posted on June 05, 2012 16:54
“The N&O’s weekend story about the plight of women lobbyists was another new low point in the paper’s coverage of politics. It hit a couple of good points, but demonstrated an overall cluelessness about what happens at the legislature.
“Professional women lobbyists who dress appropriately and manage themselves and their work are outraged and insulted by the story, because every day they work harder and smarter and endure more pick-up lines than their male counterparts.
“The N&O’s depiction of the lobbying world is fake and naive. Real lobbyists don’t attend the kind of events described by the reporter. And the interviews with women lobbyists -- how do we say this nicely – were not with lobbyists who likely have suffered from harassment, if you know what we mean. The real pros would never talk to a reporter about this stuff, and the N&O should’ve known this and focused its reporting on something that matters.
“But if the pros did talk, here’s what they would say:
“’Ample cleavage, a naked thigh and a cocktail party butt grope might get some attention, but you gotta know what you’re talking about to pass or kill a bill. Real lobbying requires facts, knowledge and hard work. You may look cute in your tight little sun dress and matching flip flops, but if you can’t answer questions or explain your issue, you’re doomed as a lobbyist. The process simply doesn’t work any other way. True, there have been plenty of lobbyists of all sexes over the years who thought the process was a social event, gabfest or fashion show, but they never last long or have any clout.’
“Here’s another point they’d make:
“’We are increasingly weary of the drumbeat of criticism about our line of work. The repeated jabs by liberal do-gooders and regulators like Secretary of State Elaine Marshall are tiresome. What’s lost on the N&O, her Honor Marshall and others is that we represent entities that create jobs, pay taxes and have constitutional rights to the hallways of the General Assembly’.”
For the record, I thought the N&O story was interesting, important and well-done. But the TAPster countered: “I think going to a reception at the beer wholesalers and using that as the example of the lobbying world was not good reporting. She should’ve spent a day with a real woman lobbyist.”
The lobbying world is not my world (thank goodness), so I’m no expert. As Fox News would say: we report, you decide.