Although the site is free to occasional visitors, it’s a sure bet that the vast majority of Oahu residents don’t subscribe and therefore aren’t exposed to some of the best investigative reporting in Hawaii, including the site’s in-depth coverage of the Honolulu rail project.
CB first reported last week on Mr. Cayetano’s refusal to talk with him or answer his questions. Mr. Levine thought he’d try to get past this new “Berlin Wall” by calling Mr. Cayetano’s cell phone yesterday to offer him an opportunity to comment on Mayor Peter Carlisle’s State of the City address, which was scheduled for Thursday morning.
Thinking Civil Beat won’t mind, here’s their entire conversation for the benefit of those who don’t visit the CB website:
Levine: Governor, this is Michael Levine from Civil Beat. How are you doing today?
Cayetano: Hey, Mike. Don’t call me, OK?
Levine: Sorry, governor, I had a question for you. I’m not sure if you saw my email the other day…
Cayetano: (interrupting) No, no, no, no. I told you guys, I don’t want you to call me anymore.
When Mr. Cayetano does that, he’s also shutting out the public, since journalists are the public’s eyes and ears – and sometimes the nose – of individual citizens. Mr. Cayetano’s thin-skinned response to Civil Beat’s reporting smells.
Mr. Levine’s questions in the weeks ahead quite reasonably would includes inquiries about Mr. Cayetano’s transportation plan that he has yet to articulate in anything resembling acceptable detail in the five weeks since his official campaign announcement.
Here’s a question for the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists: What's your move? Will Mr. Cayetano’s remarkable anti-transparency refusal to talk to Michael Levine prompt a protest from your organization? Will Media Council Hawaii take note? Will local media boycott the Cayetano campaign until the candidate starts talking to Civil Beat's reporter again?
The public has a stake in the Cayetano Contretemps Caper, and Yes2Rail will continue to follow its developments.