Not surprisingly, Utah’s minority party completely screwed up their response to Gov. Gary Herbert’s State of the State address Wednesday night.
I happened to be watching the address on KSL-TV. After the governor finished speaking, the anchors on the tee vee lookie box urged their audience to switch over to their website for live streaming of the Democratic response.
Makes sense. For years Utah Democrats have provided a pre-taped response that television (and radio) ran either on the air or online. At the very least the response was available for playback later.
So, I whipped out my laptop, dialed up the live stream and saw this:
Nothing but a blank wall. Occasionally the camera guy would walk back and forth in front, but there was nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada.
Turns out the Dems were holding a press availability for their response outside of the House chambers. That’s nice and all, but they had a prime opportunity to respond to the governor without their comments being reduced to sound bites and blurbs.
Don’t think this was KSL’s screw up.
About 10 minutes after the live stream started, I heard the camera operator answer his phone. From his side of the conversation he clearly said “I don’t know where they are. I came to the desk, told them what I was there for, and they escorted me back here and told me this is where I should set up.”
This went on for a while. More phone calls from the station to the camera guy. Calls to KSL’s reporters who were at the press conference.
I’d like to say this was an anomaly, but I can’t.
I’ve long contended Utah’s Democrats have absolutely zero idea how to handle the media. They think they know how to handle the media. They are convinced they know how to handle the media…but they don’t.
Case in point – they held their pre-legislative conference on the Tuesday before the session started. That’s a terrible time to do it. Nobody is really paying attention yet.
Hey, here’s an idea. Why not have your press conference about the opening of the Legislature when the Legislature opens? Tuesday was a dead media day. All of the committees were about appropriations and budgets. You have a captive media corps who are bored and just looking for something to cover.
Utah’s Democrats complain they can’t break through in the media. If they ever figure out how to use the media to maximize their message, they might be able to expand outside of Salt Lake County.