"My last interview was with Time magazine about the expiring execution drugs. When they found out, they positively came unglued that I did what I was getting paid for. They even admitted the interview read well, they just didn't want the issue in the media. They just wanted to keep issues like the CO shortage and the outdated execution drugs as far out of the media as possible." Mr. Hurt went on to explain, "The admin suffers from intellectual incest. They all live in a little town, went to the same little college in Huntsville and are terrified of new ideas." Mr. Hurt then offered his ideas on how to change the face of the public information office and the agency in general. "Moving the agency to Austin would be in everyone's best interest." "I tried to show them how to position themselves in a positive light and they didn't want any part of it. I've never worked in a stranger place."Sounds about right. Now, of course, we know they didn't want the execution drug issue in the media because they'd conspired with a now-recalcitrant pharmacist to secure the drugs on the "down low," as he put it.
That said, I'm not sure moving them to Austin would help, though it's possible. Lately, Grits has come to consider both the TDCJ and Department of Public Safety PIOs basically worthless, and DPS headquarters are in the capital. To get any useful information out of either of those agencies these days requires an open records request, even for routine, workaday stuff that a few years ago would have been routinely disclosed by their media relations folks without going through that formal process. So I'm not surprised by Mr. Hurt's comments, but I'm glad he was willing to offer them publicly.
MORE: From The Dallas Observer.