In a column today in which she attempts to link the political situation in Wisconsin with that of Florida’s, the Sunshine State News‘ Nancy Smith fires a warning shot at her bete noire Lucy Morgan for reportedly co-hosting “an all-legislators-welcome ‘pre-session mixer’ ” after hours at public relations maven Sarah Bascom’s office (I hear the event was a social event for reporters, hence Smith herself was there, reportedly enjoying the food and drink).
Smith invokes the Poynter Institute’s Kelly McBride to say that what occurred “probably wasn’t ethical.”
Except, according to McBride, she never said that.
Here’s Smith’s paragraph in question:
“I don’t believe back then the Poynter would have let it slide when Lucy Morgan of the Tampa Bay Times partnered with lobbyist Sarah Bascom in 2011 to throw an all-legislators-welcome “pre-session mixer” after hours at Bascomb’s office. Poynter’s McBride admitted at the time that it “probably wasn’t ethical” if Bascom is a lobbyist whose clients had business before the Legislature that session. Which, of course, it did.”
Yet, according to an email from McBride sent to Smith and subsequent follow-up, McBride wrote to Smith and said:
“You didn’t ask me about this. You only asked me if I thought Florida newsrooms would have issues similar to Wisconsin newsrooms. So could you explain where you got that “probably wasn’t ethical” quote from.”
Let me repeat what McBride asked Smith, “So could you explain where you got that “probably wasn’t ethical” quote from.”
Continuing, McBride writes, “That’s not something I would would say, because I make a point of not proclaiming behavior “ethical” or ‘not ethical.’ “
Still, McBride wanted to make it clear that she did not believe Smith was making up a quote. That’s my chacterization.
While Smith is apparently guilty of only putting words in McBride’s mouth, she’s also guilty of blatant hypocrisy.
Just one paragraph after Smith’s “quotes” McBride, she then goes on to further bemoan the state of Florida’s media by opining that “(t)here are folks in the state capital who think we might as well hang a “For Sale” sign on the Florida Press Center.”
That’s rich, coming from a columnist for an news organization which has yet to reveal who is its true owner (a news organization that, by the way, is reportedly on the financial ropes and whose list of advertisers is next to nothing).
In other words, Ms. Smith, you are a pot and you are calling the kettle black.
(Just as SaintPetersBlog is black as night. Except, I never describe myself as a journalist because when you say that, you are agreeing to live by a certain journalistic code. I’m a political consultant, blogger, reporter and writer. But I’m not a journalist.)