Five things I think I think about today’s St. Pete Times and other media

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I enjoyed an interesting moment yesterday while dining at Apropos, the now-returned lunch spot in downtown St. Pete.  Having read Laura Reiley’s review ONLINE on Tuesday, I ordered the Tomato Basil Tart.

A delicate, flaky crust cradles an ooze of provolone, mozzarella and Parmesan, upon which rounds of just-soft tomato perch, a landing spot for the subtle basil. It’s a healthy and brightly flavored lunch with a side of green beans and accompanying fruit salad (fresh and tasty, it often quells the urge for one of the house blondies or Grand Marnier brownies, $2.50-$2.75), not too much salt, not too much fat, a sensible portion.

After I was finished, I went to chat up the staff about what they thought of the review.  Only issue was, they hadn’t read it.  They didn’t even know it was online yet.  In fact, they talked about how the review was coming out on Wednesday and they were eager to see what Reiley wrote.  So I pulled up the review for them and shared the good news.

But what was interesting to me was the disconnect between the news that was already on the streets and the news which was being waited for.

Another thought about Reiley’s food reviews.  I wonder if, when awarding Leverock’s such a glowing review, she knew her words would be used in an advertisement supplement inserted into, surprise, the St. Petersburg Times.

Of course, a year later, I still don’t understand how Reiley arrived at her conclusion that Leverock’s offers a “progressive” menu.

But on to more serious topics…

But first, please read the post here in which I take apart an argument by the Miami Herald‘s Marc Caputo.  Never forget that journalists are not political scientists.

Oh, if you want to hear my appearance yesterday on WMNF, please click here. I heap praise and criticism on the Times, Justin Sayfie and pretty much anyone else I could think of at the time.

Now, really, let’s get down to business…

Also, it’s nice to see another news site move away from anonymous commenting.  I’m told will soon use a Facebook log-in for its commenting system.  Don’t know the timeline, but if and when that happens, it will be welcome news.

The must-read story in today’s Times is from Craig Pittman:

A controversial plan to allow private contractors to build and operate campsites at state parks came from a push to create private-industry jobs to help Gov. Rick Scott fulfill a campaign promise, according to internal e-mails exchanged by parks officials earlier this year.

As a result, officials rushed out a hastily drafted list of 56 parks where they believed new campsites could work, including a suggestion to somehow squeeze 120 of them into Honeymoon Island State Park near Dunedin — a number later scaled back to 45.

In other words, Rick Scott’s “doughnut” tour is about to come to an end. Scott can dole out all of the doughnuts he wants, but stories like this undercut whatever goodwill he is attempting to foster.

Speaking of which, there is a great blurb about Rick Scott in last week’s La Gaceta I’ve been meaning to share:

We met Governor Rick Scott this week.  As we shook his hand, we told him of our newspaper and that we were pretty liberal and left-leaning.  With  smile on his face and what we detected as disdain in his heart, he responded, “Liberal and left, you’re destroying jobs.” So much for finding common ground.  He should go back to selling donuts; it suits him better than governing.

Another must-read is Eric Deggans discussion about his appearance on Reliable Sources where he questioned MSNBC’s hiring of Al Sharpton:

I think Sharpton’s potential hiring — now seemingly in limbo while MSNBC waits to see if the furor will die down — is emblematic of the conflicts the cable channel will face in putting someone who has an active role as a deal maker and crusader into leading a broadcast required to follow the standards of NBC News.

What’s really interesting there is Deggans’ courage to criticize a prominent African American, instead of remaining quiet simply to see a person of color make it onto the evening news.  Deggans’ has more than enough credibility on this issue because he’s been a champion of Gwen Iffil for some time.

Still, this is difficult territory for any critic to navigate.

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.