Nightmara Of A Story

The Sun-Sentinel's front-page feature on Hollywood Mayor Mara Giulianti left me wondering why the hell it had been written, other than to gross us all out with the information that the 62-year-old Giulianti and her husband like to "skinny-dip" in their backyard hot tub. That horrific image is not going to be easy to erase from the memory banks, people.

But the article, authored by Kathleen Kernicky, also flat-out got it wrong on Giulianti's relationship to the recent scandals involving the arrest of her chief ally on the commission, Keith Wasserstrom, and four veteran cops in a fake Mafia/bribery ring. "Although she has not been implicated in either," the story goes, "Giulianti is feeling the heat."

Wrong. Giulianti HAS

BEEN IMPLICATED in the Wasserstrom case. Not only was her son Stacey a partner of Wasserstrom's at the time he was making a corrupt deal with a sewage company, Mara herself was found to have broken the law by prosecutors. As reported by the Sun-Sentinel itself, the State Attorney's Office found that the mayor twice filed false conflict-of-interest forms, but rather than charge her, decided that Wasserstrom "corruptly caused'' her to file those forms.

Why would the Sentinel go out of its way to make a misstatement about Giulianti's innocence? Where were the editors who knew about her involvement in the criminal case? Why is the newspaper so damn lame when it comes to covering local politicians who AREN'T ALREADY INDICTED? The rest of the story -- with its generalizations about Giulianti's "big personality" and back-and-forths so broad as to be meaningless -- only made me nauseous.

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