Two titans of Florida’s media are engaging in a ferocious war of words unseen since the infamous Brian Burgess vs. Marc Caputo smackdown that shook the halls of power in Tallahassee.
Caputo, the political editor of the Miami Herald, is once again locked in a brutal struggle with an opponent unafraid to mix it up with one of the state’s fiercest intellectual warriors.
And who is brave enough to step into the ring with Caputo? None other than Mike Deeson, a legendary brawler known for his investigative reporting for 10 News.
The Caputo vs. Deeson battle royale began after Caputo called out TV reporter Mike Deeson for “sloppy, trashy Tampa TV reporting.” He said Deeson was misrepresenting accusations that former Gov. Charlie Crist paid to cover up gay affairs, making it sound like the charges were coming from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement when they were actually coming from a lawyer in the Jim Greer corruption trial who is pressuring Crist to change his sworn testimony.
“(Deeson) seems more determined to file tendentious reports to show former Gov. Charlie Crist is gay rather than present facts in a basic, objective manner,” Caputo wrote.
Deeson didn’t care for Caputo’s criticism.
“I thought it was really out of line, quite frankly,” he said of Caputo’s post. “If you were to look, I never mention the FDLE in any of (the stories); I mention the charges come straight from Damon Chase, never mention it was contained in an FDLE report… To me, it’s sloppy not looking at the video. The video is right there for him to click on and look at.”
After more jabs between Caputo and Deeson (as first reported by The Pulp blog), the two heavyweights came out swinging today after Deeson e-mailed Caputo to brag about the four awards he won this past weekend at the Sunshine State Awards.
“Since you have taken such an interest in my Journalism career,” Deeson writes in an e-mail obtained by SaintPetersBlog, “I’m sure you will be thrilled to know I won 4 Sunshine State Awards this weekend including 3- First place awards.”
One of the stories for which Deeson won a first place award was, in fact, his initial interview with Greer (not the story of which Caputo is critical).
Perhaps emboldened by his new hardware, Deeson, after quoting James Joyce (!) lets Caputo know he had no plans of backing down. “Look forward to seeing you and competing against you at the Greer trial.”
Ever pugnacious, Caputo responded with a series of brutal counterpunches:
“I was just interested, in the short term, in your egregious sloppiness related to the Greer-Crist stories. This speaks poorly of the awards if they were granted in connection with that reporting,” writes Caputo.
Caputo continues, “As for your other work, I have no knowledge of it. So, if the awards relate to the latter work of which I’m ignorant (and if that work doesn’t exhibit the same shameless disregard for ethical reporting) then congratulations. I’m not sure if I should praise you or bemoan the sorry state of awards.”
Down goes Deeson! Down goes Deeson!
Or maybe not. Deeson can point to the scoreboard to back up his reporting and he’s obviously not afraid to mix it up with Caputo.
Unfortunately, Caputo says he is currently on vacation and unable to immediately continue sparring with Deeson.
Here’s hoping these guys run into each other at the RNC in Tampa in August.