I'm going to guess not many of you invested the time yesterday to read Marty Schladen's unnecessarily wordy attempt to slander Paul Foster and Woody Hunt. Schladen spent 1,900 words trying to paint Foster and Hunt as boogie men in the political house of horrors even though the title suggests he would be giving a lawyer from Houston that treatment. If you were left confused by the whole effort, it’s okay – everyone else was just as confused as you were.
First of all, Schladen could have pared down the piece to the following statement:
A Houston lawyer gave a tremendous amount of money to a couple of candidates in El Paso for the recent primary election. It’s okay that he did this because the lawyer is a self-professed Democrat and he speaks for the “working people.”
You know who sucks and gives a lot of money? Paul Foster and Woody Hunt. Their giving is much less than the Houston lawyer’s giving, but they suck because they are rumored to be Republicans… even though they give money almost exclusively to Democrats in El Paso.
In conclusion – screw the Republicans for doing what the Democrats do. Kudos to the Democrats for everything they do, at least they aren’t Republicans.
Look, I get what the El Paso Times is doing here. Bob Moore has been absolutely beaten to a pulp over his coverage of the ballpark. The parent company of the El Paso Times stood to make some dough when the city offered to buy their building. Even though nothing illegal took place a small, but vocal group of whiners decided to make a federal case of it.
Moore had to sit on his hands until the construction of the stadium was well down the road and then he could go about trying to win back the whiners. All he had to do was let his reporters start beating up Foster and Hunt. The only problem is that neither Foster nor Hunt has done anything wrong. Moore basically has to throw out the book on journalistic ethics and let his staff slander the city’s two biggest supporters. It’s absolutely painful to watch.
What Moore needs to understand is that you don’t balance your coverage by heading to opposite side of the seesaw. Balance is achieved by never leaving the middle.
Moore found a perfect partner for his crimes against Foster and Hunt in Marty Schladen who is an unabashed liberal trying to make a name for himself in Austin so he can get a better job. Schladen has been absolved of all responsibility as a journalist to the point that Bob Moore let him call Woody Hunt a “home builder.” Why didn’t he write that Paul Foster was an owner of a gas station?
Lucky for Bob Moore, Hunt and Foster don’t care to sue him into unemployment. In fact, I hear they don’t even care to read the negative stuff and instead keep leading the effort to increase the number of possible El Paso Times subscribers (by making El Paso a destination) along with the income of current subscribers who might use that cash to buy something from their advertisers.
If I were the El Paso Times with things being so tough for the print industry right now, I’d stop poking the people with all the money in the eye with my stick. Especially when it’s unwarranted.
I’d love to get into an in-depth analysis of Marty Schladen’s inept attempt at journalism, but I just don’t have the time. I will point out a few things.
Using Schladen’s own numbers you can see that this Mostyn character, and interests he controls, spent $400,000 on two races in El Paso. For some reason Schladen decides to mention that Foster and Hunt spent at total of $18,000 in those races. Not even one tenth of what Mostyn gave. Why Hunt and Foster would be drawn into the story with an incomparable amount of spending is beyond anything a logical person can conjure up.
I had to put together what Schladen was getting at by going back to the beginning to the defamatory piece where Schladen tries to validate Mostyn’s spending on races in El Paso by mentioning the Koch brothers and a meeting Paul Foster didn’t attend. You see, Schladen is trying to equate something Paul Foster didn’t do with something we have direct evidence of happening. It’s mind boggling to think an editor would let this by. But.... we know that Bob Moore is trying to balance out his coverage.
Even if Foster was at a meeting with the Koch brothers in relation to their “Super PAC” the Koch Charitable Foundation, it’s not relevant to Mostyn’s spending. The Koch’s “Super PAC “ isn’t a “PAC” at all. Schladen is part of a group of journalists who don’t know the difference between a 501(c)(4) and a 527. The Koch Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)(4)
Mostyn is spending money to directly advocate for, or against the election of a candidate. The Koch Charitable Foundation – the “Super PAC” that is not a PAC at all – is a nonprofit organization barred from engaging in direct advocacy. The only thing they can do is run issue ads. They can plead with congress to push a bill through or block one from become law. They can’t play in the game Mostyn is playing, which is direct advocacy.
For Schladen to even mention Foster’s non-involvement in the Koch’s 501(c)(4) in this article is ridiculous and proves he’s either stupid or purposely crapping on journalistic ethics to crap on Paul Foster. Mentioning the Koch foundation in the same article as Mostyn’s antics is like asking why the Cowboys couldn’t beat the Redskins using some last minute free throws.
And since we are still convicting Foster of doing anything he doesn’t deny, just where was he on November 22, 1963 around noon? Until he can prove he wasn’t in Dallas he’s a suspect in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. And I don’t give a shit if he was only five – he hasn’t PROVEN we wasn’t involved.
While Schladen does his best to dump the sins of Mostyn onto El Paso’s two nicest guys, readers pick up on a few things that are glaringly obvious.
Schladen writes in his own words that the Mostyn's “differ from many conservative donors in the sense that their donations are not self-interested.” Remember – his own words. That’s not a quote from the Mostyns. Schladen believes that the Mostyn’s are giving all of this money out of the kindness of their hearts.
Mostyn asserts his desire to completely control the candidates he supports a couple of times:
“Mostyn said he's playing a long game, trying to surround himself with candidates he can count on as Texas turns blue.”
“you can't have good progressive policies if your people are taking their instructions from conservative groups.”
And that’s just the stuff Schladen accidentally let slip into the article. I’m sure the conversation was much more shaded toward Mostyn’s campaign advisor’s admission of ownership that Max Power posted on his blog:
“If you elect good people, you don’t have to spend a shit pile of money lobbying them. So our goal is to elect the right people.” (emphasis added):”
Schladen was trying to paint Hunt and Foster as people who wanted to buy themselves reliable votes, but instead let Mostyn’s own words prove that he’s the guy with nefarious intentions. Remember, Foster and Hunt are just two of probably five political contributors in El Paso that could buy and sell Mostyn in cash… for fun… every week…
Lost on Schladen is that he’s trying to make a guy from Houston who is buying elections in El Paso look like the good guy by contrasting him with two billionaires who don’t even care to buy elections in their own town. How does that square?
The entire article is a mess of Schladen’s attempts to push the ugly deeds of his hero onto the Republicans he personally dislikes. The problem with lying is that nobody is good at it in print. Everyone sees right through what Schladen is trying to do. You don’t profile some financial interloper who spends ten times the money doing the evil things you charge the locals with and have no one notice.
And by the way – the final paragraph where Mostyn speaks of Rove. My God, the guy has no idea why Rove is who he is and what his real strengths were. It’s sad that such misinformed guy is blowing his money in a game he really doesn’t understand.
I guess the fact that nobody really read the article is the little justice I can take with me. Then again, I'm giving it more attention than it would have ever garnered on its own.