Republicans and their newspaper habits

Even if Republican officials had some kind of ideological aversion that pushed them away from newspapers, I’d like to think a governor would read in-state papers if only to know what others in their state are talking about.

Apparently not.

Newspapers really are a bummer, aren’t they? Always informing readers of news from far-away places, of local legislatures and even governors, like Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who it turns out could care less.

“I don’t read newspapers in the state of Ohio,” Kasich said Monday at a college in Columbus. “Very rarely do I read a newspaper. Because … reading newspapers does not give you an uplifting experience…. I have found my life is a lot better if I don’t get aggravated by what I read in the newspaper.”

Remember, this isn’t some guy at a bar explaining why he prefers blissful ignorance to keeping up on current events; this is the elected chief executive of one of the nation’s largest states.

Reading a newspaper should be “an uplifting experience” to keep Kasich’s interest? I’m not even sure what that means.

Perhaps those who avoid newspapers to steer clear of aggravation aren’t particularly well suited for public service through elected office.

Of course, it’s not just Kasich. Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) boasted earlier this year that he refuses to read any newspaper published in his home state.

In 2007, George W. Bush admitted that he doesn’t read any newspapers. In 2004, then-Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) boasted that he never reads newspapers, and relied exclusively on Fox News for all of his news.

Keep in mind, we’re not talking about folks who avoid dead-tree newspapers but read dailies online; we’re talking about officials who avoid newspapers altogether.

I find this bizarre.