Stories Of Interest

Some of the South Florida newspaper stuff that caught the Pulp's eye this morning:

-- Michael Mayo writes about Alex Arreaza's campaign to get WSVN-Channel 7 to take Help Me Howard! taken off the air. Why? Because Alex is running for public defender against the show's star, Howard Finkelstein, and feels he should get equal airtime. Mayo agrees with Arreaza. I think I would too -- if the show was political. It's not. Finkelstein is also basically grandfathered in, since he had been doing the show long before he became Public Defender. But you have to give Arreaza points; he got some good publicity out of the idea, which he definitely needs to combat the well-known Finkelstein.

-- Speaking of publicity, what about that Tiffany Shepherd? She's the former Port St. Lucie High School biology teacher who claimed she lost her job because she got a job as a bikini girl on charter fishing vessel. Now Playboy is knocking on her door.

"I'm still thinking about it. It's a really big decision," she told the Palm Beach Post's Cara Fitzpatrick.

If you want to stay in suspense about what she's going to do stop reading now because I'm going to spoil the ending: Hef, get the mansion ready, Tiffany is coming to town. That's the Pulp's prediction. I opined last week that this whole thing was a publicity stunt (and was called a sexist pig in the process). And damn if it wasn't a good one.

-- And we have the Miami Herald breaking news about the impending death of Florida's fledgling film industry. Why? The state is cutting $25 million in incentives to film production subsidies. Writes Douglas Hanks:

Broward and Miami-Dade counties report a record number of movie and television productions since 2007, double the decade's last high-water mark. Film offices point to about $50 million in local spending from the productions in both counties this year. But with only $5 million to dole out for projects shooting after July 1, local film offices are bracing for lean times.

Marley and Me, which filmed in the Sun-Sentinel newsroom among other places, received $1.6 million in state subsidies in exchange for spending $11 million locally, Hanks reports. Not sure if this is a fair measure of the value of the subsidies though, since the movie is based on a former Sun-Sentinel columnist and is set in South Florida, though.

Regardless, this is no doubt an example of how a bad economy feeds upon itself in what can become a vicious cycle.

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