Civil Discourse Now

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Where are the Governor's daughter's pictures of the stage collapse?

   Amongst the articles The Indianapolis Star ran about the stage collapse at the State Fair, one centered on the wife of the governor and her daughter. The governor's wife was whisked out of the place by an alert State Trooper. The crowd should have had benefit of that decision-making.

   The line that caught my attention concerned the couple's daughter. The article stated the daughter was there photographing the show on a contract she has with the State Fair. On her website, the daughter writes about the events of that evening and how she had gone there to take pictures of the band Sugarland.

   I understand the wife of the Governor serves on the State Fair Board in an honorary capacity. And if the daughter were an intern, I would understand that, too. But the daughter is a professional photographer whose website seems to focus on her work as a portait photographer.

   "Nepotism" is defined as "Bestowal of official favors (esp. in hiring) on one's relatives." Black's Law Dictionary, pocket ed. The word has pejorative connotations, especially in the context of government.

   There are various forms of photography and categories of photographers. The two categories that immediately come to mind are amateur and professional. There were a lot of amateur photographers at the State Fairgrounds that night who got off shots from ecll phones. Amongst professional photographers are portait photographers, who deal with static images, except when little kids enter the scene. Photojournalists cover news events, like concerts or wars or cataclysmic events. There is no rule, of which I am aware, against a portait photographer also being a photojournalist, or vice-versa.

   There are a lot of people in Indiana who need work. I am sure professional photographers number among those Hoosiers. How is it that a portrait studio photographer received a contract with the State Fair to shoot a live show? If she was that good, how did she not have presence of mind to snap photos as the stage collapsed. I do not say that from morbid fascination. Good photojournalists are supposed to take pictures of major events as they occur, not let people with cell phones snap away and get the scoop. Was the process by which she had the contract open for bids? If so, my hat is off to her. If she only was hired on a contract without competition, then I think there is at least an appearance of impropriety. She is the daughter of a Governor of Indiana made wealthy, in part, through the way in which the pensioners of one of our utilities lost their lives' savings. If contracts and employment are to be had, let all the people, not those simply connected through blood-relation, have an opportunity. Again, if she won on an open bid contract, that is great, but I think the public is entitled to know the details. And we are entitled to those photos---if there are any. If there are not, we are entitled to know she did not take any.  

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