By now we’re all too familiar with the Kasich administration’s disgust for, and poor treatment of the press.
It started before he was even sworn in as Governor when he refused to release to the press copies of resumes submitted to his transition website. Later he banned the press from his inauguration, initially claiming it was for security reasons and finally admitting that he just didn’t want the press reporting about the drunken attendees at his inaugural bash.
Kasich eventually gave in and let the reporters attend, but his relationship with the press, and his opinion about their silly expectations of transparency, openness and availability, has not improved much since.
Recently Kasich dissed Ohio’s print media by proudly claiming he doesn’t read any Ohio newspapers. And this week, instead of trying to correct this mistake by building bridges and mending his relationship with the press, Kasich doubled down on his anti-press bets, sending Statehouse reporters a box full of turds as a holiday gift.
Traditionally Ohio’s Governors have made themselves available to the press for one-on-one, year-end interviews. Strickland did it. Taft did it, even the year of his ethics conviction, a move that showed a lot of class. Kasich, not surprisingly, chose a different path.
Instead of talking to Ohio reporters, Kasich instead opted to host a news conference at the unoccupied Governor’s mansion, a conference in which he rambled, unscripted, about himself, the books he’s reading, who he knew in congress, who invited him to Christmas parties and a bunch of other random crap. He then tried to talk about his ‘accomplishments’, inviting his cabinet members to speak and then rudely interrupting them again and again for over 70+ minutes before finally taking (kind of) questions from the press.
Note: If you missed this train wreck, Ohio Channel still has the video online. Warning: watching this video WILL make you angry.
During the Q&A session that followed his “speech”, Kasich couldn’t resist taking another jab at Ohio’s professional news organizations. In response to a question about where he gets his news, Kasich named national websites Politico and Real Clear Politics and, of course, Fox News, as his primary choices for information.
Not enough to prove Kasich and his staff hate Ohio’s news media? How about this…
During the speech, Kasich’s communications staff sent this tweet to Mike Thompson, WOSU’s news and public affairs director, in response to his question about the lack of “news” in Kasich’s “News Conference”:
Bam! Suck it, Thompson. And suck it, reporters. Had you written more glowing, positive stories about the Governor you wouldn’t be sitting here now listening to him ramble on about the time he discussed Radiohead records with Vaclav Havel. Maybe NEXT year you’ll learn your lesson.
And if that wasn’t enough…
Two days after completely dissing Ohio’s statehouse reporters by refusing to follow the long-held tradition of granting one-on-one, year-end interviews, Kasich went on Fox News and… yep…. did a one-on-one interview with Bill Hemmer.