As many of you know, the El Paso Times has been focused on Larry Romero and his questionable activities as a city representative. The local newspaper has gone so far as to publish an editorial asking for Romero to step down. You likely know that I am not fan of Bob Moore’s brand of journalism but the fact remains that the paper’s focus on Larry Romero is good for the community. Unfortunately, it is a selective type of journalism where certain individuals are focused upon while others are ignored.

I like to point out problems via facts. Today, we know, for a fact, that the El Paso Children’s Hospital has been a financial drain on the taxpayers. We also know that it is the taxpayers that are footing the bill for the second attempt at identifying a viable business model for the children’s hospital.

However you may feel about the children’s hospital, I believe it is fair to state that everyone would like to have the best possible individuals on the reconstituted children’s hospital board to ensure that it is successful this time around. The children’s board has been criticized for the way it handled the bankruptcy.

We can also assume that El Paso has many individuals, likely hundreds, if not thousands, that have expertise in large budgets, medical establishments and willingness to serve the community on an important board, such as the El Paso Children’s Hospital.

I just cannot believe that in a city with a population of about 674,000 (2013) that one of the four candidates appointed by the UMC board to serve on the children’s board is the best that could be found.

Many of you might remember that current UMC board member, Miguel Fernandez, was arrested on September 17, 2015 for driving while intoxicated. Fernandez has faced at least two other cases in El Paso for traffic violations that were at least classified as misdemeanors. In the DWI case (20150C10245), Fernandez has contracted criminal defense attorney Joe Spencer to defend him in the DWI case.

Yes, I know that everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence. However, in this case, he is still serving as a UMC board member only to be given additional responsibilities with the reconstituted board of the El Paso Children’s Hospital, while facing criminal charges.

Is it really possible that in El Paso there are no other candidates able to serve in this capacity?

Of course it makes more sense understanding this when you notice that the local newspaper, the El Paso Times, publishes an editorial on December 2, 2015 congratulating the UMC board for putting “forward four strong nominees to serve on the El Paso Children’s Hospital board.”

Although the El Paso Times tacitly acknowledges that it leases office space from Miguel Fernandez, there is still the question of why the El Paso Times does not bother to point out the arrest or question the appointment.

A frequent reader recently commented that anyone else with a DWI would have been “Romeroed” by the El Paso Times. Obviously the reader is alluding to the significant amount of effort that the El Paso Times has put into Larry Romero while ignoring the $22 million gaff and the DWI arrest of an appointee to the children’s board.

As I frequently point out, the El Paso Times selectively targets individuals to scrutinize while ignoring others. Maybe Larry Romero should have given Bob Moore some office space to avoid being scrutinized by the paper for his activities.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

4 replies on “Selective Coverage by the El Paso Times”

  1. This is the way it really is, selective reporting. I say that because I read in the Letter to the Editor section of the Times a letter saying that we should be proud off the Times and it’s brilliant investigative report. Either the writer owns stock or has been drinking some of the new and recycled toilet water.

    This has become a major story to get Romero out of office and to distract the public from the UMNC fiasco with an admitted act of fraud. Now that’s a story that needs more scrunity. Isn’t it odd that was no follow up about how local Federal officials were talking with various agencies to give consideration before levying penalties and prosecution. Because it would harm the hospital and the budget. The Times wrote it I didn’t. So where’s the story there ? Why has the contiuniting leakage of money not news? The guy that was dragged through the mud and kicked in the rear by county royalty was suceedly given a raise. Where’s that story ? Why was it such a high priority to have clinics throughtout the city, competing with Wal Green, Wal Mart for property and most construction. For the children ? Even though it was reported that it would never work. Why did they proceed anyway? Was it stupidity, did someone benefit financially or self interest? None of the questions are being answered.

    What we have is a media that is controlled and used to keep people in line when they stop playing the game. Not saying Romero is guilty or not, only that the other major scandal is being ignored. What is amazing is that the same people from the other county scandal are screaming the loudest, passing out torches, pitch folks and are very outraged at the questionable behavior. Guess it is distraction or they threw the mirrors away.

    We are being governed by the most incompetent people or the shadiest. So why are all of them still in office and being re-elected? Perhaps the stupidity has spread via the stupidity virus or too much recycled toilet water. Or is the region so in disarray that it ignores the shady conduct?

    Elections season is coming up, now is the time to ask the candidates really tough questions. Now is the time to follow your own judgement when voting. Now is the time to get out and vote. Now is the time for nonprofits to stop giving out phony awards to keep the grants flowing in. Now is the time to force all of them to report every gratuity they are only offered but accepted. No more free box seats, special parking while on personal business. No more special justice.

    We are a critical point in El Paso, either we clean up the politics now while we have momentum or we ignore everything thus sending the signal that’s ok to do whatever they want.

  2. I agree the El Paso Times is selective about who they champion and who they attack. Larry Romero is getting deserved scrutiny but it is outrageous that the Times puts Fernandez’s police photo on their front page and then as if to apologize… FAILS to question his EPCH Board selection. Why wouldn’t they point out the irony in the appointment of a man arrested for DWI and the millions EPCH has charged for treating children injured in drunk driving car crashes. Yes due process must be served but after all it’s El Paso- those with resources get off and those who don’t go to jail. At the end of the day, EPPD did their job. They removed a man from our streets who got behind the wheel DRUNK and could have ENDANGERED lives. Why isn’t anyone going to question this man’s LACK OF JUDGEMENT? He has the money to call a cab or uber. It is the El Paso Times RESPONSIBILITY to pose the question. Not to “suck up” to yet another entitled city power broker like Fernandez. He deserves the same treatment Romero gets.

  3. Still not a word about the county, hospital, city hall meetings manipulations and the admission of committing fraud nor the millions that are leaking.

    However there is a full court press about Romero. Why is that ?

    The outside investigator will be here soon. While he is here he should develop real ethic rules and teeth for enforcement. Obviously, the city and county like that way. Don’t ask, don’t tell. My only concern is that the investigator missed the important point that Cook admitted that he voted for the partners benefits because to vote no would be a vote against his daughter, Children and then boyfriend. My apologies to his daughter but it is important.

    The Times editorial didn’t miss a beat trying to slide some bs past the readers. They pointed out that Ordaz asked for the investigation. Really ? If there is so much concern for ethics why didn’t she ask for an investigation when she was receiving plays from Spencer Fake, his puppet and sleazy con. The one that he and Ordaz have pledged their love.

    We don’t even have an Etics Board and the rules are written as to prevent any enforcement. Oh, another human error? MRS Firth, that was good but the whole council is a series of errors. They are overwhelmed with having to lead or formulate policy. They lead via development of pet projects. City/County = Toys R Us.

    They are either the most stupid people or the most shadiness. Either is grounds for termination. So why are they still in office or being re-elected ? They protect one another to maintain that stranglehold on the region. Even more stupid are the people in the region. They allow it to continue. Don’t vote, drone vote, too lazy.

    We get what we deserve !!

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