Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Kane or a Crutch?

We've been having a little fun with reporters' repititions lately, from Dan Le Batard's prediliction for repeating the same phrases to Palm Beach Post writer Leslie Gray Streeter's fancy of the word "yummy." Here's a new one:

Buddy Nevins' chronic use of the words "Jim Kane."

In a Sunday story about Congressional candidate Katherine Harris's visit to South Florida, Nevins turns to the "pollster" for his sage political wisdom. Or his nonsensical sputterings, as was the case Sunday:

"Harris's dramatic television announcement was a 'double-edged sword,' said Jim Kane, a Davie-based pollster who teaches at the University of Florida. Kane said the millions would chase away any potential opposition in the GOP primary. 'Nobody is going to run against her $10 million,' he said. 'It also tells the GOP donor world that she doesn't need their money and that puts her out there on her own. That's not good.'"

But Kane is more than a pollster and teacher. He's a lobbyist for the powerful -- and very partisan -- Forman family. There has been much written about his problematic dual roles, but that hasn't slowed down Nevins, who calls him just about every time he needs an inane quote to fill up space in his copy. A Nexis search shows that he's used Kane in 157 stories since 1998. That's one hundred and fifty seven and that verges on downright creepy. It's like a journalistic mind-meld. You can't tell where Nevins end and Kane begins.

Good Night Sunshine

Dara Kam of the Palm Beach Post does a great job today of showing how the boobs in Tallahassee are trying to put a lid on public records. This is something that should spark a lot of healthy outrage out there.

V Is For Vendetta At FLPD

I missed a great crime story in the Sentinel on Sunday (it was in the Palm Beach edition, which I have to read more often). Missy Stoddard's story about a teenaged mother who stabbed her 34-year-old boyfriend in a cheap motel is total Pulp. Stoddard knows it's all in the details, the flipping off of the photographer, the Pall Mall cigarettes, the quotes ("I told her you don't get no abortion"), and she knows how to tell a story. It's a belated Story of the Day.

And while I'm on good crime stories, I have to mention this crazy tale in the Sentinel today about a cop who tried to use the P.D. to go after his girlfriend's estranged husband. The good news: There's no evidence that he was on steroids at the time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buddy may overuse Kane, but in his defense, all political reporters have regular "go-to sources" for quotes. It's part of the game.

12:57 PM  
Blogger cayo conch said...

Oh dear ... I'm sure this isn't the reporter's fault but this "breaking news" from the Herald's Web site sure looks straight outta the Onion ...

Drive-through employee lashes out at customer
A Burger King drive-through employee said he fought with a customer because he had made a racial slur, according to Miami Herald news partner WFOR-CBS4.

But customer Kevin Gillis said he simply ordered fries for his daughter when he drove into the Burger King just south of I-595 and University Drive in Davie.

Employee Michael Perez allegedly ripped off his headsets, climbed out of the drive-through window and made his way toward Gillis' truck.

Gillis was able to hold down Perez, 18, until police arrived.

Perez and Gillis also argued over loose change.

In the end, Perez was charged with burglary and assault.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Gator said...

Actually, I would rather have him quote Kane by name than use the "source who requested that his name not be used."

I'm not sure, though, in the example you cited, how Kane's quote was a "nonsensical sputtering, or how his Forman connection might have influenced his view on Harris' self-funding her campaign.

The question, I would think, is . . . is Kane the best person to go to for political analysis? Surely his connection with Forman family does not make everything he says worthless. Suspect, perhaps, depending on the subject, but not worthless.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Florida Pulp said...

Gator, you are ever the defender of mediocrity and lax ethics in public discourse. God love ya.

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Kane's analysis.. The big story with the money is that it chases any possible republican contenders out of the race...

4:23 AM  
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