Bob Rivard, Editor of the San Antonio Express-News, threatens the Esperanza Center because of my blog
On Friday, October 6, Bob Rivard, the Executive Editor of the San Antonio
Express-News, the only major newspaper in San Antonio, sent an email to
Graciela Sanchez, the director of the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, one
of the most vanguard arts and cultural centers in the country, based in
San Antonio. In this letter, he threatens to deny media coverage to the Center
because of my blog. And while the email has a subject heading titled
"A Private Communication," the CC line includes all the editors
of the newspaper, see below:
CC: "Thacker, Brett"
I am not a staffmember of the Esperanza Center, but a consultant. I've
responded to Graciela Sanchez, explaining that with this letter, Rivard
violates all standards of ethical journalism and shows a tyrannical
disrespect for free speech.
Here is the letter from Rivard in its entirety:
We don't believe reporters here are stating that they are prohibited
from writing about controversial issues. We invite you to provide
further details to support that assertion. If anyone here is saying
such things, we would quickly disabuse them of such a wrong-headed claim.
We publish controversial stories all the time.
On a larger subject, it is hard for us to reconcile the professional
tone of your communication here with the character assassination
offered by Esperanza staff member BRG on her blog. Her only possible sources
for her misstatements of fact and her fantasies are the Esperanza members
who attended the editorial board meeting with you. Do you or any of
the others really believe I was leering at someone's breasts during the
meeting? BRG seems obsessed with her sexual fabulsims involving me.
At least one prominent Latina journalist has confronted her about her
false rumor-mongering in the past. I also am at a loss to understand how
BRG can assert that I undercut Guillermo Garcia in the meeting. Guillermo
and I have been friends and colleagues dating back to our shared days
at the Brownsville Herald nearly 30 years ago. I asked him to account
for his anti-Semitism statement from Rabbi Block and he did so quite
convincingly after consulting his notes, which fully support his
story,which the newspaper stands by.
We have always welcomed you and your colleagues
to the Express-News,and we would like to maintain
a professionalrelationship with you and the
Esperanza.It's unclear to me whether that is