Cal Politic

A weblog dedicated to California politics. A thriving democracy depends on an informed body politic.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Why is the Press Corps Drooling?

There's a few reasons.

1. Limited Access. Ahnald's handlers have given the press corps little time to treat him like the punching bag Gray Davis was. They are penned off, pushed asided, and their questions usually ignored. (See Sacramento News and Review article a few weeks back on this.) Anyone who dares ask Ahnald a tough question can forget about any possibilities of being a chosen one for a pool report or a future interview. Ahnald's press minions have the power -- and they know it.

2. The Capitol Press Corps isn't sure how to cover the guy. Is he a governor celebrity? Or is he a celebrity governor? Ahnald never gets into the thicket of policy, so they don't pepper him with questions about details. Can you imagine Ahnald explaining the details of workers comp? Nobody asked him too. Ahnald has such a low expectation threshold the press corps doesn't point out that he doesn't know squat. They only report his "blow up the boxes" lines because they're good sound bites. TV stations (many of whom have reporters who have never covered a guv before) are loving this -- they get their pretty pictures (somebody should PRA Ahnald's budgets for events) and quick bites.

3. Journalists with conflicts. Every political reporter in town knows that their reporting of Ahnald is going to be something that's on their resume forever. Do you think they'll put that at risk? Joe Matthews of the LA Times writes glowingly about Ahnald every chance he gets -- and in return, has gotten some great scoop for his book. Dan Weintraub holds up at least one Ahnald pom pom every day -- and then gets to appear on TV as an "independent" journalist. You write bad stuff about Ahnald, you don't get the access. And without the access, you get nothing but the photo opps.


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