Media Training? Try Media Scolding
LL has returned, unscathed, from an "Executive Media Skills Seminar" with top staff of the Gray administration. The pow wow was off the record, so LL can't spill too much dirt, but fortunately there wasn't any real dirt to spill.
A couple observations: iPads are surprisingly popular among Mayor Vince Gray's top staffers, and the District's local press corps enjoys complaining (LL included).
The most interesting episode came when WTOP's veteran reporter Mark Segraves lit into the Gray administration for the shenanigans that occurred earlier this week at a D.C. Taxicab Commission public hearing when two journalists were arrested. (Segraves allowed LL to quote him.)
"Shame on you people," Segraves said, before going to tell those assembled that they ought to feel embarrassed to be part of an administration that would let that happen. (Segraves also does not like the fact that District officials require journalists to file Freedom of Information Act requests to get routine information. "That's a big F.U. to us.")
Segraves' comments came on the heels of being thrown out of the D.C. Taxicab Commission's offices this morning by security. "The door to the office was subsequently locked, and the lights turned off—leaving the entire cab commission office in the dark," Segraves reports.
Another win for the DCTC!
It should be noted that not every city agency is as obtuse as the DCTC, and Gray has made improvements at an open and transparent government compared to the last guy. But Segraves has a valid point: the ridiculous actions by the DCTC make everyone in the administration look bad.
It should also be noted that Gray canned former DCTC Chairman Leon Swain at the cab industry's request in April without naming a full time replacement. It's becoming clear from what's occurred this week that interim Chairwoman Dena Reed is in over her head. So at least part of this mess in on Gray himself. LL's unsolicited advice: Get a permanent chair over there, pronto, your honor.