Saturday, July 31, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Excuse us while we pat ourselves on the back!

This email showed up in my inbox yesterday:
Kudos! is featuring your blog Random Pixels as a Best inMiami-Dade Local Blog. You will find your blog featured here:

Please feel free to link back to us if you want to highlight it on your own site.

Best, Eve
Here's what Eve says about Random Pixels: "This irreverent blog from a Miami Beach based photojournalist and scribbler is both insightful and entertaining."

Up till now, I'd never heard of this website or its owner Eve. But she obviously has impeccable taste.

Thanks Eve! We're flattered!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sports fans...dumber than dirt!

I've never been a "sports fan." And more importantly, I've never cared to analyze why.

I enjoy watching a good game. But when it's over, I move on.

I don't see the point in rehashing what happened and question why "my" team didn't win. And don't get me started on fans who say at the end of a season, "we have to do better next year," like they're a team shareholder. Who in the hell is "we?"

But perhaps what happened in Cleveland last night is why I'm glad I'm not a sports fan.
CLEVELAND — A fan wearing a Miami Heat jersey of LeBron James drew the ire of the crowd at a Cleveland Indians game and was escorted out of the ballpark.

Fans in the left-field bleachers chanted obscenities and pointed at the man Wednesday night during the sixth inning of the game between the Indians and New York Yankees. Hundreds of fans joined in before security led the man out of Progressive Field.

As he left, some fans followed him toward the gate with more derisive chants.
All of this because a guy wore a LeBron jersey to a game? This is a prime example of why I rank sports fans in the evolutionary chain somewhere bewteen pond scum and cockroaches.

See for yourself. (video from YouTube user FreshBrewedTees)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Miami Herald to readers: "Let them eat cake" -- Part two

The Miami Downtown Development Authority and its draconian chairman, Marc Sarnoff have a new friend.

Toluse Olorunnipa, (can anyone pronounce that?) a recent transfer to the Miami Herald's real estate beat, is apparently currying favor with the DDA by rewriting their press releases verbatim and getting them printed in the paper under the guise of journalism.

The same DDA, by the way, that's taken what was a once charming downtown Miami, and turned it into canyons of cold steel and concrete. The same DDA whose chair, Marc Sarnoff, was recently called out on national TV for proposing an ordinance that would prohibit "unauthorized people and groups from giving food to the homeless."

We last heard from Olorunnipa when he penned a piece about South Florida Realtors, who are practically trampling each other in order to be the first to sell a home to Miami's newly minted royalty.

In today's Herald, Olorunnipa essentially rewrites a DDA press release that's unencumbered by any original reporting or facts.

Instead, Olorunnipa gives us glowing quotes from the DDA's press release:
``Downtown is an exciting place to be right now, with everything going on, and the report shows that people want to live downtown. They want to live in the heart of the city,'' said Leo Zabezhinsky, the DDA's manager of business development, real estate and research.

Another potential economic stimulator for the area, ... is the arrival of the revamped Miami Heat team at downtown's AmericanAirlines Arena. With LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade promising multiple championships, the effect on AAA's neighborhood could be transformative, said William Talbert III, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Olorunnipa, unwilling to spoil the upbeat mood of his puff piece never mentions the "H" word: homelessness, which his pal Marc Sarnoff sees as an impediment to "Miami's Golden Age."

Instead he concludes with this sunny quote from Talbert: "Just think about all the restaurants that are going to open up. You talk about a stimulus package -- that's one."

-thanks to Alfred Spellman for the heads up!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Obama to appear on "The View"

President Barack Obama will stop by the popular daytime talk show "The View" Thursday.

It's being widely reported that, "Obama is the first sitting president to appear on a daytime talk show."

That's not true...and Jimmy Kimmel has the tape to prove it!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The offhore drilling debate...a look back

NEWS ITEM: Crist Dealt Blow Over Offshore Drilling Ban
July 21, 2010
Polls show a majority of Floridians support Gov. Charlie Crist's call to put a ban on offshore drilling on the ballot. But that wasn't always the case.

Two years ago, years of high gas prices — and accident-free drilling in the Gulf — led a majority of Floridians and their governor to support drilling off Florida's coast.

