Sunday’s gigantic installment about Aronberg’s relationship with multi-millionaire hot head Marty O’Boyle was about power all right — the power that The Palm Beach Post can feel slipping away inch by inch.
So far, the dying daily’s five-month Aronberg investigation yielded these startling revelations about the former state senator:
– Aronberg is a political weasel
– Aronberg knew about paid actors protesting a decision by his predecessor, former State Attorney Mike McAuliffe
– Aronberg sought the campaign help of a rich guy who dreams to be a political player
– Aronberg rode in the rich guy’s plane to Tallahassee and may, or may not, have paid for the flight
– Aronberg worked behind the scenes to wipe out his competition
– Aronberg made an undetermined number of non state-related phone calls during work hours at the Florida Attorney General’s office, which is allowed
Hold the presses: Aronberg’s a politician!
Most of what the Post accuses Aronberg of doing isn’t illegal. And what could be borderline wouldn’t keep a jury awake long enough for a conviction.
Surely, it doesn’t make his alleged behavior right. And it should give voters pause.
But so should this: Why doesn’t the Post use the same energy and resources to go after the likes of Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, County Commissioner Karen Marcus and U.S. Congressman Allen West?
After all, their closets are filled with skeletons way larger than Aronberg’s!
The answers: Misplaced arrogance, and complete disregard for the reader’s most pressing interests!
Imagine this: Friday’s Colorado massacre received limited coverage in Sunday’s paper.
I guess twelve dead and 58 injured and a gun control problem as big as Pikes Peak is small potatoes for Post editors because Aronberg commanded four full pages!
And to produce those, the Post had one of its top reporters work on it with a helper since March. In dollars and cents, the shrinking news sheet – whose billionaire owners 1,000 miles away complain about it not making enough money — spent upward of $50,000 in salaries alone.
Plus lawyer’s fees.
Plus research bills and fees.
It can’t be just about Aronberg, can it?
Back in March, the Post found out the hard way it no longer calls the shots in its own market when embarrassing emails questioning the relationship between the paper and the then-State Attorney McAuliffe appeared on Gossip Extra and the conservative Boca-based website Bizpacreview.
The 260-plus emails between McAuliffe and the Post‘s Randy Schultz and Rhonda Swan, both members of the editorial board, illustrated a way-too-cozy relationship between government and the newspaper. Swan interfered in a criminal investigation by questioning McAuliffe about why her name turned up in documents seized in a pill mill. And Schultz conspired with McAuliffe to place a positive editorial on a higher circulation day (although, are there really high circulation moments for newspapers?). Schultz also helped McAuliffe write his rebuttal to news story that appeared in the paper.
Suddenly, the Post looked downright corrupt — and two emerging news organizations with a combined audience of 160,000 unique readers a month (and growing fast) made that fact ring out loud and clear.
An institutional dinosaur like the Post can’t stand to have the tables turned on it. So it went after Aronberg, whom the newspaper blamed in Sunday’s story for the release of the Schultz-Swan-McAuliffe emails. (Click here to see the emails)
The Post‘s management, by the way, has yet to explain whether they condone a reporter like Swan questioning the state attorney about her involvement in a criminal case.
But that, too, is part of the hypocrisy.