Jul 23 2012

Nikki Haley censors The State Newspaper

Nikki Haley got her 14-year-old daughter a job working for the state — a thirty hour a week job that is paid for with taxpayer money.  The State Newspaper and Charlotte Observer reported this online and the governor’s office immediately made them take the story down.  Did you know that the governor could do that?

There are some, including Nikki Haley herself, who say that the children of politicians should be off-limits.  There are others who say that Nikki Haley has gotten her husband a $65,000 state job with benefits, her brother-in-law a state job at MUSC, and her chief-of-staff’s wife a $50,000 part-time state job and her forcing others to hire her family should be the subject of scrutiny. Or at least, these reporters thought it was news until they got a phone call telling them to get rid of it.  According to the Free Times:

Both papers apparently published the story before getting the memo that it had been spiked. That’s a news industry term for when a reporter’s story is killed by editors or publishers, and can sometimes come from a politician, corporation or outside entity putting pressure on a news organization to yank a piece it is planning to run.

The governor contacted officials at The State and the paper apparently agreed to kill it, but the story was still in McClatchy’s system, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. McClatchy owns The State and cross-publishes stories that appear in the Capital City daily in other out-of-town content-sharing papers.

The story was up long enough for others to see the story and see that it had been taken down.  Which led to this bit of Sarah Palin-esque hysteria from the governor, who wants to turn it into a story of the Mama Grizzly whose children have been attacked by reporters trying to figure out if Governor Haley, not her daughter, has broken any laws.

Scrutiny of me comes with the territory of being governor. I expect it. But it’s a sad day for journalism in South Carolina when The State newspaper goes after my 14 year old daughter. Public officials have a right to expect that their minor children are off limits from political opponents and even from biased media outlets like The State. Its disgusting. Shame on them.

There were some gems in the comments section though.

Wondering if the 300+ posters above actually read the article or can comprehend it??
It wasn’t about the daughter… it was about the daughter getting a job at a store run by a cabinet under DIRECT control of the Gov… No job openings were posted.. People took a cut in hours to accommodate the new employees hours…
Its about a total abuse of power by Gov. Nikki. Jeremy Mitchum

I’m glad to see Nikky Haley has found her FOURTEEN year old daughter a 30 hour a week job that is payed for with taxpayer money. With all the tax payer money Haley seems to wanna save, cutting important programs such as ones to help people with aids and ones for rape survivors (that’s a “distraction”) it seems she wouldn’t make taxpayers pay her daughters paychecks. Jimmy Dowling

I do not understand this article as an attack on your daughter. It’s an attack against you and the way you have used your office to impose nepotism on various agencies, which when I worked for the state was definitively spelled out as a big NO-NO. Shame on you again Gov Haley for using an old political trick for twisting words to lend sympathy to your out of bounds actions. BTW, you are the politician screaming ‘foul’ and trying to make your own child the object of scorn here. Shame on you again. Pat Lee-Bosworth

You got your daughter a state job and expected no backlash? That’s like calling Papa John’s not not expecting a pizza. Vic Scaricamazza

Is it a story? Not a big one in the scheme of things, less of a story than the 10% unemployment rate in the state, less of a story than Nikki Haley vetoing important spending.  But it’s also part of those stories.  And part of a new story, the story of how the governor of South Carolina controls the media a little more than I am comfortable with.  Remember, even though the Republican governor can control what the paper publishes, the mainstream media is controlled by liberals.

UPDATE: 7/26 The State has re-released the story, thanks for putting pressure on her internet!


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  1. 1

    Apparently Haley is dumb enough to think that quashing a story online isn’t the equivalent of retweeting it endlessly…

  2. 2
    Pierce R. Butler

    … her 14-year-old daughter …

    Does South Carolina not have child labor laws, even for state jobs?

  3. 3
    Ashley F. Miller

    That is federal minimum age to have a full-time job when not in school.

  4. 4

    Without being a mind reader, I can almost guarantee that if Obama had done the exact same thing for one of his daughters, Haley would be calling for impeachment.

    See, the laws regarding corruption in politics only apply all the time to Democrats, some of the time to some Republicans, and most certainly never to Tea Partiers.

  5. 5
    Ashley F. Miller

    Can you imagine the uproar if Obama got *two* papers to pull a legitimate story *after* it had been published? Can you even begin to imagine it?

  6. 6
    Ashley F. Miller

    I’m not sure the voices of a couple people on the internet are enough to really get this out. It’d have to go way viral for a significant number of people to find out.

  7. 7

    I tried to imagine it, but my brain imploded.

    It strikes me that I haven’t even heard of this story up here in the mountains, and our local news channel usually lurves to trash on/perseverate upon the flaws of the upstate– and by proxy, the rest of SC.

  8. 8

    Minor children are off limits. Workers on the state payroll are not. Second rule trumps first rule when the Venn diagram overlaps.

  9. 9

    I think if a politician’s kid gets caught drinking that should be off limits. But when the politician’s kid gets benefits the rest of us do not (like getting a free pass on said crime, or patronage jobs, etc) that is not off limits, because it’s not about the child, it’s about the parent. There is a difference.

    I was against the coverage of the Bush twins for that reason. Who cares if 2 girls drink? Only local papers bother to cover that. People said they were “out of control”, for drinking? Well then almost all of us were “out of control”. But, for instance, when the daughter of a MN politician came to Chicago, got arrested for public drunkenness, and kicked out the back window of the police car, THAT is “out of control” and newsworthy.

