Daily Archives: September 29, 2021

I Think I Can See a Little Smoke Coming Out His Ears

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Things are gettin’ a mite testy chez Phil Scott these days. His weekly Covid briefing for September 28 was an exercise in statistical diversion, gaslighting, word salad and straw man punching.

Oh, and the usual journalism FAIL. The reporters get the governor for two hours every week and they rarely take the opportunity to ask probing questions on the biggest immediate challenge we face. The reporting on Scott’s briefings is often more like stenography than journalism. The beginning of this week’s Question Time featured several consecutive questions that weren’t about Covid at all. The end of the sesh came early, after a number of reporters who’d signed up to ask questions decided that, well, actually, they didn’t have anything to ask.

It wasn’t an entirely dismal parade, but it was largely a missed opportunity to quiz the gov and his top officials on, for example, their policy stubbornness, statistical sleight-of-hand, failure to help the schools fight Covid, or the growing chorus of criticism from the medical and public health communities.

There was also, as discussed previously, an almost complete dearth of follow-up when some official evades an inquiry, fumbles an answer, or spews some serious bullshit. Which happens a lot. This is mainly an issue with the format, but it also reflects an unwillingness to abandon prepared questions in favor of follow-up, a lack of advance research, and probably attention spans too short to listen all the way through.

There was one solid journalistic exchange that got a bit too hot for the governor’s taste. It produced a lovely bouquet of evasion, misstatements, verbal stumbles and filibusters. Details after the jump.

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