Last night, I drunk tweeted.
I know, I know. A guy like me should know better. But I couldn't help myself.
See, yesterday was something of a special occasion for me. I tried a new beer — a vanilla stout from Mt. Pleasant's Westbrook Brewing Co. — and, let me tell you, it was fantastic.
Unfortunately, I was just a little too enamored with this new brew. After a few pints, my inhibitions had disappeared. I was no longer of sound mind. So, when I got home and checked my Twitter account, well, I let my feelings get the best of me.
Not that this is a rare thing. My anger routinely gets the best of me. In fact, you can ask any of my co-workers here at the City Paper about it. The first two hours of nearly every workday is filled with a stream of invective and exasperated dog-gonery.
Sometimes, it's a comment on The Morning Buzz with Richard Todd that sets me off. Other times, it's an Op-Ed in the P&C.
In this case, a pair of articles by the P&C's Yvonne Wenger and the AP's Jim Davenport about Robert Ford's most recent gaffe set me off.
According to a P&C report:
"I know brothers — and I'm talking about black guys — they are not going to do the dirty work at Boeing, to do that hauling and all that building, that dirty work," Ford said.
He went on to say that "brothers" do not want to perform hard work. "A brother is going to find ways to take a break," he said.
Now, I'm not deeply troubled by what Ford said. And just as we have come to expect such silliness from him, we've come to expect the press to report it. That's the way it is. If you can't rip a politician when they put their tootsies in their mouths, then what good are they for.
That said, what bothers me is the story that both Wenger and Davenport failed to report: that on the night of Super Bowl Sunday Gov. Nikki Haley put up post on her Facebook page that is not only unbecoming of her position, but speaks to the fact that despite the addition of a few seasoned professionals, it's still amateur hour in the governor's office.
At 12:33 am, someone — and perhaps it was Haley herself — felt it was necessary to voice their displeasure with a report by Columbia Fox affiliate WACH on the release of an excerpt from Will Folk's tell-all, which is quickly taking on a Chinese Democracy-type air. Some, including this reporter, question whether the FITSNews blogger will even finish the book or that he even wants to.
Here's what Haley said on her Facebook page:
WACH FOX 57 is a tabloid news station and has no concept of journalism.
Really, Nikki? You're the governor for Pete's sake. You're supposed to be above such things. But then again, if you're following the Sarah Palin playbook — which I'm guessing you are — then, well, I can see how you think this is acceptable. (WACH has since responded to Haley's dig.)
Of course, Haley's comments don't really bug me. Nah. What bothers me is that apparently no other mainstream media outlet covered Nikki's late-night gaffe — not the P&C, not The State, and not the AP. To make matters worse, on Monday, Haley held a press conference to talk about the Department of Social Services and, apparently, not a single reporter in Columbia asked her publicly about the Facebook post.
To me, that is what's troubling.
However, these same reporters had no trouble reporting on Robert Ford's comments the following day. Hell, it even made the front page of this morning's P&C.
I think I know why.
Robert Ford talks to the press.
Really, it's as simple as that.
Ford's error was not making the "brothers" comment. Nope. It was talking to the press afterward.
The P&C reports:
He said his remarks taken in full context were not intended to single out blacks for having a poor work ethic.
Americans, of any ethnic group, whose families have been in the country for generations work as doctors or lawyers or school teachers, he said.
"I was talking about the building of America and how every generation of Americans did the hard work," Ford said. "Americans are not going to do real hard work. Everybody in America knows that."
The Haley administration doesn't make these kinds of errors. They have learned that the best way to squash a story is to not say anything at all. And so far, the Columbia press corp has let the governor get her way with it. (After I posted this column, I have since learned that Davenport tried to find out who authored Haley's post-Super Bowl post, but has not written a story about it. Wenger has not spoken with the governor concerning the Facebook statement about WACH.)
For those of you who want to see the tweets, they are here: