Our governor’s latest immature outburst


This morning, Corey Hutchins Tweeted:

Cue the @BradWarthen blog post about the governor and Gina Smith three days from now…

Yeah. Good one. Ha-ha.

Here’s the thing, folks — I long ago decided that it was better to write about something out-of-cycle than it was never to address it. And them’s the choices you gets, folks, more often than not. Other bloggers, fearing to be seen as slow, will drop an idea after a couple of days. And of course I DO drop far, far more than I’d like. But if I get a chance to go back to something,  I do.

The great thing about blogging is that there are no space limits, so you can write about everything you think of, and not be limited to, say, one or two columns a week. The terrible truth about blogging is that it’s impossible to find the time to write about everything that you think of.

I discovered that almost immediately when I started doing this in 2005. The original idea is that I would put EVERYTHING on the blog — my notes from every editorial board interview (most of which never got a mention in the actual paper), every opinion idea that I had but didn’t have room for in the paper.

But that proved impossible. So now I get to the things I get to, and that’s it. The sad thing is, many of my best ideas for posts never get written, because they would take too much time, while I toss up little throwaway things just to keep the plates spinning.

But still, when the occasion arises later, I try my best to get back to the good stuff.

Oh, by the way, here’s the thing that Corey was referring to:

State reporter Gina Smith asked Gov. Nikki Haley during her Charleston press conference Wednesday if Haley’s ethics proposals were part of an anticipated reform package by lawmakers and the state Ethics Commission.

“Gina, I am not going to answer any of your questions,” Haley responded, moving on to take other reporters’ questions.

Asked why Haley would not answer Smith’s question, Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey responded: “The governor believes respect should be a two-way street.”

Yes, it is. And it would be nice if the governor would grow up and start answering reporters’ respectful questions with matching respect, both to them and their readers. A two-way street indeed.

As is her wont, rather than stand up and tell reporters why she is acting like a middle-schooler, our young governor took to Facebook to air her innermost feelings (and you know, that’s what it’s all about — Nikki’s feelings):

In response to my refusal to answer Gina Smith’s question today: she is the same reporter that 1)wrote a Front Page, Above the Fold story about me being indicted, with no truth what so ever. 2)She went on to write a story about my 14 year old daughter without having the facts, against the urging of SLED Chief Keel that said it was unprecedented to write about a governor’s child knowing the safety concerns. Respect is a two way street.

Our virtual governor, in her comfort zone.

21 thoughts on “Our governor’s latest immature outburst

  1. Brad

    By the way, Corey later added, “I say that because I enjoy it and wish you did it more. And, of course, faster.”

    Nothing like having folks hanging on one’s every word…

  2. Palmetto Public Record

    Clear out your Facebook notifications, Brad!

    But isn’t it fitting that the governor immediately took her middle-school attitude to Facebook, a forum often used by middle-schoolers to vent their petty frustrations?

  3. Lynn

    Don’t we all eventually have to leave high school behind? I’ve ordered my Team Gina T shirt from Cory have you?

  4. Mark Stewart

    Wouldn’t a “Front Page, Above the Fold” story be vetted and placed by someone else?

    It is petty petulence when one lashes out at someone in front of you – because it’s easier and they are simply there. It’s like ranting about strawberries missing from the reefer.

    If she questions the professionalism of the editors of The State, then she should say so. Icing a reporter isn’t going to deter that reporter, or stop other reporters from asking similar questions.

  5. Brad

    Bryan, that’s not fair. Bud doesn’t seem to have any animus toward the South per se.

    By the way, that WSJ review was written by the S.C. Policy Council’s own Barton Swaim. It’s a good review; y’all should read it.

  6. Kathryn Fenner

    And the legitimacy of the questions about her daughter is greatly bolstered by her frequent detailed posts about said daughter….so it is ironic that she again takes her case to Facebook!

