If the saying goes that I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today, then why should Adam Smith expect to be welcomed on a Charlie Crist bus tour after what he wrote on Sunday?
Smith, the political editor of the Tampa Bay Times, announced on Twitter that he’s not being allowed on Crist’s upcoming barnstorm of the state to criticize Governor Rick Scott’s cuts to education funding. This dis of Smith comes two days after Smith and Michael Kruse published a “definitive” (the Times’ words, not mine) profile of Crist, which such high-minded journalism inquiries into whether Crist was/is gay or if he secretly fathered a child. Smith’s magnus opus also included a lot of Page 6-styled gossiping about Crist’s wife, Carole, and her two daughters.
As I have said on Twitter, if someone wrote that crap about my wife, they wouldn’t be allowed on my bus, either.
Crist communications director Brendan Gilfillan, told the Naples Daily News‘ Matt Dixon that the campaign would not discuss why they decided to not allow Smith to ride the bus.
“Slow day, huh? Appreciate the opportunity, but I’m not gonna discuss our credentialing process,” Gilfillan wrote in an email to Dixon.
Keep in mind, this is not a ban of the Tampa Bay Times, just Adam Smith. The newspaper is free to send Steve Bousquet or Michael Van Sickler or anyone else, just not the guy who has done nothing but attack Crist on tangential issues. And when Smith writes his snarky posts — how many more times will he ‘welcome Crist to the NFL’ — he hasn’t bothered to ask the Crist press shop for a response.
I’ve been saying this for a while, so forgive me if I am repeating myself, but Smith is in a bad place. It dates back to his coverage of the special election for Congressional District 13, but also includes illogical and/or out-of-bounds attacks on former Mayor Rick Baker and Sen. Jack Latvala. Smith’s coverage hit bottom with his “David Jolly Killed A Man” blog post and subsequent online attack of a fellow reporter, but it has not improved during this gubernatorial campaign.
Crist’s critics and opponents will seize on this incident to accuse him of double-dealing and hypocrisy, but that’s not what it is. It’s just a case of the frog deciding he’s had enough of the scorpion and, this time, he’s not going to give him a ride across the flooding river bank.
P.S. Smith has complained before about not getting access to a Crist event and eventually he was allowed to attend. I would not be surprised if Crist relented here and let Smith on the bus.