Man, this is a lousy newspaper, ain't it?
I know so because people tell me every day.
For starters there is the liberal thing. The entire enterprise that is the St. Petersburg Times exists to promote the Socialist Collectivist Agenda, to cover up the truth about Obama (and Clinton before him), to brainwash the feeble-minded, and to convince everybody not only to vote Democrat like morons, but to throw their paychecks into a big pot each week, so that the money can be showered upon the lazy and undeserving.
Meanwhile, the traditional cry ("I read something I didn't like — cancel my subscription!") has been replaced with the modern, "I read something I didn't like — no wonder your industry is dying!" I have heard this plaint on every occasion, from the mention in the news pages of Hulk Hogan, to the relocation of the comics to the classified-advertising section, which apparently presaged the death of Western Civilization. In short, the once-proud Times is, you know, Not the Newspaper It Used To Be.
By way of near-parting, allow me to reply:
On the first point, when Democrats ran the state, I said exactly the same things that I am sayin' now that Republicans run the state. The difference is that the Democrats did not scream, wet their pants, and boo-hoo about it. Indeed I might say something good about Republicans on Tuesday, and bad on Thursday, and be inundated with smug idjits who apparently spring afresh into the world each morning, as Athena from the forehead of Zeus, unmindful of any actual fact, and gibbering "liberal liberal liberal."
To reiterate, then:
As for the whole Not the Newspaper It Used To Be thing, I do agree, except for a couple of things, including:
Two reporters using satellites, computers and two years' time to show the destruction of Florida's wetlands; dogged scrutiny of the state pension system; the single-handed uncovering of the Ray Sansom scandal (which was true even if the charges didn't stick); investigations of the pharmaceutical industry and pill mills; the amazing coverage of the Dozier School for Boys; equally amazing stories of the Church of Scientology; the here-is-why-we-need-newspapers reporting on chemicals at Camp Lejeune; ongoing local investigations of everything from the Jim Smith land scandal in Pinellas to the Buddy Johnson circus in Hillsborough to the cracks in Tampa Bay Water's reservoir; with our friends at the Miami Herald the most in-depth coverage of state government in Florida; the must-read Buzz for political news; the story of double-dipping public employees that led to a change in state law; the exposure of the "Taj Mahal" courthouse in Tallahassee; ongoing investigations of the mortgage fraud industry; the brilliant exposure of the scam called the U.S. Navy Veterans Association; one of the nation's best sports sections; award-winning design, photography and visual presentation; the single-handed invention of a new kind of journalism called PolitiFact, which is spreading across the country, and which, in 2009, along with some of the best feature writing you will read, won the newspaper two Pulitzer Prizes in the same year for the first time in its history. I am leaving out a few hundred things.
Other than that, it's a rag.