The Miami Herald’s endorsement of Katherine Fernandez Rundle is complete trash. Total shite. They should be embarrassed of themselves and the fact that their editorial board is so bad at their job that they have to be called out by The Plantain, a comedy website that publishes articles that are exclusively written while I’m on the toilet on break from my real job.
It shouldn’t be up to me to do this. I have work to do and would rather write an article about pastelitos or something silly and get those easy clicks. But that’s the world we live in. So let’s talk about this endorsement.
Here are some facts about Katherine Fernandez Rundle:
She has held her position for 27 years but has never charged a cop with an on-duty killing.
She hid evidence about the murder of Darren Rainey, a man who was scalded to death while in police custody, and never charged his killers.
She has lost so much support in the community that the Democratic party of which she is a member has asked for her to suspend her relection campaign.
Each of those sentences links to a Miami Herald article about KFR’s incompetency. It appears the Herald’s editorial staff were blocked by a paywall and couldn’t read them because they endorsed her over Melba Pearson, a criminal reform advocate and long-time assistant state attorney who promises to hold police accountable and not, you know, let them get away with fucking murder.
The Miami Herald’s endorsement of Katherine Fernandez Rundle is complete trash. Total shite. Very embarrassing. But that isn’t new, actually. The Herald has previously endorsed Miami Beach Commissioner Ricky Arriola and he’s spent the entire pandemic spouting off alt-right conspiracy theories about how the virus is fake and masks are like mind control devices. You can scroll through his Twitter account HERE and read the garbage he spews for yourself. The Herald has never reported on his dangerous claims and their editorial staff has never apologized for their shite endorsement of him. In fact, The Miami Herald never goes back and self-reflects on the endorsements they make.
Maybe they should. So, let’s take a look at some other Herald endorsements they drunkenly published and now hopes everyone forgets about:
The Miami Herald recommended Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, a woman who has repeatedly claimed that she was ABDUCTED BY ALIENS for the Republican Candidate for Congress.
The Miami Herald Recommended Jose “Pepe” Diaz, a man who was caught on camera driving drunk and using his office to get out of being arrested for County Commissioner.
The Miami Herald recommended Deede Weithorn, a woman who made up the fact that she went to MIT, for State Representative.
Crazy. I know.
So while The Herald’s lack of credibility when it comes to making recommendations for public office is not new, the Katherine Fernandez Rundle endorsement goes beyond their occasional incompetence. Unlike their previous endorsements of Covid-19 deniers, alien abductees, drunken commissioners, and people who lie about where they went to college, keeping Katherine Fernandez Rundle in office will lead to even more discriminatory killings by police officers in our community and the further degradation of our rights.
As a country, at this moment, we are rethinking how we should be policing our communities. We all agree police reform, in some capacity, is necessary. And whether that means reallocating police budgets to social services or funneling even more money to departments so they can better train officers is being debated at all levels of government. But police reform is IMPOSSIBLE if the police believe that they can operate without oversight of the State Attorney. And in Miami-Dade County that is not something that is even debated among our officers. Katherine Fernandez Rundle does not charge cops with crimes. FULL STOP. We have 27 years of empirical evidence on that fact. The Herald knows her record, but today presented it as “valuable experience.” The only way in which KFR’s experience is of value is if you see no value in the lives of the people who will never see justice because of her career-long inactions.
KFR’s shortcomings as a prosecutor are not old news. Just a few weeks ago, WLRN reported for the first time how she diverted millions of dollars extorted from criminal defendants to a non-profit that she secretly controls. The Herald didn’t report on that. Financial irregularities not of interest to you? Well, just last month she decided not to charge another office with shooting an unarmed teenager. The Herald didn’t report on that either. The Plantain did. So did the New Times. If Katherine Fernandez Rundle is elected again there will only be more articles like this, more grieving families, and more distrust between our police force and those they are sworn to protect.
As you can tell, I’m angry at the Miami Herald right now. I’ve been on the toilet for over an hour writing this and my legs have gone completely numb. What makes this so frustrating is that I love the Miami Herald. I support the Miami Herald. I even wrote three emails to the Miami Herald asking if there is anything The Plantain could do to help engage younger readers considering we get several hundred thousand people on our website every month, most of whom are 20-40 years old, and who only experience local news coverage through the stupid articles I write on the toilet. No one wrote us back. So what is left for me, a Herald fan with a platform, to do but to call them out when their stupidity puts our community in danger?
It makes me sad to see an institution I depend on not take its role in the community seriously and to watch this dereliction at a time when The Herald is doing poorly financially and finding itself increasingly unable to compete despite the fact that it has a staff of FUCKING GREAT reporters like Julie K. Brown, Doug Hanks, David Smiley, Nicholas Nehamas, Joey Flechas and countless others who don’t follow me on Twitter so they are dead to me. Endorsing Katherine Fernandez Rundle degrades the Herald as a platform. We can pretend it doesn’t, but it does. And at a time when the President of the United States has trained a sea of illiterate hillbillys to call every fact they don’t like “Fake News,” it’s decisions like this that make it more and more difficult for those of us that have spent a lifetime appreciating the Miami Herald to stand up for our paper of record.
The Plantain IS fake news. But we take that role seriously. Every article we write is sourced, often with Miami Herald articles written by great reporters. Every opinion we publish, even if surrounded by fart jokes, we take seriously because we know that when someone reads an article we put out about a local issue, that may be the ONLY interaction that reader has on the subject. The impact of a Miami Herald endorsement is not what it was. But it still means something, for now. It is decisions to endorse candidates like Katherine Fernandez Rundle that makes me wish the Miami Herald took its role as our paper of record at least as seriously as I do the slapdash toilet content we put out.
OMG my feet are totally asleep.