But the North Carolina mainstream media is making much of this being “Sunshine Week.” And I thought the attached article deserved some comment.
Paul O’Connor, Raleigh columnist for The Winston Salem Journal, takes Governor Mike Easley and his press office severely to task.
O’Connor wrote the piece after a bit of physical contact between a reporter and a new press aide to the Governor. It sounds like the kind of minor incident that would lead one of those supposed Duke-loving refs to call a technical foul.
Click here to read the full story:
But there is a larger point here – for the Governor, President Bush, Speaker Jim Black and all other politicians who make war with the press.
It’s not just the old adage: “Never get in a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel.”
In fact, it is much more than that.
The public does have a right to know. And reporters are exercising that right.
But it is more than that.
Here’s my message for the politicians: Facing the press is good for you, too.
In the Hunt Administration, we made a dedicated effort to be responsive to the press. And not to hold grudges when reporters wrote negative stories. Because reporters are always going to write negative stories.
Here was our theory:
· You either feed the media beast, or it will eat you.
· A free way to get your story out is to give it to reporters, even though they may never write it to suit you.
· You learn a lot by facing up to reporters’ questions.
In fact, Hunt said later he liked holding weekly press conferences because he found out things his staff and Cabinet were hiding from him.
So O’Connor is right: open the door and let the sun shine in.