But, as the saying goes, that was then.

Outside the state Capitol in Tallahassee on Tuesday, a couple of hundred people gathered for a rally calling on the Legislature to put the drilling ban on the ballot.
The debate over offshore drilling in Florida has been raging for years. Here's a photo I shot 22 years ago...which ran on page 1A of the Herald.

here's how the Miami Herald covered the story:
Friday, January 15, 1988
by RANDY LOFTIS Herald Environment Writer

Gov. Bob Martinez took U.S. Interior Secretary Donald Hodel snorkeling Thursday over Key Largo's famous coral reefs hoping the natural beauty would deter Hodel from plans that could lead to oil drilling off the Keys after 1992.

It didn't. After emerging from the warm waters onto the glass-bottomed boat Infante at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, their differences remained unresolved.

"The governor and I agreed that this was a learning experience; it was not a decision meeting," said Hodel , whose plans for expanded oil exploration are opposed by state officials, environmentalists and tourism-dependent businesses.
Martinez said Hodel promised no changes in the oil policy. The two officials dined Wednesday night and on Thursday morning visited Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge on Big Pine Key . They had more discussions during a helicopter trip to Pennekamp Park.

"The fact that he's here at all, I think, is a positive sign," said the governor, pulling off a wet suit after 20 minutes in the water.

The reef trip was Martinez 's most ambitious venture into pro-environmental showmanship. The boat was jammed with reporters and photographers to record the two senior Republicans pulling off their blue jeans.

Greenpeace, the environmental group, set up a raft of people and inflatable sea creatures smeared with oil to dramatize their concerns. The Florida Public Interest Research Group, a Tallahassee-based lobbying organization, also protested.

The possibility of drilling off the Keys has emerged as a serious political issue. Senator Bob Graham, D-Fla., has given Hodel an anti-drilling petition with 120,000 signatures.

The trip offered Hodel a chance to tell Floridians that drilling wouldn't necessarily harm the Keys . Hodel , who has control of the nation's Outer Continental Shelf, said environmental studies will show if the threat is real.

"I do believe that the best way to protect them is through an orderly process," Hodel said, adding that Martinez "lays out a persuasive case" for excluding the Keys .

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Going viral!

Turtle wants to play with cat. Cat's not interested.

Result: 2,233,533 views and counting on YouTube!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Photography is not a crime! 1949 edition

Jay Carney

Miami Daily News, Mar. 14, 1949.

Read the full story here.

Miami Daily News, March, 15, 1949: Truman Aide Stands Pat On News Film Seizure.

Herald (briefly) experiments with pic of women kissing to boost website page views

"Lesbianism has always seemed to me an extremely inventive response to a shortage of men, but otherwise not worth the trouble." -Nora Ephron, Heartburn, 1983.

Today, a web editor at the Miami Herald posted a prominent link on the paper's home page to Saturday's story about a website that "caters only to lesbians, bisexual women."

The link was originally posted with a small stock shot of two women kissing. Later in the afternoon, the photo was missing. Did someone get cold feet? We'll never know.

And so it goes at Miami's Number One Information Source.

But if they're really serious about boosting page views, they might want to follow the advice of an anonymous web editor at Miami New Times who once told me, "we get the most hits with slide shows that show chicks kissing."


Today's classic Don Wright cartoon

from the pen of former Miami News and Palm Beach Post editorial cartoonist Don Wright.

Here's Wright's take on the cozy relationship between Ronald Reagan and Frank Sinatra in a cartoon that ran in the Miami News on Jan. 12, 1981

(After more than 50 years as a newspaper photographer and cartoonist, Don Wright is still drawing cartoons.)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Three-peat? No thanks!

David Letterman responded on Thursday night's show to the talk of Jeb Bush running for president in 2012.
"I feel about Bush presidencies the way I feel about ‘Godfather’ films. You’re better off stopping after two."

Miami Herald to readers: "Let them eat cake"

A couple of belated reactions showed up in my inbox today regarding my post on the Herald's fixation with all things LeBron.

First, someone sent me a link to a reader letter in Thursday's Herald.

