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Help a Dying Man? Don't Bother

The Herald ran another story on the homeless beating deaths this morning -- and, unlike yesterday, it named Anthony Clarke, the man who witnessed part of the beating, saw Norris Gaynor dying on the ground, and went home without so much as notifying authorities. But they added this caveat:

"Broward Medical Examiner Joshua Perper said it wouldn't have mattered if Clarke had acted sooner. Gaynor was ''not salvageable,'' he said. The homeless man's skull had been smashed, his brain swollen, according to the autopsy report."

See? Clarke didn't do anything wrong. And take this as a lesson from the Herald: When you see a poor fellow bleeding and dying on the ground, walk away and don't tell anybody about it for a few days. It doesn't matter!

Why in the hell is the Herald so hellbent on coddling this man? Police said Clarke didn't report the crime because he was "scared" and had a warrant for a suspended license. Oh, now we understand.

The rest of the story, h0wever, is pretty good. Sara Olkon and Ashley Fantz dig up some new interesting information on Tom Daugherty and reiterated what yours truly first reported weeks ago -- the boys were seriously hopped up on Xanax and alcohol. Snorted Xanax, which hits the brain in a whole different way. They were wired out of their skulls. That's no excuse, but it does give some insight into how they were able to do such a horrible thing.

Q Debut The Palm Beach Post, which is diving into blogs with a vengeance, started a new political site today called Q. Why? "Because there's always another question, especially in Florida politics," writes Post political editor and new blogger Brian E. Crowley. "And it is inspired by every frustrated press secretary who has tried to end a press conference with a call for 'one more question.'"

That's a weird inspiration for a newspaper's political blog. What about the frustrated reporters who wish they could take a stun gun to those blasted flacks? How about starting the blog in their name? But I'm not going to dis the Post's effort, not yet anyway. Apparently, the schtick is that everybody is supposed to pose questions on the blog, from Post reporters to readers. The debut question from Crowley asks which prominent Palm Beach politician appears in a picture on Republican governor hopeful Tom Gallagher's campaign web site. That's not really a question so much as a pointless little scavenger hunt. But Q can only go up from here. Maybe it'll grow up to be like the St. Pete Times' Buzz.

More on the Move

There are questions swirling around the blogosphere about the Pulp's move to this here site. Rather than try to explain it, I've decided to reprint an on-line interview I recently did about it. But I have to warn you, I'm sort of new to being on the butt end of an interview and so it's not exactly "polished." And maybe I wasn't exactly "responsible" and some of it isn't what they call "true." And maybe, just maybe, the interview "didn't happen" and it's a "big lie."

Here it is:

TC: Hello, I'm blog personality Troy McClure. You may remember me from such popular blogs as "My Navel, Myself" and "Why You Care (About Me)." Today I'm interviewing Bob Norman about his new blog, The Daily Pulp, and it's move to his newspaper's web site.

Why is New Times taking over the Pulp? Did you sell out?

BN: I'm pretty sure you can't technically sell out when you don't make any money, and I haven't made a dime. I wish I would have sold out. Maybe some day NT will grow a budget for blogs. But one thing I've demanded is independence. New Times isn't going to get a free ride on this thing. Obviously, there will be limits on what I can say in certain situations, but there aren't going to be any sacred cows.

TC: Did the change from Blogspot to New Times go smoothly?

BN: No. New Times doesn't know blogs. Village Voice, which NT just took over, is great on blogs, but unfortunately there's next to no communication going on between the companies yet. This is only NT's third blog (the others are in Dallas and Kansas City). Technically speaking, the move from Blogspot to here is kind of like going from the Beatles to the Monkees, or from Game Cube to Atari, or from any previous game show host in TV history to Howie Mandel. But the upside is that more people are going to see it and hopefully NT readers will enjoy it.

TC: Why did you start the Daily Pulp in the first place?

BN: On a whim. I jerried up a web site for a book I have coming out and that got me to experimenting. I posted things for a few days under the radar, telling no one, and then Burt Kearns of Tabloid Baby in Los Angeles gave me a plug and I knew I had to come out of the closet, so to speak.

TC: What did you do?

BN: I told my editor Tony Ortega about it. He was very supportive. I mean, look at a Los Angeles, with L.A. Observed and Tabloid Baby and people like Amy Alkon, Catherine Seipp, and Nikki Finke. Most big metropolitan areas have a professional-class blogosphere. It's not like South Florida was completely devoid of good blogs (Florida Politics, Stuck on the Palmetto, South of the Suwannee, etc), but Broward and Palm Beach are pitifully underserved and nobody has really kept an eye on the media.

TC: Does anybody edit the blog?

BN: Edit is a strong word. Tony has been monitoring it since I told him about it. Let's face it, I'm still an indentured servant to NT. He makes suggestions and so far he's been great. He gets it.

TC: Why do you aim it at newspapers?

BN: Look at this place. We have three major metropolitan newspapers. We have a huge turf war happening in Palm Beach County and another in Broward between the Sentinel and Herald. It's ripe.

TC: The Pulp is read by a lot of media types. And you wind up pissing a lot of people off in your own profession. Is that smart?

BN: No it's not, Troy. Not at all.

TC: Does the fear of professional retribution affect what you write in the Pulp?

BN: Absolutely. That's the only reason, for instance, that I haven't called Tom Fiedler a gutless corporate crony in the Pulp. I'd have to be a complete idiot to say something like that about the top editor at the Miami Herald even if it is the truth.

TC: You just did.

BN: You're supposed to be asking questions, Troy, not pointing out what I did or, in this case, did not say. But I try to keep it pure. I try write it as if I were in my own home and nobody was watching me at all.

TC: You do write it in your own home without people watching you, don't you?

BN: I write it at home, but there are usually a few people watching me. Strangers with beady eyes and freakishly small hands. I have no idea where they come from. I just try to avoid eye contact, but I really wish they'd go away.

TC: You're an established and, at least prior to the Pulp, respected investigative reporter and columnist. Why are you diluting yourself on the Internet like this?

BN: I don't know. You remember those two famous Truman Capote quotes about writing being rewriting and Jack Kerouac's stream-of-conscious stuff not being "typing" instead of writing? Blogging, I'm afraid, is mostly just typing. At least in my case. But you know, Troy, if you want to compare me to Jack Kerouac, I guess I'll accept that.

TC: I didn't compare you to Jack Kerouac.

BN: We'll have to agree to disagree about that, but the point is that if I really thought about what I'm doing, it would drive me into a deep despair. That's why I've been trying to do as little thinking as possible lately. At that I have achieved great success.

(The interview will be conclude in the afternoon post).

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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