Media

Clearly What Indianans Need Is a Taxpayer-Funded State News Outlet

Governor proposes his own media coverage.

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Gov. Mike Pence

Pretty much every single government agency or municipality in the United States—unless they're really, really small—puts out its own press releases. They are either ignored by the public or sometimes turned into a news brief by a reporter (sometimes with very little actual reporting) for a media outlet. Even then, if it's not about a crime, fire, or other disaster it tends to be mostly ignored.

So the idea that Gov. Mike Pence (R) wants to start a state-run media outlet may inspire all sorts of outrage about government propaganda, but really the concern should be about pointless government waste and the creation of unnecessary taxpayer-funded jobs. From The Indianapolis Star:

Pence is planning to launch "Just IN" in late February, a website and news service that will feature stories written by state press secretaries and is being overseen by a former Indianapolis Star reporter, Bill McCleery.

"At times, Just IN will break news — publishing information ahead of any other news outlet. Strategies for determining how and when to give priority to such 'exclusive' coverage remain under discussion," according to a question-and-answer sheet distributed last week to communications directors for state agencies.

The Pence news service will take stories written by state communications directors and publish them on its website. Stories will "range from straightforward news to lighter features, including personality profiles."

The endeavor will come at some taxpayer cost, but how much is unclear. A Pence spokeswoman declined comment Monday, saying the administration would release more details soon. The news service has two dedicated employees, whose combined salary is nearly $100,000, according to a search of state employee salary data.

Who doesn't want to read "personality profiles" written by a state communications director? No doubt Indiana citizens are chomping at the bit to hear all about the hobbies of the new file clerk that processes fishing licenses at the state's Department of Natural Resources. Because make no mistake, that's exactly the kind of crap that's going to come out of this endeavor.

In my experience as an editor, whenever a government agency gets upset that the media isn't reporting what it wants to report, yes, sometimes it's because they aren't getting favorable coverage on controversial or complex matters. But in addition, government functionaries often really, really think that whatever they do is so very, very important and cannot fathom the idea that the public doesn't want to hear all about it. Declining to cover a road crew worker getting a county award for safety or a $10,000 federal grant to facilitate pet adoptions confuses and even offends them sometimes. Leslie Knope is much less funny in real life, particularly to editors who are occasionally compared to Ron Swanson.

Related: In 2013, Pence apologized for his office deleting hundreds of comments on the governor's official Facebook page for disagreeing with his stance in opposition of same-sex marriage recognition.

NEXT: Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing: Attorney General Nomination

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  1. “Hi, I’m Governor Mike Pence. You may think I’m a Republican, but actually, my purpose in politics is to embarrass Republicans by wasting taxpayer money and discrediting arguments that Republicans spend less than Democrats. Thank you, and good night!”

  2. Maybe what Indiana needs is a Potemkin village.

    1. Hey! They can have a whole regular segment on Indiana jokes.

      Here’s one I remember from the 1980’s:

      Where did Prince Charles spend his honeymoon?

      InDiana! Get it?

      Sorry, that’s the extent of my knowledge of Indiana jokes, you’ll have to look elsewhere (perhaps the preschool-age Ron Howard singing “Gary, Indiana” in the movie The Music Man?

      1. Something, something, Hoosier Daddy?

        1. Uh oh, I heard that one… and laughed out loud at it’s audacious political incorrectness.

      2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hLf9xB0PVY

        Heywood Banks (funny song guy from out my way) did a song about Indianapolis…maybe this could be their theme song.

        1. Yeah, toast.

          1. +28 wheels on a big rig truck

          2. whoops – move my finger over one key and we’ll make that “18” – thanks

  3. Just IN reports the news about Indiana:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCKONHUigVk

    1. Breaking news from Indiana – the biggest story in years!!1!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqntA0XsWg8

  4. The newspapers, radio outlets and local TV news try to do a great service for Indiana.

    This just sounds like a Community Action news outlet that newspapers already provide in a section of the newspaper.

