Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) "slaughter[ed]" the "gift horse" of a federal grant for a Tampa-to-Orlando high-speed rail project,  Time magazine's Michael Grunwald complained a few days ago.

Grunwald isn't alone among liberal journalists who believe high-speed rail to be a no-brainer, a sure-fire "investment" in economic growth.

But is it really, especially when that money could be plugged into other infrastructure investments that make more long-term sense economically?

For his part, Gov. Scott has suggested he'd welcome federal money for port upgrades in Miami and Jacksonville, something the feds are unwilling to do.

But a story posted Thursday at the website for the Miami Herald could highlight the wisdom of plunking money into port upgrades as opposed to high-speed rail:



Call it the Peter Principle 2.0.

Instead of just promoting someone to the level of his incompetence, McClatchy Newspapers has actually promoted failed Miami Herald executive editor, Anders Gyllenhaal, beyond the level of his incompetence. Is your humble correspondent being a bit too harsh in his assessment of Anders Gyllenhaal's capabilities? Allow me to enter into the record the judgement in September of the people who actually worked for him at the Herald:

Last week, several Miami Herald editors and reporters wrote a letter to the paper's management asking it to stop focusing on delivering quick news and return to its roots in well-reported investigative journalism. We're not sure if this is the answer. But we are sure of one thing: the quality of the paper has suffered a lot under the leadership of executive editor Anders Gyllenhaal. Perhaps he understands the Internet and its role in new journalism, but he is clearly having a hard time putting a plan into action.

Indeed the letter circulated internally and signed by most of the paper's top news personnel is a clear sign of dysfunction. Why would such a group of bright people -- including a half dozen Pulitzer Prizer winners -- resort to assembling such a diatribe if the paper were working.

...Gyllenhaal worked in Miami back in the '80s, but he spent years away before returning several years ago. He doesn't get the pulse of this city. Moreover, he's aloof and not well liked in the newsroom. He is the wrong guy to run the paper at this time. So listen up McClatchy: It's time to dump Anders.



Gov. Charlie Crist "goes it alone in his bid for Senate," the Miami Herald noted in its headline today for a story about the Florida governor's plan to ditch his floundering attempt to secure the GOP Senate nomination in favor of an independent run.

The story by Herald staffers Steve Bousquet, Adam C. Smith and Beth Reinhard painted Crist in a sympathetic light as a misunderstood statesman who's become a "pariah" to his party and has thus been "forced to run an unconventional race" (emphases mine):

Gov. Charlie Crist, a pariah in the Republican Party that has been vital to his success, will launch a risky political career Thursday as a ``people's candidate'' for the U.S. Senate with no party affiliation.

Crist began telling campaign donors of his decision Wednesday, which he will announce at 5 p.m. at Straub Park in downtown St. Petersburg, surrounded by family members, friends, local supporters and an army of media personnel. It will be an extraordinary event in Florida's colorful political history, as a one-term governor who blew a 30-point lead in the Republican Senate primary is forced to run an unconventional race.



Americans love to talk sports. Polite Americans don't talk religion. So when those two things meet, the news media has no idea what to make of it.

Unfortunately for journalists, sports and religion - Christianity in particular - seem to be publicly mingling more often these days. Some star athletes are more outspoken in their faith, while many others regularly find themselves in need of spiritual, if not legal, redemption.



I'm not sure which is funnier about this Miami Herald story; that Adultery 101 was published in that newspaper or the fact that it was actually written by Herald staffers. It is so bizarre of a story that it should be marked down as a sign of desperation to attract readers in the midst of a calamitous circulation plunge.

So let us now join the Miami Herald staffers as they present their readers with "helpful tips" on how to commit adultery with a celeb shoutout to Tiger Woods:

So you're left scratching your head, wondering how a guy like Tiger Woods would allow himself to get caught cheating on his wife.

We're not saying we condone Tiger's actions -- the best way to not get caught cheating on a spouse or significant other is to not cheat on your spouse or significant other. But from observing celeb and non-celeb cheaters from the sidelines for years, following these basic rules would help one cover his tracks.



Attention all you folks who think of yourselves as counterculture types who demonstrate your rebelliousness by wearing Che Guevara T-shirts. The author of the most popular blog from Cuba, Yoani Sanchez who not only talks the talk but walks the walk, thinks you are absurd. The Generation Y blogger was the subject of a Miami Herald story on Saturday. We will get to her marvelous quote on the subject of Che T-shirts below the fold but first some fascinating information on the person who provides an inside look at what is really happening in Cuba which is often missed by news agencies on that island:

Yoani Sánchez, the blogger who has gained an international following detailing the absurdities of daily life in Cuba, is on the phone from her 14th-floor apartment in Havana, where the elevators rarely work. She speaks plainly, boldly, with none of the hemming and hawing common among folks on the island who fear their phones are tapped.

Sánchez is certain hers is. She is constantly followed, too. None of this stops her from finding ways, despite government attempts to block her, of continuing to post to Generación Y, the blog she launched in April 2007 and for which she has won several awards. Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2008.



