Governor Kristi Noem doesn’t know what to do about Jason Ravsnborg’s maslaughter case, but she’s certainly ready to condemn and shun South Dakota journalists.
KELO-TV got off topic at Noem’s presser yesterday and asked our Governor why she’s traveling around the country campaigning in the midst of a surging pandemic here at home. She replied, “If we do not focus on the election as well and President Trump is not in office, there are consequences of that to our state of South Dakota.”
KELO’s Angela Kennecke follows that up with a note that Noem is not living up to her promise of transparency and availability to the South Dakota press:
The governor’s tax-payer funded TV studio in the capitol building is supposed to give the media more access to her, but so far it appears that the studio is mostly being used for appearances by the governor on national Fox News programs.
This week KELOLAND’s Angela Kennecke asked Governor Noem’s office for a one-on-one interview to address questions about rising COVID-19 cases in the state, her campaign trips for Trump and the economy. Angela received the following response from the governor’s office:
“Were there even the slightest attempt on your part to be fair in your reporting, I’d be happy to move this through the process. Since that hasn’t happened in my entire time with Governor Noem (and I’m told long before…), the answer is no.” —Maggie Seidel, Senior Advisor and Policy Director [Angela Kennecke, “Covid-19: Beyond the Numbers—Gov. Noem Says Reporting Not Fair,” KELO-TV, 2020.10.13].
Ah, the brittleness.
Clearly Noem recruited her spokesteam from out of state so she can be surrounded by blockers who feel no compunction about pooping on Kennecke and our other local journalists. Evidently if an interview goes beyond softball questions that make Noem look good to her national Fox New base, if an interview dares to address real, practical issues facing South Dakotans, the interviewer is being “unfair.”
I would challenge Seidel and Noem to provide any examples of the local media, especially Sanford/corporate-beholden KELO-TV, being “unfair” to Noem and her one-party regime. If anything, our local press is tremblingly gun-shy about hammering the Governor for her absenteeism and mismanagement. But to claim that Angela Kennecke has never written a fair news report this year or at any time before Maggie Seidel arrived is utterly absurd.
The press asks Noem for more facts on the state’s response to the pandemic, and the Governor cries Unfair! and refuses to speak to the press. You tell me: who’s the snowflake?