I can’t defend Governor Easley’s comments about the N&O not being “nice” to him – and accusing the paper of a “hatchet job.”
In a recent term-ending interview, the Governor said he often avoids public events because he likes to have time to think things out. He should have thought this out better. He sounded small and petulant. I don’t know him well, but I never thought he was small or petulant.
Easley and Seth Effron said the N&O should have noted that the number of probationers who killed dropped 25 percent from the Hunt administration. They may have a good point. Why didn’t they make it before now?
Now that I’m done giving the Governor PR advice, I’ll give some to John Drescher, the N&O’s executive editor.
Drescher might have been better advised to defend the series with the-facts-speak-for-themselves terseness that Ben Bradlee of the Washington Post used during Watergate: “We stand by our story.”
Instead, Drescher said:
“Gov. Easley might be the only person in North Carolina who thinks our probation system is working well and that the state is monitoring probationers as it should. The correction secretary himself has acknowledged the state needs to do a better job.”
That sounds like something a politician would say. It makes the argument sound personal and reinforces Easley’s criticism.
Drescher should have stuck by this statement:
“Our job is to dig, and we’re going to keep digging. We’ll do that in a professional way.”
Period, paragraph, end it. Enough said.
The N&O will keep digging during the Perdue Administration. One wonders: What will the Drescher-Perdue relationship be like next January 1?
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