(CNN) – South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford lashed out at the media on Friday, admonishing reporters at a press conference for their coverage of the multiple investigations into his travel expenses.
"One of the frankly disappointing things I've seen in several instances here over the last 60 days of my life since I've been through this thing is that in some cases it's not been about objective journalism, its been about advocacy journalism with an agenda," he said.
Sanford was in the town of Conway revealing his plans to waive confidentiality in a state Ethics Commission investigation into his use of state airplanes and taxpayer-funded travel, a move that will allow to the public to view the results of the probe.
But the governor, who has adopted an increasingly combative tone in recent days, also blasted members of the state legislature for being hypocritical, accusing them of spending state money on travel as well. He called on members of Senate and House to make their travel documents public.
Then he turned his sights on the South Carolina press corps, with whom he had a largely cordial relationship before he turned the state's political world upside down in June by copping to an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman. He chided the media for its coverage of his travel record and said he has been an excellent steward of taxpayer money, unlike previous administrations.
"Let me say to my friends in the press - some of your are friends, some you are debatable - but we'll come back to that," he began. "What happens is really going to be in y'all's hands. In other words, the way it gets reported, it can be made into circus, it can be made into a Mickey Mouse court if that's the way you choose to report it. That really is y'all's responsibility."
"I would challenge my friends in the media to really look at, 'What are the real facts in this case?' What is the larger contest in this case?'" he said, referring to the Ethics Commission investigation.
Sanford singled out John O'Connor - a political reporter for South Carolina's largest newspaper, The State - and accused the newspaper of covering the political back-and-forth over the travel controversy while skimming over Sanford's arguments defending himself.
Sanford took one question, but refused several others. But when O'Connor asked a question about private flights that Sanford failed to report on public disclosures, the governor became irritable.
"John, we're not going to play your game," he said, jabbing his finger in the reporter's direction. "I don't work for you."
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