The Texas Department of Public Safety, which has been slow to give state legislators accurate information on its role in border security, apparently has been swift to complain to lawmakers that newspaper reports are inaccurate. The Austin American-Statesman is reporting that DPS officials have written letters to legislators blasting investigative pieces by the Statesman, The Dallas Morning News and the El Paso Times.
It’s an unusually aggressive response to media scrutiny from a state agency, according to several legislative aides consulted by the Statesman, who said they weren’t aware of similar strategies by other departments. It also is another example of DPS director Steven McCraw’s sensitivity to what he views as less-than-flattering portrayals of the agency.
Deputy Director of Homeland Security Robert Bodisch was aggressive in pushing back against questions from the El Paso newspaper: “Respectfully, your questions read more like an opinion piece than a news story, with unsubstantiated innuendo, that in essence rehashes inaccurate information about a contract that expired more than four years ago. Also, the manner in which you are questioning the director’s integrity is rash and without merit.”
Perhaps if McCraw and Bodisch had engaged in more forthcoming behavior with legislators they would not have been subjected to tough questioning by the news media.