Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Muzzle me? I think not.

The Northeast News Buzz: March 12, 2008

Dogs don’t like being muzzled; especially this little Newshound when covering, witnessing or simply doing anything in Northeast.

We know it is a big dog-eared deal when a gubernatorial candidate and sitting governor visit Historic Northeast in the same day. Politics aside, you cannot ignore the importance of two major players in the state’s government paying special attention to our neighborhoods and offering their time to us.

That is, until they decide they would prefer their visits to be completely unknown.

Republican Governor Matt Blunt, who seems to have a little extra time on his hands now that he has jumped from the governor’s race, stopped at one Historic Northeast school to read to children and even hold his own question and answer period with the kids.

But when it came to talking with those same Northeast school folks or even sticking around for a question or two from the two reporters who happened to hear about the low-key event, he headed directly for the door and into his assigned Highway Patrol cruiser.

Spokesmen for Blunt said he had nothing else scheduled and was there to promote literacy. But shortly after the school visit, Blunt was spotted not too far away raising money for Republicans at the Lincoln Day’s Festival in Kearney, Mo.

No need for the Gov to be late to his next fundraiser, I suppose.

The biggest state snub, though, hit us right between the eyes when Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Nixon came to Northeast to attend a fundraiser held in his honor.

The Northeast News was invited as a guest to cover the event, but Nixon’s handlers decided to ax that plan and stopped both of our reporter at the door for a formal “briefing.”

No questions. No quotes. No pictures of donors. Do not follow the candidate. We couldn’t even quote the generic church-tent-revival-style stump speech Nixon gave.

At one point, when we were taking photos of the party’s host Will Royster and State Rep. John Burnett, Nixon’s people tapped us on the shoulder and told us to stop or we would be removed from his shindig.

It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.

It is unfortunate and even insulting that after so many people came together in Northeast to promote the issues and problems that are near and dear to us that the state candidate would then want to make sure that as few people as possible knew he was there.
But if you were not there then you will never know.

Kudos to Royster who opened his home to promote and involve Northeast in having Nixon in because he wanted the spotlight shone on an area that gets ignored regularly by local, county and state officials.

But as much as Royster wanted to show that Northeast was not getting snubbed, Nixon’s people decided to take it upon themselves to do just that and snubbed the local community newspaper.

We plan on inviting candidates in this upcoming election to sit down with us at The Northeast News to talk about their plans. When we do, maybe Nixon can explain what happened last week.

That is so long as he leaves the muzzle in Jefferson City.


If you’ve got news we need to pin down, call us on the newshound tip line at 1-866-NEWS DOG.

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