Too wet to play golf today, so I’ll indulge in my other main interest — writing this blog…
Predictably, disgraced Missouri House Speaker John Diehl has resigned in response to political and public pressure to do so as a result of his dalliance with 19-year-old college freshman who was doing an internship at the state Capitol.
The resignation had to happen very quickly because the legislature has only this afternoon and tomorrow to accomplish any meaningful business before the session ends tomorrow evening.
It’s a sacred Jeff City tradition that legislators don’t push themselves away from the lobbyists’ trough and get down to business until the last few days of the session. This year, even the session’s end was disrupted.
The Star’s Jason Hancock — who got the Diehl story — reports that the House came into session at 10 a.m. today, with Diehl not present, and quickly recessed until this afternoon. As Hancock noted, that is “highly unusual…for the second-to-last day of the legislative session.”
This, while several key initiatives are floating in the wind, including a badly needed two-cent-per-gallon gas-tax increase and an ethics bill that would put a $25 limit on gifts and meals that legislators could accept from lobbyists.
In truth, neither of those was probably going to pass anyway, but the Diehl dilemma nevertheless shines a brighter light on what’s not getting done.
What struck me as curious about The Star’s report yesterday was that the paper broke it on the website, not in yesterday’s printed edition.
Hancock obviously has been working on the story for at least a few days, and had to have been at least very close to pinning it down Tuesday night.
Perhaps he had a loose end or two, or maybe he didn’t have a response — even a no comment — from Diehl until yesterday morning.
Sometimes the paper — or another news organization — that is working feverishly on a big story is forced to pop it a little sooner than planned because reporters or editors get wind that another news outlet is preparing to run something, or perhaps has just published something.
That’s what I thought might have occurred yesterday, but when I looked around on the Web, I didn’t see any indication of that. The Post-Dispatch didn’t have it first; their story credited The Star.
This morning I put in a call to Greg Farmer, KC Star metro editor, and left a message, saying I was curious as to why the paper ran the story on the web yesterday morning and not in the printed edition.
Alas, I haven’t heard back. Well, maybe Greg is off; maybe he’s taking a long lunch; maybe he checked with editor Mike Fannin and Fannin said, “Don’t talk to him.”
Yeah, that’s undoubtedly it; they’re scared of me. Scared of the massive JimmyCsays operation, with its phalanx of reporters and editors and its thousands of readers.
Well, I take that back. It’s in the thousands only when I write about a Catholic bishop getting bounced.