Meaningless, But Fun, Sentinel Poll Games: 83 Percent Oppose CSX Deal

Hee Hee. The Orlando Sentinel’s version of the Polk Pulse has produced more than 12,000 online votes concerning the CSX deal/Sunrail plan.

As of this writing, 83 percent oppose. Unscientific? Absolutely. Manipulated by opponents? Perhaps, though supporters could manipulate it just as easily. Amusing? Yes.

More interestingly, and predictably, the entire Sentinel has managed to ignore the St. Pete Times story on Rep. Steve Precourt’s big money made off the commuter rail portion of the deal. (I’ve google and site searched for Precourt references. If I’ve missed one, let me know and I’ll correct.)

Now, I don’t have any great beef with how the Sentinel’s news operation has handled coverage of the overall deal. News is always written from the geographical point-of-view of the writer, and considering the pressure they must be under from Fred Leonhardt and the Orlando cabal, I think Dan Tracy, Jay Hamburg, and the Tally folks have provided reasonably fair reporting.

But does anybody think that if Paula Dockery somehow had a $1.7 million personal tie to this deal, the Sentinel news operation wouldn’t report it in great detail and that the thoroughly corrupt Sentinel editorial page wouldn’t be hammering it every second of every day? You think Mike Thomas would manage to miss that? It really is striking how the paper’s institutional support of the CSX deal distorts the intellectual honesty of its opinion content. For instance, Scott Maxwell, who has not been one of the nasty cheerleaders, still couldn’t bring himself to say the words SunRail or CSX in his much-deserved crackback on Mica about trumpeting the stimulus money after voting against it. He just linked to Mica’s press release on the extended entry. That’s quite a contortion.

Come on guys, suck it up and show a little professional honor.

8 thoughts on “Meaningless, But Fun, Sentinel Poll Games: 83 Percent Oppose CSX Deal

  1. According to the St. Petersburg Times, Representative Precourt is not associated with the firm that received the $1.7 million contract. He had already sold his interest. Speaking of conflicts, you failed to mention that you were removed from covering this story while you were employed by The Tampa Tribune due to a conflict of interest. Now, who’s being intellectually dishonest? Now, let’s start a pool to see how long it takes the pitbull to reply with rants and attacks, not the whole truth.

  2. According to the St. Petersburg Times, Representative Precourt is not associated with the firm that received the $1.7 million contract. He had already sold his interest. Speaking of conflicts, you failed to mention that you were removed from covering this story while you were employed by The Tampa Tribune due to a conflict of interest. Now, who’s being intellectually dishonest? Now, let’s start a pool to see how long it takes the pitbull to reply with rants and attacks, not the whole truth.

  3. Mr. Nickell, you’re past boring me with your attempts to interject appeals to ridicule, ad hominem and red herring arguments. (I’ve linked this time since you continued to use the poison arguments.)

    Since you obviously haven’t read all of Lakeland Local, I’ll point out the column where I mentioned the Tribune’s decision. It was printed November 2, 2007. I’s old news, but for your benefit I’ll reprint it here:

    The other day I wrote that I could see no reason why Billy Townsend couldn’t cover the CSX issues while his wife worked for an organization that opposed the Polk County Rail Hub. People can live together and keep their work lives separate. My wife certainly doesn’t agree with me on many issues. (Yes, we’re doing fine in spite of politics, USF Lakeland, and the designated hitter.)

    Remember James Carville and Mary Matalin?

    It’s the 21st Century. We can love each other and not mix business with our pleasure.

    Evidently, some don’t agree with me. “Snarky McSnarksalot*” for one, and the overly cautious folks at the Tampa Tribune for the other:

    But we are removing Billy from the story at this time because – unrelated to his coverage – his wife has taken an executive position with an organization that opposes the deal. We have every confidence that Billy would continue pursuing the story fairly and accurately, but the possibility that our readers might question his independence requires that we make this move. Other reporters have worked with Billy on the story and they will continue to investigate it.– Dennis Joyce, Tampa Tribune

    It’s possible that Billy Townsend agrees with this position. I don’t know. I haven’t spoken to him about it. I certainly felt he has always been impartial, and took steps above and beyond to make sure there wasn’t a conflict of interest.

