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Stealing the Statehouse

Once Again White Spins The Press

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

Opinion

On the day that W. Van Davis set the record straight on the “false allegations” coming from Speaker Mike Hubbard and his legal mouthpiece, J. Mark White — concerning Hubbard’s arrest on 23 counts of Felony ethics violations — White sought to change the subject by asking for communication between the Attorney General’s Office and the media.

In an amended discovery motion, White asked for, “…any written or recorded conversations between any members of the media and any members of the Attorney General’s office.”

In other words, Hubbard wants to know if the AG’s office has any written or recorded conversations between members of the staff and anyone in the media.

After being caught flatfooted by Davis’ statements, White desperately want to change the subject.

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Several in the media, especially those in the blatantly partisan world of radio talking heads, did exactly what White wanted and flipped the narrative from the facts that Davis offered to the spin White was spooning out.

Several attorneys who spoke on background said that White was so unprepared for the prosecution’s press release that he reached for anything that might change the conversation, even a motion as meaningless as the one filed.

Some in the media went so far as changing the storyline, even further suggesting that there were recordings of members of the prosecution team “trying to influence the media.”

These and other false narratives have become Hubbard and White’s weapon of choice.

What is disturbing is that any person with remedial reading comprehension skills can properly note that White is asking for recordings that are in the possession of the AG and not the other way around. But this is not about facts; it is about controlling the message through the media.

One journalist suggested that White was trying to frighten reporters who have spoken to the prosecution in the past, or worry about communicating with them in the future.

At least two well-known reporters have been regularly summoned to sit with Hubbard and White, to serve as stenographers for the defense. But, if anyone dare write from the perspective of the State White “pitches a hissy fit,” as the reporter noted. In Hubbard and White’s world, their side of the story is the only one the media should tell.

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But, perhaps the media is to blame for such expectations, because in over a year’s worth of coverage, the so-called mainstream reporters have failed to ask Hubbard or White even the most basic of questions.

Over the last month, Hubbard and company have engaged in an all-out media blitz and very few have challenged their story line.

Why won’t members of the press ask Hubbard about the specific crimes with which he is charged by the State? When he makes fantastical statements about “Political Prosecution,” why do they not ask for specifics? Why not ask, “who are the rogue prosecutors and exactly what are they doing that is outside the law?”

But, no. These question are not asked by those whom Hubbard allows access, and it is access that these reporters want, more than facts.

White accused Davis of unethical behavior.

That, as my Pappy used to say, is like the pot calling the kettle black.

 

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Bill Britt
Written By

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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