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5 things I think about today’s St. Petersburg Times

in Peter/The Bay and the 'Burg by

I’m baaaccckkk.  Took  about 10 days off from this feature to enjoy July 4th, go whitewater rafting and ink a few new business deals.  But, oh, boy, does the paper of record in Florida need as much scrutiny as ever.

See, this is the problem with PolitiFact, other than having Cristina Silva gimmick up the place, the decision to run a PolitiFact piece is arbitrary as a child’s letter to Santa.  Today, the paper is boldly running a story about how Charlie Crist “never wavered” in his support of gun ownership rights.  Why is this story running now? I don’t know.  Not saying the story is not interesting, but what is the interest in the story?  None of Crist’s opponents are attacking his record on defending the 2nd Amendment, that’s for sure.

No, what this story shows is that PolitiFact, the newspaper’s attempt to play God, is a very dangerous weapon.  It can be used to attack an enemy as the paper did with its coverage of Dave Aronberg’s criticisms of Dan Gelber or it can be used to support a political ally, as it is being used here to bolster the image of Charlie Crist.

Please check out yesterday’s post about Times‘ editor Sandra Gadsden cribbing from iLovetheBurg.com.

I’ve got to tell you all about the browbeating I received from the Times’ regarding my posting of one of their pictures of their new food critic Jim Webster.  At first, they simply de-activated my account on TampaBay.com so I could not post on their website (throw me into the briar patch).  Then an editor made up some gibberish about Allison Steele, one of the Times’ lawyers getting involved in the matter, but that was a complete falsehood.  How did I know that was BS, because the editor Karen McAlister said she heard Steele had had difficulty contacting me.

This is all you need to know about that.  Steele’s office is on Central Avenue, next door to Bella Brava and St. Pete Brasserie, where I am, what, every night?  All Allison would have to do is peek out of her office and she’d see me on a barstool.

Nice try, Karen.

Actually, McAlister is a very decent person, but here she revealed just how upset the Times was about my outing Jim Webster.  I don’t regret that.  I do, however, respect their copyright, so I took down the picture.

But wait until you see how I resolve this matter.  Outing Jim Webster is now a personal mission.   For starters, every new restaurant that opens gets a copy of a photograph of Webster, so they know exactly who is reviewing their restaurant.  But wait, there’s more.  Just stay tuned.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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