A double standard of major proportions is quite evident among the members of Amarillo's media circuit.
In 2015, three new members were elected to the Amarillo City Council. Elisha Demerson, Randy Burkett and Mark Nair served the people of Amarillo for two years and ruffled the feathers of some within the Amarillo establishment at that time. The three councilmen were consistently attacked, mocked and slandered daily by certain members of the media.
For small reasons, the three councilmembers would see their pictures on the websites, the television stations and the newspapers in Amarillo. In each of these cases, it was not because the three councilmembers broke the law, but rather the media coverage were slam pieces designed by a group of media elites who were unhappy with the three councilmen.
Fast forward to 2017, an entire new City Council was elected in Amarillo. The five members of the Council have made many changes in Amarillo, often to great fanfare and applause in the media. The main issue is what happens with potential issues regarding councilmembers.
On two separate occasions, three members of the City Council have potentially violated the state's law regarding open meetings. Another councilmember used campaign contributions to pay her own businesses. On another occasion, one member of the City Council voted for a tax deal that could potentially benefit her business partners.
Were any of these instances law violations by the City Council? Not necessarily.
The issue is the fact that the members of the current City Council have received a free pass versus the treatment of the previous City Council. While certain media figures, on television and in print, used their platforms for daily attacks on the previous Council, they have been eerily silent for this current Council. There has not been so much as a whisper of concern on any actions by the current Council from the columnists, "investigative journalists" and other media figures in Amarillo.
Amarillo's media needs to examine itself and decide whether it wants to be taken seriously as a independent, unbiased news source, or whether it is happy being seen as a slanted institution.
As the media has these current troubles, the Amarillo Pioneer plans to continue bringing you news that offers both sides of the issue. That's the way journalism should be.
-Thomas Warren III, Editor-In-Chief