Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dean doubles communications staff "to serve the needs of the media"

The pipeline leading from newsrooms to the pistons of government is alive and well in Nashville, given Karl Dean's hiring last week of Bonna Johnson as his Press Secretary. Johnson left the Tennessean last April to become a Public Relations Manager (no surprise there, since today's brand of journalism many times has more to do with spin and flackery than with critical questioning and unflinching reporting). Now she's carrying Karl Dean's message back to her former colleagues at the Tennessean who will no doubt continue the brainwashing that prompted them to make him their "Tennessean of the Year." At the same time, the Gannett kids will get someone close to the Mayor who can influence things for them if necessary. Looks like there will be a good chance for mutual back scratching.

In the meantime it is reasonable to ask: does Johnson's hiring catapult communications office expenses to unnecessary heights in this recession? Karl Dean has been burning Metro revenues with multiple hires of former employees of Phil Bredesen in an attempt to shore up his administration in preparation for a statewide run in 4 years. Given that the Mayor annually requires Metro departments to cut their budgets, why isn't he demanding the same from his own office? We know what dedicating a single staff member to fondle handle the media will mean to the Mayor's elections aspirations, but are the "needs of the media" really worth what we're going to pay Bonna Johnson to spoon feed newspeak back to us for the paycheck? I guess it beats overpaying those former journos at McNeely Pigott & Fox for shoveling us similar Pablum.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to see Dean in a Lincoln stove-pipe hat, or Confederate grays while attending a Civil War re-enactment. Or maybe a tie-dye shirt at Bonaroo. Or holding a shovel at some yet-to-be-deternined green way. Or maybe appearing in an ad for Old Navy. The guy is just waaaaay, tool cool.