Monday, February 27, 2017
In bygone days of tobacco litigation, lawyers for the companies would dump a million records onto plaintiff lawyers doing discovery. The tactic worked for a long time because law firms had neither the time nor the money to plow through hundreds of boxes of paper. Call the tactic dark transparency. One could claim to the public that he was being honest and open but the opposite was the case. It's interesting, then, the mayor of Atlanta is trying the same tactic to blunt investigation of city contracting. This time the mayor dumped 1.47 million documents on the media in hundreds of boxes and invited them to go through them. The mayor insists he is on the up and up but it doesn't look or feel like it. The media began trawling through the records and were quickly exhausted. It is a bad PR tactic. No one should expect the media to be given a story but there is a limit on what one can claim to be transparency. Atlanta clearly exceeded it.