KUAR reports that it has not been receiving press releases and notices of press conferences from the governor’s office. But the governor hastens to the phone to assure KUAR that this must be some sort of oversight and that public radio is not on his “bad boy list.”
Ron Breeding of KUAR got several minutes of the governor’s time. The governor offered a vague alibi insisting that there is no “press list.” He suggests we haven’t been excluded from anything.
So when Alice Stewart said we were no longer on the list to receive news releases and notice of news conferences, what was she talking about?
We once got notices of Little Rock news conferences. We no longer do. It is hard to cover things you don’t know about. An examination of the governor’s staff press lists, policies and e-mail would reveal the truth of his office procedures. The governor cites a “working papers exemption” in refusing to release these things. We think that exemption, under the law as applied in many states, doesn’t cover staff ministerial papers. Whatever the law, the exemption doesn’t prevent him from opening them to sunshine.
Maybe it has all been a terrible mistake. Maybe the governor really does mean to give all Little Rock media who’ve requested it notice of news conferences and general press availabilities in Little Rock. We doubt it, based on words in multiple interviews, his website, etc.
But we extend the right hand of Christian fellowship to the governor and take him at his word that he doesn’t mean to exclude us from anything. Notify us of news conferences, governor, and we promise to wear shoes and use the spittoon.