Take every horrible thing I’ve said about the incompetent, self serving bureaucrats of the Broward County School Board, the egregious Sheriff Israel, and the gutless, chicken shit cowards of the Broward Sheriffs Office and SRO Scot Peterson, now increase that by a order of magnitude.
That is how bad the Parkland situation has gotten.
The Sun-Sentinel, which I normally disagree with on just about everything, has done Pulitzer worthy coverage of the ham-fisted incompetence of Broward County in regards to the shooting.
This is their latest headline:
A crisis public relations consultant created a crisis of her own for the Broward school district, after a video came to light in which she dismissed the district’s critics in the Parkland massacre as “crazies” and called a reporter a “skanky” “jerk” who “smells bad.”
Sara Brady, who was paid nearly $75,000 to assist the district after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, told an audience of public relations professionals last July that critics of the school district’s controversial Promise program, which allowed students who commit minor crimes to avoid jail, were “crazies.”
She criticized South Florida Sun Sentinel reporter Scott Travis, although she didn’t name him, as “just a jerk,” and then she got more personal.
“He is sloppy, he’s reckless, he’s mean, and he smells bad,” she said, laughing along with the audience.
At the point, Broward school district spokeswoman Tracy Clark can be heard calling out, “Sour milk!” That provoked more laughter.
At another point in the video Brady describes him as “that nasty, skanky reporter.”
Broward County spent $75,000 to hire a PR expert to come in and cover up their glaring malfeasance and enabling of the Parkland shooting.
The woman that they hired let it all hang out when she though she was having a behind closed doors presentation with other PR people. It was recorded and leaked.
Instead of the attitude of Broward County being contrite saying “mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa” it did what every bureaucracy does, attacked anybody who questioned Broward’s ineptitude, malfeasance, and mismanagement as being the real bad guy.
It’s not that Broward is run by awful people, it’s everybody who noticed how badly Broward is run is stupid and crazy. Who are going going to believe, the Broward County management or your lying eyes?
Of course, anybody who just watched the Broward County election and the actions of Brenda Snipes saw that play out again.
“And sure enough, all the crazies kind of came out,” Brady told an audience in California, in a video revealed by the South Florida Sun Sentinel in a recent story about the school district’s public relations damage control after the shooting. “The district knows who the crazies are and who the opposition is, and so certainly they seized on it and started putting stuff out there.”
The Promise program had been seized upon nationwide by conservative critics who were happy to lay part of the blame for the shooting on a program supported by President Obama. But the program had also been criticized by many family members of the victims in the massacre.
The Sun-Sentinel exposes the PROMISE Program for being the primary culprit in why Nikolas Cruz, who had been a problem since elementary school, was free to be a school shooter and not in prison.
Brady, of Winter Park in suburban Orlando, apologized, saying her comments had not been aimed at the bereaved families.
“Mr. Pollack … my remarks were intended to poke at the media in general,” she wrote in response. “I offer my profound apology for my lapse in judgment and display of disrespect.”
“I’m sorry I got caught saying horrible shit about people like you.”
On her own Twitter page, she said, “My comments about ‘crazies’ were part of an overall presentation for communication practitioners and were in reference to the anonymous trolls and bots who seemingly always appear after these hideous tragedies.”
“Everybody who disagrees with me is a Russian Bot.”
In an interview, she said she was not dismissing all critics of the district as “crazies,” just the more extreme, troll-like commenters on social media who sought to find fault with every statement or action.
Faults like the fact that Broward County lied about everything until documents were released that proved they lied? I guess parents who worry about the safety of their kids after such a horrible thing happened right under the nose of the county are just trolls and bots.
She acknowledged her insults to the reporter as a “poor choice of words” in a conference intended to help school communication professionals know what to do when confronted by a crisis and a media storm.
Having the right choice of words is literally her only job.
“I probably went a little overboard in my comments about the reporter,” said Brady, a former police reporter at the Orlando Sentinel. “It’s just kind of shop talk. I acknowledge that.”
But when Trump attacks the press, that is the death of the First Amendment.
Broward school superintendent Robert Runcie, who watched the video the previous night, called Travis to apologize, saying said the comments were “inexcusable and don’t reflect the values of the district.”
Although he said he knows he’s had a tense relationship at times with the Sun Sentinel, Brady shouldn’t have used that kind of language or engaged in personal attacks. He said the district had canceled her contract before this came up.
Voices of Change: The shooting, the aftermath and the movement
“We may have had our differences, but never have I been in a situation where that kind of language was used,” he said in an interview. “It’s hurtful. It’s wrong. And it doesn’t represent my views or the views of the leadership of the school district.”
It’s bad when your PR person makes your PR worse. I wonder if they will ask for the $75,000 dollars back.
School board member Robin Bartleman forwarded a link of the video to Runcie, saying it reflected poorly on the district. Using the term “crazies” to describe the district’s critics was unfair, she said.
“FYI, many of those people asking questions were the victims’ families,” she wrote.
Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine, who represents Parkland, said the school district might have been better served by a different public relations firm.
“First rule of crisis PR. Dont let your crisis PR person cause you additional crisis PR,” he wrote on Twitter. “So sad. This is so wrong on so many levels. We have local PR people with love and compassion that would have served all of us with more dignity and professionalism!”
Some people are hoping for re-election.
I’m hoping for pitchforks and torches.
So let’s get this straight:
Every county level agency or organization in Broward mishandles Nikolas Cruz as far back as we have records for, failing to prevent an obvious tragedy from occurring. Every county level agency or organization in Broward mishandles the actual shooting, allowing many more people to die than should have. Every county level agency or organization in Broward mishandles lies about their failings and puts more effort into protecting the bureaucracy and covering their own asses than preventing a future tragedy or helping the victims.
The county hires a PR woman who comes in and shows absolute disdain for the victims, their families, and everyone who wants to get to the bottom of this.
Still no Broward County administrator gets fired for this.
Before the 2020 elections, I thing the good people of Broward should set up a guillotine in the War Memorial Auditorium just to make sure that there are no incumbents in the next county government.