Thursday, February 16, 2006

What Was He Thinking?

Got the story on Sun-Sentinel political writer Buddy Nevins’ speech to local Republicans. Lauderdale Beach Republican Club founder and former president Bob Wolfe told me he invited Nevins to the club on Feb. 6 to speak and was “stunned” by what the columnist said at the meeting, which morphed into something of a Nevins-led GOP pep rally.

First he announced that he’d abandoned the Democrats for the GOP, which led to cheers. A member of the audience asked him why he’d made the switch. According to Wolfe, Nevins’ answer was, “To vote for Charlie Crist in the primary.”

Crist, of course, is running a pitched battle with Tom Gallagher in the Republican gubernatorial race to replace Jeb Bush. I don’t need to explain here the implications. Nevins’ spends most of his time doing straight political reporting for the Sentinel rather than his weekly nuts-and-bolts, non-ideological column. And now he’s publicly backed a candidate in the state’s most important campaign -- which he has covered as a reporter this year. To say he’s compromised his stance as an unbiased reporter would be an understatement. The Gallagher folks and the Democrats will feast on that little tidbit.

But Nevins wasn't nearly finished. He then told the Republican room that there was a “liberal” bias in the Sun-Sentinel newsroom. To prove it he pointed out that there were a lot of gay and lesbian employees working there.

“But he took a lot of questions from the crowd and he basically made comments that the media is liberal,” Wolfe told the Pulp of the meeting, which wasn’t recorded. “And he made some comments about how people wore their sexuality on their sleeve in this community and especially in the newsroom and that it reflects the liberalism [at the Sentinel].”

To illustrate his point, Nevins mentioned that he used to sit next to the president of the gay and lesbian journalists’ association.

Wolfe said that as Nevins was making his comments, he worried that a member of the Log Cabin Republicans who was in attendance would be offended.

“I didn’t personally view it as a bigoted remark,” Wolfe said. “I think Buddy was just playing to the room. I just don't like to see sexuality brought into the discussion at all.”

The Sentinel, by the way, does employ numerous gay and lesbian reporters and editors. While Wolfe is forgiving, I wonder how this will play in the newsroom.

When it was over Wolfe, a moderate Republican, said he was waiting for Nevins to break it to the room that it was an April Fool’s joke. “I think his comments stunned a lot of people in the room,” he said.

I asked Buddy for a response yesterday afternoon and haven't heard back from him. In some ways I admire Nevins for speaking his mind. And I know he has integrity as a reporter, no matter which party he belongs to. But I also think the speech was a terrible lapse of judgment, especially considering the audience.

And I think it’s a pretty good bet we’ll find out more in his column this coming Saturday.

Story of the Day

Once again, we have a no-brainer today, though it's buried on page 6B of the Sentinel. Reporter Angel Streeter does a pitch-perfect job telling about recent developments involving the The Siren statue in Wellington. In case you don't remember The Siren, I've added a pic. Streeter writes that artist Norm Gitzen, or "her maker" as Streeter puts it, has "added enhancements: nipples." Now that's what I call a, um, twist in the story. "Now, she will be complete," says Gitzen, who is apparently a mix between Frankenstein and Larry Flynt. But Gitzen will have to remove the nipples before it returns to its regular roost at the Wellington Community Center. Said Krisztine Ergas, who works there, "[The nipples] would not be appropriate." Any guesses as to what Ergas actually called them?

To Main Page

74 Comments:

Anonymous Whitey Fraud said...

Bithering idiot. Case closed.

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is he endorsing in other races too? What an abuse of power!

7:14 AM  
Blogger Florida Pulp said...

I appreciate y'all's thoughts, but I want to reiterate that Buddy Nevins has been an admirable political reporter. He has basically constructed a road map of the interconnections of Broward politics for the past decade or two. I've learned more from him than any other reporter in South Florida. I do think he crossed the line here, which is why I'm reporting this, but Buddy deserves respect.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Whitey Fraud said...

You're free to respect him as much as you like, Pulpy, but he's still a blithering idiot. Today. Right now.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed. These days he deserves about as much respect as he's shown to the countless others he's maliciously attacked in an effort to help his friends. He's now as much a part of those political interconnections as the people he writes about, or in some cases, doesn't write about.

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Nevins says he switched to support Crist, but then he makes those comments about gays and lesbians? Ironic, isn't it...

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how 'Florida Pulp' sets up a whole website to discredit working journalists and then gets his feathers ruffled when people start to pile on.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Florida Pulp said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to reiterate that Buddy Nevins has been an admirable political reporter ... I do think he crossed the line here

Whatever one thought of Buddy's integrity in the past (and he ALWAYS played favorites in his column when it came to helping candidates associated with his pals Ally Waldman and Ellyn Bogdanoff), there is no question Buddy is no longer fit to report political news. Write a column? Absolutely, as that is opinion-based. Report campaign news on the Governor race, etc? No way.

