WLRN's Phil Latzman Grills Rick Scott on Public Radio Funding | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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WLRN's Phil Latzman Grills Rick Scott on Public Radio Funding

​Now that he's finally decided to take the plunge into media interviews, one thing has become apparent: Rick Scott mumbles a lot. His Everyman tempo elides common syllables. Its like he's nervous or not fully engaged with the nice, folksy things he says.

But when he stopped by the WLRN Miami Herald studios this week for a chat with Phil Latzman (which aired in full today on The Florida Roundup), Scott did his best to come across as a clear-headed populist. At least now that he's agreed to do some interviews like this, we can put a voice to the previously silent dark emperor of budget-cutting.


"It's an honor and a pleasure to have you here at... our operation," began Latzman, betraying a lovable humility endemic in public-radio hosts.

Among other things, the governor said he thought that Florida and Texas were the U.S. states most likely to succeed in the long run, because we have lower taxes and more business-friendly laws. He's been known to snuggle up to Rick Perry's corporatist policies and was so kind as to pray for jobs while videoconferenced in at Perry's recent prayer rally.

Scott brought up "public broadcasting" almost as an afterthought when listing several areas to which he'd like to allot more money, if only it were available. "All of these things you'd like to do more," he said.

Then Latzman led in: "One more final question from the peanut gallery: Public radio people here want to know, do you see a role for public radio and TV in Florida, and if so, what is that role?" Scott replied:

Oh, gosh. I think what public radio -- one, I think they have great programming, I think that, uh, I think that there's a lot, a lot of things -- and that's what's great about our state, we have both public radio and we have... radio stations, TV, newspapers, everything, and they're all different. And uh, so, which is good. It's what you want.

He didn't discuss any specifics of funding, here or anywhere else in the interview. This seemed to be more of a chance for Scott to show that he's on our side, really -- whoever we are -- as long as we're not big-government bureaucrats.

The interview's darkest hour? "The worst part [of being governor] is signing a death warrant," said Scott. "It's not an enjoyable thing to do. I prayed a lot about that."

A talking point at the start of the interview was Rick's recent stint slinging doughnuts at the shop he bought with $75,000 after leaving the Navy (which wouldn't be the last time he put his mother to work).

"I think I can sell doughnuts probably better than I can make them," said Scott. And now doughnuts -- bolstered by a little bit of candid media presence -- might just be the only thing that can sell him.

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Stefan Kamph
Contact: Stefan Kamph