Rhode Island Gov. to Order State Workers to Stay Off Talk Radio

Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I., carries his ballot to a voting booth at the Metcalf Elementary School in Exeter, R.I., Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2006. Chafee, seeking his second full term, is engaged in a heated primary battle with Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey in a race that may have national significance. (AP Photo/Joe Giblin)
AP Photo/Joe Giblin
AP Photo/Joe Giblin

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee intends to ban state employees from going on talk radio, the Providence Journal reports. The governor will avoid the shows himself as well.

Chafee will continue to talk to reporters from local stations and the nonprofit local NPR affiliate, Michael Trainor, a spokesperson for the governor, told the newspaper. Trainor explained that the governor wants to avoid "ratings-driven, for-profit programming."

"We don't think it is appropriate to use taxpayer resources" to pay state employees to appear on for-profit shows, he said.

Bill George, the program director for Providence talk radio station WHJJ pointed out to the Journal that "most media outlets, whether news or opinion, are profit-making entities."

The governor's office issued a clarification saying the policy will not apply in "emergency situations," like impending snow storms, ABC News reports.

Talk radio host Buddy Cianci told ABC the move is "an affront to transparency."

Chafee, an Independent, recently succeeded Republican Gov. Donald Carcieri, who was often a guest on talk radio programs.