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On Mary Ellen Klas

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

If you’ve been reading the blog today, you probably noticed the series of “Schorsch On (fill in the blank)” posts. That’s because I am working through a built-up to-do list many weeks in the making. I figured I’d skip the witty headlines and just dive into the subjects still stuck in my craw.

Subjects like Mary Ellen Klas, the Tallahassee bureau chief for the Miami Herald.

Don’t worry, this is not a Peter-hates-Adam-Smith rant against Klas. It’s the holidays after all. And Mary Ellen is no Adam. Her reporting as of late on the redistricting saga has been superb.

But …

Mary Ellen asked for a thumping after she tweeted last week:

@MaryEllenKlas: Lee and Latvala redistricting depositions here (no subscription needed, as always)

That tweet is a nice little F-you to either News Service of Florida or Politico Florida and I’ll leave it Jim Saunders and Matt Dixon to determine who Klas was referring. Of course, Politico Florida’s Marc Caputo did not take Klas’ digs lying down, tweeting:

@MarcACaputo: New @MiamiHerald slogan: “We give you yesterday’s state news tomorrow and are arrogant about it.”

Caputo and I were both courtside for another recent instance where Klas was off her game. During a panel at a Florida League of Cities conference, Klas tried to big-time me by inferring that she, and certainly not me, knew the REAL reason Jack Latvala abandoned his bid for the Senate presidency.

Interrupting an insight I was offering gleaned from a conversation I had with Latvala, Klas said that the Pinellas Republican quit the race because “he was less fed up and more he saw the writing on the wall.” I was trying to explain that Latvala had told me he had no problem going the distance against Joe Negron and his allies and that the only thing that would deter him is if he just got worn out.

Klas’ opinion would run into a buzz saw after hundreds of court documents were released as part of the state Senate redistricting trial.

“I think I’m done. I’ve had enough. Let the bastards have the place. I’m going home,” Latvala sent in a text message to state Sen. Tom Lee, as first noted by Matt Dixon.

Sounds like Latvala was fed up, right?

Maybe Klas was trying to big-time because she was still smarting from the fact that FloridaPolitics.com and not the Miami Herald broke the news about Latvala withdrawing from the race. We heard from more than one source that Klas was particularly peeved about that.

All in all, it’s been a rough couple of weeks for Klas (except for her inclusion in the INFLUENCE 100, which she, of course, would not sit for a photo for). Perhaps Klas most glaring error these past few weeks was this headline about the gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Slow progress on gaming compact means it will remain out of budget talks,” reads the headline above Klas’ Dec. 7 story.

It was announced just hours after Klas posted her story that Gov. Rick Scott had signed a $3.1 billion compact with the Seminole Tribe.

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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