Gov. Greitens addresses public's budget questions on Facebook Live

Gov Greitens addresses publics budget...

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Gov. Eric Greitens did a Facebook Live on Thursday evening to address questions on the budget.

Greitens started off by mentioning there are more jobs in Missouri and that's why tough choices had to be made. Greitens emphasized that he didn't want to raise taxes, so he's trying to balance the budget by cutting spending.

Greitens touched on many topics, including the tax cut plan, investing state money, military programs, rate increases for adoptive and foster families and the impact of the budget on education.

According to the budget, Missouri has the lowest unemployment rate in 17 years and 97% of Missourians will receive a tax cut.

"The number one priority is more jobs and higher pay," said Greitens.

Read the budget summary by clicking here.

It's not the first time the governor has used Facebook Live as a medium to discuss his priorities. While he did take questions from reporters about his proposed budget on Monday, he rebuffed questions about his admitted affair and alleged blackmail of his mistress.

Amy Simons, a professor of journalism at the University of Missouri, said a politician's use of social media to field questions helps them control the message they want broadcast.

"The opportunity for follow up questions that he might get from the media or from people to continue to press him on things that may not necessarily be on his agenda or on his message, those go unanswered."

The governor is also not the only politician to use Facebook as a way to buck the media. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I - Vermont) hosted a Medicare-for-All town hall on his Facebook page Tuesday, claiming the "mainstream media" had ignored the issue.

Simons said the event is similar to what Greitens employs in controlling the message and most of the content. A town hall, however, shows the viewer the person asking the question, rather than the politician choosing a random comment.

"We do at least see who is asking the question, the tone of voice," Simons said. "And by having that, we at least have a better idea where [they are] coming from."

Simons said she didn't know whether or not the access and presentation would matter to those watching. She said it fell on journalists to convince others that the ability to ask tough questions, and follow up after the answer, would be beneficial.

"To explain why it matters, to re-establish the importance of the fourth estate, and the extra checks and balances that we as journalists can provide," Simons said.

You can watch Greitens' Facebook Live video below:



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