Editorial: An Open Letter to the Owners of Tropics

Dear whoever you may think you are,

You have now written this newspaper two nasty, condescending letters, which ever so transparently reveal how selfish and arrogant each of you are.

A horse kicks you once; shame on him. He kicks you again; shame on you.

I am going to publish each of your letters now.

Ask and you shall receive. Push and guess what? I push back.

Criticizing our coverage of the unfortunate traffic death on Wilton Drive, you sent SFGN a letter on July 30, all about you and no one else.

You wrote:

“In your article ‘Danger on 'The Drive', you write the following
sentence: 'Tony Dee, owner of Tropics Piano Bar & Restaurant where the accident occurred, ...

We Godfrey Thompson and myself Alex W Meyer are extremely angry with you. Not only you SHOULD you know about the change in ownership, but also we asked you to check about advertising and you never came back on us.

It seems to us as if SFGN isn't interested in the older gay community in Wilton Manors. Sad news to see this.

We wanted to invite you to Gregs ‘Celebration of Life’, but now we have to assume you're not interested in such things as well."

On August 1, my Associate Publisher, Jason Parsley, ever so professionally and politely responded thusly:

"I apologize for our mistake. And I am sorry that you are angry with us. We realized our error the next morning and immediately corrected it online.

www.SFGN.com/Local/danger-on-the-drive.html

We strive for accuracy here at SFGN but do fall short from time to time.

Thank you for understanding."

I was ready to put the issue to rest. Had I replied, I would have told you to go suck a hot rocket.

What we did was provide this community with the most exhaustive coverage in this entire county of Greg Futchi’s untimely death. We gave the story more articles, pages and ink than all the LGBT newspapers AND mainstream publications combined. As usual, for free. We don’t charge for our paper. It’s free.

Just in case you had not noticed, the storyline was not about you buying a bar. It was a feature on a loved and cherished 68-year-old human being who was struck and killed by a motor vehicle. It was not to pay homage or tribute to you or your ownership of the establishment where the tragic death occurred. So it is completely clear, your role and relevance to this storyline is inconsequential and irrelevant.

And no, I was under no obligation or continuing duty requiring that I “SHOULD have known” you bought that bar and restaurant. Many people lease, purchase and start businesses in our community. Some are even worthy of features and attention, but there are no guarantees. Earth to Godfrey and Alex: a new bar owner in a town with two dozen bars is not breaking news.

In case you have never heard of Carly Simon, let me share her Grammy-winning words: “You're so vain, I'll bet you think this song is about you.”

Our reporter and this newspaper made a simple error in failing to correctly identify the current owner of the bar when writing the story. Tony Dee was interviewed for his perspective on the tragedy that befell Mr. Futchi, not the tragedy that this community will endure with you as proprietors of Tropics.

The following week, our newspaper published a correction noting that Tony Dee was incorrectly identified; that he had sold the bar last year.

That was our obligation, to clarify the inadvertent miscommunication. It was not to give you publicity. You were not part of the story before or after the error. Nor should you be, unless you were to carelessly allow your customers to become so intoxicated that they would become a threat to themselves or others upon leaving the bar.

Still not understanding your irrelevance, you have now proceeded to write a second scathing letter to SFGN desperately attempting to sound intelligent. Unfortunately, you come across as crude and condescending.

You fail again.

You wrote:

"Hello,

Wikipedia has as a definition of memory: In psychology, memory is the process in which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved. I am surprised that a journalist from SFGN come to Tropics and talks with us for over one hour and all you print is: 'Correction: Last week, SFGN incorrectly identified Tony Dee as the owner of Tropics. Dee actually sold the restaurant last Fall. We regret the error.'

Coming back to the memory statement at the beginning. We told the journalist/publicist that we bought the place on April 30th 2014. How this is ‘last Fall’ in your terms is an enigma for me.

On the same page you wrote your new article "Wilton Drive Lane Reduction" and show a picture of Tony and Andy. Seems to me the whole post about your mistake is hypocrite act. Is this your form of journalism? Maybe you should change the name of your paper to South Florida Gay Tweets, then you can post even shorter messages and you don't have to care about correctness."

Who the hell do you think you guys are?

First, you allege our failure to properly name you meant that we were not interested in covering a memorial for a deceased friend. Nonsense.

Second, you then accuse SFGN of being disrespectful of the elder gay community in the Manors. Why? Because we did not know who you are? More gibberish.

Your letter only exposes you and your partner as shallow and self aggrandizing. Like Carly Simon said, that song was not about you.

This one is though.

The only thing I apologize for is hearing that a reporter from my paper actually went to talk to you and express his regret for our purported error. I should have scolded his ass. You are owed no apologies. You have earned only rebuke for your foolish vanity.

The paper I have been delivering for free to your establishment for the past five years I will gladly move to another locale, one that appreciates our energy and excellence, our spirit and our success.

The product that we create is proudly engineered and professionally managed, award-winning, credible, conscientious, and committed to this community. We didn't show up yesterday with a pocketful of money and try to buy our credibility by cooking a new steak on an old stove.

SFGN will be around a long time after you sell your last drink. But I will be sure to send a reporter as the door closes behind you on your way out.


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