Best Daily Newspaper Writer/Palm Beach County

Paul Reid

Paul Reid is The Palm Beach Post's big hitter -- and deservedly so. He does what he wants and does it well. We still recall a Reid piece on cockfighting from a couple years back that was as beautifully raw as a peck to the eye. His prose is elegant, concise, witty -- in short, everything lacking from most daily newspaper stories. Reid spends a lot of time doing restaurant reviews nowadays, which is fine. Dining at tony restaurants on your employer's dime is no doubt a plum assignment. But lucky for us Reid still finds time to bear witness to other strange avenues of life in South Florida and beyond, from a millenium discourse with legendary sports broadcaster Curt Gowdy to a historical meditation on tobacco and the United States. Take this lead-in to a Reid piece on digital manipulation of photographs: "Once upon a simpler time, Henry VIII fell in love when he beheld a portrait in oil of his betrothed, Anne of Cleves. Alas, when Anne showed up for the wedding, Henry -- who had never met her -- took one look and underwent an immediate and total change of heart. Anne was ugly. Henry was royally ticked off. Anne was sent packing and her embellished portrait consigned to the royal attic. She was pretty as a picture, but pictures can lie." Now that's one story on this seemingly staid subject that we read to the end.

Best Daily Newspaper Writer/Palm Beach County

Paul Reid

Paul Reid is The Palm Beach Post's big hitter -- and deservedly so. He does what he wants and does it well. We still recall a Reid piece on cockfighting from a couple years back that was as beautifully raw as a peck to the eye. His prose is elegant, concise, witty -- in short, everything lacking from most daily newspaper stories. Reid spends a lot of time doing restaurant reviews nowadays, which is fine. Dining at tony restaurants on your employer's dime is no doubt a plum assignment. But lucky for us Reid still finds time to bear witness to other strange avenues of life in South Florida and beyond, from a millenium discourse with legendary sports broadcaster Curt Gowdy to a historical meditation on tobacco and the United States. Take this lead-in to a Reid piece on digital manipulation of photographs: "Once upon a simpler time, Henry VIII fell in love when he beheld a portrait in oil of his betrothed, Anne of Cleves. Alas, when Anne showed up for the wedding, Henry -- who had never met her -- took one look and underwent an immediate and total change of heart. Anne was ugly. Henry was royally ticked off. Anne was sent packing and her embellished portrait consigned to the royal attic. She was pretty as a picture, but pictures can lie." Now that's one story on this seemingly staid subject that we read to the end.

Whyte got the shaft (pun intended) when sheriff's deputies busted her and others doing their thing at Athena's Forum, a swingers' club, in January 1999. Whyte claimed all along that she was engaged in nothing more lewd than a little suggestive dancing with her fiancé. Two undercover cops lounging clothing-free in a nearby hot tub, however, claim they saw some fondling going on. Oh my! So they later called in their jackbooted backups, who proceeded to round up all patrons suspected of doing the nasty in a private club. Gracious! The entire lascivious pack was sent off to the hoosegow, and Broward became a little less of a Gomorrah, at least for a few hours, after which the fornicators presumably made bail and jumped right back into a writhing pile of flesh. Shocking! Not to be outdone by the prudes at the Sheriff's Office, the school board made it a top priority to fire Whyte -- or at least to humiliate her -- for the crime of having a life outside the classroom. She did them one better and quit earlier this year. You go, girl.

Whyte got the shaft (pun intended) when sheriff's deputies busted her and others doing their thing at Athena's Forum, a swingers' club, in January 1999. Whyte claimed all along that she was engaged in nothing more lewd than a little suggestive dancing with her fiancé. Two undercover cops lounging clothing-free in a nearby hot tub, however, claim they saw some fondling going on. Oh my! So they later called in their jackbooted backups, who proceeded to round up all patrons suspected of doing the nasty in a private club. Gracious! The entire lascivious pack was sent off to the hoosegow, and Broward became a little less of a Gomorrah, at least for a few hours, after which the fornicators presumably made bail and jumped right back into a writhing pile of flesh. Shocking! Not to be outdone by the prudes at the Sheriff's Office, the school board made it a top priority to fire Whyte -- or at least to humiliate her -- for the crime of having a life outside the classroom. She did them one better and quit earlier this year. You go, girl.

