Opinion: “Hello, sweetheart? Get me rewrite!”
That headline is a throwback to the days of journalists actually phoning in stories. Here’s another quote: “It’s meant to be a resource, not a news source and we’ll be clarifying that in the days ahead.” Smooth move. That was Indiana Gov. Mike Pence mid-week last week in the aftermath of his shocking announcement earlier that his administration would be creating a state-run news agency with your tax dollars. Your. Tax. Dollars. The question we immediately asked ourselves upon learning of his decisions was, “Pravda?” We were referring nearly half-jokingly to the political newspaper associated with the Communist Party of the Russian Federation; it was the official voice, if you will, of the ruling faction. So when Pence’s news was released, it set off shockwaves in every newsroom in the free world. So severe was the backlash that the governor who wouldn’t be president – yet – quickly backpedaled into the well more comfortable “source” mode as opposed to “news organization.” And now he has trashed the whole idea. Good call. While we have to assume the initial thought was well intentioned, the mere thought that it could have debuted as a “state organ” was, well, disturbing at best. This is a man, who in 2005 was quoted as saying: “… as a conservative who believes in limited government, I believe the only check on government power in real time is a free and independent press.” So there you have it. We got a kick out of immediate trolls on social media, though, including one extremely clever post that pointed to Pence’s “news service budget” as featuring: “Pence has a commanding lead of the Republican race for president. In a new poll of everyone who works in his office …” and “Mike Pence used his superpowers today to push an impending blizzard to the northeast.” This is why everything needs to be thought out before a decision is made, and that would include any voter’s time in the polling booth.