5 things I think I think about today’s Tampa Bay Times

By on March 30, 2012

Yesterday’s front page perfectly encapsulates all of my issues with the Tampa Bay Times’ regional approach.

See, that’s a newspaper printed and published in St. Petersburg, delivered to a home in St. Petersburg, but the headline that reads “City wants to set zone for protest” refers to Tampa.

It used to be that when a headline in the St. Petersburg Times included the word ‘city’, it meant St. Petersburg. But now, ‘city’ means Tampa, except I don’t live in Tampa, so this is confusing.

Want more evidence that the Tampa Bay Times focus is now Tampa and that St. Petersburg is viewed as just a suburb of the big city? Notice there is a PolitiFact feature keeping tabs on Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, but not St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster. Heck, there is even a PolitiFact feature about Miami-Dade’s Mayor, but not St. Pete’s.

Speaking of PolitFact, it’s enjoying quite a meta-moment right now. As Louis Jacobson writes:

PolitiFact’s 2011 Lie of the Year got some attention on the House floor Wednesday as lawmakers debated Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal. But several of them played fast and loose with our award-winner.

To counter Democratic criticisms of Ryan’s budget, Republicans said we had labeled those claims the Lie of the Year, including one that the budget would “end the Medicare guarantee” and end Medicare “as we know it.”

But that’s not what we said. So we’d like to revisit what we said — and didn’t say.

Are you following all of that?

Maybe the politicians are misusing the so-called “Lie of the Year” because it wasn’t that.

By the way, a claim made by my friend Rep. Will Weatherford is just begging for PolitiFact to take a look.  As reported in this blog post about redistricting, Rep. Weatherford said “It’s the first time in the nation this many members have been drawn into the same districts where it wasn’t a court order.”

Sharockman, you should be all over this one…

Smart editorial criticizing efforts to limit free speech at this summer’s Republican National Convention:

The one-hour time limit for any public gathering is too restrictive and nearly impossible to fairly enforce. It invites the move-along mentality that protesters and police have used in other cities as a pretext to spark a confrontation. The city can better accomplish the goal of giving competing groups equal time by better managing park space over the four-day event. The city also would outlaw too much in too many parts of town. Carrying slingshots or blasting caps into the crowd is one thing. But the list of items prohibited in the all-encompassing Clean Zone is broad enough to include breathing masks that many use to control a respiratory illness. And the measure would outlaw citywide such innocuous things as squirt guns and hair spray.

It would be like the pot calling the kettle black if I complained about how many ads there are on the Times website, so I won’t.  But when you have that many ads which are in Java and/or have to load, thereby slowing down the uploading of the site, its cause for concern.

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