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MSNBC Puts South Beach Strippers In National Spotlight

Let’s go to Jerry’s on South Beach to watch Morning Joe
January 30, 2012 By Carlos Miller in Miami: Local News  | 6 Comments

It’s always a little scary when your friend jars you out of sleep with a 4 a.m. phone call, which is why I was a little hesitant to answer John’s call Monday morning.

But I groaned into the phone and was quickly relieved the call didn’t involve police, alcohol or strippers.

At least not yet.

“Let’s go to Jerry’s Diner on South Beach to watch Morning Joe,” he said, sounding a little too alert for my taste.

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Above: Sneaking on the set with Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, Michael Steele and Chris Matthews

Childhood Friends

I’ve known John all my life and he’s always been a political junkie. We grew up across the street from each other in the houses our parents still live in. He obsessed about the Iran Contra Hearings on CNN while I obsessed about the Beastie Boys on MTV.

Now we live a couple of blocks from each other in our respective condos. It wasn’t planned that way. That’s just the way it worked out.

He still obsesses about politics. But now I obsess about cameras.

So when he got it in his head to venture out to South Beach to crash the set of Morning Joe, I was the first person he called. Lucky me.

It took some urging on his part and some self-convincing on my part, but I finally persuaded myself into going, thinking it would be a great opportunity to shoot a video with my new Canon XA 10.

So I crawled out of bed, jumped in the shower, packed up my gear and walked downstairs to meet the cab.

Less than an hour after his phone call, we were crossing the MacArthur Causeway to South Beach with a cab driver who had never heard of Jerry’s Deli or Morning Joe for that matter.

And a little after 5 a.m., we were squeezing into a booth at Jerry’s, which is the closest thing we have to real deli on South Beach ever since Wolfie’s closed down.

Breakfast of Champions

I was already in the spirit of things, munching on a pickle, ordering a Sky High Rueben and taking in the scene with my video camera, which was the typical 5 a.m. South Beach crowd of hookers, strippers, clubbers with the added exception of a growing crowd of political junkies.

I think I even saw the hooker who propositioned me in late December as I was making my way into the News Café with Grant Stern at 5 a.m. to catch a Barcelona soccer match after drinking scotch all night at his party. My friends, they are the obsessive sort. If it’s not politics, it’s futbol.

Grant snapped a photo of that proposition, which he’s been kind enough not to post online, but I asked him for the photo before writing story just to see if I recognized her from Jerry’s.

But the photo only showed her backside, which means she fit the description of any number of Jerry’s clients that morning.

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Above: Getting propositioned by a South Beach street walker as we entered the News Cafe to watch a soccer game last December.  (Photo by Grant Stern)

The Miami Herald said they were all strippers. And I’m sure many of them were. But I’ve been partying on South Beach long enough to know that many of these self-described strippers give private shows.

Regardless of what they were, they made their way out of Jerry’s before sunrise. By the time Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehiten entered the joint, the restaurant was filled with politicos.

John was in heaven, having shaken hands with Chris Matthews and posed for a photo with Mika Brzezinski, all before piling back into the cab and making it to his day job.

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Above: John with Mika Brzezinski

Jaded Locals

We missed Dave Barry, Miami’s most famous humor writer, who as blogger Random Pixels pointed out, gave his tired old-routine about Miami being a foreign country with crazy people.

For us locals, Dave Barry might not be funny anymore just as strippers and hookers eating breakfast are not shocking anymore.

But for the MSNBC crew, they’re going to go home with stories that will last them a lifetime.

Morning Joe will be back at Jerry’s Diner this morning from 6 to 9 a.m. to kick off the Florida republican primary election.

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Related Categories: Miami: Local News,

Carlos Miller is a featured writer at Miami Beach 411. He also operates Photography is Not a Crime, a blog about photographer rights, New Media and First Amendment issues.

See more articles by Carlos Miller.

See more articles by Carlos Miller

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6 Comments on

"MSNBC Puts South Beach Strippers In National Spotlight"

Tim Glass says:

Fifth graf, “...houses are parents…” should be “...houses our parents…”

Posted on 01/31/2012 at 7:56 AM

Christy says:

I like how you crawled out of the beer!

Posted on 01/31/2012 at 9:25 AM

Jerome says:

Thanks for sharing your experience Carlos!

Posted on 01/31/2012 at 9:42 AM

Blackford Oakes says:

That must have yesterday’s show, as Wiilie Geist said they didn’t show today.

I myself knew it was hyperbole…. just like what that show has become as of late.
Even tweeted during today’s show I’m through with them. I’d rather have Imus back at his old MSNBC slot.
Back to watching Squawk Box on CNBC.

Posted on 01/31/2012 at 11:26 AM

Carlos Miller says:

Thanks Tim and Christy. I was writing this at 3 a.m. after having been up since 4 a.m.

Posted on 01/31/2012 at 2:39 PM

Bill Cooke says:

Nice behind the scenes look. Blows away what the Herald did.

Posted on 01/31/2012 at 3:12 PM

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