January 15, 2010

A Battle of the Medias

Justin Katz

I'm not entirely sure what it was, but I found hilarious Matt Allen's tete-a-tete with Bill Rappleye about the latter's performance during John Robitaille's press conference announcing his GOP gubernatorial candidacy. Audio here.

On the substance of the discussion, I sorta split the difference. On the one hand, Matt's concern that Bill holds a personal grudge against a gubernatorial candidate is justified, and placing Bill's questions in the press conference context of other journalists with an ax to grind about Governor Carcieri's relationship with select media venues gives the whole thing the sound of hyenas who've found the Lion King's son out rambling in an elephant graveyard. Frankly, the notion that "objective" reporters should be able to disguise their personal feelings has things precisely backwards, if you ask me... readers/viewers/listeners should know that reporter X is ticked that she couldn't get an interview with a candidate's former boss.

On the other hand, Bill had a point that his skirmish was a small part of the press conference, and that it'd be helpful to know the origin of the perceived slight. But that points to something that I'm surprised neither Matt nor Bill brought up: Robitaille had no productive way to answer that line of questioning. Even if it were his intention, he couldn't declare, as a candidate, that he intends to stonewall journalists whom he doesn't like once he's elected to office. Moreover, he's not currently in a position from which he can be expected to badmouth the governor and/or reveal the administration's strategic discussions.

I'd note, in closing, that Rappleye did say he found Robitaille's openness and lack of overt political handling to be refreshing.

(Note: Yes, I'm aware that "media" is plural.)

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I didn't hear Robitaille's response, but why wouldn't he be able to simply answer, "When I am Governor, I will be as accessible to the media and public as the job allows."?

Posted by: Patrick at January 15, 2010 10:34 PM

Is it just me or does Bill Rappleye sound like a complete and total moron? Beyond his obvious speech impediment - he just sounds like an idiot. And by the way, he sounds like a whiny little brat with the way he complains. Zero reporting, here.

Posted by: Billy at January 15, 2010 11:53 PM

No Billy, it's not just you.

Posted by: BobN at January 16, 2010 8:43 AM

Justin perhaps it didn't occur to Matt to talk about Robitaille's lack of an answer because the whole line of questioning was idiotic and media self serving. As Robitaille stated all media requests go to the Gov and he decides who he's going to talk to. Why is it up to John Robitaille to explain or justify to these mediots who RI's Governor chooses to speak with throughout the broader media? Robitaille did explain himself on the issue that was directly related to him. He went directly to Rappleye's boss to complain about Rappleye's lack of professionalism on a story he did. The Channel 10 ombudsman agreed with Robitaille vis-a-vis Rappleye's behavior and the way that story was laid out.
Yes the skirmish was a small part of the press conference but it was quite revealing and that's why Matt highlighted it. It's not often the public get to hear the pettiness and personal agendas of media in such a vivid way. The mediots are usually just a tad more subtle than that.

Posted by: Tim at January 16, 2010 2:10 PM

Billy- Rappleye does sound like an opinionated ignoramous most of the time.He is a shameless rumpswab for the left wing in this state.He once referred to illegal aliens as "undocumented citizens"-not even Grace Diaz would make a statement that ridiculous.
He is a millstone around Taricani's neck on 10 News Conference-he asks loaded questions of any anyone who's even mildly conservative in an accusatory tone.Taricani is a tough questioner also,but at least his questions have a point that is valid contained within.
Maybe Rappleye oughta buy a baseball cap-the big fedora is obviously putting too much pressure on his brain.
Pat Croweley also sports a big fedora frequently.....hmmm?

Posted by: joe bernstein at January 17, 2010 8:01 AM
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