Foster’s, the state’s most conservative newspaper this side of the Union Leader, has added its voice to those lambasting House Speaker Bill O’Brien for barring Concord Monitor reporters from a State House press briefing.
Many a politician farther up the food chain than O’Brien has tried to muffle the press. Perhaps the most prominent politician to learn his lesson the hard way was President Richard M. Nixon, forced from office thanks to Deep Throat and writers Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
But beyond O’Brien’s Nixonian-like arrogance is a more troubling notion — that he alone somehow has the right to decide if a newspaper is doing its job.
On the one hand, O’Brien’s behavior on Friday should not be surprising after the long string of abuses he has heaped on fellow lawmakers. … But truth be told, we can yet find no one who thought O’Brien would go off the deep end as he did on Friday.
O’Brien has failed to measure up to the responsibilities given him as state representative and Speaker. … God forbid that House membership should even momentarily think of returning him to the Speaker’s chair.