I’ve heard from media friends lately that the Pence administration is giving them the cold shoulder. It is curious that a former broadcaster that boasted to have a radio studio would avoid the media as he has. He is certainly capable.
During the campaign, the Rupert team often heard complaints from the media that Pence was avoiding the media, and if they did talk, it was platitudes and non-specifics. When Pence does do media now, it is fluff pieces to conservatives like S.E. Cupp. One has to wonder why Pence is more interested in raising his national profile versus explaining his decisions to Hoosiers.
The first shot in the coming Pence vs. Hoosier media has today by Brian Howey:
HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: The Pence media office has a credibility problem. I made an inquiry on the employment fate of legislative director Heather Neal late Monday afternoon, and spokeswoman Christina Denault essentially repeated what Gov. Pence had said: “As the governor said earlier today in a press scrum following the swearing in, Heather is a valued member of our staff, and we have nothing further to say about her status at this time.” The problem is, this was not true. Neal was on her way out to a private strategy firm. Even if that deal hadn’t been consummated at the time of my inquiry, a candid press operation would have followed up with a phone call or an email. The Governor-elect sat in my office a few days prior to his inauguration and pleaded for a “do over” after my request for interviews during the summer and fall of 2012 had been ignored. But the same thing is happening again this year. Press emails to Kara Brooks of the Pence press office are routed through Denault, which suggests an interesting information control dynamic. Gov. Pence does not appear prepared to candidly discuss issues of the day, some of which have multi-billion dollar consequences for the state and its citizens. Some friendly advice to the governor: As a congressman, you championed media access and shield issues. As a radio and TV talk show host, you thrived on access to lawmakers. As governor, your accessibility has been far below that of your predecessors. You probably should rethink that. – Brian A. Howey
It is hard to understand why a politician with the bully pulpit would fail to use it, especially when those on the right generally don’t like the conclusions drawn by the press on their decisions. Why wouldn’t Pence manage his own message?