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Bad Government, Bad

Had to comment on this column in The Miami Herald by Sam Terilli, a professor at the University of Miami's School of Communication and a former general counsel at the newspaper. He expounds on the Marti Ten and ultimately blames ... the government:

[A] fair degree of the responsibility for this lies at the doorstep of the government agencies involved.

These agencies ought to know better than to do anything that compromises the independence or appearance of independence of the American news media. If Radio or TV Mart� felt compelled by law to make such payments, those agencies need either new lawyers or a new law. Our government should do nothing that makes our news media appear to be an arm of the government.

Sadly, these bone-headed actions by our government only benefit those who would harm this country, someone like, say, Castro himself, who has for years been claiming the American media are just a tool of the U.S. government. We ought not give a tyrant such an easy and ironic shot to take against us, especially when we know his media are neither free nor independent.

That's like blaming mobsters for corrupting cops or developers for creating ethical deficiencies in politicians. Yes, they do those things, but it's their jobs, just as it is the government's job to whip up propaganda. And if the person whipping it up has major American newspaper credentials, well, that's all for the better. Hell, the Bush Administration in particular would like nothing better than for the news media to be "an arm of the government." Or at least a willing -- and loving -- hand, like, say, Fox News.

After the jump: Aaronson leaving MNT, Marlins barely breathing, Koretzky Kills It.

Trevor to Memphis Trevor Aaronson, who nailed Hollywood politics and other major stories in Broward County, left New Times Broward*Palm Beach to join former NTBPB editor Chuck Strouse in Miami to help shore up our sister newspaper in that city. That was in June. Sadly, the mission has been aborted. Trevor announced his resignation from New Times last week. He's heading to the Commercial Appeal in Memphis to become a special projects writer. We'll miss you ol' boy.

Those *&(%$# Marlins During these past couple weeks, it's almost like the baseball gods have said to the Marlins, "Not so fast, youngters, you're not ready." They've been the victim of some bad mojo, culminating in a nightmarish, stomach-dropping loss in Atlanta after earning a four-run lead in the tenth inning. They basically have to win out now to have a real chance -- and that's 12 games worth (they're up 2-1 on the Mets at the moment). Not likely, but stranger things have happened. Since I last chimed in on them, Dan Uggla has pretty much sealed the Rookie of the Year Award by breaking the all-time home run record for a rookie second baseman and having a five-hit game. Hanley has been sensational and the skills he brings -- specifically run-producing speed combined with a touch of power (he's got 40 doubles and 13 home runs) -- is so damn valuable to a team. But it's Uggla's year.

(UPDATE: Okay, they blew another great performance by a starting pitcher. At least it's going to be easy to know what to focus on in the off-season: RELIEF.)

Komandante Koretzky The Fast Food First Amendment Festival apparently went off without a hitch Monday, by the way. More than 300 students showed up, the food ran out, and Koretzky had a good time impersonating Fidel Castro. Jake Smith, a colleague of mine at NT and an FAU student and former University Press editor, wasn't impressed with the local coverage by the Sun-Sentinel and Palm Beach Post:

They missed Amnesty International getting their table hurled 15 feet in the air, they missed the NORML league getting strongarmed out the gate. They also didn't mention the Crist supporters getting booted.

One insight that the papers don't know is that getting 300 FAU students to go to anything is a major success. There are only two or three events a year at FAU that draw more than 100 kids. Those usually involve free music and free comedians. For Koretzky to draw in a major turnout like this with a few turkey subs, slices of pizza, and some vague mention of the First Amendment shows the sheer level of his mad genius.

Koretzky says he learned a couple of things from the event, which I think are worth sharing here:

1. I invited two Jewish groups (Hillel and Chabad Lubavitch) to participate, and both showed up and got beaucoup media attention. I invited two Christian groups (The Victory Bible Club and Catholic Newman Club), and neither wanted anything to do with us. So it occurs to me that the Jews run the media not because of any conspiracy, but because gentiles are just camera-shy.

2. I invited the College Republicans and the College Democrats to come out and campaign for their gubernatorial candidates. The CRs did, setting up a table outside our guard gate and yelling for Charlie Crist. They even came inside the gate to get voluntarily rousted by our goon squad, earning them a sizable photo in The Palm Beach Post. The CDs never even returned my phone calls or emails. I pity Jim Davis.

Reminds you of that old Woody Allen quote: "Eighty percent of success is showing up."

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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