UPDATED at 10:05pm: A newsroom source tells me by phone that many staffers are questioning why a story was even posted on the arrest of Cassola - a reporter few outside of the Herald newsroom have heard of - when according to the source, "the Herald ignores half the murders in this town."
UPDATED at 6:25pm: Herald managing editor Rick Hirsch responds to my email query:
This is a personnel matter, and it's not appropriate to discuss it beyond what we published.
The Miami Herald
Neither have I.
Cassola labored in virtual anonymity for almost 7 years - until last Tuesday - as a writer at the Miami Herald.
Last Friday, Cassola gave his bosses at the Herald his two week notice. He was moving on to another job.
Last Monday he was arrested by Miami Beach police on a charge of driving under the influence according to a story posted Wednesday on the Herald's website.
When he showed up for work on Tuesday, he was handed a cardboard box and told to pack up his stuff. Then he was escorted from the building.
By now you're probably asking yourself the same question I asked when I heard about this: Who cares if a former Herald writer no one's ever heard of was arrested for DUI?
Hundreds of people are arrested every month for DUI on Miami Beach. What makes Cassola's case stand out among hundreds? And why is it news? Especially when the Herald each week ignores infinitely more important stories.
If you asked those questions, you're not alone.
Some of Cassola's former colleagues in the Herald newsroom are wondering why someone in authority felt it was necessary to throw the guy under the bus by posting the story of his arrest.
Herald readers are also asking the same questions in the comments section of the story.
Here are two:
justreflectingI'm trying to get answers to some of these questions.
Your title seems deliberately misleading. The brief story even states that Cassola had resigned the previous Friday, yet this happened on Monday. Your title implies that he was charged with DUI first then, second he left the Herald.
What was your point in doing this? What was your point in even writing about this when the individual no longer works at the Herald? You may as well post a roster of names of local DUI arrests on a daily basis.
Should have been "Outgoing Herald writer charged with DUI." Or, better yet, who cares? This really isn't a story except inside the walls of One Herald Plaza.
Cassola's former editor, Joan Chrissos declined to comment when I called her this afternoon. Instead she referred me to Herald managing editor Rick Hirsch.
I've left a message on Hirsch's voice mail and I've sent him an email.
If he responds, I'll update this post.