Jul 30, 2014



SATIRE: The  Tampa Bay Times won its first Lilly Pulitzer Prize on Monday. Affectionately known as the “Lilly”, the prize is named after Lilly Pulitzer the renowned fashion designer famous for her brightly colored dresses that were designed to cover-up messy Florida orange juice stains.

Likewise, the Lilly Pulitzer prize is awarded to recognize Florida reporting that skillfully covers-up important local issues. The Times was noted for having skillfully ignored the now famous “ Valentines Day 2012” Board meeting where Superintendent Elia and Board Chair Candy Olson failed to inform the School Board about the fatal bus ride of ESE student Bella Herrera.

A committee spokesperson noted “When we watched the Valentines Day 2012 Board meeting video online at the School Board website it was ‘conscience-shocking’ behavior to say the least. At 1 hour and nine minutes the parent of an ESE student begs the Superintendent to do something before a child dies but instead the Superintendent discusses a minor “safety” incident at an entirely different school and never admits that an ESE student died from a bus ride just 3 weeks earlier. We know that the Superintendent is forever in a pantsuit but she should have been wearing a busy floral print dress that day to hide that mess. Everyone should watch this video; it is an encore performance by Superintendent Elia.”

This was then followed by 9 months of no reporting about this tragedy until another tragedy of another ESE student drowning on the Rodgers Middle School Campus. Then the Herrera Family filed a lawsuit. All the while four sitting School Board members were stylishly  campaigning for re-election.

“We wanted to recognize that this impressive failure occurred during a campaign year when it might have made a difference but the Times had instead endorsed three of the incumbent school board candidates” the spokesman said. “Then on the eve of the primary election theTimes reports incumbent Carol Kurdell calling her opponent the ‘opportunist’ for asking the obvious question of how this could have gone unreported for 9 months. Well if that inverted reporting doesn’t scream like a loud floral print, then I don’t know what does. We haven’t seen this kind of contorted reporting since the Bush administration. Congratulations Times.”

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