Above is a rough screen capture of the top headline on the website of the Tampa Bay Times at 8:19 p.m. on Saturday night.
The caption reads “Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a bill creating Florida Polytechnic. Departing Senate President JD Alexander lobbied for the school’s approval.”
Obviously, the caption is wrong. JD Alexander, fortunately, is not Senate President, although there is some good fortune that he is departing.
Certainly, this is a simple mistake, similar to one this blogger makes frequently. Yet, in this one photo and caption, all that is wrong with the Tampa Bay Times, Florida politics and the Florida Senate can be found.
The caption, with its glaring mistake, is a front-and-center error made by a news organization which continues to see its ranks depleted. Were errors like this made during the heyday of the newspaper? Of course, but more and more of these little errors are popping up. Sentences which meant to read ‘tenet’ are now printed with the word ‘tenant’ in its place.
Ask yourself this: since the ill-fated name change the Tampa Bay Times made three-and-a-half months ago, a change which was suppose to mark a new beginning for the newspaper, is it better or worse. I dare you to show me how it is better, while I, and many others, can show you how it is worse.
What this caption also reinforces is that it has been two men, Rick Scott and JD Alexander, who have, along with Dean Cannon, essentially ran Florida’s state government for the last two legislative session.
Ask yourself this: since Rick Scott took office, do you feel better or worse about the performance of state government. Wait, don’t answer that. I already have my answer. Rick Scott’s approval rating is still at 36%, months after his increasingly lame attempt to make over his administration.
And, finally, what does this caption say about the Florida Senate? Well, who could blame the poor Saturday night caption writer who mistakenly wrote that JD Alexander was the Senate President. The way Mike Haridopolos has conducted himself, while enabled by the other members of his caucus, made it hard to know who was really in charge of the Florida Senate. Haridopolos beget Alexander, a political extortionist who has held state government captive for the last two legislative session. Now that he has been paid his ransom, maybe he will leave in piece.
Oh, I meant, peace. See how easy it is to mistake. It’s just some mistakes mean more than other.