Today reminded me of a quote: "Truth is treason in an empire of lies."
This afternoon, I was at Amarillo City Hall covering Kip Billups' petition drive to get certain issues on a future ballot. While out there, I struck up a conversation with James Schenck and Noah Dawson, a columnist for the Pioneer, was not far behind.
While Billups was gathering signatures, we were approached by a spouse of a local elected official. Long story short, the spouse disputed that Billups was arrested for clapping, said that I publish incorrect information and question the character of his spouse.
I want to address a few things. First, Billups was arrested during a City Council meeting. Call the offense whatever you want, but the charge was Disrupting a Public Meeting. Any logical person watching that video was assume that the offense in question was related to Billups' clapping.
For myself, I really don't know what to say. The elected official in question deserves to be held accountable for every vote that is cast and every action that is taken in their official capacity.
However, once again, lying just isn't my style.
I love working with Amarilloans and when I started this newspaper in 2016, that's exactly what this was. A way for me to observe and report, while doing my public duty and giving back to this community. My goal is to make sure that people are as informed about the key issues of this city as possible.
My goal is making people more informed. Since this is the case, what would be my incentive for lying or spreading false information? No clue.
From the founding of this republic, the job of the free press has been to inform and engage the citizenry. I am humbled and honored to be part of this time-honored tradition. And, just as I said in an editorial from January, "I have a duty to our readers and I intend to fulfill that duty. I will never bow down to the pressures of politicians, government or any other person or group to censor the truth. The truth may not always be pleasant but it is what matters the most."
While this individual was angry about what was written, he had no place to call any of this incorrect. Just because you don't like something does not mean that it is untrue.
So, my promise to you is that I will continue doing what I'm good at: spreading the truth about government and those in power in Amarillo. And I hope that it will inspire you to consider the facts and engage. Just like I have always said, an informed citizenry is the most empowered citizenry.
-Thomas Warren III, Editor-in-Chief