If a good newscast is aired in a sensation-drenched market and nobody watches, did it really happen? While you're pondering that one, tune in to WAMI at 10 p.m. on a weeknight for The Times. Though often uneven, The Times never suffers from a lack of ambition. Better yet, the show displays that rarest of TV-news qualities: a sense of humor. Although anchor Ben Mankiewicz gives viewers the stern anchor eye when a story calls for it and can talk policy with the best of them, his bemused smile and self-deprecating attitude are truly refreshing. The great thing about Mankiewicz is that you're never quite sure if he's being serious or if he's sending up the whole TV-news genre in a sort of meta-newscast that's half Peter Jennings, half Dennis Miller. Definitely the kind of guy we'd like to have a few beers with.
If a good newscast is aired in a sensation-drenched market and nobody watches, did it really happen? While you're pondering that one, tune in to WAMI at 10 p.m. on a weeknight for The Times. Though often uneven, The Times never suffers from a lack of ambition. Better yet, the show displays that rarest of TV-news qualities: a sense of humor. Although anchor Ben Mankiewicz gives viewers the stern anchor eye when a story calls for it and can talk policy with the best of them, his bemused smile and self-deprecating attitude are truly refreshing. The great thing about Mankiewicz is that you're never quite sure if he's being serious or if he's sending up the whole TV-news genre in a sort of meta-newscast that's half Peter Jennings, half Dennis Miller. Definitely the kind of guy we'd like to have a few beers with.
No, the term "Best Public Art" isn't necessarily an oxymoron, even though a lot of what passes for public art in South Florida may be public but is hardly art, or at least good art. We used to wonder what on earth possessed the county to spend money on Accordant Zones, the pair of 1995 coral-rock sculptures by Ned Smyth and Barbara Neijna that sit on the banks of the New River in what's more or less the back yard of the county jail. Viewed from the SE Third Avenue bridge as you head south over the river, these chunks of stone might be mistaken for, say, the Tomb of the Unknown Rice Cake and Ice Cream Cone, because that's more or less what they resemble. But take a stroll along the river and catch these towering forms up close, and be thankful we can provide incarcerated residents with our own urban variation on Stonehenge.
No, the term "Best Public Art" isn't necessarily an oxymoron, even though a lot of what passes for public art in South Florida may be public but is hardly art, or at least good art. We used to wonder what on earth possessed the county to spend money on Accordant Zones, the pair of 1995 coral-rock sculptures by Ned Smyth and Barbara Neijna that sit on the banks of the New River in what's more or less the back yard of the county jail. Viewed from the SE Third Avenue bridge as you head south over the river, these chunks of stone might be mistaken for, say, the Tomb of the Unknown Rice Cake and Ice Cream Cone, because that's more or less what they resemble. But take a stroll along the river and catch these towering forms up close, and be thankful we can provide incarcerated residents with our own urban variation on Stonehenge.
The governor wins this easily for getting caught on camera saying, "Kick their asses out." It's not so much the words, which aren't exactly governorly, but it's that he said it at a sit-in at Bush's executive office suite while two black legislators protested his "One Florida" plan. Jeb made his remark while the camera was rolling. Our friend, Jon the stoner, has some advice for the governor: "You know those big, uh, movie camera-looking things on those dudes' shoulders that have, like, television station logos on them? They are like filming you, man. It's got to do with like, images, man. And, uh, people can actually see it on TV later. So, dude, chill, when those things are, um, like,… oh shit, I forgot what I was talking about, man." Jon is right, Jeb. In fact we'd have thought Papa George would have warned you about that already. But the quote was just part of a bigger gaffe -- his killing of affirmative action for minority college students. Well, actually, it's not much of a gaffe when it's cold and calculated, is it? While affirmative action may not be a perfect system (perhaps it should also be based on economic factors rather than simply race), Jeb's move stunk up the place. It's no time to go backward on race relations, Jeb.

The governor wins this easily for getting caught on camera saying, "Kick their asses out." It's not so much the words, which aren't exactly governorly, but it's that he said it at a sit-in at Bush's executive office suite while two black legislators protested his "One Florida" plan. Jeb made his remark while the camera was rolling. Our friend, Jon the stoner, has some advice for the governor: "You know those big, uh, movie camera-looking things on those dudes' shoulders that have, like, television station logos on them? They are like filming you, man. It's got to do with like, images, man. And, uh, people can actually see it on TV later. So, dude, chill, when those things are, um, like,… oh shit, I forgot what I was talking about, man." Jon is right, Jeb. In fact we'd have thought Papa George would have warned you about that already. But the quote was just part of a bigger gaffe -- his killing of affirmative action for minority college students. Well, actually, it's not much of a gaffe when it's cold and calculated, is it? While affirmative action may not be a perfect system (perhaps it should also be based on economic factors rather than simply race), Jeb's move stunk up the place. It's no time to go backward on race relations, Jeb.

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