Thursday, January 18, 2018


Daniel Ruth, Times columnist

Daniel Ruth, Times columnist

Daniel Ruth has been scribbling away for four decades as a reporter, film critic, television critic and columnist for the Tampa Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Tampa Bay Times. He also has worked as a radio talk show host as well as an adjunct professor for the University of South Florida, the University of Tampa and Columbia College in Chicago. Daniel is a Peter Lisagor Award recipient for his columns in Chicago and has been honored by the Pinellas County Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union with the Irene Miller Vigilance In Journalism Award.

FILE - In this Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 file photo provided by Civil Beat, cars drive past a highway sign that says

Ruth: Lessons from 40 minutes of terror amid a false missile alarm in Hawaii

In the movie Bridge of Spies, the character of 1950s’ Soviet spook Rudolf Abel is asked if he is afraid he might be executed by the U.S. government for his espionage activities or possibly bumped off by his KGB superiors after he is returned to Moscow...
Published: 01/16/18
Updated: 01/17/18
ORG XMIT: CX810  FILE - In this Dec. 18, 1985 file photo, television talk-show host Oprah Winfrey puts her feet up as she relaxes in her studio office following a morning broadcast in Chicago, Ill. Winfrey came to Chicago in 1984 to WLS-TV's morning talk show,

Ruth: Imagine Oprah taking on the Donald in 2020

In 1985 when I was a general assignment reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, I was dispatched to the Northwestern University campus to interview Leo Buscaglia, who was then a famous self-help guru known for hugging anyone within arm’s...
Published: 01/10/18
Updated: 01/12/18
In a lawsuit, a contractor alleges that he was attacked by a bobcat while working in Christine Lee's condo at Skypoint in downtown Tampa. But Lee says her long-haired house cat Calli, pictured here with her, is no bobcat. [DAN SULLIVAN  |  Times]

Daniel Ruth: It wasn’t a bobcat in that apartment after all, but who’d be surprised if it were?

C’mon now, admit it. When you first heard the story of a contractor claiming he had been mauled by a, ahem, bobcat in the Skypoint condominium in the middle of downtown Tampa, you might well have thought to yourself, "Well, yeah, that could have...
Published: 01/10/18
SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
Adam Putnam, Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture, and Governor Rick Scott attend a joint session of the Florida Legislature, 1/9/18.

Ruth: On oil drilling, Scott’s environmental epiphany is welcome

Everybody calm down. Nothing to fret about. After all Gov. Rick Scott, the Jacques Cousteau of Tallahassee, answered the call to action to protect the state’s precious environment against the federal government’s ill-considered plan to risk turning...
Published: 01/09/18
Updated: 01/10/18

Ruth: It doesn’t take a genius to see Trump isn’t one

It’s a pretty good bet whenever you hear the word "genius" your mind wanders to figures like Albert Einstein, who came up with that whole relativity thingy, or perhaps Thomas Edison, who invented just about everything else Leonardo da Vinci forgot to...
Published: 01/08/18
Outback Bowl president and CEO Jim McVay has been running the operation for more than 30 years. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA   |   Times]

Daniel Ruth: Where do I sign up to get paid what Outback Bowl chief makes?

This has been a miserable failure.For the several days since the Tampa Bay Times’ Richard Danielson reported that Outback Bowl president and CEO Jim McVay earns a salary of — you might want to sit down and swallow that last sip of...
Published: 01/04/18

Ruth: For a new grandson, it’s the little things that count

Hong Kong is a vast, cosmopolitan city of some 8 million people. But for all its sophistication and reputation as an international financial center, it seems to have a critical shortage of, ahem, butt paste.Who knew?For weeks now the...
Published: 01/02/18
Updated: 01/03/18
Florida Governor Rick Scott delivers remarks during a roundtable discussion in Kissimmee, Fla., with central Florida elected official and community leaders about the influx to the Orlando, Fla., area of Puerto Rico residents impacted by Hurricane Maria, on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

Ruth: Scott’s election-year transformation from miser to spendthrift

As a new year dawns, the Florida Legislature, otherwise known as an open bar of lounge lizards, is preparing to open its annual legislative session next week. Cue the Love Boat theme.Given the Legislature’s recent portrayal as a den of groping,...
Updated one month ago
Florida U.S. congressman RonDeSantis speaks during a pre-legislative news conference, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)  FLSC107

Ruth: A Trump tweet doesn’t make DeSantis Florida’s gubernatorial front-runner

Trying to understand why politicians do what they do is something of a combination of anthropology, psychology and no small amount of befuddled head-scratching.Take the curious case of U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Who? Me?, who received a ringing...
Updated one month ago

Ruth: Latvala’s departure a lesson for other legislators

We’ll get to the all the sleazy, tawdry, boorish sexual stuff in just a moment. But first let us ponder the doughnut episode.Had soon-to-be-former Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Krispy Kreme, realized his improbable dream of getting elected governor,...
Updated one month ago