Pensacola, Florida
Monday August 20th 2018


Outtakes:Taking Off the Training Wheels

By Rick Outzen

Whenever this newspaper is critical of an elected official, there is always backlash. Rather than taking responsibility for their actions, politicians often declare victim status and whine about how unfairly they have been treated.

Last year, we had the Pensacola City Council spend hours patting themselves on the back and reassuring themselves that the meanies at the News Journal and this newspaper were treating them unfairly. Editors and reporters and their families and loved ones were attacked in retaliation.

Commissioner Wilson Robertson took 20 minutes at the county’s swearing-in ceremony to jump the daily newspaper, its former government reporter, Jamie Page, and me because of what he considered was biased reporting. His “facts” weren’t true, but it was great theatre.

Now we have Mayor Ashton Hayward and his posse upset over the Independent News’ coverage of him.

“Why is Rick so upset with Hayward?” is what we’re hearing from city staff, council members and others.

The answer is simple. Because he is screwing up. Pretty smiles can only get you so far, especially when people are dying in your city housing projects.

What have we seen out of the mayor’s office since January 1?

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