Gov. Greitens complains about lack of news coverage, but grants few interviews

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has started complaining about the coverage his administration receives, but the Republican has granted few interviews during his first six weeks in office.

Greitens' approach of using social media sites to appeal directly to voters isn't that unusual, but he hasn't given reporters many chances to ask him questions.

The Post-Dispatch says it has made numerous requests for interviews since Greitens' Nov. 8 election win, but they have been rebuffed.

Greitens' spokesman Parker Briden told the newspaper it will have to wait for an interview.

"Rest assured, I will let you know when we have budgeted time for you to meet with the Governor," Briden said. "It is not a priority at this moment."

At an event last week Greitens complained that the media wouldn't cover the work his administration is doing the state Black Legislative Caucus. Reporters responded by asking for more information, but Greitens left without answering questions.

Greitens' approach differs from state legislative leaders. Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard and House Speaker Todd Richarson, both Republicans, hold weekly news conferences and answer reporters' questions.

"Ever since I've been Speaker of the House, I thought that was a fair way to do it, to give you a chance to talk to me and I can talk to you," said Richard, who previously served in the state House.

"I've always thought that sunshine and knowing how I feel about certain things - even if you don't agree - is probably a better way to understand how I envision governing and leadership in the Senate," said Richard, of Joplin.

Richardson, of Poplar Bluff, said there is a long tradition of allowing regular media access to House leaders.

"Your all's mission of communicating what we do in this body to the general public is important," said Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff.

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