Herald reader Barbara Byrne weighed in on Wednesday's front page story on South Florida Realtors' frenzy to sell high-priced homes to new Heat players.
The Miami Herald should be ashamed of its July 21 front page. Thousands of South Floridians are unemployed and/or facing foreclosure. But the newspaper displays a color photo of a luxury mansion and an article on the four multimillionaire athletes looking for a place to live. How cruel and insensitive. How out of touch with your readers.


    I also received an email from a long-time South Florida editor who had a different take on the same story:
    SUBJECT: Wanted: Copy editor with working knowledge of English language‏

    Bill: I got so busy I forgot to send this to you. Maybe you also caught it. Ugh.......

    That leaves hope for a number of listing agents looking to cash in on James' home purchase, likely to be the most extravagant of the Heat's buyers. Selling the superstar a mega-mansion would net the lucky Realtor a hefty commission as well as the résumé-boosting caché that comes with such a high-profile deal.
    The writer used the word caché instead of cachet, a mistake that should have been caught by a copy editor.

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    Please! I have to know, is the car OK??

    Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez cited after car crash


    Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez was cited by police following a car crash Wednesday morning in Coral Gables, police said.

    Alvarez, in his personal BMW, rear-ended the woman in front of him, said Vicki Mallette, the mayor's spokeswoman.

    The woman in the other car is pregnant, but there were no injuries.

    The mayor was cited after the crash on Granada Boulevard just south of Castile Avenue, police said.

    ``I only know the mayor called me and said, `I've been in an accident, I rear-ended someone and it was my fault. You may get calls from the media,' '' Mallette said.

    Can LeBron James save the Miami Herald?

    UPDATED: June 13, 2011 - If you're looking for the Miami Herald / Heat championship ad, click here!

    Has it only been two weeks since LeBron James made tens of thousands of Miami Heat fans pee their pants by announcing he was taking his talents to South Beach? It seems longer.

    Presumably, by now, someone in the Heat organization has told Sir James that the Heat play in downtown Miami on Biscayne Boulevard and not on Washington Avenue.

    In the two weeks since LeBron's announcement, hardly a day has gone by that some kind of LeBron related story hasn't appeared on the Herald's front page.

    Great news if you're a Heat fan....and you buy the paper. But what about the rest of us?

    Apparently the folks who make the decisions at One Herald Plaza are betting that LeBron can sell newspapers. Even though he can't sell fashion mags.

    And they're also betting that anything with his name on it will also sell.

    On Sunday, Herald executive editor Anders Gyllenhaal gave readers a hint where he was putting his money.

    And all you have to do is look at the front page of today's paper for proof of Gyllenhaal's hunch.

    But it looks like they're already starting to run short of story ideas.

    Today we learned that high-priced athletes like to live in high-priced homes.

    We also learned that, "the prospect of having Miami Heat superstars buying mansions next to Rosie O'Donnell, P. Diddy, and Gloria Estefan has tour boat operators at Bayside Marketplace dreaming of dollar signs."

    Better slow down guys...opening day is still months away!

    Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    The Random Pixels © Lindsay Lohan Time-waster

    Lindsay Lohan went to jail today.

    So I thought I'd share a few pics of her I shot back on Dec. 31, 2005 as she relaxed behind the Delano on Miami Beach. Before a night of New Year's Eve partying no doubt.

    TMZ is reporting that the troubled star may only spend 13 or 14 days in jail.

    And has started the Lindsay Lohan Jailbird Betting Pool.

    Enjoy the pics!

    Breaking up is ain't so hard to do

    The honeymoon is over.

    The fat lady has sung.

    The marriage between Coconut Grove Grapevine blogger Tom Falco, (left), and the Miami Herald has been dissolved.

    Last March Falco told his readers that some of his blog postings would appear on the Miami Herald's website as a part of that paper's Community News Network.

    Late last week, Falco quietly opted out of the arrangement that he once called,"an incredible opportunity for Coconut Grove."

    Falco told Random Pixels in an email, "I didn't feel I was benefitting from it. They have a girl sellings ads now, and wanted to use my stories while they kept all the ad money. I wasn't getting many hits from them, it was no loss to me." Falco has retained the services of an advertsing account executive and will compete with the Herald for the Grove's ad dollars!

