Amazingly, Bob Moore, editor of the El Paso Times masquerading as a newspaper, has the audacity to write an OP-ED piece on the necessity of transparency in government. In case, you missed it, Bob Moore published, in yesterday’s daily, an opinion piece both bemoaning the controversy an article on Paul Foster and the Koch brothers his publication published earlier generated and incredulously about the need for transparency in the political process.
Let’s set aside the basic journalistic questions raised by publishing an article based on an unsourced piece of paper. I’m not educated well enough in journalistic principals to comment on the article in regards to the journalistic requirements for publishing an article based on unproven information. I may not have formal training in journalism, however, I know enough to know that making an accusation requires, at the very minimum, some proof that an event actually happened. An unverified piece of paper doesn’t even rise to the level of a rumor. Besides, I have written enough articles on the failure that is the El Paso Times.
However, Bob Moore has forced me to address his commentary because of the utter hypocrisy oozing out of it.
This is what Moore wrote:
Perhaps the most important role of media in a free society is to bring transparency to those intending to influence the political process.
Honestly, I’m outraged that Bob Moore would utter those words, much less put them to paper.
For over a year Stephanie Townsend Allala has been fighting to get Steve Ortega to release city-business emails in his possession under the Texas Public Information laws. This is a battle that is still ongoing in the courts and many expect it to end up at the Texas Supreme Court before long.
The facts not in dispute are that Steve Ortega has acknowledge that he has emails in his possession that are related to city business. Ortega is also currently contesting, in court, the release of those emails into the public domain. Moreover, those emails were created by Steve Ortega when he was an elected government official.
Let us take another look at Moore’s statement; “the most important role of media…is to bring transparency to those intending to influence the political process”.
By all possible definitions, Steve Ortega is refusing to release emails that involve individuals that clearly influenced the political process for the ballpark fiasco. There is no ambiguity there.
So what has Bob Moore done in response to Steve Ortega’s refusal to release city related emails in his possession?
In fact, some would argue that Bob Moore’s silence on the issue is supportive of Ortega’s refusal to release government records in his possession. So much for transparency with those in a position to influence the political process.
So, I have a simple question for Bob Moore; exactly where is the difference in his newspaper’s role in bringing transparency to those influencing the political process between Paul Foster and Steve Ortega?
Never mind, I’m sure I won’t be getting an answer from Bob Moore because in order for him to answer my very simple question his paper “must try” to be transparent when it comes to holding all those who have influence over the political process equally.
He can’t afford to because he’s already lost too many subscribers and the money from the building he conveniently sold to Steve Ortega and cohorts is quickly running out.