Thursday, March 30, 2006
The Houston Chronicle - Still rooting against Tom Delay
Today The Houston Chronicle ran a D.C.-based story about comments NASA Administrator Mike Griffin made five days ago in Houston at an event with Congressman DeLay and the space community. The news? That the Chronicle was investigating whether or not Griffin’s praise of DeLay could be construed as an endorsement – a claim that, according to their story and ones that have followed from other news outlets – no one but the Chronicle was making.
According to the Chronicle story, Griffin made the following remarks at the dinner after being introduced by DeLay: “The space program has had no better friend in its entire existence than Tom DeLay,” Griffin said Friday of DeLay’s legislative support of the agency. "He's still with us and we need to keep him there.”
In the above line, the reporter clearly writes that Griffin made the comments in regard to DeLay’s legislative support. But the Chronicle then switches gears, claiming that Griffin’s next lines were an endorsement. Of DeLay’s legislative
accomplishments and goals? Yes. Of his political campaign? Only if you ask the Chronicle.
The Chronicle story mentions no complaints about any comments registered by any outside organization or individuals. In their never-ending quest to write negative stories about the leaders and issues that impact Houston the most, the Chronicle’s inaccurate interpretation of comments may now lead to an unnecessary investigation of the man who oversees the industry that’s responsible for the employment of more than 17,000 people in Clear Lake and contributes $2.4 billion to the local economy. We’d probably get better press from our competitors in China.
The Chronicle once again is rooting against the home team and undermining the work that many Houston area representatives have put into developing a strong relationship with the leadership at NASA. They went out of their way to go after Administrator Griffin and criticize his comments, when no one from NASA, DeLay’s office, or anywhere else was even touting it as an endorsement. The people of Houston have to apologize for our shoddy newspaper time and again, but this one could have a real impact on JSC and our space community.
And the most obvious question – a Chronicle reporter covered the event last week, yet they didn’t find Griffin’s comments newsworthy enough to report at the time. If they perceived this to be an endorsement, why didn’t they write about it in the first place instead of waiting five days to make a political accusation?
Skipping Out on the Real News Impacting JSC
The real news here isn’t what the Chronicle arbitrarily considers an endorsement, but why Griffin was in town and the actions behind those kind words. What the Chronicle refuses to report is in the last few years alone, DeLay has worked to:
1.) Secure full funding for NASA by refusing to bring any legislation to the floor that would delay the Shuttle program;
2.) Serve on the reorganized appropriations subcommittee that handles NASA
3.) Lead the way for the drafting of a new NASA Authorization that puts the president’s Vision into law;
4.) Help secure an additional $3.1 billion to keep the
president’s vision for space exploration on track and on time.
The Bottom Line
If The Houston Chronicle would spend more time reporting the positive news impacting JSC and the NASA community, and less time trying to sabotage NASA’s proponents and leaders, the better off the Houston-area and our space program would be.
In the above line, the reporter clearly writes that Griffin made the comments in regard to DeLay’s legislative support. But the Chronicle then switches gears, claiming that Griffin’s next lines were an endorsement. Of DeLay’s legislative accomplishments and goals? Yes. Of his political campaign? Only if you ask the Chronicle.
As I mentioned on my blog, why can't Griffin's comment be both a statement of appreciation for past legislative deeds and an endorsement? I stated on my blog that I interpret Griffin's statement as essentially saying:
"DeLay has provided a lot of legislative support for NASA, therefore we should re-elect him."
Do you see it differently?
I think the Chronicle is making much ado about nothing. That same article also mentioned an "investigation" of the Hatch Act.
It takes 2 minutes to call and find out that Griffin is a SES appointment. In the same time it took them to write that sentence, they could have fact checked the Hatch act implications. But then they wouldn't be able to write another smear story about Delay.
I think the whole Hatch Act issue revolves around whether or not Griffin was speaking before the Rotary Club in his official capacity. Even if there is a violation, it is minor. Don't expect Griffin to be removed from office.
It doesn't take an investigation to figure that out.
I agree that Griffin probably won't be removed, but it's a continuing attempt, in my opinion, by the MSM to splash mud on anyone associated with Delay in an attempt to influence the election.
I still think Delay takes it in November, handily, even if he is running against 3 opponents.
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