Journalists losing the battle of e-mails

Published 10:05 pm Friday, April 9, 2010

Part of the job of being the editor of a newspaper is getting press releases from all kinds of different entities. Among those press releases are political commentaries badly disguised as press releases.

Ever since this whole bingo mess began, I’ve gotten literally hundreds of e-mails from Gov. Bob Riley’s press manager about the wonderful job that Riley has done to stem the threat of bingo, preserving the sanctity of Alabama citizens all over the place.

Then, after a number of people said that the governor was overstepping his bounds into what should be considered the attorney general’s job, attorney general Troy King decided to make a stand — kind of — in the ongoing war against free spaces across our state.

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So, now, I’m getting e-mails from Riley’s camp praising Riley for his courageous battle and slamming King for overstepping his bounds and from King’s press agent talking about the wonderful job he is doing to make bingo “B-9” and how Riley is overstepping his bounds.

Frankly, I don’t care. One would think that two of the top officials would have more pressing needs than wage this press release war and inflict it on us poor media people — especially those of us who automatically hit the “Delete” button when we read the subject line.

Maybe the governor is trying to find jobs for Alabamians in a covert operation that he doesn’t want us to know about. Maybe the attorney general is using some of his spare time to deal with drug dealers, murderers and the occasional thief.

If they are, we don’t know about it. All we know is that both of them are claiming to be working hard to tame the scourge that is electronic bingo.

Honestly, I wish they would keep it to themselves.

David B. Snow is the managing editor of The Demopolis Times.