As I like to point out, nothing changes in El Paso. The controversies and the inept news media remain exactly as they did almost two decades ago. Sadly, the stupidity of the news media isn’t limited to El Paso as many news outlets carried news reports of aliens in New Mexico. It started with the closure of the National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico. Not to be left behind, the El Paso Times through Aaron Martinez jumped right in.
KVIA’s report by Jose Corral is how news with few details should be provided to the public. The September 16, 2018 news report by Corral provided the facts. The report stated that the observatory was closed because of an “investigation involving a suspect” who officials believed “posed a threat to the safety of staff and residents” who lived nearby.
KVIA made no mention of conspiracy theories posted on social media involving aliens and mercury.
But the tabloid known as the El Paso Times, through Aaron Martinez needed to fill copy space so they published a whole article about how no one knew why the observatory closed but that many on social media were talking about aliens and other conspiracies. Had Martinez stopped there it would have been good.
But no, the El Paso Times had to delve into alien conspiracies fueled by the 1947 Roswell incident.
Martinez quoted a Twitter user who wrote that “they found extra terrestrials [sic]”. [Sunspot Observatory closure is over, but mystery, conspiracy theories remain; El Paso Times; Martinez, Aaron; September 18, 2018]
Since when is a Twitter post news?
But Martinez wasn’t finished.
Martinez doubled down on Twitter by quoting another tweet saying that the closure was due to “a Mercury spill or breach.”
In other words, when the FBI and other officials wouldn’t provide specifics, the El Paso Times and Aaron Martinez thought they’d report the news by using Twitter posts as sources.
Typical for the El Paso news media.
What happened was not an alien invasion but simply a criminal investigation into child porn. According to real news source – not the El Paso Times – a janitor at the facility has been accused of downloading and distributing child porn at the observatory. It makes sense since a government funded scientific facility has super fast internet giving the child porn criminal faster access to their criminal activity.
We also found out that the secrecy was needed as to not tip of the criminal while also protecting the employees from the suspect who acted “erratic” once they realized that their criminality was about to be exposed.
It was a simple criminal case, but Aaron Martinez and the El Paso Times wanted to make it about aliens and chemical spills.
Unfortunately for El Pasoans, although KVIA did a good job about the solar observatory, they completed failed their audience about The Trump Wall.
On Wednesday, September 19, KVIA ran a piece about the Border Patrol working on the border fence in the Chihuahuita community. Their whole news report was based on a Border Patrol news release.
The problem with the KVIA report is that it is factually incorrect.
It stated that the Border Patrol is set to begin construction of “the El Paso border wall.”
There is no wall.
The wall on the southern border has been controversial since Donald Trump was elected. The wall is a cornerstone of his political platform. It is highly contentious.
The fact is that Congress has not allocated any money to build the wall. But for political purposes, the Trump Administration and the Border Patrol has been labeling work on the border fence as The Wall.
Congress allocated money to repair the border fence and to add new fencing in previously identified border fence work that needed to be completed.
There is a big difference between a fence that has been part of the border for years and Donald Trump’s wall.
KTSM also reported the same Border Patrol press release, but unlike KVIA, KTSM was clear to state that there is no funding for the wall. The work will be fence work.
What KVIA ran – which was just a re-digested Border Patrol news release – leaves the impression that Trump’s Wall is being built. It is not.
News viewers want facts for news, whether they support building the Trump wall or are against it. Those who want the wall now mistakenly believe that Donald Trump delivered on a core promise. Those who are against the wall now believe that the battle has been lost.
All because KVIA was too lazy, incompetent, or both to get the facts correct.