The brain drain at the Sun-Sentinel -- apparently any news judgment among brass is being sucked up by the market-driven scheme I won't name today -- continues. Today, the top of the sparse, weakly designed Sentinel front page has this headline: "7-Eleven drops Venezuela's Citgo; politics part of the reason."
No other credible newspaper in America took this story seriously. Why? Because 7-Eleven had the plan in the pipeline for months -- and it had nothing to do with "politics" -- and used the recent rash of news concerning Hugo Chavez as a way to get free publicity. It was the business equivalent of Adam Hasner's shameless political stunt on the same issue. Even the lame AP story published by the Sentinel had this graph buried deep in the story: ------- But 7-Eleven had been considering creating its own brand of fuel since at least early last year, and some analysts suggested 7-Eleven may now be hyping the political angle a way to curry favor with U.S. consumers. "This has nothing to do with Chavez," said Oil Price Information Service director Tom Kloza. "They [7-Eleven] just didn't want to be tied to one supplier." -------
It's a sham, only the Sentinel -- unlike the NY Times, LA Times, Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald and every other respectable rag in the country -- didn't catch it.
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After the jump: Guiness games, Defede's dough, and Clematis blues.
-- A little late on the draw here considering it's from my sister paper, but the Miami New Times has a piece on Jim DeFede by Chuck Strouse, who was managing editor at MNT before DeFede left for the Herald. The most interesting bit of info: He says he's earning twice what the Herald was paying him. And the Herald was paying him six figures, according to scuttlebutt. That means he's making something in the neighborhood of a quarter mil a year.
-- My 11-year-old son, a Guinness Book of World Records aficianado, told me yesterday that he was going to make the book today. Something about the most people reading aloud at his school. I really didn't have any idea what he was talking about until I saw this from the Miami Herald. Now I could go on about how Jeb Bush has a lot better things to do as governor: the insurance crisis, the unfair way property taxes are levied, providing health care to the uninsured, etc., etc., etc. But this is just good clean fun. If I was guv I'd cook up goofs like this just to break the monotony.
-- The Sun-Sentinel's Sally Apgar (making her Pulp debut) declares Clematis Street a bust. West Palm Beach has the queen of buzzkillers, Lois Frankel, to thank for that.