The Paper Tiger Rides Again – Mineola Chamber Edition

Originally posted on August 14, 2014 @ 2:00 pm

You might have read the article in the Mineola paper about the Executive Director of the Mineola Chamber of Commerce and the events leading up to this week’s bombshell exposé piece. Chances are you heard about it months ago like everyone else did. Word travels fast in these parts, often with pinpoint accuracy.

Mineola Chamber of Commerce

Mineola Chamber of Commerce

I couldn’t help but wonder exactly what purpose this article serves. The Chamber has a duty to keep its members apprised of such events, which it can do in seconds with an email to their membership list. In a chat with Chamber President, Jason Ray, I was told that the Chamber got wind of an upcoming article, and he was appointed by the board to conduct the interview with the paper in the name of getting (at least some of) the facts out correctly regarding this case. Again, couldn’t that have been done in a simple and direct email to the membership? The Chamber has no duty to the public here, only to its members.

A talk with Captain Joyce Box of the Mineola Police Dept. gained me the knowledge that the police  are awaiting the decision of the Chamber of Commerce on whether or not a complaint will be filed in this case. According to the article, the money has been paid back. Capt. Box also was agreeable that it is not usual for the material facts in a case like this to be made public before a police investigation occurs or is complete.

All of this leads me to believe that this public outing, complete with lots of details, was done for no other reason than to publicly shame someone. Is this what we are about in this town? Are we willing to let this go as long as we can first exact a pound of flesh?

Our local newspaper has a long history of selective editing:

  • Remember when Mayor Bo Whitus and Warren Brown wanted to flatten EZ Mart and make a parking lot? That barely got covered by the paper.
  • What about the case of the MISD teacher having a sexual affair with a student? Sure, they covered that, but when the police report (AB) became public, they refused to print it. That police report suggested in multiple places that the principal of MHS (also the husband of the accused teacher) had previous knowledge of this affair and did nothing. This information was apparently not news worthy to our local paper.
  • Local doctor gets DWI – FRONT PAGE NEWS

Now this, this apparent front page witch hunt that seems to have no point other than to smear or shame. I’m not trying to stick up for anyone here or deny that what is alleged to have happened actually happened. My issue is with this public flogging before all of the material facts are even available. No audit has been done and it looks like one probably will not be done.

To come out publicly with this information at this point is to only increase and perpetuate the gossip campaign that has already embraced Mineola over the past few months.

The local newspaper is not the place to conduct a public trial. It is, perhaps, the perfect place to exercise one’s issues with progress and possibly get a few pats on the back come Sunday morning.

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