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5 things I think about today’s St. Petersburg Times (6/30)

in Peter/The Bay and the 'Burg by

Obviously the story of the day is the shooting deaths of two of the City of Tampa’s finest.  This is an atrocious incident, and nothing I would write hasn’t already been written by better journalists, so I’ll just leave this issue alone — while praying for the families of all those involved.  Today would not be a bad day for a few minutes of daily Mass

There is an incident, far, far less serious than the shooting deaths of two police officers that I will gladly talk about and that is the continuing saga otherwise known as The Fall of Deveron Gibbons.  The latest edition to this story involves him being served with a restraining order after attempting to run down his pregnant girlfriend, the effervescent Rita Wesley.  Undoubtedly, I will be writing more about this episode in a separate post, but make sure you read this story.  And if you know Deveron, keep track of how he tries to spin this story into something else.

Two weeks ago, I wrote Deveron Gibbons is still an SOB and here are ten reasons why he won’t be Mayor in 2013.  Obviously, I will have to update my Top 10 list, but needless to say, Deveron Gibbons (not incidentally Goliath Davis’ closest political ally) is done in elected politics, at least for a decade.  In fact, right now, Deveron needs to worry about keeping his job with Amscot; the public face of a major company doesn’t need to be linked to a restraining order.

A note about the Times‘ coverage of this story: kudos for the newspaper actually running this story — a story so many of us believed but could not prove.  Interesting though, commenting to the online version of this story had to be closed, as Times online editor Karen McAlister graciously explained to me, because so many of the comments were inappropriate.

There was something I found interesting on McAlister’s blog unrelated to the Gibbons story.  It was a request to share tips regarding any developments involving the Tampa Bay Rays and their search for a new stadium:

Have you heard that investors are assembling land in Carillon or that Stu Sternberg has met with bankers in Charlotte? The Rays’ search for a new stadium is going to take years to unfold and the St. Petersburg Times would like your help in staying abreast of developments. Please e-mail reporter Stephen Nohlgren at [email protected] with any tips about important things going on that we might not know about.

Um, no.  Don’t share your tips with the Times. As Noah Pransky of 10 Connects courageously and vigorously detailed during Monday’s newscast:

Newspapers have long joined their communities in root, root, rooting for the home team. But in Tampa Bay, they’ve also got a reputation for rooting for the home team’s business ventures.

So you don;t know what the not-so-benevolent newspaper might do with any information you provide it. So be careful. Actually, I can’t believe the Times is soliciting for tips from its readers. How gauche!

Ending today’s criticism on the least serious topic, take note that new Times food critic Jim Webster attempts to explain his role and, as critical as I’ve been before of the paper’s efforts to write about food, I feel completely justified in these criticisms. Read this limp paragraph and make your own decision:

I’m going to go out to eat, and then I’m going to tell you about it. Often you will read about places I liked. Sometimes you’ll read about places I didn’t. There are no guarantees that you’ll like the places that I liked, and I’m sure that any place I don’t like will have a legion of fans. That’s okay. Ultimately, my job is to tell readers about my experience. After I have done that a few times, you’ll know how my opinion jibes with yours. And if that gets some conversations started along the way, all the better.

How weak!

Worst of all, Webster readily admits he has NEVER worked in a restaurant.  NEVER.   This is your new food critic!  Bon Appetit.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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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