Najarian: The Providence Journal Statehouse Bureau Strikes Again
The ProJo reported on Thursday:
Governor Carcieri has withdrawn his nomination of Beverly Najarian for reappointment as director of the Department of Administration less than 24 hours before she was supposed to face a Senate committee hearing and confirmation vote.
The article went on to strongly imply that Governor Carcieri had done so because he and Ms. Najarian were fearful of a difficult confirmation hearing.
Friday morning, an exasperated Bev Najarian appeared on the John Depetro Show (am 630 WPRO) confirming that nothing could be further from the truth and that she had asked to be removed from consideration for reappointment over a year ago.
This morning, the ProJo took another whack at the matter. While continuing to hypothesize about difficult matters that Ms. Najarian might have faced at a confirmation hearing that was not going to take place, they did include this time a statement from the subject of their article:
“In all honesty, a year ago December I had made a decision that I did not want to continue in this particular office. I had served here four years, I loved the job, but I wanted to play another role,” said Najarian, who is paid $113,631 a year. “Since that time, two of my key lieutenants, Brian Stern went to work as [the governor’s] chief of staff, Jerry Williams went to DOT. Therefore there was not a viable candidate. Either one of those gentlemen could have assumed my position.
This incident was preceded by the contention last week that the Governor had declared war on Rhode Island nursing homes (or some such silliness) which had been preceded by other reporting mis-fires. As such inaccurate but satisfyingly sensationalist-toned articles are usually followed the next day by a corrected reference in a related article or even an entire corrective article, management of the Providence Journal may want to implement a twenty four hour cooling off period for stories promulgated by certain reporters in their Statehouse bureau. That seems to be about how long it takes to assemble the truth.