“Happy Jerks”


March 20, 2018)

 

A “Press Conference:”

a Happy Ending for none:

a Circle of Jerks!*

 

  • (In twenty years – and more – of committing journalism and its cousin Public Affairs and its sister-in-law Public Relations) I attended three press conferences. The first was at The University of South Florida during the finals of a news writing class – the associate profession teaching the class used a real-time example for his final – the deadly fire at the Sanford (Florida) Seminole County Jail which took place while I was working both as a Sports Editor/writer/photographer and city government/investigative reporter.  During the “press conference” portion of the exam I never told the teacher I was the one who wrote the story for my newspaper which his Associated Press employers then “Picked Up” and ran state- and nation-wide.  My little secret.  He later told me and the rest of the class he never in all  his too-few years to teaching journalism given a 100 on any test.  He declaimed my 98 on that final was due not to any deficiency in my reporting but to keep his string intact.  That was a clue to what came next. I found full-fledged press conferences – gaggles to many – just that, a gaggle of noisy geese and ducks asking what had been announced just prior to the path being opened for “questions.”: Fourth graders facing pizza or ice cream are more well-behaved and ask more trenchant questions.  The more exalted the press officer, the main man (genderless usage herein applied) in fact, the less decorum.  In both of the first two professional cases, I walked over to the press table and picked up the print-outs available including exactly what the publicly disclosed information contained and the disclaimers about what was not going to be discussed. In short, all  the shit the yell-birds wanted to know and which policy, law and prudence demanded the officials in government and law enforcement wanted to keep close to the vest for many reasons already were available for those who wanted to know.  And in the case of press announcements in sports and business and other avenues of informing the public via the press – I attended only if chow and brew or even booze were available to lubricate the well-know paragons for Press Freedom practiced their bent-elbow prayers for more hootch.)

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