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Loss Hits Home

This morning came the first Showtime mag in the Sun-Sentinel with the movie reviews from the wire rather Phoebe Flowers. It really hit home. One was from Associated Press -- a right dry little thing -- and the other was from Newsday. Might as well read Parade or some other idiotic ad-bag that nobody cares about.

In other news, Charlie Crist has proven once again why he might become the greatest governor this state has ever known. He vetoed a record half-billion dollars worth of pork -- including things like a $1.3 million improvement to Las Olas Boulevard (yes, that impoverished street) and the building of a $900,000 for "gospel music education complex in Fort Lauderdale. At the same time, he refused to raise tuition rates for students. As we discussed on Barry Epstein's radio show this morning, a lot of lobbyists are having to explain to their clients this morning why their promised turkey won't be on the table this year.

Q: How does the Crist veto story tie into the killing of the Sun-Sentinel movie reviews?

After the Jump: The Answer and Something About My Wife

[The Answer Is Below]

I was going to contain this to a comment in the post directly below, but decided it was too long and that it ought to be out in broad view anyway. It concerns Sun-Sentinel writer Brittany Wallman, who also happens to be my wife:

Your wife is a fine writer, and her work is interesting and generally excellent. But, she's not the best writer in the region or even at the evil old city paper. And, her stories don't necessarily deserve all your blatant ballyhooing. And while it is rather hilarious that you continually trash the paper that probably pays the majority of your mortgage, it really sucks that the only thing at The Sentinel you actually like and refuse to find fault with is the work of the woman you sleep with. Gee, I wonder why?!? Is this linking and promotion some sort of ploy to make her stories the most read of the day or something? If so, does she get a bonus for that? For a guy who claims to be big on busting up cronyism, this little practice of yours reeks of hypocrisy. I thought this whole thing was about criticizing and scrutinizing the local media, man, not giving your wife's stories big bloggy backrubs every week or so. And, it's getting so bad that you don't even disclose your affiliation with her in this entry. If you can't objectively cover your wife, I beg you not to cover her at all. All the little dewy-eyed love letter entries make me, and I'm sure a lot of others, not want to read you at all.

This is so bogus, both in fact and tone, that I'm not sure where to start, so let's go from the top. I've been doing this for something like 14 months and haven't mentioned my wife very much at all. If anything, I mention her stories less because of her relation to me, even though she covers the biggest city in Broward County and -- bloggy backrub alert! -- her stuff is as interesting per capita as any reporter's in South Florida.

Anyway, I did a search for her name on the blog. Now let me break it down:

-- On April 2 of last year, her name was on a post listing ALL the Sunshine State Award finalists.

-- On April 4, I mentioned that we were up for the same award in the same category.

-- Jumping to August 8, I linked a belated post to her story about a development fight on Fort Lauderdale beach between two Israeli billionaires.

-- On December 11, I mentioned a story of hers in the context of my criticism of the newspaper for hiding behind Carlton Moore when it criticized police.

-- On March 1 of this year, I wrote about how she was blogging about me and my family on transPARENT.

-- During the past couple of weeks I have indeed mentioned her stories a few times. Once for the SLAPP suit filed by the Related Group against Stranahan and Scott Strawbridge. How can I not mention that? Then I wrote about her coverage of a developer's dispute where I basically called bullshit on the story.

Then came the feral iguana story, which I had no choice but to post. IE points out that that I didn't mention my relation to her in that post. That's right. I didn't even mention her name in the post either, though I almost surely would have mentioned any other writer if they had written it. Why? Because she's my wife and I've tried to keep her stuff to a minimum on here.

So ... I have mentioned her a few times just because she's my wife (specifically the award competition stuff and the parenting blog thing). You want to fault me for that, go ahead. But who cares? It's not your blog.

I've also mentioned her name in regard to her newspaper stories a handful of times, one of them in a critical way. Sound like a lot? Not very much at all, really. I've probably mentioned, say, John Holland's stories twice as often as that in a positive light. Mike Mayo and Jon Burstein have more mentions, I'm sure, than Wallman as well. Hell, I've linked more stories written by the Herald's Nirvi Shah. Yeah, Nirvi Shah. Throw in Wanda DeMarzo, Jennifer Lebovich and several others at Herald as well. What about the Post's Kevin Deutsch, Rochelle E.B. Gilken, and Jose Lambiet? Don't forget Elgin Jones.

The list goes on and on. As I say, if anything I've used too much restraint in mentioning my wife and her stories.

UPDATE: Just as posted this, there came another comment from an "ex-Sentinelite" saying that the real "hipocrisy" (yep, they're a Sentinelite all right) was that I accept Sun-Sentinel money in my bank account every other Friday while I criticize the newspaper.

First, her money doesn't come into my bank account, though I do appreciate that she earns a living. Second, I love the way these people are both assuming so much about the way the Sentinel lavishes its employees with big salaries. Third, wouldn't the real corruption lie in me NOT criticizing the Sun-Sentinel on this blog while criticizing other media outlets?


A: The Crist story was written by Mark Hollis, the Sun-Sentinel's long-time Tallahassee writer who, like Flowers, is being stripped of his long-held beat. That may be even worse news, actually, than the killing of movie reviews, since what happens in Tally actually affects our real lives.