    The Tribune’s announcement is sad news for the citizens of Polk County. Billy Townsend was the lone voice from our free press that really delved into the CSX issues. I do hope the Tribune puts their second best reporter on this story. Polk County deserves that at the very least.

    —-

    There you go Mr. Nickell. I again suggest you start a web site. The ad hominem attacks are not welcome here.

  4. Mr. Nickell, you’re past boring me with your attempts to interject appeals to ridicule, ad hominem and red herring arguments. (I’ve linked this time since you continued to use the poison arguments.)

    Since you obviously haven’t read all of Lakeland Local, I’ll point out the column where I mentioned the Tribune’s decision. It was printed November 2, 2007. I’s old news, but for your benefit I’ll reprint it here:

    The other day I wrote that I could see no reason why Billy Townsend couldn’t cover the CSX issues while his wife worked for an organization that opposed the Polk County Rail Hub. People can live together and keep their work lives separate. My wife certainly doesn’t agree with me on many issues. (Yes, we’re doing fine in spite of politics, USF Lakeland, and the designated hitter.)

    Remember James Carville and Mary Matalin?

    It’s the 21st Century. We can love each other and not mix business with our pleasure.

    Evidently, some don’t agree with me. “Snarky McSnarksalot*” for one, and the overly cautious folks at the Tampa Tribune for the other:

    But we are removing Billy from the story at this time because – unrelated to his coverage – his wife has taken an executive position with an organization that opposes the deal. We have every confidence that Billy would continue pursuing the story fairly and accurately, but the possibility that our readers might question his independence requires that we make this move. Other reporters have worked with Billy on the story and they will continue to investigate it.– Dennis Joyce, Tampa Tribune

    It’s possible that Billy Townsend agrees with this position. I don’t know. I haven’t spoken to him about it. I certainly felt he has always been impartial, and took steps above and beyond to make sure there wasn’t a conflict of interest.

    The Tribune’s announcement is sad news for the citizens of Polk County. Billy Townsend was the lone voice from our free press that really delved into the CSX issues. I do hope the Tribune puts their second best reporter on this story. Polk County deserves that at the very least.

    —-

    There you go Mr. Nickell. I again suggest you start a web site. The ad hominem attacks are not welcome here.

  5. I’ve decided not to respond to Bob generally. But here he is saying something factually inaccurate that I need to correct for any other readers, most of whom know this anyway.

    I repeatedly and publicly referred to my wife’s part-time role with the DLP when I first began reporting in 2007 about CSX in multiple blog posts. Heck, I discussed it personally with CSX officials. Ask Gary Sease. Everyone knew because I told them. When my wife’s role expanded later in 2007, the Tribune learned about it because I told them, immediately upon it occurring. That’s when the decision was made to take me off the story, with the statement Chuck quoted above. You can ask the Winter Haven officials you work with if I’ve ever hid a conflict or appearance of one. They don’t think much of me, but even they will acknowledge I’ve made my entanglements very clear from the beginning. I continue to stand by everything I’ve ever written.

    And people can certainly judge for themselves how to take what I write, because unlike Rep. Precourt or Sen. Alexander, I have provided all relevant information without having to be asked about it.

  6. I’ve decided not to respond to Bob generally. But here he is saying something factually inaccurate that I need to correct for any other readers, most of whom know this anyway.

    I repeatedly and publicly referred to my wife’s part-time role with the DLP when I first began reporting in 2007 about CSX in multiple blog posts. Heck, I discussed it personally with CSX officials. Ask Gary Sease. Everyone knew because I told them. When my wife’s role expanded later in 2007, the Tribune learned about it because I told them, immediately upon it occurring. That’s when the decision was made to take me off the story, with the statement Chuck quoted above. You can ask the Winter Haven officials you work with if I’ve ever hid a conflict or appearance of one. They don’t think much of me, but even they will acknowledge I’ve made my entanglements very clear from the beginning. I continue to stand by everything I’ve ever written.

    And people can certainly judge for themselves how to take what I write, because unlike Rep. Precourt or Sen. Alexander, I have provided all relevant information without having to be asked about it.

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