Hey, Herald: If You're Gonna Piggyback on Our Stories Without Giving Credit, at Least Get Your Quotes Right

Categories: Media Watch

Miami's Sex Offender Village from Miami New Times on Vimeo.

We long ago gave up on getting any credit from larger media outlets piggybacking on our sex-offenders-under-the-bridge scoop -- the story that made the rest of the nation recognize Miami-Dade County's supreme fucked-up-ness.

The terrible situation is bigger than one journalist's find, and the more scrutiny the better, so we were pleased to see the Miami Herald -- which waited nearly a month after the story broke to report on it -- publish an expansive Sunday-edition front-page feature and video on life in the larger-than-ever Julia Tuttle Causeway colony.

All that said, c'mon -- if you're going to spin off of our reporting and go out of your way not to utter the phrase Miami New Times, get your quotes right. Especially when the videotape is rolling.

An excerpt from the article:

One night, about 9 p.m., a pastor walks around the community. His name is Vincent Spann, and he runs a boot camp for the homeless and addicted in Liberty City. Spann tells Martin he has found a warehouse at the edge of the city of Miami that can hold 50 people -- and is lobbying the county for $230,000 to transform the facility into a haven for the offenders. A local reporter follows him with a camera, which Spann uses as an opportunity for a taped interview.

Um, that "local reporter" would be New Times in-house videographer extraordinaire Jacob Katel, filming the above accompaniment to our April story about Pastor Spann's batshit proposal.

Herald scribe Robert Samuels recounts an exchange between Spann and under-the-bridger Juan Carlos Martin thusly:

``What's the oldest person who's lived here?''

``The oldest person is 83 years old, sir.''

Except for that, as seen just before the two-minute mark in Katel's video, Martin's response to "What's the oldest person that's out here?" is actually "84 years old, and he has to be here for the rest of his life."

The next quote is off too. In the Herald, Spann ruminates, "This reminds me of the Bible, when people had leprosy..."

But according to Katel's footage, Spann actually said, "This is almost like a modern-day leprosy camp. In the Old Testament times, the people who had leprosy were exiled and put onto an island and had bells tied around their necks."

We wouldn't normally be such sticklers -- if only giving us credit wasn't below the paygrade for certain big-paper reporters.

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