The media, like most human beings, are not fond of change. So there has been collective hyperventilation by members of the local press when Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced that they would have fewer formal press conferences during the campaign season as Reynolds will be traveling the state. This announcement, of course, has led to absurdity from Iowa Democrats.
Former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad reinstated weekly press conferences held on Monday mornings which they rarely missed unless both Branstad and then Lt. Governor Reynolds were both out-of-town, and Reynolds for most of her time as Governor has maintained a weekly press conference.
Having a press conference at a consistent time and place is convenient (not so much for me since unlike most of the media writing Caffeinated Thoughts is something I do in addition to my full-time work).
Then The Des Moines Register editorial board this week gave Reynolds a thistle for a closed event with 25 farmers in Van Buren County, not having a press conference at the Capitol since July 18, and then wondered if, like President Trump, she saw the media as the enemy. Which is absolutely
Look, I know the media may have a hard time understanding this, but not everyone wants to have their conversation with the Governor broadcast or reported. Just spitballing here, but perhaps the farmers didn’t want the meeting open to the press?
They neglected to mention that after the meeting she met with reporters to answer questions. Also, perhaps I’m stepping out on a limb here, but maybe Reynolds doesn’t feel like she needs to respond to every off-the-wall comment or tweet Trump makes. She has expressed her differences with the President when it is in Iowa’s best interest with trade and the renewable fuel standard being the latest examples.
It’s not Reynolds or Trump the media should worry about anyway; it’s with the American people who have eroding trust of the press. Instead of complaining about it in their collective echo chamber with a mindset that somehow they are above criticism, they should do some collective soul-searching to ponder why so many people do not trust them. Case in point, I wonder how often the local press asked former Governor Chet Culver about comments President Obama made that conservatives found controversial? My guess is never.
The fact of the matter is this – Governor Reynolds is exceptionally accessible. While it has been three weeks since she’s had a formal press conference, she has been available to answer questions.
“Governor Reynolds is taking questions from the media almost every day and she will continue to do so on the campaign trail,” Pat Garrett, Governor Reynolds’ campaign communications director, told Caffeinated Thoughts.
Next week, she has two press conferences planned, both at the Iowa State Fair, one on Monday and the other on Thursday. These press conferences are in addition to the press gaggles she will offer at various times before or after public appearances.
Not only that, her campaign and administration communications staff are incredibly responsive and are just a phone call or email away.
It is essential that the press has access to the Governor, and they do. Complaints about her administration scaling back formal press conferences during the summer and fall when the Legislature is not in session and while they campaign are petty.