|Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine's official portrait. |
(Click here to enlarge.)
Why is Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine such a dickhead?
That's the question I asked myself as I read his latest hissy-fit on Facebook.
Mayor Dickhead, it seems, had issues with a short, 124-word Miami Herald story posted Monday about a 50-story residential tower that developers want to build near the Alton Road flyover in South Beach.
On Facebook Tuesday, Mayor Dickhead called the story a "factually inaccurate published press release."
"The article," Levine wrote, "...omits an essential point: the parcel of land upon which the proposed development is located is zoned CPS-2, which provides for a maximum of 7 stories vertically. A project of this size and magnitude does not meet our planning and zoning regulations."
Perhaps the story would have included that "essential point" if Mayor Dickhead had agreed to talk to Herald reporter Christina Veiga for the story. But Levine - being a dickhead - routinely refuses to talk to Veiga.
The fact is there was nothing in the six sentence story that was incorrect. Nothing.
But Mayor Dickhead has an aversion to facts, especially when they interfere with his obsessive loathing of the Miami Herald. Levine likes to say the paper is "biased" and "distorts his answers."
A few hours after Mayor Dickhead's Facebook meltdown, a longer story on the Alton Road project was posted on the Herald's website.
In the story, Veiga reported that Levine didn't return calls seeking his comment on the project.
But an hour or two after the story went online, that line was removed and substituted with these three sentences:
Levine said Tuesday night that it was premature for him to take a position on the project because it would require dramatic regulatory changes before it could happen.
“This is a massive change that would require massive public input,” he said. “This is something the community would have to decide.”
Turns out Mayor Dickhead saw the early version of the story online, and then made a late night call to the Herald, speaking to an editor who agreed to update the story with his comments.
The next day Levine went on Facebook and posted a link on his website to the updated Herald story that read in part: "Enclosed please find the Miami Herald’s update of their article with my quote included relating to the recently proposed 600-foot-high tower on the corner of 5th Street and Alton Road."
So, Mayor Dickhead, let me see if I understand you: You refuse to talk with the Herald for a story, but then you accuse the paper of printing inaccurate articles because they don't include your side of the story.
But when the Herald quotes you after you bypass the reporter and go straight to an editor, then you're happy to point out the article to your constituents. Is that about right?
The irony here is that just a few weeks ago, the Herald turned over one third of its op-ed page to Mayor Dickhead.
In a March 5th piece entitled "Our promises, our progress," Levine wrote: "In the months ahead, I will continue to walk door to door to hear the ideas and concerns of our residents, discussing everything from making Ocean Drive a better place for the people of Miami Beach to creating master plans for Alton Road and West Avenue."
|Miami Herald, March 5, 2014.|
Mayor Dickhead despises the Herald and wants nothing to do with it...except when he can use it to disseminate his message without the benefit of editing. He's the only politician in South Florida the Herald allows to do that.
Last year, shortly before Levine was elected, Veiga wrote a piece on Levine's attempts to silence his critics.
Levine refused to speak with Veiga for the story.
And the Herald did just that. It printed Levine's/Miranda's answers in full.
One prominent South Florida journalist called the Herald's printing of Levine's full statement, "a damaging precedent."
Of course the Herald could bring Mayor Dickhead's shenanigans to a screeching halt by telling him, "Respect us, and respect our reporters by talking to them. We're not going to take any more of your late night calls after you initially refuse to talk to a reporter. And no more long-winded op-ed pieces for you until those conditions are met."
And Mayor Dickhead, let me add this: Right now, you're well on your way to becoming the second most despised politician in South Florida. Keep it up and you may well overtake that dickhead in Tallahassee and become the state's most despised politician.
Washington Post: Miami Beach mayor: Take your tech start-up gospel, and shove it.
Political Cortadito: Phillip Levine goon boots blogger from 1st Amendment event.
Political Cortadito: Candidate Philip Levine’s handlers threaten political blogger.