I've got bad vibes about Ernesto. I call him Che -- and if the guerilla revolutionary has revenge on his mind, there's only one place to go: Miami. And it's not just for the Cuban exile community that reviles him, but former CIA spook Felix Rodriquez, who tracked him down in Bolivia and was there when he was summarily executed in the jungle. Rumors abound that Rodriguez has Che's hands, which were cut off during the ordeal, in a jar in his Miami house. Who knows if it's true, but that alone might bring Ernesto around to take a look.
Okay, you may find that a ridiculous notion, but it's not all that far from the way reporters write about hurricanes. Look at the Palm Beach Post front page today: "Ernesto targets Florida." See, the hurricane has goals and aspirations. It's called anthropomorphism -- the Pulp's 20-dollar word of the day -- and
I'm going to start compiling examples in the case of Ernesto.
-- Ever heard about those pilots in World War II who were the only ones to return from a mission? Capt. Lawrence Norman, my late great uncle, was one of them. If he survives his injuries, we'll see how co-pilot and Margate resident James Polehinke copes. He's the lone survivor of the Comair flight that crashed in Lexington, Ky., killing 49 people. The Miami Herald's Ashley Fantz and Wanda DeMarzo fill us in on that angle. It looks like it was caused by pilot error, i.e. taking off on the wrong runway. We never did get the story of what happened on that WWII mission, but Capt. Norman finished his service and ultimately left the military honorably, with a bunch of medals in a box he never opened. But he was never the same. I never met him -- he drank himself to death not long before I was born.
-- Speaking of Fantz, the Pulp has learned she's leaving the Herald for CNN in Atlanta. That makes Fantz, a New Times alum, the second South Florida print reporter to head to Ted Turner's brainchild since the beginning of 2005. Sun-Sentinel court reporter Ann O'Neill left for the Coca-Cola City at the beginning of last year. Congratulations Ashley.
-- We should have expected the Sun-Sentinel's Dave Hyde to create a full-of-B.S. column about how Jeffrey Loria is justified in his apparent yen to fire Marlins manager Joe Girardi. But the way he did it is lower than even Hyde usually goes.
In another in the long and inglorious line of Hyde's horrid columns, he lets two Marlins henchmen -- I mean "sources" -- feed him hearsay and innuendo on how Girardi has been "loud stubborn wrong" about several issues regarding the streaking team.
"For instance, back in spring training, according to two Marlins sources, here's some changes Girardi pushed for: Miguel Cabrera from third to first base; Dan Uggla not at second base but in left field; Josh Willingham at catcher, not Miguel Olivo; Alfredo Amezaga might not have made the team; and young pitchers like Ricky Nolasco and Josh Johnson would have started in the minor leagues.
The column turns out to be a back-handed defense of Girardi, but printing that crap without context or really checking it out was classic Hyde. The only thing in that list that really seems outrageous is Girardi's not wanting Miguel Olivo -- who is a beautiful player destined for multiple All-Star games -- at catcher. But what jackass doesn't write is that Girardi, a former star catcher himself, is Olivo's biggest booster. Early on did he want to ease Olivo into the role of starter? Maybe, but we don't know any of that because the Hyde just eats the shit that's fed him and spits it back up.
And everything on that list is the same. Without context it means nothing -- and that makes this an outrageously bad column. Sure, you can write that people in the front office claim that Girardi doesn't know what he's doing, but you can't just print this garbage without reporting it out.
But I don't blame Hyde anymore. I blame Sun-Sentinel editors who allow his bush-league brand of journalism to run in the pages of the newspaper. It's embarrassing.
-- The Palm Beach Post's Jane Musgrave defrocks a dubious minister. Sweet.
-- Also in the Post, Susan Spencer-Wendel reports on one of the worst high school keg parties ever.
-- And down at the Herald, a developer whose misdeeds were detailed in Debbie Cenziper's housing report has been arrested and more cases are promised. My question: Was State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle already investigating these cases or did they stem solely from report? I don't know, but I do know that Miami-Dade should count itself lucky to have Rundle. I know she's not perfect, but next to do-nothing State Attorney Michael Satz, who allows mass corruption to go unchecked in Broward, she's frickin' Eliot Ness.