    In a paragraph (which has since been removed) on a page of his blog aimed at potential advertisers Falco wrote that his alliance with the Herald was
    "A GREAT REASON TO ADVERTISE: One or two of our stories are placed on the home page of the Miami Herald almost daily. The Herald receives 1 miilion hits a day on their home page! Your ad will be seen by thousands of people daily, with many new and fresh eyes seeing it!" But in the next paragraph, Falco, in a not so subtle attempt to steal business from his new partner asks: "Why place your ad in a print publication that is read once and then thrown out?"

    Random Pixels was suspicious of the Grapevine/Herald alliance from the start.

    But the Herald is between a rock and hard place. Recent cuts at have pretty much eliminated the paper's once robust Neighbors staff. The paper has turned over much of the community news responsibilities to its Community News Network contributors.

    Still, we never understood why a newspaper with 20 Pulitzer Prizes and a 100-year history of journalistic excellence would want to link to a blog that is a repository for bad writing, wretched photography and a complete absence of anything remotely resembling journalism.

    To us, the logic of the arrangement made about as much sense as National Public Radio hiring The Situation from Jersey Shore to be its White House correspondent. The partnership was even more bizarre when you consider the fact that Falco once accused the Herald of "stealing" his stories.

    To be fair, Falco knows the Grove. His blog, the Coconut Grove Grapevine (CGG) has the potential for being one of the best community blogs in South Florida.

    But if Cocomut Grove can be compared to Andy Griffith's Mayberry, then Falco is a combination of Barney Fife and Aunt Bee.

    On some occasions, when writing on his blog, Falco finds his inner Barney Fife as he single-handedly tries to rid the Grove of "gangs", groups of kids who bother him at lunch and "scammers." And on other occasions he channels the anal-retentive Aunt Bee as he alerts his readers to breaches of Grove etiquette.

    The motto of CGG might be "It's my way or the (Main) highway."

    The thin-skinned Falco doesn't tolerate dissent or opinions that differ from his. Last year Falco removed the South Florida Daily Blog from his blog roll when SFDB's "Rick" dared to challenge Falco's "reporting.". And recently, Falco disabled comments on CGG.

    But all that aside, CGG is still one of the quirkiest and unintentionally hilarious blogs on the web.

    When a Miami city commissioner threatened Falco with legal action because of a comment a reader left on CGG, Falco caved in like a rain-soaked cardboard box.

    Falco's foilbles are being noticed by others. A few weeks ago, Miami New Times named Falco, Miami's Best Gadfly. With thinly disguised sarcasm, New Times wrote of Falco, "[the] Coconut Grove Grapevine community blog can be irritating. When he's writing about threatening to take photos of kids "posing" as school basketball players — only to watch them "scatter like rats" — or railing against a woman in a food truck poaching customers from Grove restaurants, Falco has all the perspective of a Picasso."

    The point of the New Times blurb whizzed right over Falco's swollen head. Falco wrote, "We won "Best Gadfly" award; is that a compliment?"

    Random Pixels wishes Falco all the best as he strikes out on his own, free from the shackles of the evil behemoth at One Herald Plaza. You see, we're big fans of "The Grape." While you may not always get your facts straight, you're always good for a laugh!

    Monday, July 19, 2010

    Adding insult to injury

    You gotta really feel sorry for the Mexican couple who were robbed at gunpoint at the Parisian Hotel on South Beach Sunday night.

    NBCMiami reports:
    [The couple] returned to their hotel room late Sunday night to find two robbers rummaging through their belongings.

    The husband and wife, who were in town from Mexico, returned to their room at the Parisian Hotel at 1510 Collins Ave. just before midnight, where two thieves were already inside.

    "The subject was armed with a weapon, also the subject was already inside their room, we believe that they were trying to burglarize their room at the time and they were surprised by the victims," said Deborah Doty, with the Miami Beach Police department.

    Police said the robbers got away with cash, personal items and the couple's car keys, and were able to locate the car outside and drive off in it.
    The insult in all of this? Back in January, reported that readers of a travel website rated the Parisian as one of the dirtiest hotels in the country!