Over at Media Bistro, we find an odd story that has it all: foul language, boorish behavior, sexual harassment, a male U.S. Navy officer, and a female journalist. Only the story isn’t what you might think it would be considering the ingredients. In this case it is the naval officer filing a complaint against the female reporter for sexual harassment.

Media Bistro has learned that US Navy Commander Jeffrey D. Gordon has filed a sexual harassment complaint against the Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg with Gordon claiming that Rosenberg made comments about Gordon’s “sexual orientation,” repeatedly showered foul language upon him, and made comments of a sexual nature to him in the presence of others.



There seems to be an interesting rule of thumb lately in the newspaper business. Whenever a publisher delivers a pep talk about how well they are doing or about their future plans for improvement, it always signals bad news in the near future. And the more fervent the pep talk, the steeper the circulation plunge. This certainly has proved true with the Miami Herald. Here is a video from late March of the Herald publisher, David Landsberg, boldly promising better things in the future for that ailing newspaper:

We've all been dealing with a pretty steady diet of difficult financial news over the last few months. The Miami Herald Media company has taken actions to make sure that we can weather this financial downturn. We've got the largest reporting staff of any news organization in all of South Florida. Our readers tell us we make a difference in their lives and that is really important to us. The Miami Herald's commitment to South Florida won't change. That's something everyone can count on.



UPDATE: The Miami Herald has now taken down their ACN articles. Full report from McClatchy Watch.

Want to know what is going on in Cuba? Well, the Miami Herald is feeding its readers propaganda printouts from the Communist government's Cuban News Agency (ACN) and passing them off as legitimate news. What also makes this practice especially insidious is that the pages on which these stories appear makes it seem as if they are Associated Press stories (AP). Note the prominent capitalized "AP" in the URL of the Herald's most recent ACN story: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/americas/cuba/AP/story/969447.html. And despite that "AP" this is not an AP story. It is strictly a copy and paste story from ACN or, more accurately, ACCN, Communist Cuban News Agency. So let us now take a look at a couple of the recent ACN propa...uh, news stories that have appeared in the Miami Herald including the most recent tender account of President/Dictator Raul Castro happily celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Cuban secret police aka State Security Services:

ACN  [psst! try not to notice us.]

Cuban President Raul Castro today presided over the main ceremony for the 50th anniversary of the founding of Cuba’s State Security Services.


If you thought John Edwards was permanently gone from the political scene, you would be wrong. Unbelievably, Edwards is now tentatively taking steps to re-enter politics as you can read in this McClatchy report by Barbara Barrett which appeared in the Miami Herald. The idea of Edwards returning to politics might seem like an incredibly laughable notion to most of us but not to a certain Brown University professor of political science who takes it completely seriously as we shall see. Please stifle your laughter as you read about the grand return of John Edwards:

Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards took another tentative step into the public spotlight Tuesday, speaking at Brown University about extreme poverty around the world and urging Americans to get involved in what he called a "fundamental moral issue."

Edwards, a two-time candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, has struggled to get his message heard since a scandal about an affair he had with a former campaign staffer enveloped his personal life.



While Time's Tim Padgett insists that at its 50-year anniversary the Castro Revolution in Cuba "deserves its due," Huber Matos might agree, but for entirely different reasons. After all, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat its mistakes.

Matos, who fought alongside the brothers Castro to overthrow Fulgencio Batista, has long felt that the Castros betrayed the Cuban people by imposing a dictatorship, not restoring a democracy as they led him and other non-Communist revolutionaries to believe.

Matos now resides in south Florida and sat down for an interview with Miami Herald's Luisa Yanez to share his thoughts:



Remember Baghdad Bob? He was the Iraqi press spokesmen who caused much amusement in the West because of his unrealistically upbeat pronouncements when Iraq was invaded by the United States and its allies in 2003. Among Baghdad Bob's funnier announcements was his declaration that no Americans were in Baghdad at the same moment when American troops were patrolling the streets of that city just a few hundred yards from where he was holding that press conference. Well, the newspaper industry has its own Baghdad Bob in the form of McClatchy CEO, Gary Pruitt, who in early 2007 gave his own unrealistically upbeat reports to his company's employees on the purchase of Knight-Ridder in 2006. That purchase quickly turned into an utter disaster as evidenced that the former Knight-Ridder flagship newspaper, the Miami Herald, is now being put up for sale by McClatchy. Below are a few excerpts from the 2007 video of Pruitt performing his Baghdad Bob routine including a bizarre invocation of that great "philosopher," Lenny Kravitz:

Hi. I'm Gary Pruitt, CEO of McClatchy. This has been a busy year for all of us and I haven't been able to meet  with as many of you as I'd like. I hope to start changing that. But for now I would want to spend a few minutes here talking to you about our company. Where we've been and where we're headed. Let's start with last year. Conventional wisdom is that 2006 was a catastrophe for the newspaper industry. That's just not the case. 

"In Umm Qasr, the fighting is fierce and we have inflicted many damages. The stupid enemy, the Americans and British, failed completely. They're not making any penetration."