Monitoring the Message


It seems that Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is trying to rein in the messages getting out to the media.

In an e-mail sent to all state agencies, Otter's communications director, Mark Warbis, reiterates the governor's policy that all media inquiries must be reported to Warbis, and that all but the most routine press released must be approved before being sent out.

The memo was first reported on Spokesman-Review reporter Betsy Russell's blog, Eye on Boise.

Apparently, Otter doesn't like being surprised when he opens the paper.

According to Warbis' letter, agencies taking it upon themselves to answer media questions has, "resulted in a number of instances of the governor’s office finding out about agency representatives’ interactions with the news media from the newspaper clips.

"In some cases those media reports actually have involved what amounts to public disagreements between state agencies over a point of policy. That is entirely unacceptable," Warbis wrote.

"Our media policy is designed to prevent those, but it requires your full compliance," he states in the letter. Check out Warbis' full letter.

This isn't the first time that Otter's tight control of information has caught the media's attention.

It's also not the first time Warbis has had to do some spin control.