Five things I think I think about today’s Tampa Bay Times and other media

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Isn’t this a silly headline in the Sun-Sentinel: “Today, it’s all about money and power in Tallahassee.” As opposed to, what, the days when it’s about sunshine and sweetness. It’s ALWAYS about money and power in Tallahassee.

Most, if not all of the major newspapers in Florida, are offering one version or another of a preview of the 2012 legislative session, which begins on Tuesday.

Two thoughts: These previews are often irrelevant by the first day of session.  It’s not that they’re wrong, it’s that they’re behind the curve.  The writers of these previews also have dangerous blind spots in their coverage.  Two years ago, the newspapers offered their previews and in none of them was a mention of HB 1143 or SB 6, the two pieces of legislation — the former dealing with abortion rights, the later dealing with teacher tenure — that dominated the 2010 session.

Secondly, if you’ve read one preview, you’ve read them all.  In fact, it’s almost as if the members of the Capitol Press Corp swapped notes wit each other. Really, what’s the difference between this story from the TimesRedistricting, budget to dominate 2012 legislative session” and this story from the Times-Union “Redistricting, gambling will dominate longer Florida legislative session“?

By the way, if you are looking for in-depth coverage of the Florida Legislature, don’t look to John Romano. The Times newly-installed metro columnist said as much, writing: “Will I delve deep into the legislative process? Probably not.”

Good to know the new featured columnist won’t be wasting his time covering boring issues like the Florida Legislature.

MSNBC’s top executive said Saturday that he hasn’t decided whether conservative commentator and author Pat Buchanan will be allowed back on the network.

Page Six: “Chelsea Clinton‘s much-trumpeted deal with NBC seems to be nearly done. Her contract is for only 90 days, and while she’ll provide the network with two more stories, sources say it is not certain she’ll immediately sign again.”

Conservative journalist and commentator David Frum is joining the Daily Beast and Newsweek, where he’ll write a blog for the site and features for the weekly magazine.

In making the move, Frum shut down operations of his own site, FrumForum.

In case you missed it, AP released a Political Terms Style Guide in December, and you’ll want to keep it handy throughout this presidential election year.

The Washington Post‘s ombudsman says the paper may be innovating too fast:  ‘All the change may be exhausting the staff and readers.’

The always provocative Dave Winer is on a roll at the moment, fired up both by Occupy Wall Street and the fight over SOPA, which he argues are made for each other.

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.