Few Nice Words for Las Vegas Spin Doctors

To journalists in Las Vegas, the proliferation of public information officers (PIOs) within local government is a cancer on the body politic. The city of Las Vegas has the same number of PIOs as the press office of New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. As a result, says veteran Vegas TV reporter Hank Thornley, the days a reporter could easily directly inspect public documents or directly contact public officials are long gone. "You're referred to public relations," he says. Charlie Zobell, managing editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, agrees: "We want to quote the people who are responsible, not their hired PIOs, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to do that."