Boston’s recently aborted bid to host the 2024 Olympics was a big, hairy political mess around these parts, so it’s no surprise that journalists are filing legal requests to access text messages sent and received by Mayor Marty Walsh during the final days of the drama.
What is surprising is one of the city’s excuses for denying the requests: It claims to lack the “technical capacity.”
Needless to say, no one is buying, including, one would assume, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who might be in a whole lot less hot water if not for copies of text messages the team somehow managed to provide to the NFL.
From a story in the Boston Globe (I’m a subscriber; you may hit a paywall):
Open-government advocates dismissed the argument that technological barriers prevented disclosure of the text messages, especially when those assertions came from Walsh, a mayor who has made data a centerpiece of his administration. One simple solution: Text messages can be photographed as screen shots and then e-mailed. There are also programs available to download text messages from a phone.
“There’s a ton of ways to get text messages and export them. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t be able to provide you with those text messages,” said Adam Marshall, a legal fellow at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, which tracks public records laws across the country. “That seems ridiculously inept.”
Even by government standards.