From Hacks to Flacks

Jason Embry left the Austin American-Statesman to serve as Joe Straus's press secretary. But moving from political journalist to political flack is not unprecedented. Here are ten other Texas journalists who have made the jump.
Thu May 3, 2012 7:05 pm
Flickr | StuSeeger

After nine years at the Austin American-Statesman, Jason Embry is leaving the paper’s capitol bureau to become press secretary for House Speaker Joe Straus , theTexas Tribune’s Emily Ramshaw reported Tuesday.

A graduate of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Embry previously did a stint in the Statesman’s Washington bureau and worked at the Waco Tribune-Herald and the Killeen Daily Herald. (The speaker’s move to hire a journalist drew the ire of right wingers, who have long carped that Straus isn’t conservative enough for them.)

This move is the final death knell for “ First Reading,” Embry’s popular daily email collating Texas political news, which was received by hundreds of wonks, political heavyweights, staffers, and journalists. The emails had tapered off with the end of Governor Perry’s presidential campaign and, in February, Embry apologized for the “sudden disappearance of First Reading,” citing the early birth of his twin boys as the reason for the drop off.

Embry is hardly the first reporter to make the transition from political journalist to political flack. In fact, making such a move is something of a “hallowed tradition” for reporters, according to Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas.

“It’s arguably always in a politician’s interest to pluck someone from the media

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