Boondoggle Blog Deleted

Posted in Commentary at 9:31 pm by wcnews

It appears that Sal Costello went too far in telling the truth on his Statesman blog and they made the decision to pull the plug. They have deleted his entire blog. So much for the Statesman’s trip into the self-editing, self-correcting world of the blogs. Sal even tried taking out some of his more incendiary remarks but even that wasn’t good enough for the Statesman. Here’s some of what Sal has to say:

The Statesman first deleted the Mike Heilgenstein (Toll Authority Executive Director) article earlier in the week. I called Tim Lott, assistant managing editor and asked why it was deleted. He told me they didn’t like “the tone”.

I asked to see the rules. The Statesman had no rules to show me. Tim Lott said it was subjective.

Knowing that the Statesman.com blog was on their site, I respectfully promised to alter the tone of all future articles. I altered the Heilgenstein article accordingly and reposted it.

Mr. Lott, was pleased with the words like “crook” and “deadbeat dad” removed. The article focuses on an unelected persons character (Heilgenstein), who have a part in tolling publicly funded freeways here in Austin for the first time in our country.

He then told me to remove the portion of my blog article that reported Anne Heilgenstein filed the petitions for Divorce and Child Support. Tim Lott had suggested he spoke with the Heilgensteins, who had called and complained. They told him both petitions were filed jointly and that Heilgenstein was not forced to pay. I called the Williamson District County Clerk 943-1212 (case number 03-556-f395) to confirm. I confirmed my report was correct and both petitions were filed by Anne. I also faxed the district court documents I had for weeks to Mr. Lott. I then called Tim Lott back about the court confirmation and he seemed pleased that my facts were confirmed.

Within 2 hours the Statesman deleted the whole blog. Tim Lott left me a voice mail saying “Your blog was not in the best interest of the newspaper”.

As Dembones pointed out below, and as Sal goes on to point out later in his post, the Statesman is not doing well. It has a monopoly in Austin, as far as daily papers go, but it is becoming more and more biased. Whether it’s Gardener Selby’s political columns, or Ben Wear and the Statesman’s lack of critical or investigative reporting on the corruption involved in the toll road projects in Central Texas, they are sorely lacking in giving the people what they want and need to make informed decisions. That is why readership and subscribers are down. I can read wire reports and articles anywhere on the internet and the SCLM is everywhere to be found. Give me something I can’t find anywhere else.

What they can’t get anywhere else is what Sal and other blogs are providing. That is why this action makes it pretty obvious that what the Boondoggle Blog was doing was something the Statesman wasn’t and therefore had to go, be deleted. It was shining a light on their inadequacies. So go on over to The Muckraker and you can see what once were able to get at The Boondoggle Blog.

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