When asked tough questions by Tallahassee Reports, history shows Mayor Andrew Gillum not only avoids answers, but also resorts to false attacks and threats of legal action.
For example, when TR was the first to report about his affiliation with the People for American Way, Gillum sent an email threatening legal action.
When TR was the first to report about an undisclosed trip to Pittsburgh, Gillum refused to talk to TR and again threatened legal action through the city attorney.
In 2014, Gillum said TR editor Steve Stewart showed up at city hall threatening city manager Anita Favors. After the charge was proven false, Gillum retracted his comments.
The latest example of Gillum’s threatening behavior happened this past week, when Gillum accused Mr. Stewart of an assault in a public meeting.
The charge levied by Gillum, is based on a harmless bumping incident that lasted for two seconds.
No charges have been filed by either party.
Gillum’s actions are designed to intimidate a free press and to avoid answering probing questions.
Specifically, he does not want to answer questions about his reported negotiations with the Tallahassee Democrat that resulted in a favorable news story.
Gillum’s tactics should be questioned by all who favor an unbiased media, free of threats from those exercising political power.
Tallahassee Reports will not be bullied by threats from public officials. We will also defend ourselves from slanderous attacks designed to silence questions that need to be answered.
No journalist should have to fear false attacks on their reputations when attempting to hold powerful officials accountable.