During an installment of WPRI/WNAC-TV's Newsmakers broadcast yesterday, I asked Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline why he passed on the opportunity to go mano a mano with Governor Carcieri on The O'Reilly Factor last week, and why he chooses not to engage with his talk rado critics.
Cicilline answered the first question by saying he was on vacation. You don't have to be James Carville to think that's pretty weak. You know you're going to come in for criticism during a national broadcast featuring the governor of your state, and you choose not to be there, or even to send a surrogate?
In terms of talk radio, Cicilline said he sees no point in engaging his critics, because they have chosen to make him a target and since, he said, it's not a forum for serious discussion of issues.
Sure, there's some pretty goofy stuff on talk radio, and the deck is stacked against Cicilline at WPRO, but talk radio hosts also play a journalistic role, or something close to it, at times. More to the point, talk radio is a recognized and accepted part of the mainstream media landscape here in Rhode Island.
So if talk radio isn't worthy of his attention, why was the mayor on the Helen Glover Show on WHJJ this morning?