By Sidarth Joshi
Governor Kennedy made the decision to eject the reporter covering his cabinet meeting. Kennedy was within his power to take this step, however his decision to do so was questionable. According to New York Times reporter Carol Giacomo, the media has
the duty of holding politicians responsible for their actions. If the media is neutralized, the political elite have free reign over the process of government. Giacomo noted this in a recent article stating that, “….given that the Founders enshrined a free press and free speech in the First Amendment…the United States has long served as the premier international advocate of those sacred principles.”
This situation is being mirrored in the outside world as politicians are attempting to dictate the role of the press. Several governor candidates stated that they were opposed to the practice of excluding the media in cabinet meetings. Candidate Jordan Clements stated, “it is a misrepresentation because when a real governor signs a bill the media are always there, but it is also discriminating against the media.” Candidate Sharif Long also stated that he thought it was “wrong.”
The governor’s cabinet began its meeting in the regular fashion with a breakfast in the Treehouse Kitchen. Lobbyists were also included. After the meal, the candidates for governor were given a chance to address the cabinet about their campaigns. Several candidates reiterated their speeches at the campaign rally and added remarks
about how their platforms would affect the cabinet.
The governor’s cabinet then began to debate the merits of different Senate bills which had been passed in committee. About five minutes into this process, Kennedy asked the media to leave the area; we have no further information about this part of the cabinet meeting at present. Kennedy and his cabinet moved to the senate press office in the capitol where he began to gather information from the different chambers. The media was once again excluded from this meeting. The question we must ask ourselves is whether the deliberate exclusion of the press is in following with the first amendment right to freedom of the press. At present, it does not seem likely.