Admittedly I’ve only been here a few months. But one thing I’ve learned is how the Public Information Officers – PIOs basically run the government. And the local newspaper and TV stations allow them. In fact, they endorse it by not asking the tough questions and asking for accountability.
Try getting the Governor to do an interview. The best you’ll get is a mess when the governor makes a public appearance and the reporters start shouting questions. And when the questions get tough the session ends. Amazing. . And then he goes and hides or flees to Europe while the rest of us are around looking for gas.
Then there’s our story on City workers slacking off on the job listening to their iPods, reading newspapers or playing checkers while earning thousands of dollars in OT. The department manager won’t talk. His flack says they’re working on a response. Working on a response? Heck, we asked for their comments two weeks before the story actually aired. To this day they’re still working on their response.
Then yesterday the PIO calls me to tell me that they’re still working on their response and it will make it harder and take longer for them to respond as we continue following the story. We should stop reporting on a hug government waste? NOT A PRAYER.
Then there’s the mayor. Try getting an interview with her. Heck, try getting past her flack.
I must admit the flacks in Atlanta do a wonderful job shielding their bosses from accountability and answering the questions.
What I find amazing is the citizens of Atlanta don’t seem to care. They go along their way search for gas, paying taxes for excessive overtime, watch their schools lose accreditation but just think it’s acceptable and part of life.
Part of our job is to hold government accountability and challenge their spin on what they’re telling or not telling the electorate. But the PIOs have figured it bout. Deflect, deter and don’t respond and maybe we’ll go away. Sorry, not on my watch.
Come on folks – as the commercial says WAKE UP!!!!.