A Real Post For Real People

Newspapers are always talking about getting quotes and material from "real people," i.e. non-officials. But the truth is that corporate rags are afraid of what real people say and cloy onto officials like Mel Gibson onto a bottle of tequila. Sure, they'll get real people to talk about how their neighbors kept to themselves before going on a shooting spree, but if the real person has something to say about government and public officials, especially something negative, all the sudden those newspapers become haughty and/or scared shitless. Unless there's a lawsuit or signed affadavit, they usually throw out whatever the fuck real people have to say.

Not so at the Pulp. Real people -- and the reporters who ignore them -- have made my career. So you can imagine the happiness everytime an e-mail comes in from a real person. This one is from Ellen Dalton of Greenacres (a real place if ever there was one). Now I haven't checked out Ms. Dalton, who is no fan of the Sun-Sentinel, or much of what she claims below, but I thought I'd post what she wrote in its entirety. You can decide if it's a real and justified complaint.

Mr. Norman:

I read with great interest your posting on the "poaching" of Palm Beach Post reporters by the Sun-Sentinel. But why not talk about the REAL poaching that goes on -- the Sun-Sentinel Palm Beach County office's unabashed and continual poaching of Palm Beach Post stories as if they were the Sentinel's own.

In recent weeks, the Sun-Sentinel has run stories that were blatantly poached (without attribution after they appeared in the Palm Beach Post) on the Belle Glade City Manager being fired, emergency rooms charging for non-emergencies, tooth jewelry (know as "grills"), the spat between Riviera Beach officials and the county as well as the demise of a hurricane-damaged building in West Palm Beach.

That's a lot of unattributed poaching.

The Sun-Sentinel may be able to poach the occasional reporter from the Post, but the fact remains that, in Palm Beach County, the Sentinel uses the Post as a tip sheet. It's amazing to think about what the Sun-Sentinel WOULDN'T know about if it weren't for the Post.

Incidentally, I don't have a dog in this fight nor do I work for either paper. I'm just an interested observer of the local media.

Ellen Dalton Greenacres, FL

Say what you will, but there are some Post loyalists out there -- and Dalton is one.

The Pulp Makes Official "Cringe" Speaking of e-mails, I got another one from Palm Beach County Administrator Robert Weisman recently asking how he could search the Pulp archives. There is a glitch in the process (if you're looking for an item, it's best to use the "search" function, which works like a charm), but I sent him the link he was looking for. I knew it had to be the spoof where I likened Weisman -- who is trying to end the flouridation of the water in PBC -- to Col. Jack Ripper of Dr. Strangelove.

I added that I hoped he knew it was meant in fun. Here's Mr. Weisman's reply:

had seen it previously and it was so way out there I just cringed and ignored. Then someone mentioned it to me the other day and I thought I should read it again and make a copy. So I read it again, cringed and made a copy.

I do feel special, in an appropriately weird way of course, to be so honored. Too bad that probably no one I associate with would have a clue what you were talking about, so I can't share our mutual insanity. But I am planning a trip to England in November.

Here's to Robert Weisman, a good sport.

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