    Saturday, July 17, 2010

    Friday, July 16, 2010

    Murder by BlackBerry

    Former St. Petersburg Times and Miami New Times writer Tamara Lush, (left), now a staff writer for the Associated Press, explores the seamy side of the porn industry with a gruesome tale of murder by BlackBerry that runs in newspapers this weekend.
    NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. -- Jason Andrews was a bisexual Chicago DJ with a British accent, whose chiseled jaw and good looks landed him roles in countless gay porn videos. Amanda Logue was a married, bleach-blond Georgia woman who once owned a lingerie shop, dabbled in prostitution and starred in several X-rated videos herself.

    Together, they stabbed and bludgeoned a 41-year-old tattoo shop owner to death with a sledgehammer - and hatched some of their plans in typo- and expletive-laden text messages, Florida detectives said.

    "I'm so glad you're really commited to this take. Keep eyes for a knife, etc for me!" Andrews typed on his BlackBerry hours before the slaying, according to a transcript of the messages included in court records.
    Read the full story here.

    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    The way we were

    from the Miami News, Aug. 7, 1974

    Coral Gables police chief says no to the fuzz on his cops.

    But two months later the Coral Gables Commission overrules the chief and gives one suspended cop $1,000 in back pay.

    A Random Pixels Exclusive! Apple to announce iPhone 4 fix

    Like many, I've never understood why some people will go to any length to be first to own the latest gadget. I'll never be accused of belonging to that group. Just a few months ago I upgraded to a cell phone that also has a camera. "How long have they been making these?," I asked the clerk at T-Mobile.

    But now, all of those people who were first in line to get the new iPhone 4 a few weeks ago, have now learned it's sometimes better to wait.

    But not to worry. Apple has scheduled a press conference for Friday.
    Apple Inc. announced it will hold a press conference Friday at 10 a.m. at its Cupertino, Calif. headquarters.

    Reason for the gathering: the iPhone 4.

    The company sent out a note to reporters Wednesday but declined to comment further on why the meeting is being held or what it will say regarding its newest iPhone.
    Some users have been complaining that the phone loses signal bars or drops calls when held a certain way.

    Apple has denied accusations of a design flaw in the antenna, instead blaming the issue on an incorrect display of the signal bars. It issued a beta version of a software update Wednesday.

    But Consumer Reports said its own tests found a problem with the antenna, and on Wednesday it issued another recommendation that putting a rubber casing, or "bumper," on the device seems to clear up the problem and suggested Apple offer it to its customers at no additional cost.
    Random Pixels has learned exclusively that Apple will announce Friday that they have indeed come up with a fix for the phone. Scroll down to see what everyone else will learn tomorrow.

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    Marc Sarnoff: World's Worst Person!

    Miami city commissioner Marc Sarnoff is shamed on national TV. Congratulations Marc!

    From Keith Olbermann's Countdown on MSNBC, July 11, 2010: Runner up, Chairman Marc Sarnoff of the Miami Downtown Development Authority, which has approved and has now asked the Miami City Commission to approve a new ordinance.

    It would prohibit, with a fine of $300, unauthorized people and groups from giving food to the homeless.

    You heard me, you got a sandwich and you eat half and you want to give the other half to a homeless person, you can be fined.

    You want it throw it away while he watches, you`re fine.

    Now Mr. Sarnoff assures us that this is meant for groups trying to feed many homeless people at once, except the proposal doesn`t say that. You can take a course in feeding the homeless, which is designed to teach you how to make sure the food is safe to eat and how to clean up the, quote, mess afterward.

    OK, here`s a question: the Miami Downtown Development Authority, which apparently believes "Les Miserables" was some sort of instruction manual, can we feed them to the homeless?

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    Milestone: George Steinbrenner, 1930-2010

    click images to enlarge

    From my files: In the dugout with "The Boss," Feb. 28, 1988

    The photo was used on today's In Remembering the Boss, It’s Often Just Business

    Photo is also included in a slideshow of photos that go with a Miami Herald story on Steinbrenner's death.

    from the Miami Herald, Feb. 29, 1988


    by ROBERT LOHRER Herald Sports Writer

    George Steinbrenner arrived peacefully at Fort Lauderdale Stadium Sunday.