    The problem here as in any other state, I believe, is the questions you would like to ask and have answered will be either ignored or obfuscated.

    This should be DOA.

  5. No, what Indiana needs is a halfway acceptable climate. Surely, the current administration can come up with a fair redistribution of climate, for social justice?

    Why do you hate the hoosiers, Obama?

    1. Sorry, us 1%’ers down in the balmy southwest will never give up our mild winters. I think to get what you want will take Congress using some of its Commerce Clause powers to ‘regulate’ weather between the states.

  6. On a more serious note, there is a pretty good conversation going on over at DailyMail about Obamacare.

    I am semi-optimistic that I sense a coming storm of red hot hatred against the ACA.

    1. “Next year we conquer the mainland!”

      /Chiang Kai-Shek

    2. It’s kind of inevitable. Most government bullshit is hidden pretty well, from withholding to regulations to revenue generation from ticketing and fines. But you just can’t hide someone’s health insurance costs going way up and plans covering way less. You just can’t. It’s directly effecting people in a way that they can see crystal clear: on their bottom line.

      This is basically the equivalent of adding a new tax that people have to pay monthly that isn’t withheld to hide it from them. They see the check they’re writing every month and hate how big it is (which is exactly what withholding was designed to do, may Milton Friedman burn in hell). That’s going to drive people nuts.

      1. Sorry, “which is exactly what withholding was designed to obfuscate

    3. “I am semi-optimistic that I sense a coming storm of red hot hatred against the ACA.”

      Just last week, a local (dare I say it?) lefty columnist made the comment that he wishes the GOP would stop referring to it as a ‘failed policy’; he’s awright, Jack!

  7. I’ve discovered the greatest SJW article of all time. It’s from 2 months ago, but it’s so brilliant it must be shared:

    Tolkien’s myths are a political fantasy

    In a world built on myth, we can’t ignore the reactionary politics at the heart of Tolkien’s Middle Earth

    Good start.

    And of course Sauron doesn’t even get to appear on the page in The Lord of the Rings, at least not in any form more substantial than a huge burning eye, exactly the kind of treatment one would expect in a work of propaganda.

    It can’t be propaganda because none of the characters are real.

    We’re left to take on trust from Gandalf, a manipulative spin doctor, and the Elves, immortal elitists who kill humans and hobbits for even entering their territory, when they say that the maker of the one ring is evil. Isn’t it more likely that the orcs, who live in dire poverty, actually support Sauron because he represents the liberal forces of science and industrialisation, in the face of a brutally oppressive conservative social order?

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

    1. It can’t be propaganda because none of the characters are real.

      It can’t?

      1. It can’t be propaganda because none of the characters are real.

        What I meant is that he’s arguing it’s propaganda against Sauron.

        Sauron is not real, so how can you propagandize against a being which does not exist?

        1. You and your linear obsession with so-called “rationality!”

        2. Oh, OK.

    2. Is this a real-world counterpart to this parody?

      http://www.mcsweeneys.net/arti…..d-part-one

      1. That series has a bunch of great lines.

        CHOMSKY: Mordor, the “dark land.” Which you correctly pointed out before we began should be properly known as Orcistan.

    3. Tolkien’s myths are political fantasy?

      This guy thinks this is news? That he’s come up with some new angle?

      FFS – Tolkien historians have shown this *decades* ago. This is nothing that Tolkien fans don’t already know.

      Tolkien was opposed to industrialization and fetishized the rural agrarian lifestyle. Saurons forces *are* the forces of modernization, the fucking hobbits are chariactures of British rural farmers, etc.

      Fucking college kids these days, always 20 years too late, always thinking they’ve got some new idea that’s never been thought before.

      1. “Tolkien was opposed to industrialization and fetishized the rural agrarian lifestyle. Saurons forces *are* the forces of modernization, the fucking hobbits are chariactures of British rural farmers, etc.”

