Digest>Archives> December 2002

Norton’s interview on TODAY superficial

By Timothy Harrison

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Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton was interviewed on NBC’s TODAY show from Florida’s beautiful and historic St. Augustine Lighthouse about the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act or as many are calling it, “The Great Lighthouse Giveaway.”

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St. Augustine Executive Director Kathy Fleming, ...
Photo by: Bill Schneider

The setting of the interview at St. Augustine was perfect, since this past July it was the first of six lighthouses in the nation to be transferred under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000.

St. Augustine Lighthouse Executive Director Kathy Fleming escorted Secretary Norton up the 219 lighthouse steps. Norton also climbed the ten ladder steps to examine the first order Fresnel lens in the tower.

Norton praised the St. Augustine Lighthouse group for the care and restoration of the lighthouse, which is currently budgeted at $2 million per year.

However, Norton’s media interview was without any real substance and did not tackle the real issues, such as the Congressman from North Carolina who is trying to circumvent the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, which Secretary Norton spoke about.

This was not really Norton’s fault since the reporters did not ask any in-depth questions, such as the kind that I and hundreds of others emailed to the TODAY Show, which totally ignored them. Too bad, the TODAY show lost a chance to do some investigative reporting about the attempted theft of the Currituck Lighthouse, which could be one of the biggest travesties in U.S. lighthouse history.

This story appeared in the December 2002 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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