Over the weekend many of Florida’s political journalists found themselves in a race to see which of them could pat themselves on the back the fastest / most / best. Between the gaggle of journalists and writers that took home real hardware from an actual awards ceremony, and the handful of pathetic attempts by others in the fruitless pursuit of accolades, the chasm between real reporting and fake news couldn’t be more obvious. Amid all of that, a few big and not-so-big name politicians spent the week vying for attention from the very same reporters looking to make a name at their expense.
Fortunately all the self-promotion and self-congratulatory backslapping is documented in a treasure trove of Real* Emails from Real* Readers, all obtained through a Russian KGB hacker, dumped to Wikileaks, downloaded by Guccifer 2.0, uploaded to an unnamed server in a non-descript apartment overlooking the capitol complex, and finally, hand-carried on a thumb drive via anonymous courier to The Capitolist’s off-grid intelligence analysis complex at Duval and College Avenue, where we post it for your reading pleasure.
“I guess my big story about Florida Department of Corrections being stingy with toilet paper came too late to win any awards this year.” –Mary Ellen Klas
“Can someone print a copy of Mary Ellen Klas’s FDOC story so I can wipe my butt with it?” –FDOC prisoners
“Can someone print me a copy of it, too, please? For kinda the same reason.” –FDOC Secretary Julie Jones
“I don’t need toilet paper, I have a bidet filled with the Tampa Bay Times’ tears after I beat them at their own game.” –Peter “2nd Best Blogger in Florida” Schorsch
“Wait…what? The Tampa Bay Times’ Buzz blog took 3rd place behind Peter Freakin’ Schorsch?” –Steve Bousquet
“My bad, Steve. It’s almost certainly my fault. My horrible Winner and Loser of the Week picks are definitely holding us back.” –Adam Smith
“Case in point: Adam Smith named me the biggest loser in all of Florida just because a Republican congress can’t pass health care reform when in reality it only makes my senate bid stronger.” –Rick Scott
“And Adam Smith calling me a utlity player? What’s that about? At least call me Rick Scott’s ‘designated hitter.'” –Pete Antonacci
“Not to be outdone in the backslapping department, did everyone see how I collected another cool quarter-million to screw with Adam Putnam’s gubernatorial bid?” –Jack Latvala
“I hate to change the subject, but since we’re all patting ourselves on the back, did anyone notice how I loaned myself $443,000 for my campaign in my big Senate District 40 campaign?” –Alex Diaz de la Portilla
“Didn’t you kinda have to loan yourself that much money just so you can keep the margin of defeat respectable?” —Pepe Diaz
“Zzzz. Nobody cares about boring legislative races. Did you read this week’s insider poll? Literally every Democrat in Florida views me as the Liberal Messiah and Savior of Florida Democrats.” –John Morgan of Morgan and Morgan
“While it’s true that John Morgan will clean my clock if he gets in the race, at least neither of us have to worry about Andrew Gillum anymore.” –Bob Graham’s daughter
“I’m not sure how to put this, but Bob Graham’s daughter is literally me during the 2010 campaign, but with a less impressive resume.” –Alex Sink
“Did Bob Graham’s daughter say I was out of the gov race already? Not true, not true. I’m not quitting the race for governor until the indictments are handed down, and not a minute before.” –Andrew Gillum
“I used to think it was funny to make jokes about people facing FBI and federal grand jury investigations. Now, I find such attempts at gallows humor to be trite and insensitive.” –Adam Corey
“Please tell Adam Corey and Andrew Gillum not to worry. Even if Florida’s death penalty wasn’t completely in shambles, racketeering charges aren’t a capital offense.” —Pam Bondi
“At least Adam Corey and Andrew Gillum aren’t being investigated for giving racing greyhounds cocaine.” –Tia Mitchell
“After reading about Florida International University losing a sponsored research grant, it reminded us of how we distanced ourselves from the tainted Everglades Foundation.” –Clemson University
*All real emails from real readers are highlighted in bright yellow so that even reporters who don’t win meaningless trophies can tell the difference between actual news and a carefully orchestrated disinformation campaign run by Tallahassee’s most insidery insiders. Also, apologies for the Mailbag’s tardiness, it took us a few extra hours to clear the Andrew Gillum jokes with the FBI’s lawyers.