Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mitch Perry Report 1.22.13: Jill Kelley talks, but not to the Tampa Bay Times

The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz gets the scoop …

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 8:26 AM

(UPDATE: See below).No doubt to the consternation of some Tampa Bay Times editors, Jill Kelley — the woman who gave us the term "Tampa Socialite" — has finally spoken out about the events that led former CIA director David Petraeus to resign last fall.

Breaking her silence from the insanity that prevailed last November, Kelley ended up speaking to the most famous media critic in the country — the Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz.

Kelley basically paints the woman who began sending threatening e-mails to her — Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell — as a a seriously disturbed person, a person she never met.

Kelley also attacks the media for what she said were lies and half-truths reported about her. Apparently one media organization interviewed a hairdresser who claimed Kelley was a customer, but she said she never met him. She said the allegation that General John Allen sent her tens of thousands of emails was a huge exaggeration, insisting they were "just" in the hundreds.

When Kelley was outed 48 hours after the Petraeus scandal broke in Washington, national and local media pulled up stakes in front of her Bayshore Boulevard mansion for days on end, breathlessly "reporting" on such inanities as whether or not she was a fan of the Kardashian family.

We understand with the national and even international press focusing on the story, the Tampa Bay Times — absolutely one of the best papers in the country — decided to focus some resources on this tale taking place in its own backyard.

But it got a bit embarrassing after awhile. There was only so much blood to drain out of this turnip, and the Times misjudged the sell-by date by a few days.

Will an excerpted version of the Kurtz story surface in their news pages? We can only wonder ...
(Update: At 12:22 p.m., the Times posted a story on their website that said that "Kelley has not responded to numerous requests for comment made by the Tampa Bay Times, which left messages Tuesday with her new spokesman, Washington attorney Gene Grabowski, in addition to an email sent to Kelley directly.")

In other news, I was down in Gulfport last night as Pinellas Democrats celebrated the re-election of their president for another four more years. We'll have more on that later, but there was a lot of talk about Obama's inauguration speech, of course.

Committee hearings resume this week in Tallahassee in advance of the upcoming legislative session. The question for those in Florida who want to do something, anything that they think might help gun safety — revamping the Stand Your Ground law — has been proposed. But will it even get much of a hearing?

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