Ground Rules

by Bernard McCormick Sunday, November 08, 2009 No Comment(s)

When this blog originated several months ago we assumed nobody would read it. Unfortunately, our recent piece on Scott Rothstein, the Fort Lauderdale lawyer suspected (BUT not yet formally charged) of funding his unbelievable philanthropy and political contributions with a massive Ponzi scheme, has changed all that. That item was picked up by newspapers and spread around the land. We therefore feel an obligation to set up some ground rules.

First, who we be. Gold Coast magazine and its affiliates on the east coast of Florida are lifestyle magazines, directed to the kind of people Rothstein allegedly conned out of hundreds of millions. We focus on the affluent for the same reason Willie Sutton robbed banks. Rothstein gets little credit today, but he probably spread more money to the needy of South Florida than the government’s stimulus packages. Alas, the feds may take a different view of this modern-day Robin Hood.

Generally, our editorial fare is innocuous -- people dancing for disease, buying expensive cars, living in houses which make the Versailles look modest, etc. Occasionally we have gotten more serious, such as in 1980, when along with Washingtonian magazine, we were the first publication to connect alleged JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald to the CIA. Those articles, by former magazine partner Gaeton Fonzi, became the book “The Last Investigation,” an iconic work on the assassination that inspired numerous more recent researchers. In slow steps, recently accelerated by former Washington Post reporter Jeff Morley, our 1980 conclusions have been proved accurate. The CIA, if it did not do it, surely covered it up. But such weighty stories are rare in our pages.

We do try to make rational statements on public issues, such as education, transportation and the uniforms of sports teams. That is the kind of thing which will often appear in this blog.

We welcome comment, but we must adhere to the accepted standards of libel in publishing or rejecting views. The Scott Rothstein case, which has been prominent in alternative newspaper blogs, is an example of what we will not permit. Virulent anti-Semitism, or other ethnic slurs, malicious character defamation, profanity and vicious insults between respondents (who assume they know each other, despite the fictional blog names) will not be published here.

Neither will plagiarism. Nobody’s trying to please here, rather to edify, to instruct.*

* With a nostalgic nod to J.D. Salinger

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