Hot Take: End of a #txlege Era

If you’ve read my Hot Take long enough, you’ve certainly read my laments regarding the Texas Tribune, an Austin based political news organization, and how they — just like every other news organization in Texas — report from a very biased, politically left leaning position.

However, one reporter at the Trib, Patrick Svitek, has earned a trustworthy reputation among all Austin politicos, not only because of his straightforward reporting, but particularly because of his ability to tweet out pertinent and factual information quickly and without bias. In a time when we all want information as soon as it happens, anyone following the Texas legislature followed Svitek on Twitter for that very reason.

So, when he announced this past week that he’s leaving the Texas Tribune for the Washington Post, it sent ripples throughout Texas politics. Online, he received a well-deserved round of kudos and thanks for his nine-year diligence covering the Texas Capitol and the campaigns surrounding it.

Just looking at the replies to his announcement, you can see how good he is at his job. People of all political stripes — left, right, and center — lauded him. Myself included.

How rare is that, these days?

In a media landscape where legacy outlets increasingly hire young liberal activists rather than straight-laced reporters, Patrick stood out.

Just facts, facts, and more facts. That, paired with his speed, is why he became the must-follow in Texas politics on Twitter.

Over the years, Patrick became virtually the only reporter that Republicans and the right-of-center in Texas respected enough to even talk to. That hasn’t seemed to mean anything to the Tribune however because they continue their leftward lurch – alienating so many Texans. 

Patrick’s departure comes at an interesting time. Newsrooms across the state, including the Tribune, are unionizing, pitting the journalists against those paying their salaries.

For an industry already so rife with dysfunction and failure, these unions throw more gasoline on the fire. Do you think these journalists realize this? They already seem so self-unaware with the bias and poor coverage that’s caused a hit to their reputations among so many in Texas. 

When I started The Texan in 2019, with the purpose of providing an alternative to the slanted and biased legacy media, Patrick was who I told my reporters to emulate.

Like everyone else, reporters will have their own biases. But good reporters like Svitek are able to drop that bias in their writing and give readers a fair picture of how different sides are approaching an issue. 

Our team has proven themselves by giving readers just the facts – not only in the articles they write, but on their Twitter feeds as well. Because of the excellent reputation that The Texan’s own Brad Johnson has already garnered among elected officials and politicos in Austin, he will continue to be the go-to guy for all things #txlege on Twitter, no doubt supplanting Svitek now that he’s departing Texas. If you don’t already, be sure and follow Brad here.

But not only Brad, all of our reporters have gained such excellent reputations because they have their finger on the pulse of Texas politics and factually report and tweet on issues that are important to all Texans. I know this because our subscribers have told me!

I started The Texan to provide an alternative, one that is committed to what journalism is supposed to be: an industry that conveys the facts of events and lets the reader make up their own mind about it.

For those of you who aren’t subscribers yet, whether it’s about property tax policy, the heated cultural debates over transgenderism and abortion, timely subjects like border security and education, or anything else, our reporters consistently report just the facts. So be sure and take a look.

If you like what you see, and I’m certain you will, subscribe today. With our current promos running, you can either get a “Come and Take It” shirt with an annual subscription or a “The Texan” Yeti tumbler with a Patriot subscription.

Texas’ legacy media desperately needs an alternative, and we’ve been here providing just that for a half-decade now. Join us!