12 CDs for the Price of 1!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

"Visiting Hours Are Every Thursday, But You Might Want To Wait"

First, Dear Readers, I have removed the article with my email for a reason. If you want to reach me please do so in the comment section. I really appreciate the notes but I often can't distinguish them from junk mail.-Miamista Now back to our program.

It’s official, the Miami New Times is on life support. Let's see the highlights of recent offerings: "Brilliant Miami Cuban Proves We Ain't Born From Monkeys", "Hilarious Mock Interview from Cub Writer at Miami Hurricane", "Newsflash: Desperately Poor Tourist Town Lacks World Class Restaurants". And then there is this week’s cover story, “Miami Geeks Collect G.I. Joe Action Figures”. This final one is honestly freakin’ beyond belief. I am still looking for the punch line.

Honestly, Miami New Times makes the Herald look, well, readable. The Herald, cognizant that there is a void, has turned up the quality, just a bit, by hitting us with some surprising “johnny-on-the-spot” or is it Knight-Ridder-on-the-block, news reporting. A few writers are actually reporting the news. There is an excellent columnist, Anna Menendez, who deserves praise. You could actually fill up an entire page with readable stuff, if this was a tabloid and not a broadsheet.
Miami's mini-blogosphere has a commercial addition that has received a mixed reception. Contrary to Critical Miami's take, (which I always respect) I think that Miamist is downright entertaining in places. Once the writers come to actually know Miami it will make it all the better. There perspective is one that many can relate to, people from the outside who have just moved to town and don't know shit about it.

Ah, but the New Times. That paper’s stars are gone. Sure there were missteps even during Jim Mullin's high point, like the occasional employment of Special Agent Steve Dudley, the State Department's man in Miami (an odd thing for an alternative weekly). The decline however, all started with the departure of Jim Defede. After he left for Herald the Miami New Times was not the same. Neither was Jim. Jim Defede turned into a shadow of himself, writing sensationally more than having sensational stories. Today he is issuing commentary, of no actual value or interest, on television which is, ahem, not his medium.

Even the Bitch has been spayed after her blogging adventures. The New Times cleaned house and seemingly swept what remaining talent there was out with it. Rebecca Wakefield, whom I like and admire, (save the minor lapse that made her seem a little partisan prior to the Bennett Brummer election) is making the Sun Post almost a real paper. In terms of consistency, she may be the best columnist / investigative reporter going these days in the Magic City. A reporter freind went so far as to say that the Sun Post is the new Miami New Times. That could mean a lot of things...

Perhaps it was the heat that the office generated that gave the old New Times their edge. Half of Miami’s gainfully employed White writers- in their funky, get-about-years, working in an office together was bound to create some incestuous drama. Grrrrrrr! I say put the damn blog back up and let it be a section of the paper.

So unless editor Chuck Strouse, replacement to editor Jim Mullin, is able to offer an injection of journalism, ready the casket.

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