British Politician Tells Local Paper It Can't Quote Him Because He Dislikes Its Readers' Comments
from the didn't-really-think-this-out-at-all,-did-you? dept
However, rather than develop thicker skin, some politicians have instead made efforts to keep all the bad people away from the paper vellum they call skin. Some try to shield themselves (and the children!) with vague anti-cyberbullying laws. Others push for "real name" requirements. And some (well, maybe just this one), just tell the offending entity that it's no longer part of the conversation, no matter how ridiculous this "arrangement" actually is.
Christopher Hawtree is a very unusual politician because he dislikes being quoted. The Green councillor, who has just been selected to fight for a parliamentary seat, has told a reporter for his local paper, the Brighton Argus, to stop approaching him after meetings.
So, a local politician who deals with local issues would rather not answer questions from the local paper. One of the correspondents for the offending paper logically asked (via Twitter), "Isn't that his job?"
Why doesn't Hawtree want to talk to his district's paper of record?
Hawtree tweeted in response: "I have a great dislike of the Argus readers' comments and so prefer to appear in other papers."That normally wouldn't be a problem, but Brighton & Hove's only paper is the Argus. Hawtree apparently would like to be the sort of public figure that can coast through several successful terms, untroubled by his local paper and mouthy constituents. But if that's truly the sort of person he wishes to be, he needs to drop the "public figure" part of it.
Not only will he not respond to the paper's inquiries, but he's actively steering anyone who will listen towards an alternative "paper of record."
So, given that the city of Brighton & Hove is served by only one title, what "other papers" does he prefer? The New York Times, evidently, because he urges his followers to sign up for a subscription.I'm not sure how much longer Hawtree's planning to "serve" his community, but I would think his constituents will be trimming a few months or years off that total. It's pretty tough to remain a community leader when you've implied that many in the community are "dreadful" and "hateful." Topping it off by cutting the press out of the loop makes Hawtree look like the sort of person who'd be better off returning to the private sector and becoming a hermit, rather than attempting to bypass all that "unpleasant" communication the real world's known for.