TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — When Media Are Shut Out, So Are The People

Scott Pruitt, newly appointed EPA administrator, comes to North Dakota for the first time. He is accompanied by Sen. John Hoeven, Rep. Kevin Cramer and Gov. Doug Burgum.

Meetings are held on the publicly owned campuses of North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota, and the presidents of each institution are in attendance.

In Fargo, the media were banned from the event. In Grand Forks, police actually escorted media away.

The last time I heard, the federal government still represented We the People, and likewise our state elected officials. Odd, then, that they ban our news media, the source of information for most folks and the group who keep politicians (and everyone else, for that matter) honest.

I’m not sure, but I don’t think the presidents of the two institutions have the legal right or authority to ban media from a meeting on state property, absent special circumstances. That the attorney general of North Dakota attended the meeting in Fargo but was kept out of the meeting in Grand Forks (though he was in place) seems to support my position.

At least Sen. Hoeven, to his credit, said afterward that, in retrospect, the meetings should have been open and the press allowed in. I am a member of the Minnesota Newspaper Association and have a press pass of my own. Had it occurred to me that this might happen, I’d have gone to the Fargo event myself. You can bet the farm I’d have gotten in.

The reason I’m confident about my entry attempt is that anyone who knows me knows I do not bluff. I would have made so much noise it would have generated adverse publicity for 45’s minion; I’m hopeful that my cordial relations with NDSU and the Fargo Police Department would have resulted in my admission rather than my ejection.

If you think about it, Mike McFeely could have gone there with McPort … and used McPort as a battering ram. Oh, the opportunities lost!

But back to my point! Those elected officials, if they had the brains God gave a goat, would have told Herr 45’s lackey that in North Dakota, We the People rule, and we don’t tolerate or like secrecy at any level.

Just remember, my fellow Americans: When the media is banned from an event, so too are we — the people who elected the door-lockers.

● ● ●

I am in awe of and saddened by the events in Charlottesville, Va. A 32-year-old woman was killed by a mad boy in his car, and the terrorist seriously injured 19 others. Two state police officers were killed in a helicopter crash while on duty monitoring the protest and counter demonstrations.

This protest allowed the alt-right, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, white supremacists, anti-Semitics and white nationalists to march and spread their hate.

Whenever a tragic event like this has happened, prior presidents have immediately focused on the victims and the crimes and condemned them and those who caused them. But 45 waited a few days before he was forced to condemn the white supremacists’ actions. The hate groups have all publicly supported Herr 45, and he did not dismiss their support until the public reaction backed him into a corner.

The notorious online “fake news” site Breitbart News is a mouthpiece for race baiting and hatred. Its founder is in a sensitive position in the White House as one of the president’s most prominent advisers … with no security clearance. Not a discouraging word.

Yet when Kenneth Frazier, the black CEO of Merck Pharmaceuticals, publicly resigned from the American Manufacturing Council to which 45 had appointed him, the president immediately attacked him in a tweet. You see, Frazier was not impressed with the lack of proper response when the Virginia incident occurred.

I have four children. Not one of them, in their youngest years, ranted or chanted or howled or complained anything like the unbelievably childish current occupant of the White House. I guess what 45 needs is a good bottle of milk and a nice big pacifier.

I’ve watched and prayed for improvement in the White House. To the extent the two generals are now involved, it keeps my hopes alive. The secretary of state, however, has too many Russian investments for me to give him any credence. Worse, to this day, Herr 45 has not: 1) commented on the bombing of a mosque in the Twin Cities; 2) mentioned the loss of life incurred by our military in the last two weeks; and 3) said one single bad thing about his real controllers, the Russians.

If the driver of the car that killed the lady in Virginia had been black or, God forbid, a Muslim, 45 would have gone berserk and immediately condemned the actions. He wouldn’t hesitate for a second to brand it what it is — an act of terrorism.

We’re in a period of adjustment. Our troops in World War II did not fight and defeat the Nazis so that some terrorists could waive their evil flag. The only people who can properly wave the swastika were our own brave troops who took it from the enemy in battle … never some let’s-pretend-we’re-military fakes who proudly display both the swastika and the battle flag of the Confederacy.

We’re going to learn from the mistakes of the last federal election and get our focus back. The true America — the Land of the Free, the land that welcomes everyone — will once again take its place of prominence and leadership in the world.

It will take time to undo the damage 45 has caused … but undo it we will. The next elections will be the start, and I’m hopeful special prosecutor Robert Mueller will hasten the exit of 45.

By the way, next time you see Vice President Pence and 45 in the same picture on the TV news, is Pence fawning over and adoring 45, or is it just my imagination? I think since they started together, that’s the way they ought to exit.

Just a reminder: Judge Ronald N. Davies ordered integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., to begin “forthwith.” A few years later, Judge John J. Sirica demonstrated that no president is above the law, and Richard M. Nixon left. I’m hopeful that the spirits of Judge Davies and Judge Sirica inhabit federal judges across this country — and that the courts continue to value the worth of our people and political institutions.

Finally, happy birthday last week to my favorite eldest daughter, Lisa Marie. Amen.

4 thoughts on “TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — When Media Are Shut Out, So Are The People”

  • Larry Gauper August 16, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    You are totally dead-on, Judge. When is the cabinet and the Republican party going to get rid of Donald Trump through the 25th Amendment? How low can he go? What a huge mistake. Hillary had her problems but in no way would she come close to acting like the narcissistic bully in the White House. He has got to GO!

  • t August 16, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    I’m in total agreement with you Larry.

  • Diana Esta Green August 16, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    Hum, this sounds so familiar with the media being shut out, WHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO HIDE THIS TIME. A year ago it was behavior in Standing Rock.
    Wild Hawk.
    And yes, but it’s more than T that needs to go. the whole cabinet is full of worms.

    1. Thomas A. Davies August 19, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      Couldn’t agree with you more Diana.


Leave a Reply