  10. 10
    John Horstman

    I urge you to not use the word “taxpayer”; it’s a Right-wing meme invented to create a false distinction between legitimate citizens who contribute money to governments in taxes and parasites leeching off of the system. You would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t pay taxes (prisoners – some of whom still pay taxes – and people who steal literally everything they consume are the only examples of which I can think), at the very least through sales taxes (an argument can be made that most taxes on either the means of production or goods themselves are passed on to consumers in a market economy, even for goods that aren’t taxed at the point-of-sale, like groceries). Instead, I suggest saying “public money” or “state money”, as these make the actual control of the funds clear, and do not reinforce the false divide that “taxpayer” does.

    At any rate, state censorship in cases like this is patently illegal, and I’d be surprised if this sort of blatant nepotism (no effort given to even the appearance of legitimacy by posting the job and interviewing other candidates) isn’t grounds for corruption charges. Then again, SC is pretty insane politically, so it might not be.

  11. 11
    Ashley F. Miller

    I say “taxpayer” to emphasize the point that it is *our* money they are using. People sometimes lose sight of that when talking government expenditures — it’s not Nikki Haley’s money. I suppose I could say “American people’s” but that’s so unwieldy.

    It’s not exactly censorship, it’s encouraging an editor to acquiesce to your demands, and an editor can “censor” as much as it wants of its own material. It’s sketchy, but I’m pretty sure it’s not illegal.

  12. 12
    Leah C

    Since when do 14 year olds work 30 hrs/wk anyways?

  13. 13
    Worthy Evans

    I’ll try to get that done.

  14. 14

    LOL at the “vetoed important funding”

    Liberals are funny if not moreso economically ignorant. Way to go Haley, you got all the beatniks in an uproar. They literally live each day for trying to impugn you. Kudos!!

  15. 15

    I presume it is a summer temp job only.

  16. 16
    Ashley F. Miller

    … you seem to be doing a pretty good job :)

  17. 17

    While I do believe children of politicians should, for the most part, be off limits. There are, however, exceptions to the rule.

    One exception is when the term tax dollars is involved with the subject at hand. The tax payers of this State have the absolute right to know when, where and how their tax dollars are being spent. This applies whether it involves a politicians child or not.

    Second, when the politician initiates the controversy, for a lack of a better term, about the child in question which Haley certainly did by getting the child a job that is paid for by tax payers. She asked for the attention at that point.

    Finally, I agree with the poster above. This is not about the child. The article is about the abuse of powers by Haley. Yes, I am right-wing but, I do not support Haley. She’s not the Gov. we were promised.

  18. 18
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Possibly not as it was, but

    Which led to this bit of Sarah Palin-esque hysteria from the governor, who wants to turn it into a story of the Mama Grizzly whose children have been attacked by reporters trying to figure out if Governor Haley, not her daughter, has broken any laws.

    the Streisand Effect seems to be doing its thing.

  19. 19
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Wee, aren’t you as sick a fuck as Haley. Go you!

  20. 20

    “Beatniks?” Ell-oh-ell. Damn liberal beatniks, always smoking the reefer.

  21. 21

    Reading comprehension fail. No one cares about the kid. Everyone cares about the governor’s nepotism, and even more about the fact that she has so much control over the media. But stay stupid Trolls Von Trollerson, it highlights the hypocrisy of the woman trying to use her child as a political shield.

  22. 22

    Funny how no one but you actually uses those quoted words here..

  23. 23

    (And I suppose I should say, yes, close words were used, but if you’re “quoting” (in quotes), be sure you’re actually quoting, and make it useful to the discussion)

  24. 24
    Midnight Rambler

    You got your daughter a state job and expected no backlash? That’s like calling Papa John’s not not expecting a pizza. Vic Scaricamazza

    To be fair, if you’re ordering from Papa John’s you shouldn’t expect anything that can reasonably be called a pizza.

  25. 25
    Bill Davis

    It’s up on Reddit, the world will know soon. Ashley Miller, thank you for the article and good journalism. :)

  26. 26


    started a group to help this go viral feel free to join

  27. 27
    Drew M

    I think Governor Haley needs to read up on the “Streisand effect”. Her actions have pretty much guaranteed this gets way more coverage than it would have if she hadn’t tried to quash it.

  28. 28

    She’s probably not really working. She’s proly following her mama around the State House this summer and they are calling it “work.”

  29. 29
    silomowbray, sans frottage pour la douche

    My rebuttal to Don is “Cabbage!” because that’s the equivalent.

    If you require a citation for said cabbage, please let me know.

  30. 30
    N Redburn

    I feel that if a politician “asks” a paper or news outlet, to pull a storey, it is illegal. The pressure is there, although need never be spoken aloud. The only circumstances that would be acceptable are if the storey was proven to be false or misleading. Then the politician, could add their view to the storey. But asking the media to censor it is illegal, or should be, in my humble opinion.

  31. 31
    Tâlib Alttaawiil (طالب التاويل)

    “[S]piked. That’s a news industry term for when a reporter’s story is killed by editors or publishers, and can sometimes come from a politician, corporation or outside entity putting pressure on a news organization to yank a piece it is planning to run.”

    oh, i guess if the practice has a name, then it’s ok…

  32. 32
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  1. 34
    Bloggers defeat Nikki Haley and The State Newspaper | Ashley Miller

    [...] having dropped the ball massively by spiking the story initially, The State finally released the story about Nikki Haley’s [...]

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