Used to be that newsrooms at large American newspapers were smoke-filled, noisy caverns that had all the ambiance of a toxic waste dump.
Newspapers employed chain-smoking men - called "newsmen" - who drank liquor by the gallon - usually from a bottle kept in the bottom drawer of their desks - and who cursed and ate red meat. And they could fight, too.
And then something happened.
Newspapers started taking themselves a little too seriously.
Newrooms were renovated and took on the look of insurance offices with sound-muffling carpeting and walled cubicles..
Papers started hiring "journalists" with college degrees who ate sushi for lunch instead of steak. And most of them looked like they couldn't fight their way out of paper bag.
Gone was the two-fisted newsman who could fight and f*ck as well as he could cover a story.
Well, not all of them are gone.
Today, outside the federal courthouse in Ft. Lauderdale where disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein pleaded guilty to five felonies, we got a glimpse of a newsman who still knows how to take care of himself. (Video here.)
Broward-Palm Beach New Times reporter Bob Norman was there and describes the scene:
Outside the courthouse Kim Rothstein addressed the media. "Today is the saddest day of my life," she began.It should also be noted that CBS4 reporter Jim DeFede was in classic old-fashioned newsman mode when he asked two of the best questions of the day outside the courthouse. As Kim Rothstein was wrapping up her remarks, Defede asked her, "When did Scott tell you he was a crook?" and "The money he stole; did you have fun with it?" (Listen to Jim at the beginning of the video at the top of this post.)
Then she said that her life had been devastated after marrying the "sweetest man" and that she has been "isolated and wrongfully maligned." She repeatedly declared that she had nothing to do with her husband's crimes and complained of the "public slurs and accusations" against her. We have video of her appearance on the way.
After her talk, [bodyguard Joe] Alu escorted her to a nearby white Cadillac Escalade SUV. As they approached the vehicle, WSFL/Sun-Sentinel reporter Jack Hambrick dashed over to get a question in with Kim, nearly outrunning the wires connected to his cameraman, who stumbled on the way. As Hambrick approached Kim, Alu blocked him physically and pushed him away.
Newsman Jack Hambrick, (l.) and bodyguard Joe Alu
The altercation escalated, and Hambrick drove Alu, a muscular and tattooed man who goes by the nickname "Meaty," backward and then down onto his back in some bushes. They wrestled in the bushes for a time before Hambrick was pulled off of Alu. "He's a cop, he's a fucking cop!" yelled Alu's son, Dominic, referring to Alu's service with Plantation Police Department. At one point Dominic and the cameraman nearly got into it themselves.