The Sun-Sentinel often doesn't do news -- it's more what might be called newslets. They are little bite-sized articles that state a bit of news, hint at the problem, then head for the hills with none of us the wiser. There's a good example of one in this morning's paper about Lauderdale Lakes. Reporter Toni Marshall tells us that there's more "friction" on the commission in that city. Seems that Levoyd Williams and Hazelle Rogers have been passed over by fellow commissioners for the vice mayor and deputy vice mayor slots. Williams complains, but there's really no explanation of what the hell is going on. It's a newslet -- you chew it up in 3 seconds and you're none the better for it.
Here's why Williams and Rogers are being ostracized: They are both flunkies for County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion and the entire town knows it. Many feel that Williams and Rogers betrayed the city when they opposed Lauderdale Lake's attempt to annex unincorporated neighborhoods nearby. It was a slap in the face to the city and to those neighborhoods. Williams and Rogers were simply going along with Eggelletion, who also opposed annexation attempts. Why? Well, one of Eggelletion's chief political allies, Swap Shop owner Preston Henn, was against the annexation attempt because he favored nearby Lauderhill. Eggelletion assisted Henn in a campaign to paint Lauderdale Lakes as a town in financial crisis to help defeat the annexation attempt.
This isn't some personality clash -- it goes to the heart of public service and a majority of commissioners in Lauderdale Lakes have decided that Williams and Rogers are pathetic, politically compromised representatives. It goes much deeper, but that at least is the tip of the iceberg.
Spinning Earl Maucker's Decision To Oust Columnist If you look at the idle chatter about the removal of Buddy Nevins' from the Sentinel political beat, you'll notice that there's a lot of rancor from the conservative crowd. Check out the incendiary take in the comments on FL News. There's a strain of it running through the comments on GrapeFruitBlog as well. The same goes for Interstate4Jamming , which has an interesting if fallacious comment comparing Nevins to Dan Rather, a recurring theme.
Here's my take: The reason this won't end up on Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity is that any fool -- the most hardcore right-wing fools notwithstanding -- can see that Nevins screwed up royally and needed to be taken off the beat. Even Fox News must understand that.
THIS JUST IN: A blog called Teaching Online Journalism published an e-mail from Tom Fiedler to the rest of the Herald staff (the Pulp is duly envious of TOJ for getting the scoop, btw). It's a mildly interesting treatise on the importance of the Internet in journalism and harkens back to the web duty dust-up.