Today the Columbia Journalism Review joined MSNBC, Talking Points Memo and a dozen other news outlets in criticizing the NEO Media Group/Plain Dealer for removing a video of John Kasich acting like a spoiled child during an editorial interview. NEO Media Group later sent us a nasty letter threatening to sue us for posting clips from the interview after they removed it. You can still watch those clips here.
Interestingly, this is not the first time a major news outlet in Ohio has bowed to pressure from an incumbent Republican office holder to remove some previously published content. Back in September, Columbus Dispatch Editor Ben Marrison removed a story about Mike DeWine interfering with a sexual harassment lawsuit in his office. Like the NEO Media Group video, the Dispatch story had been published on the paper’s website and then mysteriously removed hours later.
Both the Dispatch and the Plain Dealer endorsed Kasich and DeWine,
Here’s the article that Dispatch Editor Ben Marrison didn’t want you to see…
Lawmakers want inspector general to look into attorney general’s office
By Alan Johnson
Two Democratic state lawmakers want to authorize the Ohio inspector general to investigate a sexual harassment allegation in Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office.
Reps. Nickie Antonio of Lakewood and Nicholas J. Celebrezze of Parma said in conference call today that they will introduce a proposal mirroring legislation passed in 2008 which authorized then-Inspector General Thomas P. Charles to investigate Attorney General Marc Dann. Dann resigned later after being embroiled in sexual misconduct and corruption scandal in his office.
The legislators want current Inspector General Randall J. Meyer to look into a sexual harassment allegation by a female former intern in DeWine’s office. The woman rejected a fulltime position in DeWine’s office because she said she was sexually harassed by an older man on the staff who was close to DeWine. She later partially backed off her allegations; an internal investigator failed to identify the alleged harasser.
“Until we have an independent investigation, not an internal investigation, we won’t know the truth,” Celebrezze. “We hope, truth be told, that there is no sexual harassment. The allegations merit a thorough investigation.”
Antonio said the matter needs to be addressed because it “sends a message to women employees to think twice about reporting inappropriate conduct.”
The inspector general, under law, can investigate administrative agencies, but needs legislative authorization to get involved in cases in the offices of other statewide elected officials.
“There was already an independent external investigation conducted by Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Ron O’Brien in this case,” DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney said. “Regardless, the inspector general has no constitutional authority to conduct such an investigation.”
DeWine’s office, after looking into the intern’s complaints internally, asked O’Brien to investigate. O’Brien concluded there was no basis for the allegation.
DeWine subsequently ordered his entire staff to undergo sexual harassment training.
David Pepper, DeWine’s Democratic opponent in the November election, joined a group of women calling for an independent investigation.