Are you a Republican governor who’s thinking about a 2016 presidential run? Tired of “liberal news media” printing their “facts” instead of your truth about your administration? Want to turn your press release department into the actual press, only with taxpayer dollars and your direction? Then you too can be like Indiana GOP Gov. Mike Pence and start your own news agency!
Gov. Mike Pence is starting a state-run news service that will provide pre-written news stories to Indiana news outlets, as well as sometimes compete with them for news about his administration, according to documents obtained by The Indianapolis Star.
Pence is planning to launch “Just IN” in late February, a website and news service that will feature stories written by state press secretaries and is being overseen by a former Indianapolis Star reporter, Bill McCleery.
“At times, Just IN will break news — publishing information ahead of any other news outlet. Strategies for determining how and when to give priority to such ‘exclusive’ coverage remain under discussion,” according to a question-and-answer sheet distributed to communications directors for state agencies last week details.
The Pence news service will take stories written by state communications directors and publish them on its website. Stories will “range from straightforward news to lighter features, including personality profiles.”
A Pence spokeswoman declined comment Monday, saying the administration would release more details soon.
Hey after all this is the party that swore to destroy the “dead tree” media. Just put pajama guys in charge and “publish information ahead of any other news outlet” yourself! No need for an adversarial press when you control the information and the means to get it to taxpayers, right?
But something something Obama’s chilling effect on the press, of course. Republicans like Pence are setting up the means to simply just go around them totally, but don’t let them know.
[UPDATE] Seems Pence’s office is now scrambling to “clarify” what the Governor meant by “news agency” and is now walking this back as quickly as possible.
“Reports that this was intended to be a news agency, I think just represent an understandable misunderstanding based on some internal communications that I read about in the press,” Pence said, after his announcement that he had won an alternative expansion of Medicaid from the federal government.
Now that’s news, right?