I have to admit something to you.
I’m having a lot of fun.
Between being the Editor-at-Large here, being a political analyst at KSEE 24, and hosting the upcoming new show here at CVO called “Unfiltered w/Jim Verros,” my phone rings all the time. Usually, it’s someone from inside the “Spaceship,” better known to the public as “Fresno City Hall.”
Most of the time, it’s an invitation to come meet with someone. Sometimes, it’s an elected wanting to give me details on an upcoming project. Occasionally, it’s staff wanting to know if I’m hearing something on the street about the goings on in their particular district. The best is when an elected official calls me wanting CVO to “look into” another elected down the hall and investigate their nefarious failure to hold doors open for senior citizens, or some such scandal.
You know why they call me? You’ll never guess.
I have a Fresno City Hall Press Credential.
I’m not kidding! I can walk in and ask the Mayor or Council members whatever I want. Why? Because 90% percent of the daywalkers in the Spaceship know I’m fair. That I treat everyone with the same level of sarcasm and inquisitiveness. If I write about any of them here on the “Citywide Leader of Local Politics” or on Twitter, that there’s a good chance they knew it was coming, or that I’m actually looking for an exchange of ideas.
Now, I have to tell you something. Not every “journalist” has a press credential in this town. Most do. But there’s a special select people who don’t.
Remember when your whiny little cousin wanted to be in your “club” so bad? You would have some fun. Tell them no. Laugh for a second. Then right before you were about to let them in, THEY WERE GONE!
Where you did they go? That’s right: right to Mommy and Daddy to complain. After a few minutes and tear-induced demands to be given membership to the “Secret Society of Goldfish Crackers and Fireworks.”
You grudgingly allowed them in, promised to play nice, and smiled.
As soon as the parental figure left, you gave that sibling the biggest Atomic Wedgie.
Now, before the publisher of another local news site does a public service announcement decrying the use of Atomic Wedgies, it’s important to know there’s a way to conduct yourself.
You can either be TMZ and spend your days parsing and psychoanalyzing the tweets of a government employee till the cows come home, or you can be the news. You don’t get to choose to be both and cry when someone ticketed your car when you park in “press parking.”