Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Rabid Press Secretaries

My first ever political job was Press Secretary for Governor Bruce King back in 1975, the last  year in his first term.   I had just left Channel 7 in disgust as they entered the 'chatty news' era that eventually led to the state of local broadcast news we see today.

King had called me a few hours after I left my job and asked me to come  up for an interview for the position.  There were numerous applicants and I would be the first to see him on a Monday morning.  When I entered his office he said I was his pick and asked me when I could start, even though all the other applicants were in the reception area.  And that is how I got into politics.  Apparently I had done some stories on his administration which he liked and so decided I was the right guy for the job.  He told me to be honest and forthright in dealing with the media who covered state government.  There were a lot of them back then and they were professionals.  King told be to always treat critics with respect and merely give our side of an issue.  I followed his orders and loved the job.

Now we see what the roles of press secretaries are in the current Governor's administration.  The job is not to give their side of an issue, but to attack personally the critics who disagree with them.  And since we have such a poor press corp these days, that is usually what gets printed or aired.  There are some exceptions, like the Santa Fe Reporter.

And so, the governor's rabid press relations person is moving to a new job after pulling off so many personal and nasty attacks on anyone who disagreed with our Tea Party right wing Governor.  Good riddance to Enrique Knell.  And welcome to the new guy Chris Sanchez.  Will he be a rabid dog too?  Of course he will if he takes orders from the governor's neocon political advisors.  Destroying someone's reputation who disagrees with you is so much more likely to gain ink than a thoughtful debate.

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