It turns out that when rookie Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chaffee (I) said employees of the state government were to stay off the airwaves of commercial talk radio stations, he didn’t mean forever. An aide says that the ban is intended to be temporary. However, the date of airwave emancipation for the restricted is as yet unknown.
According to the Providence Journal, an aide to the Governor said that the ban, which made national headlines, was never intended to be permanent. It was said to have been put in place during the transition to a new administration, particularly while attending to budgetary and other pressing matters.
Earlier, Chaffee had not only banned employees from speaking on air during talk radio programs, he had criticized them for being divisive and controversial as a tool to pursue profits. He didn’t want government employees involved in the money-making schemes of private companies.
The aide explained that Chaffee was thinking of certain national talk figures when he made his “divisive” remarks, and further explained that his opinion of local talk radio in Rhode Island wasn’t nearly so negative.
Chaffee is the former Republican US Senator from the state, but switched from being one of the last moderates in the party to an independent a few years ago.
RBR-TVBR observation: Knowledge is good. So is as much citizen familiarity and contact with government officials as possible. Restrictions such as Chaffee’s radio silence order are bad. We are glad that the Governor appears to be coming around on this matter, and we suggest the ban be lifted sooner rather than later.