Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I.) will soon send out a directive to state employees. They will not be able to call into or spend any time on talk radio during state time. Chafee claims state resources should not be used to support “ratings driven, for-profit programming.” NPR of course, will be exempt.
If your an Independent governor who would like to reach out to conservatives, this plan will not work.
To a certain extent, I understand an employer would not want employees spending company time calling a radio talk show. Callers can spend hours dialing the phone and then wait on hold an hour before they get the opportunity to speak with the host – for all of 43 seconds.
But is this really a problem in Rhode Island? Has there been an epidemic of state workers ignoring their responsibilities and showing up on talk radio? A very small percentage of listeners call talk shows, and of those callers a minuscule number of them are state workers on state time.
Assuming there is not an epidemic of state workers ignoring their responsibilities you’ll come to the conclusion this has nothing to do with using state resources to support for-profit talk radio. It’s clearly a political, agenda-driven move.
Finally we all know TV, cable, the Internet, newspapers, magazines and radio are mostly for-profit so why exclusively target talk radio? Oh, we know the answer don’t we?
Chafee doesn’t plan to spend his own time on talk radio, and he intends to ban state employees from spending their state work time talking on talk radio, which was [former governor] Carcieri’s favorite medium and an integral part of his communications operation.
Spokesman Michael Trainor said a directive will go out over the next day or so that reflects that new policy.
He said the policy emanates from a belief that talk radio is essentially “ratings-driven, for-profit programming,” and “we don’t think it is appropriate to use taxpayer resources” in the form of state employee work time to “support for-profit, ratings-driven programming.”
Trainor said the new governor will continue to talk to the news reporters for the local radio stations, and the nonprofit local NPR affiliate.