Sunday, January 26, 2014

Fabi Watch

In yesterday's Miami Herald, the paper's worst columnist, Fabiola Santiago, shared her thoughts on pop-idol Justin Bieber's Pine Tree Drive Meltdown.

But it wasn't so much a column as it was the horrible aftermath of someone who has just finished eating 3 or 4 bowls of Alpha-Bits and then regurgitated them all over a newspaper page. (Try to erase that hideous image from your head. )

In other words, the column was typical, only-at-The-Herald, Fabiola Santiago muddled gibberish.

Like this:
Unlike Bieber, however, who bonded out of jail (another bargain) after too-brief a stay and left waving goodbye to fans from atop an Escalade, when DUI charges are levied upon people without resources, there’s usually a different and unhappier outcome.
Towards the end of the column, Fabi offers words of comfort for the overwrought Bieber fans disciples who camped out at the jail, and later at the South Beach hotel where he took refuge after leaving jail:
Feverish Bieber believers, my condolences for the tears, the shakes and shrieks, the stand-by-your-man statements you’ve had to make these last two days. I know how you feel.
But, as you’ll probably learn soon enough, idolatry is seldom worth it. Life worked out much better for me when I got an education and developed a brain.
Fabi likes to remind her readers that she does have a brain.

After reading the column, one veteran Miami journalist told me, "When I read this the other day I thought -- 'she had six ideas for a Bieber column and decided to cram them all into one.'"

And a longtime Herald staffer told me: "That column was particularly superficial, sophomoric and scattershot. She's just not a deep thinker or a decent writer. You can cover up that stuff as a reporter but not as a columnist."

Another South Florida journalist emailed me: "I’ve pretty much given up on reading her columns."

Last November, Herald management announced that photographers, copy editors and columnists/critics would be eligible for something called a "Voluntary Separation Program."

Fabi was one of those eligible.

A few hours after the email announcing the program was sent out, Fabi made a rare appearance in the Herald newsroom and told anyone who cared to listen that she wasn't going anywhere.

I guess that means Fabi's going to be puking her special brand of Alpha-Bits all over the Herald's page 1B for quite some time.

But they can't figure out why readers are leaving in droves.


  1. It's a shame, Bill, how far we've fallen when it comes to grammar and expression. The Herald and New Times, to a lesser degree, don't seem to do any proofreading or editing. How are people supposed to be informed and engaged without coherent expression? Keep fighting the good fight.

  2. I was thinking the same thing after muddling through her column this morning--an exceptionally insipid effort, even by her low standards.

    Clay K.


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