Thursday, May 21, 2009

When journalism and politics mix

The objectiveness fades.

From the Express-News, which is losing one of its own to the mayor of San Antonio.

San Antonio Express-News metro columnist Jaime Castillo has taken a job in the administration of Mayor Julián Castro as director of communications and senior policy analyst.

Castillo will join a team led by Robbie Greenblum, a local attorney who has agreed to serve as the new mayor's chief of staff. Jed Maebius, an aide to outgoing Mayor Phil Hardberger, will stay on as a liaison to the City Council.

Hardberger's chief of staff, Larry Zinn, has agreed to work with Castro as an unpaid adviser on policy issues, including a major decision facing the city on whether to expand its use of nuclear energy, but will not stay on in a full-time capacity.

Castro said he asked Castillo to be part of the team because of his knowledge of city issues and his solid reputation in the community.

Interesting. It wasn't so long ago that Castillo wrote this of the mayor's race (which Julian Castro won, by the way):
She was followed on the air by opponent Diane Cibrian, who criticized perceived front-runner Julián Castro for accepting “undisclosed, unreported, secret money from the unions.” [emphasis added]
"Perceived" by whom? The press?

And then there's this:
By every measure, Julián Castro has to be considered the pole sitter. He's been more disciplined and polished than four years ago, more dogged in winning business support and more successful at raising campaign cash.
Arguably, this is a good characterization of Castro. But it sticks out a little when the journalist who wrote it accepts a job offer from the same politician less than a month later.

And then there's this, posted just 11 days ago:

In the end, what some called an uninspiring campaign by Castro turned out to be the smart campaign.

In 2005, he brandished a youthful aggressiveness by trying to be the candidate to do everything first.

This time, he painstakingly courted and won members of the business community who opposed him in wholesale fashion four years before.

And, despite carrying the most campaign cash, Castro's team even rationed its TV ads until very late in the campaign season.

“I think it speaks to his four-year organizing effort — lots of shoe leather and schmoozing,” Miller said.

It also speaks to a young man who learned that patience can be a good thing. [emphases added]

Politics. Journalism.


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