Lincoln Chafee To Enforce Talk Radio Silence For Rhode Island State Officials

Political talk radio enthusiasts who were looking forward to hearing the dulcet tones of Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) easing them through their daily commutes are going to be disappointed Tuesday, as Chafee has decided to eschew the format altogether, and will direct state employees to do the same.

Chafee doesn't plan to spend his own time on talk radio, and he intends to ban state employees from spending their state work time talking on talk radio, which was Carcieri's favorite medium and an integral part of his communications operation.

Spokesman Michael Trainor said a directive will go out over the next day or so that reflects that new policy.

He said the policy emanates from a belief that talk radio is essentially "ratings-driven, for-profit programming," and "we don't think it is appropriate to use taxpayer resources" in the form of state employee work time to "support for-profit, ratings-driven programming."

Trainor says that Chafee will "continue to talk to the news reporters for the local radio stations, and the nonprofit local NPR affiliate." There's no indication of how the boundary of "state work time" is defined, or how this will be policed. Also, doesn't one technically support "for-profit, ratings-driven programming" by listening to it?

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