  7. bud

    Bryan, I’m not sure what your point is. I was born in the old Columbia Hospital, eat grits, attend college football games and generally enjoy much about what the south has to offer. I just happen to be a liberal. That is pretty rare for a southerner but no not completely unheard of.

  8. bud

    Mark, Steve Spurrier did the same thing to Ron Morris when he thought his reporting was out of line. So Haley’s actions are not completely unheard of.

  9. Brad

    Thanks, Kathryn. I was going to respond to that, and got distracted…

    I don’t care what Steve Spurrier does or says, as long as he doesn’t hurt anybody. He’s the coach for a bunch of kids playing a game. Who cares to whom he talks? I don’t. I mean, I think it’s ridiculous that he behaved that way, but it’s lacking in significance. He has no obligation to be accessible.

    Here, we’re talking about (gulp) the governor of our state…

  10. Steven Davis II

    @Kathryn – And Gina Smith isn’t God, even though for a while she believed she was. There’s no law stating a government official has to answer questions from every reporter. If you write bad things about me, I’m probably not going to talk to you either.

  11. bud

    Brad, I hate to break this to you but may folks in SC consider Steve Spurrier and his counterpart at Clemson Dabo Swinney FAR more important than the governor. Frankly given her limited power I can understand why. Spurrier sets an example for thousands to emulate and his words do have value. Probably shouldn’t be that way but it is. So whether you care or not what Spurrier says and does IS pretty important.

  12. Kathryn Fenner

    But Steve Spurrier has far less of an obligation to answer reporters’ relevant questions than the governor does.

    Gina Smith may or may not think any number of things, but her question was on point and respectfully presented. The governor had a duty to respond likewise.

  13. Steven Davis II

    “The governor had a duty to respond likewise.”

    Says who? You disrespect me, I ignore you no matter my title. You have a problem with it, talk to me about it in private.

  14. Brad

    Steven, you weren’t paying attention. Gina didn’t disrespect Nikki. That’s what is so bizarre about her “respect should be a two-way street” shtick. Yes, it should. And since Gina and everyone else present was respecting her, she owed Gina and the others respect in return.

    But you know what? A real grownup would have treated others with respect regardless of their behavior.

  15. Tavis Micklash

    “Here’s the thing, folks — I long ago decided that it was better to write about something out-of-cycle than it was never to address it. And them’s the choices you gets, folks, more often than not. Other bloggers, fearing to be seen as slow, will drop an idea after a couple of days. And of course I DO drop far, far more than I’d like. But if I get a chance to go back to something, I do.”

    The advantages of blogging is you CAN publish as quick as you want too. There is no approval process, no editors, no anything.

    Problem I find is to properly fact check anything that takes time. To research a point and get hard facts to back an opinion that all takes time.

    So between the job that actually pays money and researching its taken a day or so.

    I guess I could publish just a recap. Who would care though? Traditional print and TV outlets do it much better than I do. Its also bores me.

    So in the end I’d rather do a detailed story backed up with references than shoot from the hip.

    I’ve also began to publish more on the weekend as well. To most this is a job so its a Mon – Fri thing. If I publish to twitter/ Facebook there is much less competition for attention so I get more traffic from “cold call” social media.

    As for Gina I’m not surprised that the Governor did that. Its not the first time she has tried to bully a detractor. If it had been a man she would have played the “good ole boys ganging up on the lady” card.

    In the end either the media will gang up on Haley and force her to relent or Gina will get froze out and reassigned. Then again that could be a good thing. If your relationship with the person your covering is shot you can say anything you want.

  16. Ralph Hightower

    I am hoping that she embarrasses herself and unfortunately, also South Carolina, by doing a “Bobby Jindal (R-LA)” State of the Union Response.

    Jindal’s response to Obama’s State of the Union was a train wreck.

    I’m hoping that SC Governot Haley will do a “Sarah Palin” and quit with “Gosh! Governoring is harder than I thought it would be.”


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