        And he was not alone:
        “L. Frank Baum claimed to have written The Wonderful Wizard of Oz “solely to pleasure the children” of his day, but scholars have found enough parallels between Dorothy’s yellow-brick odyssey and the politics of 1890s Populism to suggest otherwise.”
        http://www.usagold.com/gildedopinion/oz.html

        1. “solely to pleasure the children”

          I could tell you things about Peter Pan
          And the Wizard of Oz – there’s a dirty old man!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pva35TFiBfI

          1. “Un-subt”?
            Boo, hiss!

          2. +1 When correctly viewed, everything is lewd.

    4. There’s nothing like when SJW types try to contort something historical/a work of fiction to fit their worldview, when it was never, ever designed or would never have even imagined having anything to do with the way they think. It’s hilarious because the way they think is actually anti-human nature and would have been considered utterly insane by most people throughout all of human history. But somehow, that’s actually what Tolkien meant.

    5. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings aren’t fantasies because they feature dragons, elves and talking trees. They’re fantasies because they mythologise human history, ignoring the brutality and oppression that were part and parcel of a world ruled by men with swords. But we shouldn’t be surprised that the wish to return to a more conservative society, one where people knew their place is so popular.

      Which is why Tolkien was an anarchist who not only wished to see a peaceful end to British imperialism/colonizations but also quite publicly spoke out against Communism, Fascism, Antisemitism, racism, American use of nuclear weapons against Japan, and South African apartheid.

      Because Tolkein was such a conservative reactionary.

    6. That is a gem.

      A balanced telling might well have shown Smaug to be much more of a reforming force in the valley of Dale.

      wow.

      1. Interesting that this person seems to solely identify with the villains.

        1. Tolkien also elaborated on Jewish influence on his Dwarves in a letter: “I do think of the ‘Dwarves’ like Jews: at once native and alien in their habitations, speaking the languages of the country, but with an accent due to their own private tongue…”

          In the last interview before his death, Tolkien, after discussing the nature of Elves, briefly says of his Dwarves: “The dwarves of course are quite obviously, wouldn’t you say that in many ways they remind you of the Jews? Their words are Semitic, obviously, constructed to be Semitic.”

          Which would make Smaug an allegory for…?

          1. Yo mama?

          2. Smaug is an allegory for the poor little Palestinian child, cruelly forced from his home by money-grubbing bankers.

    7. Just shakes head.

      So, to this imbecile the team that wanted to rule over everyone else and, oh, yeah, eat them are the good guys.

      The humanities really have gone down a dead end.

  8. Indianans? You mean Hoosiers?

    1. damn straight.

  9. So the idea that Gov. Mike Pence (R) wants to start a state-run media outlet may inspire all sorts of outrage about government propaganda, but really the concern should be about pointless government waste and the creation of unnecessary taxpayer-funded jobs.

    Well, if there’s one thing Duke Leto taught me, its that one must not only govern well, one must be *seen* to govern well.

    And if the media won’t cooperate then its necessary to instate your own propaganda corps.

    1. Sadly, it’ll probably just end up being one more organ for leftist propaganda. Probably the sorriest part of the story is that the fool doesn’t realize he’s only making a stick for his own back.

  10. “The Pence news service will take stories written by state communications directors and publish them on its website. Stories will “range from straightforward news to lighter features, including personality profiles.”
    The endeavor will come at some taxpayer cost, but how much is unclear.”

    I don’t think it really matters ‘how much’. One centime to put lipstick on gov’t swine is entirely too much.

  11. Leslie Knope is much less funny in real life,

    She’s funny to begin with??

  12. It’s funny because the WSJ just had an opinion piece out stating that Pence was the most taxpayer-friendly governor in America or some such. Basically they wanted him to run for prez.

    1. Like The Economist, the Wally ain’t what it was…

      1. They both went to shit at about the same time but are now completely different kinds of shit. I was hoping Bezo would transform the WP into my new news-pad but that’s looking not so good.

        1. I realized the Economist had gone to hell when they started shrieking about gun control and published an article arguing that we should have a cadre of ‘experts’ whose job it was to set the minimum wage without congressional votes.

