Broward News

Even Help Team Can't Save Ken Jenne

The Miami Herald absolutely smoked the Sun-Sentinel in the Saturday stories on Sheriff Ken Jenne. When it comes to the federal investigation of the sheriff, the Herald story by Wanda DeMarzo and Jay Weaver gave us a look at some of the furniture in the room while the Sentinel left us groping and stumbling around.

Jenne's greatest violation of the public trust came in the hiring of lawyer/lobbyist/crony Tom Panza to "investigate" the crime-stats scandal. The sheriff diverted more than $1 million to Panza and other big-time political players for a total whitewash. The rest of the stuff is plenty dirty and should be pursued, but is penny ante next to the Panza payout. Wonder where Jenne is gonna find work after he gets out of jail?

Speaking of good news stories, check out this Palm Beach Post ditty on the only grocery store in Pahokee . Reporter Sonja Isger shows us great reporting and smart writing in a powerful story. What's more outrageous than an entire town having to pay nearly five bucks for milk?

Help Scheme

The Help Team struck again -- and again -- over the weekend. A Help Team center package dominated the front page of the Metro section. There's an emotional shot of an elderly man at cemetery over a black-and-white wedding photo from the 50s. The headline: 'Everybody deserves respect and dignity.'

You're thinking some awful mishap took place at the cemetery. And then you read the lead. All of this anguish and emotion is over ... weeds and an overgrown bush at Menorah Gardens. The guy is distraught over some poor landscaping.

Then the local front Monday was bottom-heavy with a package on ... a leaning utility pole.

Weeds, bushes, missing signs. Detritus. That's all you get. For all those ads of reporters' earnest faces, you get is detritus. This isn't about journalism, it's about public relations. It's obviously the dream of a P.R. man who doesn't give two shits about covering the news. It's about the Sentinel pandering to the readers, trying to make it seem personal, like they really care about you. Bull. They care about the idea that if it seems like they're caring about you, you'll buy their stinking newspaper, even it is about weeds, bushes, missing signs, leaning utility poles, and other detritus.

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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