Broward News

Congratulations Tony Fins. Now Eat It.

Earl Maucker (looking blurry at right) done good.

I don't say that very often. Sometimes I even criticize him. Some of you might even believe that I don't think he's fit to be editor of the Sun-Sentinel. Not so. I think he's an honorable guy and decent newspaper steward who sometimes makes bad decisions. And I pounce every time he does so. So when he makes a good decision, I need to pounce then too. And his move to install Tony Fins as editorial editor was a good decision.

The news that Kingsley Guy is stepping down from the editorial board is well-received. Guy might have been good, oh, about a quarter century ago, but he'd held onto that position far too long and had become part of the problem before this next crop of high school seniors was born.

The Sentinel's editorial page has been lacking a little something for a long while. A little something called substance. Fins is a damn good reporter and I think he'll bring more substance with him. Congratulations, Tony.

But I welcome him into his new job with a little taste of fire (didn't think it would that easy, did you?). Former Sentinel journalist and writing coach John DeGroot, who provided the Pulp a great post last week, gives a scathing review of Fins' debut effort this morning concerning the North Broward Hospital District.

DeGroot, who has been looking into the hospital district for years, sent a follow-up of sorts of the previous Pulp post explaining why he used so much "dock-wallopper language." (For the record, the Pulp found the all his words totally appropriate and necessary). Then he went off on this morning's editorial, which urged the public to watchdog the district:

... no way could the ghost of Spectator ignore the surreal, jabberwockian logic in today's Sun-Sentinel editorial sanctimoniously warning how: "The public ... must remain vigilant and watchful" when it comes to the district's "decision making" and annual use of more than $200 million of our local property taxes.

Here I go again:

Give me a fucking break!

Or at least tell me how exactly how and why Broward's John and Jane Q. Public have the necessary time, training and background needed to "remain vigilant and watchful" over the district's tax funded health care services — let alone its annual budget of nearly $3 billion.

I mean, isn't this the 1st Amendment-spawned responsibility of the local news media? (Good thing the Washington Post never urged its readers to "remain vigilant and watchful" when it came to politics in the White House during Watergate.)

Which is why, in Candide's best-of-all-possible worlds, today's Sun-Sentinel editorial should have promised its readers:

As your local newspaper daily striving to answer the question of "Can we help you?", we hereby dedicate and promise to "remain vigilant and watchful" over ALL the inner-workings of the tax-funded North Broward Hospital District.

Trouble, that's not now and never has been the Sun-Sentinel's philosophy of local news coverage — which is, "We make hard news soft for our readers."

Which how and why Forrest Gump's Mommy was right.

"Stupid is as stupid does."

You really need to read the whole thing. Click here and scroll down. Bon Appetite.

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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