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!

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