Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Lies, damn lies and the Amarillo Globe-News

Not too many years ago, corrections or retractions of articles in a daily newspaper were rare. And less
frequently were legitimate accusations of news stories containing outright lies for propagandizing. In addition, when running either opinion pieces or editorials, facts and some semblance of truth informed the newspapers’ opinions. Somehow in Amarillo, we have fallen far from those standards.

The Sept. 20, 2015 version of the Amarillo Globe-News offers readers two examples that should have never seen the light of day.

The first is the long and winding editorial, about defunding Planned Parenthood and the videos that purported to show that the organization is “hit with a scandal involving the sale of aborted baby parts.”
The editorial continues with this entirely false one-sentence paragraph, “Speaking of the videos, there really is no debate justifying an investigation, not if you look at the videos from a logical and nonpolitical perspective.”

This line is such an outright lie that I don’t care if someone thinks my criticism is discourteous and unseemly The videos made public were from a rabid anti-woman group that secretly recorded and edited content in the worst way possible — to portray the exact opposite of the facts. It isn’t news when it’s done that way. It is fomenting lies based on the kind of propaganda Joseph Goebbels promoted against Jews during World War II. (Yes, I am playing the Nazi card here, because that is how low the Center for Medical Progress and the Globe-News stooped to put out their lies.)

As LauraBassett points out in her Huffington Post piece, a forensic analysis of the videos on which the Globe-News relies “found they are so egregiously manipulated that they would never be accepted as evidence in a court of law.” It is bad enough that the Globe-News is going to conclude those videos are nonpolitical and a logical basis the basis for an investigation. Congress has asked for the full and unaltered videos from the Center for Medical Progress. We’ll have to see what those show and whether the Globe-News will have the ethics and decency to make that information public.

And speaking of ethics, let’s look at our controversial local issue: the downtown development debacle and the upcoming vote about the Wallace Bajjali-Downtown Amarillo Inc.-Amarillo Globe-News ballpark. In a story about DAI’s Facebook page, the Wallace Bajjali-Downtown Amarillo Inc. propaganda rag has this line, “But voters in a Nov. 3 election will decide the fate of the $32-million MPEV.”

That is flat-out incorrect and, given the Globe-News’ position on downtown development and Wallace Bajjali, its publisher’s role in the Wallace Bajjali and Downtown Amarillo Inc., one can only conclude this is misleading on purpose. In other words, it’s a lie. For those interested in facts, the vote is advisory; it’s non-binding on the City Council.

The DAI Facebook, page, by the way, states, “DAI does not take a position on ballot issues and will not provide a forum for any positions.” That is also a lie. DAI has advocated for the Wallace Bajjali plan all along and the entire Facebook effort by this taxpayer-funded organization is advocacy for Wallace Bajjali and the fraudster firm’s plan. The law is clear on who can and can not advocate on a ballot measure and it is possible DAI’s role on Facebook and elsewhere bears investigation by the Texas Ethics Commission. Given what some of the councilors know and will learn more about DAI and Wallace Bajjali, the council may kill of the entire project and DAI no matter the outcome of the Nov. 3 vote.

And, trust me folks, when the community learns more about Wallace Bajjali and DAI, people will applaud the action that the City Council must and will take to end this fraud upon Amarillo. Stick with me on this one, folks. The Amarillo Independent was right in 2010 and is right about Wallace Bajjali and DAI in 2015.

Meanwhile, just like there are lies, damn lies and statistics, there are also lies, damn lies and the Amarillo Globe-News.