"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Where’s “Baghdad” Tony Messenger?

August 7th, 2009 by sclemons · No Comments

In a story released on August 6, 2009, it was revealed that The Springfield News-Leader has been attempting to use the Sunshine Law for its intended purpose – increasing the transparency of government – but has been blocked by the Capitol Police using an obscure anti-terrorism Sunshine exemption.As reported, the News-Leader wishes to review tapes from cameras installed outside the public entrances of Governor Nasty’s Nixon’s office to learn more about who may have been involved in the Department of Natural Resources’ recent cover-up of unsafe E. coli levels in the Lake of the Ozarks. The Capitol Police blocked them from viewing the tapes out of “security concerns” – a dubious excuse, to be sure – saying that “disclosure would impair [their] ability to protect the safety or health of persons” and that “the public interest in nondisclosure outweighs the public interest in disclosure.” Apparently, tape recordings of public, easily-accessible, very conspicuous doorways can be dangerous. Who knew?

Attorney General Chris Koster has expressed his hope that the Governor (who is obviously behind this misuse of an anti-terrorism statute), the Capitol Police, and the News-Leader can come to an agreement that will allow the media to access the information they need under conditions that would pose a minimal security risk. Of course, the media is elated by this. The public should be, too. We have a right to know if we are being purposefully misled by the Nixon administration.

There is one notable absence from the discussion, however – “Baghdad” Tony Messenger. He should be on the front lines of this fight, arguing for the right of the public (and his former employer) to obtain information relevant to this important investigation. At the very least, he should be reporting on the videotape story and its implications for the public. Instead, he has remained silent on the issue, choosing to cozy up to the Nixon administration by writing only positive stories about Nixon and his Democratic friends. Looks like the Post-Dispatch’s new Jefferson City reporter forgot the objectivity part of the journalists’ credo…

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Tags: Jay Nixon · Media Bias · Tony Messenger

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