Big-time media stumbles over employee freedom

By Michael Miller….

“They’re too scared to laugh” commented Richard Wasserman in a recent column on Media Ethics in our morning ayem papyrus (Op Ed Page, 19A , October 25).

His comment as an academic overseer of journalism criticizes how the daily press (specifically, the NY Times, Washington Post, NPR) put out guidelines for its staff members who wanted to attend TV comic Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” last Saturday in Washington, DC, held to upstage the recent Sarah Palin-Tea Party event in the nation’s capital.

Normally, Wasserman might be expected to side with the more liberal media views but he threw up his arms in written exasperation over Big News Bosses who told employees whether they could (or, in some cases, could not) attend the rally unless actually covering the event. NPR apparently “banned” its non-working employees from joining whatever crowd might be expected.

“Extraordinary timidity” was the label Wasserman put on the mighty moguls of the Eastern Fourth Estate who feared reporters attending as spectators could taint their objectivity in future writing.

Is this how convoluted today’s press has become? Or, as a traditional editor on our staff put it: “Ethics have gone out the window, thanks largely to TV’s celebrityfocused reporting, ‘off the satellite’ junk journalism and cable’s talking heads, each of whom has a politically-correct agenda. So now reporters are told where they can or can’t go or else they’ll be rendered brainwashed? Where do these people come up with such nonsense? Nuts to them and their idiotic notions, too” he states (unequivocally).

Well, people do get upset after reading some of our own thoughts at times, so we have no quarrel with that. Nevertheless, in our SW 62nd Avenue shop, we hope we never reach a point of “ideological correctness” to determine where or where not our staffers can go, especially on their own time.

Matter of fact, if we did, they’d probably let us know where we could go, which is the kind of “freedom” of the press we appreciate.

Just a few days before today’s big balloting, the KFHA/PAC released its last endorsements which included backing both Kendrick Meek (Democrat) and Charlie Crist (Independent) for the Senate seat — which seems to be more of a nonendorsement of Marco Rubio, most probably the Republican winner. Concerned Citizens of East Kendall endorsed Crist alone, according to McHenry Hamilton.

Last we heard on the $5 proposed weekend/ holiday parking fees for several Kendall parks is that the County Commission “will take action” on some kind of plan to either soften, reduce or possibly eliminate the charges proposed by the Parks Department. Our reliable source says the issue is up for the Commission’s decision at its second meeting in November. Meanwhile, some 300 signed petitions turned up in October to ask elimination of the fee at Commissioner Javier Souto’s office.

Whitefly Warning! Commissioner Joe Martinez warns of a new and invasive species of Whitefly in Miami-Dade, known as the “gumbo limbo spiraling” whitefly, native to Central America and capable of infesting limbo, live oak, banana, black olive, mango, a variety of palms, and even some shrubs such as copperleaf, coco plum and wax myrtle. Watch for a spiral pattern of eggs beneath leaves and a sooty pattern of residue on nearby pool furniture, under trees and shrubbery.

Miami Dolphins arriving at Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations meeting next week with their announced topic of “Community Commitment” – which, as we read it, is convincing the public to okay tax funding to spruce up Sun Life Stadium so it will still be attractive for future Super Bowl selection – and, oh yes, World Cup Soccer. Session starts at 7 p.m., Monday, November 8 at Kendall Village Center civic pavilion, with Turnpike and MDX folks also on hand to explain how great it will be to have ORT (Open Road Tolling) only as the ‘Pike gets converted to Sunpass in months to come.

Thought of the Day:

Saying what we think gives us a wider conversational range than saying what we know.

— Cullen Hightower

Richard Yager contributed to this column.

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About the Author

Michael Miller
Michael co-owns Community Newspapers with his brother Grant and serves as Executive Editor of the group of newspapers. He enjoys writing about local politics and area businesses. Michael can be reached at

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