Last week, I drunk tweeted.
I know, I know. A guy like me should know better. But I couldn’t help it.
See, last Tuesday was something of a special occasion for me. I tried a new beer — a vanilla stout from Mt. Pleasant’s Westbrook Brewing Co. — and, let me tell you, it was fantastic.
Unfortunately, I was just a little too enamored with this new brew. After a few pints, my inhibitions disappeared. I was no longer of sound mind. So, when I got home and checked my Twitter account and saw separate posts by The Post and Courier‘s Yvonne Wenger and the AP’s Jim Davenport linking to their articles about Sen. Robert Ford’s most recent gaffe, well, I let my feelings get the best of me. I fired off a series of tweets that were ill-conceived and somewhat embarrassing.
Not that this kind of thing is rare. I regularly blow a fuse and come out looking like a fool. In fact, you can ask any of my co-workers here at the City Paper about it. The first two hours of nearly every workday are filled with a stream of invective and exasperated dog-gonery, after which I go back to my desk and flagellate myself for saying something that I shouldn’t have.
Sometimes, it’s a comment on The Morning Buzz with Richard Todd that sets me off. Other times, it’s an Op-Ed in the P&C. In this case, it was a pair of articles by Wenger and Davenport about Ford’s latest fit of idiocy. You know what I’m talking about. That whole “brothers”-are-too-lazy-to-work thing. Ugh.
Now, I’m not all that troubled by what Ford said. Just as we have come to expect such silliness from him, we’ve come to expect the press to report it. That’s the way it is. If you can’t rip a politician when they put their tootsies in their mouths, then what good are they for. Kudos to Wenger and Davenport to report on Ford’s fark up.
However, I take issue with Wenger and Davenport’s failure to report on an equally embarrassing story involving another South Carolina politico. In this case, Gov. Nikki Haley.
At 12:33 a.m. on the night of Super Bowl Sunday, someone — and perhaps it was Haley herself — accessed the governor’s personal Facebook page in order to bash Columbia Fox affiliate WACH for running a story on the release of an excerpt from Will Folks’ forthcoming tell-all. The post was pretty straightforward. It said, “WACH FOX 57 is a tabloid news station and has no concept of journalism.” Yikes. “Tabloid news station?” Them there’s fighting words, lady.
Of course, Haley’s comments don’t really bug me, either. She can say whatever the hell she wants to say. What bothers me is that apparently no other mainstream media outlet covered Nikki’s late-night gaffe — not the P&C, not The State, and not the AP. To make matters worse, on the day after the Super Bowl, Haley held a press conference to talk about the Department of Social Services and, apparently, not a single reporter in Columbia asked her publicly about the Facebook post. To me, that is what’s troubling.
However, these same reporters had no problem reporting on Robert Ford’s comments the following day. Hell, it even made the front page of the P&C. And I think I know why: Robert Ford talks to the press. Really, it’s as simple as that.
Ford’s error was not making the “brothers” comment. Nope. It was talking to the press afterward in an effort to explain why he said what he said. If he hadn’t done so, then there’s good reason to suspect that the mainstream press would have never reported on it.
Of course, the Haley administration doesn’t make these kinds of errors. Whenever Nikki inserts her foot in her mouth or faces an uncomfortable situation, she and her staff have learned that the best way to squash a story is to not say anything at all. And so far, the Columbia press corps has let the governor get away with it.
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