    Steinbrenner , fresh from the Calgary Olympics, his appointment as chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee's new Olympic Overview Commission and his son's wedding in Tampa Saturday, said he wouldn't discuss the '88 New York Yankees. "I will not talk about the ball club," the Yankees owner said, "because I have not seen it."

    He did discuss other things, such as spring training and major-league expansion. "I think we have to have expansion sometime," he said. "I think there are many cities that want and deserve baseball."

    And on things less germane to baseball, Steinbrenner talked about the use of pro athletes in the Olympics -- "I'd hate to see it," he said, but U.S. chances of success would be far greater "if we put Michael Jordan, Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar) and Larry Bird on a team."

    Steinbrenner also posed for a dugout picture with Manager Billy Martin and GM Lou Piniella. At the prompting of photographers, Steinbrenner threw his arms around the two.

    Said Martin: "I want to see the same picture four years
    from now."

    Caption: photo: George STEINBRENNER with Billy Martin & Lou Piniella

    Saturday, July 10, 2010

    Sunday's best

    Jeff Klinkenberg of the St. Petersburg Times has written a remarkable story for Sunday's paper about the beautiful and resilient sea turtle.
    MELBOURNE BEACH-She crawls out of the ocean in the dark, stopping, starting, stopping and then crawling again up the sand, raising her head, sniffing the air, then plowing ahead toward the dunes.
    Sea turtles have been laying eggs on the world's beaches for at least 200 million years. They have been laying eggs on Florida beaches since the land emerged from the sea 25 million years ago. In the 21st century the turtles are still hanging on.

    It must be so hard now. They drown by the thousands in shrimp trawls and at the end of commercial fishing long lines. Their nesting beaches are mostly developed. The seas in which they spend their lives are filled with sewage, plastic and now, in the Gulf of Mexico, oil gushing from the bottom a mile deep.

    Yet here she comes. In the dark of a Florida night, she crawls out of the surf in Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in east-central Florida. In the sea, she is streamlined and powerful. Out of the water, on the beach, she is awkward and fights gravity.

    She catches her breath. Drags herself with those flippers another foot. The persistence and the courage of a sea turtle is enough to make a modern Floridian weep with joy.
    Read the full story here.

    Come back Chief...all is forgiven!

    Click image to enlarge
    News item: Nov. 6, 2009: MIAMI — The day John Timoney was sworn in as Miami police chief in 2003, 11 of his troops stood trial for concocting evidence and planting guns in a spate of shootings. Seven would be convicted.

    Within two years, Timoney's administration would clean up the mess, turning a sometimes trigger-happy force into one where no officer fired a weapon for 20 months. Bad cops were punished. Crime dipped.

    News item: July 6, 2010: Family members and residents sought answers, police and community leaders pressed for calm a day after a fatal [Miami} police involved shooting in Overtown
    Okay, so Timoney wasn't a saint. But compared to this....

    Friday, July 09, 2010

    Musings on the LeBron-a-palooza

    I've never been much of a Heat fan despite the fact that I covered the early years of the team.

    But several things jumped out at me as I watched the hyper-coverage of LeBron's decision to pick Miami.
    1) Hopefully someone will tell LeBron that the Miami Heat play in Miami and not South Beach.  "I am taking my talents to South Beach and play with the Miami Heat," said James Thursday night.

    2) Most absurd local TV moment: Reporter breathlessly setting up a sound-bite by telling viewers that LeBron is surrounded by security but adding, "we did manage to interview him as he came out of the hospital!" The interview? "How do you like Miami, LeBron," asked the reporter as Lebron brushed passed him.

    3) Perhaps someone can send the ESPN and CNN commentators a South Florida Atlas. Almost all I listened to said that James was going to play on South Beach.

    4) I missed the live announcement but learned of LeBron's decision at my Publix where workers were huddled around a TV just inside the entrance to the store. A wonderful moment.

    5)Later as I watched local reaction, I was struck by the ghetto-like behavior of those fans who chose to take to the streets to celebrate. I wondered how many were season ticket holders.

    6) I watched in amazement as one Cleveland fan - a young man in his early 20's - bawled into the camera, "This is the worst day of my entire life." Really?

