Sunday, December 18, 2005

Rick Casey, "Facts" apologist

The Houston daily's city columnist, Rick Casey, has ridden to the rescue of the Clute daily for its role in the Christmas-time hoodwinkery that's been been going on.

Casey doesn't take the Clute daily to task, though. He essentially gives them a pat on the back for the whole mess.

Let's recap: "The Facts" for years published stories at Christmas-time that were supplied by Childrens Protective Services to raise money for kids in foster care. A TV reporter, Dan Lauck of Channel 11, found out one story, and possibly many others, were phony. The paper stopped publishing the stories and then ran its own story explaining how the hoodwinkery came to pass.

We here at The Brazosport News took the local paper to task, saying they shouldn't have ceded control of their editorial pages to a government agency even if it was for a good cause, and that the proper way to handle the job was to assign an employee to put the stories together.

A guy at The Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank, essentially agreed with us.

And Bill Cornwell, the publisher of the local paper, "The Facts," essentially agreed with us when he told Rick Casey, "We didn't run as tight a ship as we should have journalistically."

Cornwell, predictably, went to the "we have a small staff" card in trying to rationalize why the local paper would fob off the grunt work involved in pulling off the Christmas-time charity stories series (which have been going on more 20 years).

That's what the newspapers always do when they come up short; they just say, "We have a small staff." (I think that's why the Chron isn't covering the war in Iraq, but I haven't heard officially yet after asking their reader representative why they didn't have a reporter over there.)

Anyhow, Casey essentially lauds "The Facts" for coming clean, even though it took a TV reporter to really get the ball rolling in the first place.

Then he wraps it all up by referring to "chest-beating bloggers."

I don't know if that's meant for me, but if it is, he can kiss both sides of my dimpled ass.

We make no apologies for saying "The Facts" screwed up by turning over their news pages to a government agency when they should have been writing these stories themselves. I don't care how big their staff is. They could have hired somebody on a one or two month contract to do it, and probably gotten away with paying them minimum wage for the task. Instead, they decided to do it the real cheap way. As a result, the newspaper and the charity program and CPS have suffered for it.


1 comment:

JD Allen said...

I wish I could claim to be a blogger that outed the Facts on this, but my chest is bruised already.

As for Casey, well, he isn't REALLY from San Antonio, is he?