FIC vs. Rick Green

We told you last week that we would have more to say about Courant columnist Rick Green’s lazy excuse for journalism. Late Friday night we posted a full response to Green on FIC Blog:

Rick Green thinks he has exposed a secret conspiracy between FIC and Greg Stokes. Instead, he has exposed himself to be a lazy excuse for a journalist who thinks that reading legal opinions from the comfort of the Courant’s Broad Street offices can substitute for the real shoe-leather work of journalism.

We encourage you to read FIC’s whole response here.

Green called FIC executive director Peter Wolfgang this morning, denied that he viewed FIC’s role in Enfield as illegitimate and objected to our description of his work as lazy. Yet he barraged Peter with questions that were, at turns, combative and manipulative. And he is only now calling FIC, after we posted a blog criticizing him for having never contacted us.

“How’s your fundraising?” Green asked Peter. “Am I anti-family?” He also asked if FIC had bribed the Enfield Board of Education. (Wolfgang: “We helped provide free legal counsel to Enfield and you make it seem like a bribe.” Green: “Was it?”)

Green wanted to know when FIC first contacted BOE members and which members we contacted. These are fair questions. Why did he wait three months to ask us?

Proving our point about his laziness, Green asked if it was right for FIC to lobby the BOE in private. Shouldn’t the public have been informed about FIC’s activities in Enfield?

Has the man never heard of Google? Even for a journalist who can’t be bothered to visit Enfield, FIC’s role there should not have come as a surprise.

FIC’s email alerts, our blog posts, our media interviews with sources as big as USA Today and as local as the Dan Lovallo radio program, our YouTube video of Peter Wolfgang’s speech to the BOE, the press release we sent to Green’s own newspaper two months ago were all public. The private emails between the BOE Chairman and Peter only provided more detail of what FIC was already telling the public.

Green asked repeatedly about the costs of holding the graduations at First Cathedral in comparison to other venues. Peter told him to check with the BOE itself and also that if Green had attended the Mar. 23rd BOE meeting Green would already know the answer.

Peter told Green that he wished Green had done the kind of reporting that was done by the Journal Inquirer. If Green had attended the BOE meetings or the court hearing, Peter said, Green would have a more rounded understanding of what happened in Enfield.

Green defended the pretense that reading a legal opinion—and making it your only source—counts as investigative journalism. The court provides “a level playing field,” said Green.

“The only thing I object to is your description of my work as lazy,” Green said, in his final comment to Peter. “Ask anyone who’s gone up against me. I’m not lazy.”

We’re not sure what Green means by that. If Green means that he is going to do the sort of journalism that made the Journal Inquirer’s scrutiny of FIC’s work in Enfield so fair and honest, we won’t hold our breath.

If Green means that he has the wherewithal to publish an endless stream of unfair attacks on FIC for advocating positions he does not like, alas, we believe him.

As we await Green’s next salvo, we encourage you to read our full response to his last one. And if we are wrong about the meaning of Green’s comment to Peter, we will say so.

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