Video of the “Town Hall” of One Guy Named Jim
In his Engaged Citizen post, Mark Zaccaria describes the very odd and self-serving format of the inaccurately named “town hall” held by Congressman Langevin Wednesday: the complete inadibility of the congressman’s remarks followed by his refusal to take questions publicly from the audience, choosing, instead, to speak to people one on one privately.
It just occurred to me that this was also the format for a “press conference” that AG Patrick Lynch switched to when his poor handling of the Station Night Club fire investigation began to bite him in the nether region and it became clear at one particularly bad point that the press’ questions that day were going to be too tough for him to handle publicly.
Did the congressman similarly believe that his constituent’s questions would be too hard to handle publicly? Taken together with the inaudibility of his prefacing remarks (was it a deliberate decision by the congressman and his staff to place the microphone just beyond the reach of his voice?), one is compelled inexorably to ask: what exactly was the purpose of this completely non-communicative non-event? Was it simply for Mr. Langevin’s campaign to be able to claim, in Cicilline-esque fashion, that the congressman had reached out to his constituents via a town hall?
For those who might have thought that Mark Z had exaggerated in his description of the short-comings of this “town hall”, below is a two minute video clip of the end of the congressman’s inaudible prefacing remarks, the announcement – loud and clear, by the way; strange that the staffer had no microphone problems – that questions would only be taken privately and then the objections (disregarded) of a man in the audience to this atypical format.