Oops, Lee Abrams Did It Again.

Tribune Co. Chief Innovation Officer Lee Abrams struck again.

In his latest think piece sent out to newsrooms across the county, this one titled "Celebrity Crimes Against Humanity," he included a quote that has been attributed Mariah Carey:

"When I watch TV and see those poor kids starving all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean, I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff."

Abrams used the quote as an example of the "cultural disease" that the Tribune newspapers, which include the Sun-Sentinel, can help "change."

"What I mean here," Abrams wrote, "is that We can't underestimate our importance these days. We can change this cultural disease. Exciting and important time to be in the information business like the 80s was an exciting time to be in show biz....we can't blow it by offering dated TV that's over slick and cliche ridden or Print too sluggish and bland. Our position is too important."

One problem with this is that the Carey quote is bogus. She never said it. And a staffer pointed that out in the comments under Abrams' piece. "Not sure if you care, but that quote you attributed to Mariah Caray is an urban legend debunked by Snope.com."

Abrams also included a quote from 1995 Miss America Heather Whitestone. Here's Abrams' words:  

Question: If you could live forever, would you and why?
Answer: "I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever."
Miss America 1995 from Alabama
Heather Whitestone (and she won??!!)

Another commenter pointed out that, "in fairness to Heather Whitestone, she became deaf at the age of 18 months old. And anyone familiar with ASL (American Sign Language) knows that it does not follow the normal grammar structure ...."

The Tribune staffers weren't done calling truth to power yet. The next comment:

"I think your next blog entry should admit that that this "Brave New World" of "work(ing) hard at being Intelligent but unconventional" isn't as easy as it seems if you're also trying to stay professional and responsible. Sorry, I didn't like the targeting of female celebrities at the front of your blog; particularly when having to dig back more than a decade. But even better that someone was able to point out that the Mariah quote was an urban legend, already mishandled in the media."

Ouch. This after Abrams recently continued another bogus myth concerning the Chinese translation of crisis.

Abrams reacted by deleting the Carey quote, which isn't included in the version that is reprinted after the jump. But all the comments are there. Abrams is also wondering why all those female anchors and reporters at Tribune TV stations have to dress so stodgily.

"Pondering: Why do news anchors, mostly Female ones seem to dress as if they're 20 years older than they are??" Abrams writes. "Seems to me that why it may be an attempt to appear more respectable, in reality it adds to a certain stiffness and 1988 playbook. If someone is 30, I think its ok to dress like you're 30 instead of trying to fake it. We have enough problems with fake." 

I won't bother going over the rest of piece except to say that Abrams seems to have been deeply mesmerized by a female British voice in a commercial, remarks happily that crime mugshot pages in newspapers are like "watching Cops on steroids," and that TV station WSFL here in Fort Lauderdale is going to create a soundtrack "instead of standard issue and annoyingly dated 'TV Music.'"

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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