August 28th, 2009
06:03 PM ET
5 years ago

Sanford lashes out at the media

(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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Filed under: Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. Southern Gentleman

    Resign Governor, you lost your credibility with the people. That is the thing about lying which politicians do not understand. You should resign and quit blaming the media and those trying to get political gain for your indiscretions.

    August 28, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. Sean

    In fact, all Democrats want him to stay, but most Republicans want him to go. He has problems himself, don't blame the media. You know the media loves news, saucy and hot news. No one enjoy news from Afganistan, Laos, Burma anymore... so sad...

    August 28, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. VGal

    Once again, Republicans play the media card.... none of them seem to take any responsibility for their own actions. Sanford, Palin, etc.

    August 28, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. Dave

    For the good of the Republican party – JUST GO AWAY !!!!!

    August 28, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. donttreadonme

    Kennedy and Clinton had several affairs but when it is a Republican it is a problem for the left? Morally it is an inexcusable act but nothing illegal was done. Same kind of liberal attacks we see on Palin try to dig some ethics issue out of his travel? Please!

    August 28, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. Henry

    Sanford seems to be coming apart at the seams.

    August 28, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. PLUTO

    Has he considered that maybe he's the one in the wrong?

    August 28, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. Chester Drawers

    Holy cow, what will his soulmate think about this?

    August 28, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    Geez – he's sounding like Palin. "Bring the microphones and cameras and let me get on tv" - "The press hounds and abuses me" - blah blah blah blah whine whine whine

    August 28, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. kay

    I think "he doth protest too much" as his own unbridled mouth added to his problems. Guess his wife and 4 kids are only "collateral damage". Man's a pitiful example of nothing.

    August 28, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. What a Joke!

    When a republican does something wrong, GOD forbid you call them on it! They'll fight tooth and nails and keep the lies going! GET OUT OF OFFICE YOU IDIOT! you're a distraction to the state, unproductive and untrustworthy! you don't care about anyone but yourself Sanford! typical republican...never wants to admit his wrong doings and bow down gracefully!

    August 28, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. Reagan was wrong

    Sarah Palin should trademark her favorite tactic of blaming the media. That way, when another disgraced politician blames the media, she'll get some money, which is really all she's after.

    August 28, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  13. The Almighty BigBallz

    What a complete numbnut! This guy is soooo arrogant. Where are all the "Super Christian" Republicans calling on this deginerate to resign. They were front and center for Bill Clinton...including this HUMP!

    August 28, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. Scott

    What a whiner! You get caught with your hand in the cookie jar and you're gonna blame your older siblings? Waaaaa!

    August 28, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  15. Farrell in Houston

    Why is anyone still wasting time on this guy, his wife isn't. They should have gotten rid of him when he violated his duties sneaking off to meet his soul mate.

    August 28, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  16. KING

    Governor, please quit and the laughter will eventually stop. Right now, you are like a monkey on a stick, so jump around, jump around, we're here to get down. Go walk the trail or something.

    August 28, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  17. Eunice

    Sandford, your time is up. You should have thought about how much your job and family meant to you before you gave into your urges. Once you become a public figure, your life is an open book like all other politicians whether you like it or not.

    August 28, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. F-Dog

    Objectively, Sanford should step down.

    August 28, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  19. Deb

    Most of us S Carolinians are commenting: He doesn't think he works for any of us, that's our problem. He's accountable only to felow C-Street members.

    August 28, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. Patrick - Indianapolis

    You reap what you sew, my good chum.

    August 28, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. Troop

    Hope is alive Gov. Sanford the media thinks Kennedy was a man of faith. At that rate you could be a religious pillar in your community right now. Journalism is dead.

    August 28, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. The Real Issue

    The Real Issue my fellow South Carolina Americans is the Governor is the governor's expenses during his trips and how they were used.

    The governor is correct. He does not work for the reporter, but he does work for the people of South Carolina. He needs to fess up, allow the citizens and/or the legal authorities to determine if he did not act appropriately or he needs to resign.

    August 28, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. John Stryker

    The party of morality and personal responsibility folks. All hail the GOP. The party of woe is me.

    August 28, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. Notfooled

    If you go to your Soul-Mate, you will not have anymore problems!

    August 28, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  25. ps / North Carolina

    "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." – Sanford

    No, it is you who went to Argentina on taxpayers money. You denied the federal tax dollars to the unemployed and to rebuild public schools while your children enjoyed private schools paid by the tax payers.

    Typical Ruthuglican hypocrite, pro lifers, but against universal healthcare. !!

    August 28, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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