Last month I wrote a long post about the Herald’s Gossip Maven Extraordinaire; The Queen of Drivel and Snivel, Joan Fleischman and her unhealthy obsession with Miami’s TV judges. Seems like anytime any of them inhale or exhale it’s fodder for Joan’s increasingly ponderous column.
What a lot of people don’t know about Joan is that a good number of the people she writes about are her personal friends. And in journalism, that’s supposed to be a no-no!
This morning was no exception.
Joanie penned a 342 word item about her friend and former Herald executive Pat San Pedro who’s been diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer is no picnic; my sister was diagnosed with it years ago and today is doing just fine.
The problem is that outside of the Herald no one in Miami really knows who Pat San Pedro is. If Joan wanted to let people know about Pat’s plight she could have just sent an e-mail to everyone in the newsroom.
Why Joan saw this as compelling reading for the Herald’s 300,000+ Sunday readers is beyond me. I’m guessing that there are hundreds if not thousands of South Florida women battling breast cancer. But they don’t get in Joan’s column because they’re not her friends.
I’m also guessing if you stopped 10 people on the street and asked them who Pat San Pedro is, about 10 of them would say “no.”
The real problem here is that Joan uses her column to write about her friends ad nauseam.
Actually Pat does have one other claim to fame.
In 2005, she and five of her female friends who called themselves the “Miami Bombshells,” wrote a book called “Dish & Tell: Life, Love, and Secrets.” The book was so bad it sold less than 5,000 copies.
New Times printed an excellent piece about the book and how the Herald shamelessly promoted and serialized it under the leadership of “Teflon Tom” Fiedler.
Pat and another of the book’s author’s were former Herald execs.
Newsroom staffers were incensed at the time at what they saw as preferential treatment given the book written by “The Bombshells.” So incensed that they stormed Tom’s office demanding an explanation as to why the Herald was promoting a book that bore a stronger resemblance to garbage than it did literature.
Tom later admitted to New Times that the book was “pretty lousy.”
But that didn’t stop Joan from mentioning the book twice in her piece this morning. That’s two mentions of a book that was a flop and that has an Amazon.com sales rank of about 754,000!
Memo to Joan: Can we have a moratorium on items about your friends? I’d say that it starts now and continues until you retire!
Actually Joan, if the “Bombshell” authors are really your friends you’d probably be doing them a big favor if you never mentioned this book again!
Disclaimer: title of this post inspired by the popular TheStreet.com online feature.