When President Obama chose Fort Myers, Fla., to plug his stimulus plan, he magnified an already intense media glare on the state’s disastrous real estate market, reports the Miami Herald. The scrutiny continues in a long article in the current New Yorker—titled “Ponzi State”—and a cover story in the Sunday New York Times. “It's a bittersweet pill and a dubious honor,” says a local Democrat.
Florida doom-saying is a tradition for national media. A 1981 Time cover story called “Paradise Lost?” characterized the state as plagued by “crime, drugs, and refugees.” Six years later, the New York Times Magazine ran a cover story asking, “Can Miami Save Itself?” But a local congressman is upbeat, calling Obama’s focus on Florida “a success in and of itself.”