and suspicious circumstances relating to his death ("Unusual Suspects," February 3, 10, and 17).
When he died, I was only in my teen years and was not given much information surrounding the circumstances of his death. I know the family has always maintained that Rick's death was murder and has hoped for some resolution proving this. But this justice has never been granted. At least now, though, in your article, there is some measure of this justice in print, and perhaps someday there will be a measure of this truth in the police records and investigation.
Jason S. Galt
Via the Internet