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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves



A weekly airing of national and local politics, sports and lifestyle items from a very politically incorrect viewpoint. As always, beware - much of what is printed here should not be taken literally.


The Times: beginning of the end?


We begin with a piece from the August 17, 2014 TBRR – our first year of publication: Think of things that were here a quarter century ago and now gone forever (i.e. the Pontiac and VHS). Think ahead twenty five years about things that now exist and will be gone then. Two candidates – AM radio and the daily newspaper.

It’s beginning to look more and more like we were about two decades off in the demise of the daily paper. The Tampa Bay Times, Florida’s Best Newspaper (FBN), as they are fond of labeling themselves, has announced today it is becoming a twice-weekly paper. Those with a sharp memory will remember this was the first step in the demise of the beloved Clearwater Sun. The paper, of course, lays its troubles at the foot of coronavirus, but there were stormy seas much in advance to the pandemic – salary cuts, layoffs and a continuously shrinking paper. Even cash infusions from some deep pocketed individuals have not been enough. The reasons for their perilous position - there are many, but some of the major missteps – a disconnect from their population base in Pinellas in an attempt to become more “regional”, their continual march to the left (if you believe the Times, there never has been a GOP presidential or gubernatorial candidate worthy of their endorsement in the paper’s entire existence) and dragging their feet in entering the digital age. Will the Times go away? Probably not, we see them eventually bowing to the inevitable and being absorbed by a chain which hopefully would lead to more balanced reporting. But if the paper does succumb, we will not dance on the grave, but sorrow in the loss of our last daily newspaper – a tragedy the Times, for the most part, brought upon themselves.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. In a related note and further reason for their troubles: we’ve always considered FBN’s John Romano a hack, but his recent branding of Governor Ron DeSantis a coward is beyond the pale. Forgetting his naval career as a SEAL and JAG, DeSantis has busted his tail to do the right thing for his home state in an unprecedented crisis. Romano’s irresponsible words and FBN’s allowing them to be published show just how far the art of journalism has sunk. He and his paper owe the Governor of this state an apology.

2. Buried by all the coronavirus news was the swearing in last week of Clearwater’s new council members – one an avowed anti-Scientologist, the other endorsed by Scientologists during the election. Should be fun.

3. In a related note, Arizona’s chief elections official is calling for an all-mail election during the current crisis. This is something that makes way too much sense - pandemic or not.

4. Things could be worse on the health front. While we all self-isolate, in New York State’s hospitals, workers are simply not showing up for their shifts. We’re sure Governor Cuomo will find a way to blame this on our President.

5. Idle thought: Funny how you adapt to a failing device and then see how inefficient it had become when you replace it – like the mouse on the computer that generates this weekly drivel.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. It has almost become a weekly again – from the most recent “special edition” of the 5:05 Newsletter -Sports Thought: This is the perfect time for Jerry Seinfeld to create another television "show about nothing." They can call it ESPN.

7. A belated Happy Birthday to Tampa Bay’s WTVT Channel 13 which signed on 65 years ago last week. Channel 13 is one of the many, many good things about living in the bay area.

8. Given their history of excellent ads over the years, we shouldn’t be surprised by the content of the most recent Publix ad, explaining in simple terms what they are doing to help us and we can do to help them and our fellow shoppers.

9. We note the passing of long time media figure, Earl Emmons at age 85. Earl held many positions at The Tampa Tribune over the years, and we enjoyed sharing a broadcast booth with him covering prep sports in the late sixties and early seventies. Earl was an interesting and terrific guy.

10. Speaking of the media and reflecting back on our Remembering piece of last week, you’ve lived in Clearwater a long time if you remember two men who chronicled the Clearwater Bomber’s success – the Clearwater Sun’s Bill Currieand WTAN’s “Mayor Bob” Weatherly.


Return of the TBRR focus group:


It’s been awhile since our TBRR Focus Group (a group of four old, cranky people) has convened due to health issues and, sadly, the passing of one of our members. We queried the group about the things they miss most during the self-imposed isolation during the virus outbreak. Their answers were major league baseball, their favorite restaurant, attending church, the library, gathering with friends and, from the workaholic in the group, going to the office.

UP NEXT: Monday morning QBs; Birth of the pony car; MLB’s future



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