And another thing ...... Buddy's been a Republican for something like 15 seconds and he goes from pro-gay rights to an anti-gay bigot!!! Must be a requirement of being a Republican.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, to follow Buddy's logic: Many, many large corporations have gays and lesbians on their staffs.

Does this mean that Microsoft, Amazon, Wal-Mart, GE, etc., are liberally biased as well?

When will the sexuality-related political pandering stop?

5:34 PM  
Blogger Miamista said...

I'm sorry, did you say "non-idealogical reporting" by Buddy Nevins? When? I whole-heartedly agree with the comment that went "deserves about as much respect as he's shown to the countless others he's maliciously attacked in an effort to help his friends. He's now as much a part of those political interconnections as the people he writes about, or in some cases, doesn't write about."

1:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please remember that Buddy's son works for Republican State Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff. To learn more about Ellyn, who pretended to be a moderate, look at the expose in the Palm Beach post about her ties with Senator Ken Pruitt and noted Republican strategist/hitman Randy Nielsen.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It kind of makes sense now - one only read the beginning of this Nevin's column to see which of the two Democratic candidates Nevin's wants to see go up against his boy Crist. He gloats on Davis ("He is running in the Democratic primary against state Sen. Rod Smith of Alachua, who seems to be getting little traction in Broward County." - Smith has raised more than Davis in that county)
and then is sure to put in props for Charlie at the end.



PANHANDLE, BROWARD APPEAR PROMISING FOR DEMOCRAT DAVIS

January 14, 2006

Charles Morris refuses to believe Florida is a red state.

Morris is the Democratic Chairman of Liberty County, a dot in the Panhandle where voters are registered Democratic blue but vote Republican red.

The county has approximately 3,500 Democrats and 350 Republicans, but voted for President Bush 2-to-1 in 2004.

That was before U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, the Tampa Democratic running for governor, came to town.

Davis' tour of all 67 counties in Florida ended in Liberty County last month. Morris, a Liberty County deputy sheriff, was impressed. "He could carry Liberty County," Morris said.

Talk like that from a Panhandle politician is persuading key South Florida Democrats to sign on with Davis. He is running in the Democratic primary against state Sen. Rod Smith of Alachua, who seems to be getting little traction in Broward County.

Davis' selling points:

He has name ID in the Tampa Bay area since 1988, when he first entered the state Legislature. The Tampa Bay area contains approximately 25 percent of the state's voters.

As his tour of 67 counties shows, Davis realizes that to win he must capture parts of the state that have been voting Republican.

"It's not going to be just Broward County that wins this election for Democrats," Davis said.

Davis, 49, is a moderate who can win in North Florida. Yet, he isn't abandoning the Democratic base in South Florida. Gay leaders like Michael Albetta of Fort Lauderdale are backing him.

Davis is the only candidate for governor in either major party with nine years of experience at the federal level, vital at a time when the state needs cooperation from Washington to solve problems.

Those are just some of the reasons that Broward Democratic leaders gathered in Sunrise this week to support Davis.

They included county Democratic Chair Mitch Ceasar; state Rep. Eleanor Sobel, chair of the Broward Legislative Delegation; Sunrise Mayor Steve Feren; county Commissioners Josephus Eggelletion, Diana Wasserman-Rubin and Sue Gunzburger; long-time northwest Fort Lauderdale activist Frankie Thomas and a dozen others.

If Davis can combine support like he has in Broward with North Florida folks like Morris, he will be our next governor.

"I know a winner when I see one," said Gloria Jackson, a Broward activist for three decades who has held every post in the party. "With Jim Davis we're ready to win again. I'm so sick of losing."

CRIST'S CREW

Although Broward is heavily Democratic with more than 530,000 registered Democrats, it still has 280,000 Republican voters and is important in any statewide GOP race.

Republican Attorney General Charlie Crist got a big head start in snaring those Broward GOP votes when many county Republican pooh bahs joined his race for governor. Fort Lauderdale lawyer Ed Pozzuoli, former Broward GOP chairman and former Broward chairman of Bush-Cheney 2004, was named Crist's Broward chairman this week.

Crist's Broward organization also includes state Rep. Susan Goldstein of Weston as honorary chairman. Some of the co-chairs are Joe Cobo of the Broward Hispanic Coalition; Rev. Dr. O'Neal Dozier, a key adviser to Gov. Jeb Bush on African American affairs; Linda Gill, owner of hotels and a fixture in the Fort Lauderdale business community; Kevin Tynan, former chairman of the Broward GOP and a Bush appointee to the South Broward Hospital District board; and Dr. Alan Mendelson, a South Broward ophthalmologist and fund-raiser in the medical community.

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