Something politically important happened yesterday at city hall but if you read the El Paso Times you won’t know about it. That is because Bob Moore selectively targets certain politicos, like Larry Romero and certain officials like Tommy Gonzalez, but protects others like Claudia Ordaz. It doesn’t matter what you believe about the Jose Landeros issue – whether it is a political ploy or an ethics problem – because the fact remains that the El Paso Times has chosen to keep its readers in the dark about it.
Here is what happened.
In an unusual move, Michiel Noe moved the reappointment of Jose Landeros to the City Planning Commission out of the consent agenda into the regular agenda yesterday. Historically, board appointments are voted in the consent agenda and very rarely is a board appointment moved out of the consent agenda. Much less frequently is a board appointment rejected by the city council. It is so rare that I can only remember two, or three appointments becoming controversial in the last five years. The other controversial appointment that I remember was Michiel Noe’s attempt to appoint Jaime Abeytia to the Hispanic Cultural Center Subcommittee last year. Noe removed the appointment request after I had pointed it out on my blog. Which is probably the reason Jaime Abytia is bellyaching about the Landeros appointment today. But I digress.
However, you look at it, the rejection by city council on a five-to-two vote, Limon and Ordaz being the only two votes in favor of the appointment of Jose Landers is politically newsworthy, important to the community and so rare that the context behind the rejection is important to know.
This is what the El Paso Times reported.
Sneaked in after the article about underage drinking, reporter, Elida S. Perez put in the following blurb about Landeros.
“The City Council denied reappointing Jose Landeros, who works for County Commissioner Vince Perez, to the City Planning Commission. City Rep. Claudia Ordaz made the nomination. Ordaz and Perez are engaged.” That’s it, that is all the local newspaper saw worthy to inform you about.
The first question you should ask yourself is whether the rejection of the appointment is newsworthy. Of course it is by the mere fact that the El Paso Times had a blurb about it in the “in other actions” section of the article it posted about underage drinking.
But more importantly, did you notice the lack of context? There are only two reasons that there is no context to the rejection of the appointment. Either the reporter, Perez, has no understanding of the background behind Landeros and Ordaz, or the reporter was ordered not to report on the controversial appointment. I have written numerous posts detailing the lack of journalistic ethics that Bob Moore routinely demonstrates. Moore is in the position to limit what the reporter reports on.
The important context, ignore by the paper, is the fact that Jose Landeros sat in city council chambers and coached Claudia Ordaz during a city council meeting via text messages.
Because reporting the text messages to the readership casts Claudia Ordaz in a negative light, the El Paso Times has chosen to ignore anything related to that episode. However, in sharp contrast, the El Paso Times has written numerous articles demanding the removal of Tommy Gonzalez as the city’s second city manager, although, as of today, no wrong doing by Gonzalez has been proven by the city’s ethics investigators, or by any law enforcement agency.
Yet, not a peep by the El Paso Times has been uttered in regards to Claudia Ordaz’ controversial text messaging between her and Jose Landeros. In the best light possible, the text messaging was inappropriate by a city official and at worst it was highly unethical. However, in Bob Moore’s world it merits keeping you in the dark about it.
This is the story that Bob Moore refuses to publish.