          That ‘representative Democracy’ is so old hat! Thank God the economist was there to tell me it’s much better to let random experts do whatever they want free from any oversight.

  13. Strange things afoot in Argentina: Argentina to dissolve domestic spy agency after mysterious prosecutor death

    http://www.dw.de/argentina-to-…..a-18216153

    NYT + Salon + Israel = Haaretz. An Israeli paper by self-loathing Jews, for self-loathing Jews.

    The jist of the linkd story is that Argentinian Jews are being manipulated by Dark Right-Wing forces that sort of killed Nisman but maybe not and the author of course can’t say for sure this is happening, but is still upset about Argentinian Jews who are ‘obsessed’ over Iran, because what kind of jerk would hold a grudge over the murder of 85 people at a cultural center?

    http://www.dw.de/argentina-to-…..a-18216153

  14. America gets its first BTC exchange from Coinbase.

    http://www.coindesk.com/coinba…..s-traders/

  15. S&P downgrades Russia’s sovereign credit rating to ‘junk’; Ruble immediately plummets 7% against USD.

    http://www.reuters.com/article…..5920150126

    1. This is royally fucking Eastern Europe. I was reading an article in the Economist regarding Kyrgyzstan. Apparently an enormous percentage of Kyrgyzstan’s wealth comes from Kyrgyzstanies (Kyrgzaks? Who knows?) working in Russia and sending money back to their families. The country is apparently the poorest country from the former Communist bloc.

      What they would usually do is turn Rubles into dollars and send the dollars back to their families. The collapse of the Ruble is therefore having a devastating effect on Kyrgyzstan and probably a bunch of similar countries.

      1. They will adjust and it will make them stronger and less vulnerable to Russian aggression.

        I read on a different article that Russo-Kazakh relations are at a nadir. Kazakhstan has a sizeable Russian population in its north and while a repeat of the Ukraine invasion is unlikely there, Kazakhstan’s leader has been real ‘cagey’. Kazakhstan’s currency (Tenge) has been getting hammered.

        http://www.newrepublic.com/art…..dy-failing

      2. “Apparently an enormous percentage of Kyrgyzstan’s wealth comes from Kyrgyzstanies (Kyrgzaks? Who knows?) working in Russia and sending money back to their families.”

        When you’re traveling to Russia to find increased wealth, you KNOW your country is poor.
        BTW, a barkeep we met in a London hotel last Autumn was from K-stan and was touting the increased tourist trade. Uh, what, is Cuba too rich for the tourists’ tastes?

  16. Obama has the New York Time, Washington Post, and all three major networks, why can’t this guy have his website?

    1. The problem is, aside from the obvious, how long do you think it remains “his” website?

    2. So, John, when are you going off to die gloriously battling against slavery in the Middle East or Africa? No price too great!

  17. A post for ENB tomorrow:

    It takes multiple cops firing multiple shots to subdue a 17-year-old girl with a knife car?

    The teen girl was not a threat. Hitting the cop was an accident. Everybody knows women are terrible drivers.

    /jk

    1. They shot into a car with five people and only hit the one driving? I don’t care if it was from four feet, that’s some impressive cop-shooting

  18. Archaically, Indianian is correct. The official term is Hoosier.

    To the point, the state shouldn’t be in the “news” business.

  19. Meh. The website is probably cheaper than the 8X10 color glossies with the circles and the arrows and a paragraph on the back of each describing Pence’s awesomeness that he currently sends straight to my trash can.

  20. “Who doesn’t want to read “personality profiles” written by a state communications director?”

    I do! I do!

    /Horseshack

  21. “No doubt Indiana citizens are chomping at the bit ….” Actually, if we want to get picky, it’s “champing.” A horse champs at his bit.
    Grammarist.com allows that “chomping” is close enough for most folks. But I think Reason is special and should hold to the higher standard.

  22. The US post office was created in order to subsidize the transmission of news about government.
    see my paper, “Communications and Empire”
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/pa…..id=2452421

  23. EVERY government agency I know of has a website that includes PR, not just government business. It’s not right, but neither is singling out Pence.

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