Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The New Openness

A couple of weeks ago, Metro's new chief spokesman, Dan Stessel, guest blogged here. It seemed to usher in a new era of openness, and Stessel ended his post with a promising "let the conversation begin."

In a subsequent City Paper interview, Stessel said he'll try to make Metro employees available to reporters.

Amazing, right? Sounds great!

But is there any substance?

Take a look for yourself.

The below is a verbatim email exchange between Stessel and Unsuck. I was following up on an interview request with a Metro employee. Stessel initially replied that my questions could be handled "through Kubicek," (Metro's #2) which is usually flackspeak for "send me your questions, and we'll make sure to respond with platitudes," but we wanted to make sure.
Unsuck: Face to face? [With Kubicek]
Stessel: No.
Unsuck: Why not?
Stessel: Because he has a railroad to run. (This statement doesn't even rise to the level of "truthiness," as the Examiner appears to have been granted an interview with Kubicek, but I didn't know this.)
Unsuck: He's #2 at Metro. He testified before Congress, the NTSB, the Board etc. He should be available from time to time. The GM is made available from time to time.
Stessel: Not gonna debate.
Unsuck: So much for the new openness, I guess.
Stessel: I’m still on the fence on whether you’re trying to help or just love the attention.
Unsuck: Wow. Totally uncalled for.
Stessel: Openness.
Other items:
Metro needs more escalator workers (Examiner)
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