    7) I chuckled as TV talking-head after talking-head (outside Miami) used words like egotistical, self-aggrandizing, self-centered, pompous, tacky and pretentious to describe LeBron's behavior before his announcement. Don't they know, I asked myself, that all those adjectives probably describe 95% of the people on South Beach that LeBron will be hanging with this weekend?

    8) This morning I was astounded at the ordinary and totally unremarkable front page the Miami Herald came up with to mark the occasion. (13x22" Glossy prints start at $49.95!)

    9) I did admire, however, the stunning front page that the losing city's newspaper - the Cleveland Plain Dealer - produced. "This is how you do a front page," Rob Pegoraro of the Washington Post tweeted.

    10) Requests for Heat press credentials are sure to spike this year. But one local newspaper probably won't be anywhere near the Triple-A this fall when the Miracle Troika takes to the court. A source at Miami New Times tells me that the paper has been blacklisted by the Heat press office since 1996 over an unflattering story on Heat owner Micky Arsion.

    Thursday, July 08, 2010

    More bad news at One Herald Plaza

    If you read this blog on a regular basis, you've probably asked yourself, "how much more indignity can Miami Herald employees endure?"

    Circulation is plummeting, jobs have been slashed, and remaining employees have had their pay cut and been ordered to take unpaid days off.

    Well, Herald employees have received more bad news.

    They're working with rats. Yes, RATS!

    Dave Wilson, the Herald's Senior Editor for Administration recently sent out a memo advsing fifth floor newsroom employees that, "there have been several rodent sightings lately." Wilson said rats were spotted on the fifth floor near the features department.

    Wilson said that building services had been notified.

    But until the problem is alleviated, Wilson advises staffers to "clean out any scraps of food in and under your desks." He asked staffers to dispose of any uneaten food in trash cans located in several of the break rooms located on the fifth floor.

    Random Pixels contacted one staffer for comment and got this response, "Rats? That's nothing new. We've had rats in the newsroom for years!"

    Random Pixels wishes the Herald luck in eliminating newsroom rats.

    And hopefully, when they've solved the rat problem, they can start on the dinosaurs!

    Wednesday, July 07, 2010

    Dear Lindsay...

    ...sorry about your recent troubles.

    I happened to learn of your plight while searching the cable channels yesterday for real news. Speaking of real news; did you know that there were a record number of military deaths in Afghanistan last month? And that 61 Americans were included in that number?

    But it's not like you couldn't see this coming. Your life has been spiraling out of control for some time now.

    And one commentator today said that your behavior in court was that of a "petulant, spoiled brat." I'm afraid I agree.

    By the way, was it really necessary to Tweet the judge with your middle finger? I wouldn't be surprised if she hits you with another 30 days for contempt!

    But who can blame America for tuning in to watch your meltdown? Your life has reached the train wreck stage and we just can't bring ourselves to look away.

    And everyone agrees you have an addiction problem; but no one ever talks about the American public's addiction to celebrities who are addicted. Chalk it up to schadenfreude. (You'll have to look that up.)

    Anyway, I wouldn't worry about doing the full 90 days. The talking heads are saying that because of jail overcrowding you'll probably do 3 weeks, tops.

    And then it's off to rehab. So let's hope that yesterday was a wake-up call and that you'll finally get your life in order.

    However, here at Random Pixels, we always set our expectations low.

    That way we're rarely disappointed.

    Monday, July 05, 2010

    Sarah Palin "excites" her base!

    One of the phrases that pundits and headline writers like to use when talking about Sarah Palin's appeal to voters is that "she excites the base."

    That may be true. But apparently some in her base get more excited than others!

    Check out the young man who appears in the video below at about 0:40. notes that his "American flag is flying at a bit more than half mast, if you know what we're saying."

    Dispatch from Random Pixels' World Cup correspondent!

    My long-time friend, Raúl De Molina, the co-host of Univision Network's popular show, "El Gordo y la Flaca," is in South Africa covering the World Cup.

    When we last heard from Raul, he had just cheated death!

    Today, he sends along some pictures he shot at Saturday night's Spain - Paraguay match-up. The top two pictures show Raúl and his wife Milly and daughter Mia. They all look like they're having the time of their lives!

    The pictures below show some of the faces in the crowd!

    Great work Raúl! Send more!

