It’s not the most polished satire, but Ed Billings again is admirably quick on the draw with his response to the petulance emanating from City Hall these days. You can get the background from the Gazette’s Daniel Chacon and the Independent’s J. Adrian Stanley.
One of the oldest tricks in the newspaper playbook is to file a request to see all other open-records requests, including those made by competing newspapers. Requests for open records are, themselves, public records available for public inspection. On that level, the city administration is doing nothing wrong by sharing the results of a Gazette request with the rest of the world.
But it’s a juvenile tactic. It’s taunting. And the city’s explanation would be more believable if it were equally eager to release information under all circumstances. It’s not just newspapers that request access to public documents. Yet I’ve never seen City Hall issue a press release containing the information requested by John Q. Public. Surely reporters aren’t the only people to request information the administration thinks everyone should see.