Austin American Snakesman

Statesman endorsed the Austin toll plan on June 27, 2004. Since then they have failed to do any investigative reporting on the corruption of the privtization and tolling of our public highways. They have even deleted a blog on the Statesman.com website that exposed that corruption.

Austin American Snakesman Censors Citizen

In a bold move of censorship, to keep facts from the community, Statesman.com deleted my “Boondoggle Blog” of three months on June 7, 2006.

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”.

The Austin American Statesman circulation, like almost all newspapers in the U.S., has been dropping like a brick for many years. Even ad rates, the statesman other key income, is tied to that deflated circulation.

Desperate for higher circulation, the Statesman endorsed freeway tolls two years ago, in hopes that it would help boost their dwindling income. No city in the country has tolled its freeways. This new tax will cost families thousands of dollars a year to drive roads we’ve already paid for. But the Statesman doesn’t care about our families.

Developers who are pushing the freeway tolls (RECA) promise the Statesman many more customers, many more homes with the double tax freeway toll roads.

The Statesman, now owned by conglomerate Cox Communications, no longer produce investigative reporting for the good of the community, but instead they tip the scales with every article to look out for thier own bottom line.

The CTRMA will start the TxTAG RFID campaign soon. It’s a good bet that the bureaucratic toll authority (CTRMA) will be given a lot of dollars to Statesman for a part of that fat campaign.

This article is part 3 of a 12 part series called “Circle of Parasites”. Freeways have never been tolled in the history of the U.S., but that doesn’t stop a close circle of mostly Williamson County characters with a long history of looking out for themselves at the expense of others.


quincy3 said...

I was reading your blog every week on Statesman.com and noticed it was not there anymore; and just reading your post today on the Muckracker, all to hope for is that the statesman goes bankrupt; for to me they are not a newsworthy paper to read, and have never subscribed to them, and I hope they realize that they will not stop the truth from getting out to the people. keep up the good work.

exposedinternationalists said...

Unfortunately Austin's MAFIA-run rag they erroneously call "the statesman" has been a piece of literary GARBAGE forever. I hope their circulation drops to ZERO and they go down to visit with their TRUE compatriot, LUCIFER!

I received that horrible excuse for a "news"paper in 1980 for a couple of months, when I realized how horribly biased to the TRUTH they were, then I cancelled, and practically had to file a HARRASSMENT lawsuit against them to get them to leave me alone, and stop calling me to get me to re-subscribe...

they are perhaps the worst excuse for a "news" paper I have ever seen in the US, and that is saying quite a bit...don't feel bad, Sal, they are evil, and kharma WILL catch up with them...

TV said...

I read statesman.com from time to time for the business & real estate development news in Austin and to check the weather forecast. But thats just about it. When they started to post headlines of Sal's anti-toll road blog on their main page I was amazed, considering their reputation. I knew it wouldn't last long!!

We should all bombard them with emails voicing our opposition. The truth MUST be told. Perhaps another local media outlet could take their place? What about KXAN, News8, or Fox 7 news? They always have those helpful "7 On Your Side" investigative reporting stories...

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Anonymous said...

I've worked with Cox for years now.

Cox are concerned with advertising revenue, pure and simple. The fact that "News" is on the front page and other articles are scattered in between does not matter. They are losing to the Internet and other media and desperately trying to hang on to advertising dollars.

They don't care about being neutral and you can understand why because a paid TxDot full-page/4 color Ads would pay some bills!