“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Globe-News misrepresents journalists

Rarely does Amarillo see the kind of journalism that Kevin Welch gave the community this past weekend.

Welch went into the field to investigate as best he could Victor Leal’s claimed Potter County residency in his quest for the District 87 seat in the Texas House of Representatives. From the moment Leal declared his candidacy, his recent move to the Belpree street address raised questions; and, while Leal has done nothing illegal, those questions have yet to be answered directly by the candidate.

Welch’s employer, the Amarillo Globe-News, published the piece in Saturday’s paper, one of the least-read days of the week. The disservice to Welch and his hard work and the disservice to the public are in keeping with the corporate-owned daily’s approach to existing for money instead of the community. After all, publishing a story that raises questions about an advertiser or potential advertiser doesn’t fit into the Augusta, Georgia-owned paper’s business plan.

Of course, the story, especially when ProNews 7’s Jay Ricci and Mitch Roberts pressed Leal on the residency issue, prompted Rep. David Swinford to defend Leal and bash Welch.

The Indy can understand Swinford’s ire. It wasn’t the usual puff piece pandering to his political career.

But the Globe-News ran a picture with the story with a caption describing those gathering around Leal as supporters. The heads of two of the people were not in the pictures, but Billy Loftin of ProNews 7 was easy to identify. The two others with their heads not in the frame were an intern with the Indy and the publisher, wearing his telltale yellow jacket. Therefore, three of the four people around Leal in the photo were journalists and it was totally inappropriate for the shrinking daily to characterize other journalists in any way.

Further, the publisher of the paper, Les Simpson, has not only failed to honor a request for a correction but has also not answered an e-mail emphasizing the need for accuracy.

That pretty much says it all for Simpson.