We even had written a headline and most of today’s post urging the media to include what rail opponents like mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano want instead of rail, since that’s virtually unknown at this time. Surely whatever Mr. Cayetano is proposing must be scrutinized, too.
“…There is no point in talking to a reporter who accuses me of lacking in ‘believability’. (Temple notes that the CB item in question was actually written by him, not Levine.) “So tell Levine not to bother. I will not answer his questions, his phone calls or emails. Moreover, it is clear that Civil Beat’s pro-rail stance is embedded in Levine’s reporting. I believe strongly in holding people accountable for their actions. Therefore, I will tell my campaign chairpersons to remove Civil Beat from our media list.”
Honolulu’s feisty former mayor tried banning reporters in 1974 when he disliked the Star-Bulletin's Richard Borreca so much he kicked him out of his city hall press conferences. That move prompted a federal lawsuit by the Advertiser, whose city hall reporter (Yes2Rail’s blogger) also was barred entry under the shaky assumption that keeping out all print reporters would be permissible. A judge disagreed.
As Temple writes today, “people in public life do not get to choose who covers them,” and in an emailed response to Mr. Cayetano, the editor wrote:
Second, he truly has no firm ideas about how to address Oahu’s intolerable and worsening congestion problems, so he’s cutting off a “serious conversation” before it can begin. All we’ve heard are vague references to spending “a billion” here and there, such as his remarks in Honolulu Weekly’s February 8th edition.
And third, Mr. Cayetano may have been goaded into banning Civil Beat by anti-railer-in-chief Cliff Slater, who presumably isn’t nearly as media-savvy as politicians must be. Mr. Slater seems to be filling the “Svengali” role for Mr. Cayetano and has his fingerprints on virtually everything the candidate says or lends his name to. Both men and two other federal lawsuit plaintiffs have been waging an anti-rail PR campaign for months.
John Temple’s Civil Beat report on the Cayetano Contretemps is fascinating reading and includes links to previous CB reporting on the anti-rail campaign by the Gang of Four, of which Messrs. Cayetano and Slater are members.
We’ve resisted until now the temptation to create a new heading at our “aggregate” site where we could group Yes2Rail posts on rail-related developments in the mayoral race. That resistance was blown away by these latest developments, and this post has been included in the aggregation.