Complaint letter from Associated Press

January 15, 1988

The Honorable Evan Mecham
Governor, State of Arizona
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Dear Governor:

I strongly object to your press aide’s handling of your letter of apology yesterday. By feeding the letter exclusively to the Republic, he turned his back on Arizonans who read the other 17 daily newspapers or watch the state’s 13 television stations or listen to radio.

His lame comment today that he took this incredible and indefensible action because the Republic has the state’s largest circulation is laughable. It was a naked effort to curry favor with what he sees as the arch-enemy, as his next remark shows. “We finally got The Republic to turn around,“ he boasts.

Smith is either incompetent or naive or else he panicked. Had he truly wished to reach the greatest number of Arizona citizens, he would have made the letter available to The Associated Press and United Press International. This would have insured that every Arizona newspaper, radio station and television station would have immediately received your letter.

I have discussed this with Max Jennings of the Tribune newspapers in the East Valley, and with Steve Auslander of the Arizona Daily Star, the state’s other two morning newspapers. They are as unhappy as I am at this incredible handling of an important letter by your press aide.

I trust such a callous disregard for the Arizonans who do not depend upon the Republic for their news will not be repeated by your office.

Sincerely,

Gavin Scott
Chief of Bureau, Associated Press, Phoenix, Arizona

cc:
Mr. Ken Smith
Mr. Pat Murphy, Phoenix Newspapers Inc.
Mr. Steve Auslander, Arizona Daily Star
Mr. Max Jennings, Mesa Tribune
Mr. Joe Soldwedel, president, Arizona Newspapers Association
Mr. Williams, executive director, Arizona Newspapers Association