|Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine calls yesterday's |
commission meeting to order.
After watching parts of yesterday's Miami Beach City Commission meeting, and the one held last May 18, I'm reasonably certain that neither Mayor Philip Levine nor any of his colleagues at city hall have ever heard of Mark Twain's advice to anyone who's considering going mano a mano with the press:
"Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel." —Mark Twain
I'm guessing the commissioners got some business accomplished yesterday, but a great deal of their time was spent beating up on the Miami Herald.
The mayor and commissioners are pissed that the Herald had the audacity to use their newspaper to report news and facts.
And after listening to comments from two commissioners and the mayor, I'm 100% sure they don't know much about the current state of the newspaper business...or how journalism works.
Listen below as Commissioner Mike - aka DJ Esquire - Grieco says that anytime the Herald prints a story with a "sexy" Miami Beach headline, more papers are sold.
Grieco is apparently stuck in some 1940s time warp where grimy newsboys are standing on street corners yelling "Extra, extra, read all about it, Miami Beach is floating in sh*t!"
It's evident, also, that Grieco has been watching too much Donald Trump, as he uses Trump's favorite catch phrase, "hit piece."
"It's a hit piece, it's exactly what it was. I don't know where it came from. I don't know what the story is. It's real sexy because anytime that the Herald runs any article on the cover that has the words 'Miami Beach' in it, they sell more papers." - Commissioner Michael Grieco, May 18, 2016
And here's Commissioner Ricky Arriola at yesterday's meeting saying that the Miami Herald sets out to make Miami Beach "look bad" in order to sell papers. No, Ricky, that not how it works. That's not how any of this works.
The mayor and commissioners have their panties in a twist over a May 16 Miami Herald story that reported massive pumps installed to "flush floodwater from Miami Beach into Biscayne Bay during seasonal king tides are dumping something else into the bay: human waste."
That awkward moment when politicians confront science they don't like. @jenstaletovich explains Bay pollution https://t.co/VJV65rJJho— Curtis Morgan (@CMorganHerald) June 9, 2016
Mayor Levine, who once bragged he made more money in his first year in business than the Miami Herald has made in ten years, last month directed Miami Beach's city attorney Raul Aguila to send a letter to the Herald demanding a retraction of the May 16 story.
On May 31, Herald executive editor Mindy Marques responded to Aguila's letter, writing:
First, to be clear, there will be no retraction of the story. As you know, the Miami Herald published a letter to the editor from City Manager Jimmy Morales in regard to this story on May 18.
Your request for a retraction fails to point to a single factual error in the May 16 article — and in fact your letter itself includes errors. For a city that rightly prides itself on a pioneering response to sea level rise — efforts that have received extensive coverage from the Miami Herald — the letter also displays a surprising lack of understanding of the basic science process and water quality issues.
Note to Mayor Levine and Miami Beach commissioners...in case any of you still aren't sure what the role of the press is, please take a moment to watch this great scene from 1952's "Deadline USA."