The media just keeps raining on Pam Bondi’s wedding

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When it comes to handling the p.r. about your wedding, Pam Bondi is certainly no Charlie Crist.

Former Gov. Charlie Crist got it right in his highly publicized 2008 wedding to Carole Rome, according to Jose Lambiet. Curious citizens gathered outside the St. Petersburg church to cheer on the couple, and Crist made sure the media got all the photos they wanted, the blogger said.

“I think she failed miserably at a potential PR coup,” Lambiet said, making note that Bondi’s name has been floated as a future gubernatorial candidate. “And if you can’t handle this, how can you handle a campaign?”

The last two paragraphs are from the Miami Herald‘s Tia Mitchell’s story about Bondi’s trip last weekend to the Caymans for an event that looked like a wedding, sounded like a wedding, but was not a wedding.

Reading Mitchell’s story, my questions are not about what happened in the Caymans, but how Florida’s political media was caught flat-footed by the wedding plans of state government’s most telegenic figure, why the media initially wrote this story as a “marriage” despite specious sourcing and, just in general, why does the media keep raining of Bondi’s wedding?

Let’s begin with how Florida’s political media were caught flat-footed about this story. Is the capitol press corp so transfixed by Sunburst, the governor’s new open-government program, that they felt no inkling about Bondi’s pending nuptials?  Not one of the reporters working in Tallahassee has a source worth enough of a damn to give them a heads-up about, you know, the Governor, First Lady and Attorney General all leaving the state for the second most important political wedding of the year (Michelle and my wedding being first, of course)?

Secondly, how is that these reporters’ editors went with a story about Bondi getting “married” when the only source they had was a Facebook post from, admittedly, State Senator Paula Dockery?  Isn’t that what the traditional media complains about when criticizing new media?  Yet, there the stories were, all because of a Facebook post.  No confirmation from Bondi or a spokesperson from Bondi or even the caterer. Just “Bondi marries in Cayman Islands.”

And wasn’t it funny watching these same reporters have to walk back their stories?

Now, today, the Herald‘s Mitchell goes meta with a story about why Bondi’s wedding wasn’t a wedding.  In her story, Mitchell writes that the situation has (unnamed) “people wondering whether one of the two got cold feet or if there was a prenuptial disagreement.”

Tia, did you really just go there? Did you just throw red wine on the bride by suggesting there was a disagreement about the prenup? Without a single source to back up this ‘wondering’?

That’s just shameful.

Who would have known reporting about weddings was more difficult than reporting about politics?

 

 

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.