Is SouthEast Texas Record a Real Newspaper?
No, the SouthEast Texas Record is a fake newspaper used by Texans for Lawsuit
Reform (TLR) to push anti-lawyer hate propaganda. TRL is heavily funded
by insurance companies and used to influence the government to make laws
anti-consumer and more favorable to insurance companies. Please appreciate
that insurance companies prefer to spend your premiums to change rules
and avoid paying legitimate claims.
Case in point, when Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wanted to break his
silence about (multiple) allegations he had once again committed crimes
like bribery and misuse of office by his top aides, he turned to an unknown
legal source called the Southeast Texas Record. He trashed the aides in
the exclusive interview, saying Paxton had intended to abandon him anyway
before his top deputy resigned.
The website where the interview was posted was described as part of a nationwide
network of some 1,300 pay-for-play websites publishing on-demand coverage
for insurance propaganda campaigns and anti-lawyer hate news. According
to The New York Times, those blogs, which sound like ordinary local news
outlets, earned at least $1.7 million from lobbyists, insurance companies,
and anti-consumer groups.
Ian Prior, who supported the story for the Paxton campaign, denied to The
Texas Tribune that the campaign had paid the outlet to publish the news
— "definitive no," he said — claiming that he had
just managed to set up an interview with an outlet that had reported the story.
The Southeast Texas Record (fake news) describes itself as a legal source
focusing on court-related readers, with a weekly print edition distributed
on Sundays. After publishing the interview, Prior shared it with reporters
Ian Prior refused to address why the campaign preferred a little-known
legal publication instead of a larger-reader news source, such as The
Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, or Austin American-Statesman,
all closely following Paxton's article. Further, they explained that
they appreciate the issue but do not go into strategy/discussions public
relations. They also did not disclose that David Yates commonly writes
articles for Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR), which typically lines Paxton's
pockets with large cash sums.
Although it was overwhelmed with interview requests and specific questions
from national news outlets, the press team attorney general's office
gave reporters the same short, ambiguous comments. Paxton is frequently
a Fox News guest but seldom sits for interviews with larger print media
outlets. Paxton posted Twitter's Southeast Texas Record story on Oct.
14, one day after it's published. Several mainstream newspapers, including
the Tribune, quoted him in different news reports.
In a New York Times report that characterized the network of pay-for-play
sites masquerading as local news, Prior was reported as turning to another
network news outlet to support unflattering coverage of Sara Gideon, a
Democratic U.S. nominee. Maine Senate. Prior told Tribune Tuesday he was
pitching the Maine story, but he didn't pay for it.
Is David Yates a Real Reporter?
No, David Yates is a fake news propaganda artist. For example, in the Oct.
13 Paxton article, the (fake news) Record highlights Paxton's point
of view in the continuing controversy and elaborates less on the charges
against him that remain bland, with federal authorities declining to confirm
whether there is an investigation into Paxton's behavior. The author,
David Yates, writes that Jeff Mateer, the top Paxton deputy who resigned
after accusing his boss of criminal misconduct, did not return comments.
David Yates gives no hint that he tried to contact David Maxwell or Mark
Penley, two top assistants whose work is challenged in the story and whom
Paxton put on leave from the agency. David Yates is commonly known in
the legal community for making stuff up and defaming plaintiff lawyers.
Also, the article elides details that challenge Paxton's involvement
in the scandal. In an internal email received by the Tribune, top aides
alleged Paxton used his office's power to support donor, real estate
investor Nate Paul. The latter accused federal authorities of corruption
after the FBI raided his home and office in 2019. Paxton said that his
office investigated Paul's allegations merely because local officials
in Travis County attorney's office referred the case to the department.
But Margaret Moore, Travis County DA, denied the timeline, telling reporters
that Paxton requested a meeting with her office before it was referred.
The recorded story doesn't provide those details, nor does it outline
the accounts of the seven senior aides who leveled charges against Paxton.
Yates, who wrote the article, did not answer questions when asked from
the Texas Tribune on Oct. 13 after the story was published or Tuesday
asked about his news outlet's political bent or whether it was charged
to write the story. The Record is secretly an extension of Texans for
Lawsuit Reform and used to push anti-lawyer hate propaganda.
Over the summer, the (fake news) Record appeared to be the first newspaper
to say that the attorney general's office was believed to be investigating
state and federal officials in response to Paul's lawsuit. Various
other legal reports from around the state were on its site Tuesday afternoon,
including news that Paxton joined the U.S. Justice Department suing Google
over alleged antitrust violations.
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