Friday, February 17, 2012

Corporal Gripweed: The Mayor's Call to Limit Media Access is a BAD idea.

Friday, Feb. 17, 2012
Augusta, GA
By Corporal Gripweed

When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself public property.”
Thomas Jefferson-

As I watched a news report about the retreat the Mayor and Commissioners are attending, I was struck by one statement made by Mayor Copenhaver. “I think it would be a good thing for the city to have a centralized source for information.” (Click here watch Chris Thomas' WRDW News Report)*

On the face of it, it does not sound unreasonable, but bear in mind the context of that statement.  The mayor was speaking in terms of LIMITING access to him and our commissioners. This is totally unacceptable to me as a citizen of Richmond County. These men have assumed a public trust and for them to consider limiting who, and/or what can be asked of them in regards to their duties are a slap in the face to anyone who follows local politics. 

I understand the need for a, “centralized source of information.” If I am not mistaken, we already have this. It can be found online at  Also, there are phone numbers made available to the public which can be used to access information when needed.

For our mayor to even suggest hiring a, “propaganda minister,’ for city leaders is repugnant to me and I am sure to many others, especially in these times of budget cuts, furloughs, and most importantly mistrust of our city leaders. We like to see up close and personal just how informed/uninformed our city leaders actually are.  The press is an ally to the citizen in this regard.

Deke sounds more like Stalin than Thomas Jefferson
You can also be sure that the new position wouldn’t be delegated to some mid-level bureaucrat, but more than likely, another high paid position which the city can ill afford right now. Perhaps a better idea would be to hire someone to help individual commissioners study and understand the issues that they are voting on.  Maybe then commissioners would be better equipped to defend their actions.

Mr. Mayor, do you not see the folly in this suggestion?  Hopefully this sad attempt to limit access to those we’ve elected will die a whimpering death. Some may want to use the rationale that other public officials have spokespeople to disseminate talking points to the press. Fair enough, however this position is mostly created for governors and presidents. You sir, are neither.  You are our locally elected politicians for better or worse, who need to be held accountable by local citizens and local media.

The Mayor wants the city's business conducted in secret
Two other bullet points discussed in the news report allude to the phrases, “We don’t want to be seen at all, and, “Bees work in the dark.” Really? Is this how you gentleman intend to start getting the city’s business done?  Unseen and in the dark? Away from public scrutiny? Out of sight of the very people who put you into office?

I’m sure that would suit the purposes of those who wish to continue to manipulate the system for their benefit, but I hope that when this asinine idea is presented again, commissioners  along with their constituents will see what an incredibly poor public relations move this would that is why I am asking all who read this to contact your Commissioner and your mayor and tell them that this new idea does not fly.  You must remember as elected officials; you have assumed a public trust and you should consider yourselves public servants, which sometimes entails answering difficult questions in difficult situations.  Having a PR person do it for you should not become standard operating procedure.**

Here's a great video representation of what a Ministry of DisInformation might look like (Brazil 1985)


Anonymous said...

Information control of the media message is the key to controlling mass behavior patterns in people. This is about shutting up the commissioners that have had the guts to speak out as of late. It is about forcing them to not engage the press and public so that the CEO of the county can have control of the flow of information.

Control of the message.


Savoir Faire said...

I think Corporal Gripweed deserves an Oscar or some equivalent for the above production...Brazil is my favorite movie and we all know why it is banned on all U.S. media. The scene chosen is my favorite part. Kurtzmann (Kurtz is the principle character in Heart of Darkness and it's derivitive, Apocalypse Now). Further, I think Chairman Deke is absolutely hilarious...I do not really know who is the genius behind this post, but Kudos x 100 for you...I hope to study under you one day...