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FTLC loves the New Times blogs. FLTC reads them all the time. Some FTLC writers read almost every word (even the food blog). New Times blogs do better indepth reporting than the Sun-Sentinel, dominate coverage of the local music scene, yet still find space for non-traditional stories, and even the far-out tales of Evan Rowe. And all of that is great. But the New Times is not perfect, so below is the list of reasons why the New Times blogs collectively are the second best blog in Ft. Lauderdale.

5. FTLC Does Not Do As Many ‘Five Reasons Why’ Lists

Americans love top-five lists. The New Times blogs love them most of all, as can be seen here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Yes, each of the foregoing links is an inspiration for this post, and yes, it is fun to make this list. But the FTLC promises it will never produce as many top five lists as the New Times blogs. If we tried, the sheer volume of content would overpower our computer server.

4. FTLC is Due to Break a Big Story

New Times blogs have broken countless important local stories, consistently producing the most ground-breaking, Broward-shaking journalism in our fair city. All-world reporter Bob Norman and his Pulitzer-worthy work (which recently includes the notable Scott Rothstein saga, as well as the criminal fleecing of taxpayers by the corrupt Broward County School Board accepting bribes from developers in exchange for a cool $350 million of local tax revenue to build empty classrooms), is complemented by The Juice, which relentlessly followed Jeff Greene’s disturbing Senate campaign until finally going national with a first-person account of partying on Greene’s yacht. (Also, a blog at the New Times’ sister paper, the Miami New Times, broke the feel-good story of 2010: George Rekers’ rent-boy vacation). But anybody paying minimal attention in Bro Co knows there is plenty of corruption to go around. The FTLC has yet to break a story larger than a bunch of nerds hiding notes around our city, so we are due. The law of averages suggests the next big story will be broken by the FTLC. Does Mayor Seiler own a sweatshop in South America? Will Lebron have a rent-boy of his own? Will former School Board member Beverly Gallagher bust out of prison and go on a non-violent bribe solicitation spree? Who could know such things? Watch this space to find out.

3. FTLC Appreciates Spirit Airlines

Tom Francis is a fantastic local reporter and his Juice, as mentioned above, is a fine blog. But I will say this about Tom Francis…he does not like Miramar-based Spirit Airlines AT ALL. He criticizes everything from their charging for services one might expect to be free, to Spirit’s gimmicky, sexually-charged advertising campaigns. But the FTLC, with its many graduate degrees in economics, thinks it is brilliant to strip the hidden costs out of the price of an airline ticket and allow people to pay only for the services they use. You do not want a beverage? Then why should you subsidize that weird lady’s bloody mary mix? Not checking a bag? Then no need to pay for that jerk sitting next to you to check his satchel of dildos and Hawaiian shirts. These policies help Spirit offer cheap tickets from Ft. Lauderdale to destinations all over the United States, the Caribbean, and South and Central America. The FTLC appreciates the ability to fly direct to cities like Medellin, Columbia at a very reasonable price…even if it is just for a quick run, I mean trip.

2. FTLC is Not a Slave to its Corporate Ownership.

It might surprise regular readers of this site, but FTLC is member-owned, member-managed. Although the quality of writing and expensive-looking website might suggest a deep-pocketed patron behind the scenes, the FTLC is beholden to no rich master. But the New Times, the local “alternative” rag, is owned by Village Voice Media, owner of more than a dozen such papers around the country. Village Voice Media is kind of an “alternative media conglomerate”, or, more accurately, just a “media conglomerate”. Check out the websites of other Village Voice owned newspapers around the country (here, here, and here, among others). See what I mean? At the FTLC you are sure to get one of a kind, independent stories and analysis. We are slaves only to the truth.

1. FTLC Does Virtually Nothing to Support the Pain Pill Industry Destroying Portions of our Nation.

Ok, so this last one is not a direct criticism of New Times blogs (if only the New Times blogs were obsessed with the top four reasons something happens, I would be done already!); it is a comment on the hard-copy version of the New Times distributed free from those horrendous green boxes of blight.

I am not claiming the FTLC does much to help places like rural Kentucky, but we do virtually nothing to destroy such locations either. Here are the facts: Many argue that Broward County and the State of Florida do a less-than-optimal job of regulating pain clinics. Such policies (or complete lack thereof) have led to a flourishing of pain clinics in Bro Co. People drive down from places such as rural Kentucky and go from pain clinic to pain clinic stocking up on extremely powerful pills. Those people drive home with a trunk-load of pills. Many places such as rural Kentucky have serious problems with pain pills and subsequently kids die.

The New Times did not create the policies that have allowed this (and in fact have done a good job documenting the problem), and certaintly did not cause people to become addicted to pain pills. But if I wanted to go clinic-hopping all I would need to do is grab a hard copy of the New Times and peruse the advertisements for my roadmap to carnage. No, here at the FTLC we do not support the pain pill industry and do not accept advertising dollars from these still-tolerated death dealers. But if any prostitutes reading this column want to advertise on this blog, let us know…the New Times isn’t the only game in town.

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