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The Carcieri-ProJo Wars (Continued)

Dave Layman, PR maven and a regular panelist on A Lively Experiment, last week used the show to focus some fire on the Providence Journal's coverage of Governor Carcieri.

This came after the panel discussed a news release -- headlined, "Governor Hypocrite Strikes Again" -- released last week by Democratic Party chairman Bill Lynch. Representative Joseph Trillo (R-Warwick) called the release a distraction from the state's budget deficit.

Then, Layman weighed in with this:

Let me tell you something. I'm troubled by something that I'm really seeing, a trend in the Providence Journal with their reporting on this thing. It's almost as if our dear friend Bob Walsh, who appears on this program a lot, is writing a lot of these stories . . . .

It would have been helpful if Layman had specified which stories he had in mind. Some of the ensuing conversation focused on the editorial in which the ProJo rapped Carcieri over the recent issue of taxpayer-funded interpreters.

Guest moderator Ron St. Pierre called the editorial "a direct attempt at distorting the issue." St. Pierre proceeded to ask, "Is the ProJo in bury-Carcieri mode right now?"

Trillo joined in, calling the interpreter editorial one of the most egregious things he's seen the Journal do. URI's Maureen Moakley interjected, "But Kathy Gregg got it right. I mean, she said what he [Carcieri] said in the story. It was the editorial, I think, that made that leap that wasn't necessary."

However, as I wrote last week, this criticism may be off-base, since the governor's intent wasn't wholly clear as reported in this story by Gregg:

Before he went on the radio, the governor would only say that his staff-reduction plans would target “back office” workers, like those who work in “finance, accounting and a few lawyers.”

He loosened up two days later, however, when talking to a radio audience.

Asked by a caller why the state needs interpreters in the courts and other state agencies, Carcieri said: “Amen to you buddy.”

In the hunt for expendable jobs, Carcieri said he found, for example, one department with eight Spanish-speaking interpreters, and “I said why are we, at taxpayer expense, providing interpreters for people who want benefits from us? It seems completely illogical to me because you’re right,” he told the caller. “My grandparents immigrated from Italy. My grandmother didn’t speak English. She learned it…”

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