Michel memo illustrates The Houston Way of press management

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In their ongoing investigation of Richard Vacar’s mysterious departure from the Houston Airport System, Texas Watchdog ran across an interesting bit of correspondence from Mayor White’s press honcho (and former Houston Chronicle editorialist) Frank Michel. Here is a teaser from Trent Seibert’s post:

On a Thursday in May, City Hall reporter Bradley Olson from the Houston Chronicle e-mailed the mayor’s office a series of questions following Houston Airport System head Richard Vacar’s abrupt departure. The questions were fairly specific. Some could be answered with a yes or no, others by pulling some travel records and counting.

Minutes after the e-mail questions were sent, Frank Michel, a high-ranking press aide for Mayor Bill White, appears to have laid out a plan to keep Olson from getting his answers for as long as possible.

The full post is here. Frank Michel’s memo is here. And Patrick Trahan’s spin today (in the full post) is well worth the read.

Journalists who ask tough questions about the people’s government can be so pesky! How nice to know that Mayor White has some real pros on his staff to stall them.


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Kevin Whited is co-founder and publisher of blogHOUSTON. Follow him on twitter: @PubliusTX