    Today's Don Wright classic cartoon

    from the pen of former Miami News and Palm Beach Post editorial cartoonist Don Wright.

    Jan. 15, 1985-U.S. Supreme Court OK's searches of students at school

    Here's how Don Wright saw the decision in a cartoon published in the Miami News on Jan.16, 1985

    click image to enlarge

    At least one Miami News reader thought the cartoon was in poor taste.

    (After more than 50 years as a newspaper photographer and cartoonist, Don Wright is still drawing cartoons.)

    Saturday, July 03, 2010

    Glenn Garvin to donate his brain to science

    I only wish the above statement were true.

    Perhaps then, we'd learn why Garvin - who works for the once great Miami Herald - continues to find it necessary to to make a complete ass of himself. And seemingly enjoy it.

    My friend over at South Florida Lawyers blog has done an admirable job of cataloging Glenn's brain farts. It's a job I don't want.

    But I couldn't let the latest installment of "Glenn Garvin - Why I hate Everything," pass without mention.

    The other day Garvin gleefully discovered that a 17 year-old screed he'd written bashing National Public Radio, had finally surfaced on the web.

    Garvin's paper hides its archives behind a pay-wall. In Garvin's case, that's a good thing. (Note to Herald editors: Maybe there's a message in there somewhere...any chance you could follow suit and hold all of Garvin's copy for 17 years before publishing it.)

    Anyway, the main point of Garvin's piece was that "NPR is nothing but a cultish echo chamber with a tiny audience anchored in a dying medium, funded almost entirely with money extorted from taxpayers."

    Hmmm, "a tiny audience in a dying medium?" I wonder if Garvin was thinking about the Herald when he penned that line?

    Well, it didn't take long for the folks at NPR to rip Garvin's thesis to shreds.
    There are many aspects of [Garvin's] recent blog posting "An old-but-goodie" piece of NPR-bashing that NPR could challenge, but I’ll limit myself to one statement, written this week: by Glen Garvin: “But the thrust of the story, I think, remains valid. NPR remains a cultish echo chamber with a tiny audience anchored in a dying medium, funded almost entirely with money extorted from taxpayers. Other than that, public radio is great.”

    The fact is – not one of these assertions is true – and public radio is great. We are dismayed that an organization with the Miami Herald’s reputation would fail to check the facts.
    The statement that NPR is funded almost entirely with money “extorted from taxpayers” is outrageous and enormously disrespectful (emphasis mine) to the people who make up public radio’s largest source of funding: the 2.85 million households that voluntarily contribute to public radio stations annually. The fact is that roughly 10 percent of public radio station funding comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private non-profit chartered by the Congress. The largest source of station funding is contributions from listeners, followed by corporate sponsorship.

    As to NPR, Inc., we have received no operating support from the federal government since 1983. About 2 percent of NPR’s annual budget comes from competitive grants from federally funded organizations. NPR, Inc’s largest sources of revenue are NPR member stations, who pay program fees and dues to NPR, and corporate sponsors.

    Dana Davis Rehm

    Senior vice president – Marketing, Communications & External Relations

    Now if I was as anti-intellectual and intolerant of viewpoints that differ from my own - as Garvin seems to be - I'd recommend that the Herald fire him. But I'm not that way. I say let him continue to make an ass of himself. Everyday. And print his stuff on the front page with Dave Barry's crap!!

    But, maybe there's a journalistic equivalent of a blanket party that his peers on the fifth floor can administer to Glenn. Quickly.

    But until that day, it looks like Garvin is intent on embarrassing himself...and his paper.

    Don Wright classic cartoon

    from the pen of former Miami News and Palm Beach Post editorial cartoonist Don Wright.

    Aug. 11, 1984-President Ronald Reagan jokes about bombing the Soviet Union

    Aug. 15, 1984-the Soviets are not amused

    Don Wright summed up the affair in this classic cartoon that ran in the Miami News on Aug.14, 1984

    click image to enlarge

    (After more than 50 years as a newspaper photographer and cartoonist, Don Wright is still drawing cartoons.)

    Thursday, July 01, 2010

    The way we were

    Miami Beach police take billy goat into custody

    from the Miami Daily News, Mar. 4, 1938