Back at you, Gov. McCrory. 'Politicians are lying, scheming crooks'

Published August 29, 2013

by Jeff Gauger, Greensboro News-Record, August 27, 2013.

To be fair to the governor of our state, his throw-off remark Monday about journalists' business literacy had a kernel of truth. Still, he protests too much.

Here's what Gov. Pat McCrory said to a gathering of business people in Asheville about reaction to changes enacted during the recent legislative session, according to the Mountain XPress:

“This is too complex for the journalists,” McCrory said, to laughter from the (Council of Independent Business Owners) members. “They don't have economics degrees, they've not been in business. I respect them greatly, but you get it. This is what we have to do to rebuild our economy. It's not easy. I empathize with the people being impacted, but my goal is to get these people back into jobs.”

Business literacy is not a strong point for all journalists. But, then, neither is literacy in the law, engineering, public administration, diplomacy, medicine or spycraft. Nor are they all skilled in fixing cars, neutering cats, playing the violin, drilling wells, robbing banks, flying airplanes, shooting free throws, planting and harvesting tobacco, picking stocks, installing plumbing or carpet, making souffle, speaking in public, officiating at football games, manufacturing performance-enhancing steroids, improvising jazz riffs on tenor saxophone, growing rare orchids, writing computer code in C++, and on and on.

Yet careful journalists can – and do – write cogently about all of those activities and more, including business, because good journalists are competent generalists. Their gifts are finding out stuff and then relating it in plain language. Quickly. (For the record, I do own a business, did create a chart of accounts, do know how to read a P&L and have been responsible for meeting a payroll.)

Methinks the governor and some of his Republican partners need a foil, and on Monday he teed up journalists for that role. He and other Republicans won elections and their political dominance in a fair fight, and they this year used their dominance to transform public policy in the state tax code, elections, health care funding, education and other areas. Now they're miffed that some North Carolina residents disagree? Or, in the case of journalists, that any publication dares to report about winners and losers from the GOP policy changes, legislative tactics and the like? Really?

While he may not have said so directly, McCrory, in telling business owners that journalists know little about business, was seeking to discredit reporting on the changes by suggesting that it has been naive or wrong. That's a gross generalization. Like saying politicians are lying, scheming crooks.

August 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm
dj anderson says:

From the title line to the last line I think I got the gist of what the writer wanted to day, "Politicians are lying scheming crooks," and it was because McCrory said economic reform was "too complex" for journalists.

This article a major paper is not a 'measured, proportional response' to McCrory's remark to a small group of businessmen, in that McCrory didn't call journalists liars who slanted reporting with personal prejudices for personal reasons.