Sun-Sentinel Killed Casino Theft Story

Sometimes I should thank the Sun-Sentinel for being lame. After all, their very lameness occasionally helps me and other New Times writers break major stories. Like this one about a state investigation into an alleged slots theft ring -- that might have risen all the way up to a gaming executive -- at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino that we published on this website yesterday.

From what I can tell, it's the first scandal to hit the heavily regulated slots industry in Broward. But the truth is that I never should have broken the story. When I learned about it and called gambling sources, they told me that the Sun-Sentinel's John Holland had already questioned them about the investigation, which was confirmed by an FDLE spokeswoman and supported by suspicious filings by the casino to the state. I contacted a few sources at the newspaper and learned that top editors had spiked the story at the last minute. All the evidence indicates that the fact that Gulfstream is one of the newspaper's major advertisers weighed in on the unfortunate decision.

Anyway, the newspaper responded to my story by publishing this very short, nearly factless, anonymous brief this morning. I'm not sure what's worse, spiking an important story or reducing it to a few sentences at the very bottom of page B3.

If this is what they mean by "Transformative Change," then it is, indeed, a sad state of affairs at the Sentinel. And for that, I say, "Thank you."

UPDATE: The Herald leapt on the story. Here's Amy Driscoll's piece, which ran this (Saturday) morning.

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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