Wednesday, June 2, 2010
MESSAGE TO SARAH BARR: "THE BIG DOG IS ALWAYS GOING TO EAT"
Sarah Barr, Mayor Perez's Director of Communications and author of the "Gospel of Perez"
In an administration that has focused on delivering the "Gospel of Perez", it seems that the Mayor's mouthpiece Sarah Barr just can't get a break. Try as hard as she might, the punches just keep flying delivering black eye after black eye to the Perez Administration. And many are wondering if the knockout blow that will render Perez down for the count is about to be delivered by a jury of his peers.
Many of the punches that have landed though have been assisted by Sarah Barr herself.
It seems hard for me to understand how someone who was once considered an actual journalist could make a 180 degree turn and now do everything she can to stifle the media. From a journalist who once built stories through FOIA requests to now be a constant roadblock to those requesting documents through FOIA requests makes me wonder.
At what price does someone change from what they were to what they are now. At what point do the ideals and beliefs you lived by and cherished a few short years ago now become irrelevant? And once the gig at City Hall comes to a screeching halt, will her media colleagues forgive and forget and once again label her as a credible journalist? I would most likely say not.
I learned my lesson of Barr's integrity, or lack thereof, early on once I began this blog. I had asked to be added to the media list for press releases from the Mayor's Office, that request was ignored, and as aggravated as I was at the time, it has paid off. Once the word got out to other media people that I was being refused access to the press releases, they started forwarding them to me once they received them. That worked out well for a while until I started getting a dozen or more "press releases" forwarded to me every time they were issued by Barr.
It also helped in developing sources. When people realized I wasn't beholding to Barr or relying on her for information, the good information began coming in regularly. And I mean the good information that has led to some very interesting blog posts, not the spoon-fed garbage from Barr about things like the hawk landing on the Mayor's windowsill and the forecast for Hartford.
Barr has almost never responded to my request for comments when I ask for them. That's fine with me because I usually have my facts confirmed long before I would ever ask her for comment. I request comment out of courtesy, not that they deserve any courtesy. Just because the City doesn't comment doesn't mean it didn't happen.
Lieutenant J. Paul Vance from the Connecticut State Police is a master at the media game. Lt. Vance regularly gives talks about how to handle the media from his viewpoint and experience. Although I have never attended one of his talks, I know a few people who have, and they have all repeated the same comments that Vance makes.
Vance tells those attending that the "big dog" is always going to eat one way or another, it is your choice whether you feed him and keep him happy or does he go through your garbage to find what he needs. Personally, I've gotten used to going through the garbage and found that the meal is much more satisfying than being spoon fed by Sarah Barr.
So Sarah, keep ignoring my e-mails and calls, it is no big deal. Ask anyone who knows me, I'm definitely well fed.
Oh, and it gives me a reason once again to use that great picture.