The Skinny: The education of Dean Florez

We know, we know. We’re getting tired of these stories, too. But the Capitol Press Corps lost another member this week. The Bee’s photographer, Brian Baer, was among the casualties in this week’s cutbacks at the paper. Baer was a familiar face around the Capitol, often with two or three cameras wrapped around his neck. And he produced original shots for the paper that helped distinguish coverage of the Capitol from other papers. Most recently, the Bee ran an online series of 50 or so of Baels snapshots that captured the tedium of the budget stalemate. With Baer’s departure, and the recent lay off of LA Times photographer Bob Durell, there are now no newspapers employing full-time photographers. If Dean Florez is going to run for statewide office, he might want to take a pointer or two in the world of media relations. Here’s what not to do: When a reporter calls for comment on a story, don’t refuse to call the reporter back, and then try to scoop the reporter by sending out your own press release. That’s exactly what Team Florez did to Capitol Weekly’s John Howard this week when Howard asked about Florez’s hiring of former LAT reporter Mark Arax. The item was a little one, but Florez’s classless move shows the Senator has a lot to learn when it comes to dealing with the press…

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