Monday, November 20, 2017
Politics

Forget pirates, cigars and sangria: Tampa gets only two-dimensional coverage on TV

RECOMMENDED READING


When it came to the television coverage of the Republican National Convention, did Tampa get the bang for its buck?

Well, depends on what you mean by bang.

This wasn't like hosting an Olympics or even a Super Bowl. In those cases, the host cities are on display. We see their history, their tradition, their sights, their sounds, their essence.

But when it comes to political conventions, all the cities run together. They all look the same. To the average viewer watching at home, especially those not associated with this area, Tampa might as well have been Charlotte, N.C., or Atlanta or Memphis or St. Louis.

Was the city mentioned? Yes, constantly. There was no mistaking where the RNC was held.

Everyone from Wolf Blitzer to Bill O'Reilly to Sean Hannity to Brian Williams to Diane Sawyer to Matt Lauer said the word "Tampa'' over and over and over again. So did CNN's Anderson Cooper, who arrived in town finally on Thursday after spending the previous three days hunkered down in New Orleans for Hurricane Isaac.

Did we see camera shots of Tampa? Well, sort of. CNN and ABC, in particular, showed sweeping aerial shots of downtown. (Thanks, by the way, to both for not showing those ugly concrete barriers that snarled up downtown.) But most pictures were of the Tampa Bay Times Forum — a few outside, almost all of them inside.

Viewers never learned about our traditions and culture — from Cuban sandwiches to cigars to our beaches.

We even got shortchanged by Jon Stewart. I was so looking forward to seeing Tampa skewered by the brilliant Daily Show host and all we got were the same old cliches about humidity, strippers and roaches. Really, Jon? How long did it take to write that bit — five minutes? Ten?

Come on, man, this is Tampa. This is Florida. We have like a billion things to lampoon. You're one of the best satirists of our time. And all you got is weather and stripper jokes? You and your staff are so much better than to go with the very first joke that popped into your head. What a ripoff.

So, today, we take down those concrete barriers, the Tampa Bay Times Forum goes back to being a hockey arena and our lives return to normal. Next week, we'll sit back and watch the Democratic National Convention from Charlotte, N.C.

Or is it Atlanta? Or St. Louis?

Heck, it all looks the same on TV.

Comments
2nd woman accuses Sen. Al Franken of inappropriate touching

2nd woman accuses Sen. Al Franken of inappropriate touching

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A second woman has accused Minnesota Sen. Al Franken of inappropriate touching.Lindsay Menz tells CNN that Franken placed his hand on her bottom as they posed for a photo at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010, two years into Fran...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Before budget ax fell, Visit Florida executives ran up hefty travel bills

Before budget ax fell, Visit Florida executives ran up hefty travel bills

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott’s tourism chiefs at Visit Florida spend a lot of public money taking trips to exotic places to promote Florida as a top worldwide destination.Four former top-level staff members at the state’s tourism promotion and its c...
Published: 11/20/17
As clock ticks on tax bill, White House signals a compromise

As clock ticks on tax bill, White House signals a compromise

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, said Sunday that the White House is willing to remove a contentious provision taking aim at the Affordable Care Act from the GOP tax overhaul plan if politically necessary, a move ...
Published: 11/19/17

Many Christian conservatives are backing Alabama’s Roy Moore

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Alabama’s Christian conservatives see Roy Moore as their champion. He has battled federal judges and castigated liberals, big government, gun control, Muslims, homosexuality and anything else that doesn’t fit the evangelical mold. ...
Published: 11/19/17
Senate ethics, relatively silent, could face busy year

Senate ethics, relatively silent, could face busy year

WASHINGTON — It’s been nearly six years since the Senate Ethics Committee conducted a major investigation of a sitting senator. Next year, the panel could be working nonstop, deciding the fate of up to three lawmakers, including two facing allegation...
Published: 11/18/17
Hillsborough seeks payback for ethics complaint but history shows that could be pricey

Hillsborough seeks payback for ethics complaint but history shows that could be pricey

TAMPA — Hillsborough County commissioners recently decided to go after the pocketbooks of several residents who filed unsuccessful ethics complaints against one of their colleagues.If history is any indicator, the maneuver is more likely to cost taxp...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/19/17
In struggling upstate New York cities, refugees vital to rebirth

In struggling upstate New York cities, refugees vital to rebirth

UTICA, N.Y.Pat Marino pulled into the shop on a cold, wet Thursday and stood close as a young mechanic with gelled-up hair and earrings lifted the truck and ducked underneath."You need a little bit more oil," the mechanic said."Five quarts wasn’t eno...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/18/17
As sex scandals topple the powerful: Why not Trump?

As sex scandals topple the powerful: Why not Trump?

WASHINGTON — "You can do anything," Donald Trump once boasted, speaking of groping and kissing unsuspecting women. Maybe he could, but not everyone can. The man who openly bragged about grabbing women’s private parts — but denied he really did so — w...
Published: 11/17/17
Allegations against Alabama’s Roy Moore dividing GOP women

Allegations against Alabama’s Roy Moore dividing GOP women

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Standing on the white marble steps of Alabama’s Capitol, Kayla Moore surrounded herself with two dozen other women Friday to defend husband Roy Moore against accusations of sexual misconduct that are dividing Republicans, and women...
Published: 11/17/17
Franken apologizes to woman who says he kissed, groped her

Franken apologizes to woman who says he kissed, groped her

WASHINGTON — Minnesota Sen. Al Franken personally apologized to the woman who has accused him of forcibly kissing her and groping her during a 2006 USO tour, saying he remembers their encounter differently but is "ashamed that my actions ruined that ...
Published: 11/17/17