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Quantifying The Castro Effect

Have you ever wanted to measure the effect the Cuban dictator has on South Florida? Tried to gauge its unique impact on the three separate counties? Well, today the difference can be seen in the size of the type.

We're talking, of course, about the transfer of power from Fidel Castro to his brother Raul. For the Palm Beach Post, the story was big, but not all that big. They didn't even lead the front page with it, though they did give it the banner. Here it is (that little tiny headline on top is about Castro):

For the Sun-Sentinel, it was a huge story. Giant 72-point type across the top of the page: "Castro Yields Powers." (The use of the plural form of power seems a little weird -- did Fidel give Raul his x-ray vision as well as the dictatorship? The Post did the same thing, by the way.) And it also ran a huge picture of revelers on Calle Ocho in Little Havana. Other than that giant bottom drawer the S-S always has, there was only room left for what amounts to blurbs about Lebanon, the breaking of the cease-fire by Israel, the news from Syria, etc. Here you have it:

And then you have the Miami Herald, which covers the city that has been transformed by the Cuban revolution as much as Cuba itself. The headline: "Castro Cedes Power." Better headline than the Sentinel, since the Sentinel's use of the word "yields" implies that there was a power struggle of some kind. I have no idea what size the Herald used, but it's well over 100. After the headline and picture, all that was left was room for four boxes for stories, the two top ones about Castro and Cuba, the two bottom ones about immigration policy and Lebanon.

No criticism here, deep insight, or dig. Just thought it was interesting to see. (And sorry for the scattered front page photos -- it's this idiotic, hard-to-use, clunky program that NT uses for its blogs).

While I'm on the Castro story, Babalu has had some interesting stuff on his blog, not surprisingly. This morning, Val Prieto shares a photograph of the Hollywood Beach sunrise he shot yesterday morning, before Castro handed over his power. He writes: "Perhaps it's just a coincidence that the same day I snapped a photograph of a sunrise fidel castro relinquished power in Cuba. Perhaps it's just a coincidence that it may be a new day in Cuba soon. And perhaps, maybe, I was meant to be at that exact place at that exact moment at that exact time. Perhaps, but I dont really know."

Only time will tell how deeply Val is tied into the fates of Cuba and the world. But in a previous post, he quoted, in bold type, a reveler on the news saying: "While we celebrate here, I urge the Cuban people in Cuba to take to the streets. This is the opportune moment. Now is the time."

The much-esteemed and talented Alesh Houdek at Critical Miami (who was quoted along with Rick at Stuck On The Palmetto in the Herald) seconds the yahoo quoted by Babalu.

I don't know quite what that means "take to the streets." Are we talking about peaceful demonstrations or an overthrow? (Not that the Cuban people have the means or, seemingly, the will for that kind of thing). If it's the latter, count me in. I mean, wars are working out so well in Iraq and the Middle East right now, it'd be great to throw another one into the mix.

And lastly, and completely off-point, Mel Gibson's mug shot has been released. I gotta say, this guy has really created a fuhrer.

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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

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