Mitch Perry Report 2.7.14: Remembering Chad Oulson

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A bond hearing for 71-year-old Curtis Reeves resumes today in Dade City. He's the retired Tampa police captain who lost his sense of reality last month when he shot and killed 43-year-old Chad Oulson in a Wesley Chapel movie theater, angry that Oulson was texting during the previews before a screening of the Afghanistan-based war film, Lone Survivor.

Watching WTVT-Fox 13's coverage of the hearing on Wednesday night, however, reminded me why I don't usually watch local television news.

Talk about exploitative. Maximizing the full drama of the event, the video underneath the reporter's narration at one point opted to show a tight closeup for several seconds of Oulson's widow, Nicole, bawling in despair while she listened to testimony about how her late husband was assisted by a registered nurse immediately after he was shot.

Maybe I've got it all wrong. But I felt a little tarnished to see Ms. Oulson suffer like that. I don't think it was necessary. Then again, some publications such as the New York Daily News, ran similar photos. I didn't see any in the local papers.

Friends of Chad Oulson say that he loved motorcycles and motor sports. And so as a tribute to him they're holding a memorial motorcle ride for him this Sunday beginning in Port Richey and ending in Clearwater.

In other news… I spent several uneventful hours at the Florida State Fair yesterday. Florida's Cabinet met for a couple of hours before taking part in the annual governor's luncheon that brings out every politician (or want to be politician) in Hillsborough County. Governor Rick Scott said he's "considering" supporting a bill that would grant in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrant students — something that 16 states already do and that Speaker Will Weatherford is advocating this year.

Alex Sink (or is it the DCCC?) have finally gotten off bashing David Jolly for being a lobbyist and are now going after him for his conservative viewpoints.

Former Pinellas County Commissioner Neil Brickfield wants his old job back. After Susan Latvala announced she wouldn't run for re-election this year, Brickfield became the first Republican to officially enter the contest to succeed her in District 4. He says he's grown since he was ousted after his first term in office a year and a half ago.

Chris Hill is the former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan. He had some very interesting things to say about those places and Syria while appearing at the Patel Center on the USF campus Wednesday night.

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