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Just One More Point

April 7, 2015

You: “For Chrissake, you’ve made the same point several times now, can’t you move on?  You write these posts that complain about the media going on “a jag” and now you’re doing the same damn thing. Can’t you people just let it go? ”

We: “Yes, yes, you’re absolutely right. It must seem like we’re fixated, harping and sanctimonious, but just one more point. We’ve just got to get it off our chests. Ok? Please.”

You: “Oh, all right, what is it?”

We: “Do you remember in 2007 – open leaders meetings?”

You: “Yes, a fiasco. Bruno and Silver getting snippy with each other. Tedisco saying dumbass things. And Spitzer trying to hold it together, but getting more and more frustrated. And then everyone at the table – fighting.”

We: “Not that part, but what came before it, and to an extent during it.”

You: “What are you talking about?”

We: “The reporters, the edit boards, the good government groups, everyone.”

You: “Huh?”

We: “At the time, there was an outcry against secrecy, against three-men-in-room.”

You: “Ok, yeah, I guess I remember now. So what?”

We: “Well, that particular experiment with openness failed, but does that mean future efforts should have been abandoned completely, scuttled, forgotten?  Think about it. That one attempt at changing the process didn’t work out so well, so people in government said:  “Oh, fuck it, let’s make the system even more secretive,” and everyone on the outside just shrugged and, in effect, said: “Oh, yeah , I guess you’re right. No use trying anything else. Never mind.”

You: “Well, they did continue the mother ship and conference committee thing.”

We: “It’s a charade and everybody knows it.”

You:  “So what are you saying? Bring back the circus?”

We: “We don’t know what we’re saying except this: It was an outrage that the Governor didn’t announce half of the leaders meetings in recent weeks. It was an outrage that there wasn’t a media availability after the meetings. And, most of all, it was an complete and total outrage that there wasn’t a joint news conference with the leaders and the Governor after a budget agreement was reached.”

You: “You really are stuck on that point. Why, exactly? What difference would it have made?”

We: “At a minimum, they would have had to stand up together and comment on what they’d just done. They would have had to defend it.”

You: “What difference does it make, really?”

We: “Ok. Ok. Just do this one thing for us. Please. Go back and read this one story. Read it from beginning to end and then, if you think we’re nuts, we’ll apologize. But just read it and think about the system we now have:

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