COMMENTS: What is it About Florida?

For some inexplicable reason, all three networks chose to round out their newscasts from Florida. It was not enough, apparently, that the day's most sensational crime happened in the Sunshine State--both ABC's Pierre Thomas (subscription required) and CBS' Kelly Cobiella (no link) covered the shooting murder in his Palmetto Bay home of NFL player Sean Taylor. All three newscasts chose Florida for their features too.

ABC filed the conclusion of its Officer Down two-parter on cops' on-duty deaths from Palm Beach County where "the arms race is on" according to Jeffrey Kofman: both the sheriff's department and local gang members have been equipping themselves with semi-automatic assault weapons since Congress decided not to renew a federal ban on those firearms in 2004. CBS anchor Katie Couric filed the second instalment of her Generation RX series about the non-medicinal abuse of prescription drugs by the twentysomething cohort. Florida is a state with no centralized monitoring of prescriptions "and that has led to the opening and the brazen advertising of dozens of pain management clinics," she stated. Recreational users of painkillers like OxyContin descend on towns like Fort Lauderdale from all over the country to get just the right prescription, no questions asked: "Patients know exactly what is required on their end to close the deal." And NBC closed with Kerry Sanders on the Florida Keys where a campaign to preserve the local miniature deer species has paid dividends. The population was as low as 30 animals some 50 years ago; now it approaches 7,000. At 60lb to 90lb they are "no bigger than a large dog and sometimes just as friendly."

Check Sanders' closing image of a girl and her minideer.


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