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Texas Tribune Higher Ed Coverage Called into Question

By Daniel Greer | 3 years ago

We’ve written previously about the severely slanted coverage of higher education by Evan Smith’s Texas Tribune describing the newsman’s treatment of the subject as “journo-nuclear.” University of Texas internal emails strongly suggest the Tribune coverage was tainted.

Emails obtained by AgendaWise from the Office of President Bill Powers indicate Reeve Hamilton, Smith’s go-to writer on their recent UT higher ed campaign, was identified as “a potential ally” by Vice President for Public Affairs Don Hale.

Hale, during the email exchange, was working to convince Powers to accept an interview on short notice. Powers acquiesced and since then, Reeve Hamilton has been the equivalent of a communications director for the anti-Board of Regents, anti-Rick O’Donnell, anti-transparency UT establishment.

Not only does the email from Hale taint the Texas Tribune’s coverage, but it shows that Powers is not a neutral facilitator between the UT establishment and the Board of Regents.

The UT establishment is up in arms, via the Tribune and other friendly sources, over an internal audit, ordered by the Board of Regents, to determine the quality of teaching, research, and money-spending at UT. Currently, there is little to no accountability and transparency.

With the Texas Tribune’s help, the UT establishment has directed focus away from sound accountability measures and onto the writings of Rick O’Donnell. The UT establishment has made it clear it wants nobody looking into their practices or their accounting books.

Don Hale emails to President Powers office