Evan_Smith_(cropped)This is actually a legitimate question I have.

First, let me say that Evan Smith has done what almost no one else could do. Via the Texas Tribune, of which he is the Editor in Chief and CEO, Evan is able to educate Texans on issues most casual news readers would never have thought to examine. Through the Tribune, Texans have benefitted from more transparency and access to the inner-workings of their state government. The speed at which the Tribune has grabbed the attention and readership of people across the nation is impressive, and largely owed to Evan’s vision of digital news.

Evan has always treated the people that I work with fairly and I believe he strives for journalistic integrity. However, on the issue of abortion, Evan’s actions, and that of the Tribune’s reporting, hint at an extreme view of abortion.

This issue first came to light on January 22nd of this year (my birthday, which is also the anniversary of Roe V. Wade), when Evan decided to post an interview with Sarah Weddington on his front page. He had also arranged an interview between Sarah Davis and Donna Howard on family planning (a.k.a. abortion). For those of you who don’t know, Sarah Davis is one of the 3 Republicans in the Texas House who are publicly pro-choice, the others being J.D. Sheffield and Joe Straus. Lacking from any of these Tribune activities were legislators or activists from the pro-life movement.

My concern was that it could be concluded that Evan and the Tribune had a clear agenda that was polar-opposite of a majority of Texans, and a bi-partisan one at that. As of now, Evan Smith and the Tribune seem pretty in tune with a crowd that supports late-term abortion and sub-standard conditions in the facilities that perform them.

Evan could have also interview Norma McCorvey? Norma actually was Jane Roe in Roe v. Wade and is now a pro-life activist.

I asked on Twitter why Evan and the Tribune decided not to actually have at least one pro-life legislator on their panel to talk about the views that pro-lifers have about family planning? I did get a response from Evan, but it was only to address my interpretation of Sarah Davis’ record.

Evan Smith and Luke Macias

Now, the Tribune neglecting to interview pro-life Texans on abortion, and Evan’s dodge of my questions on their perspective isn’t too surprising, considering the usual lean of the news media. What places all this in crystal clear focus, however, was Evan’s much-touted interview with Wendy Davis at the Tribfest a few days ago.

This was, far and away, the most disappointing interview I’ve seen Evan give.

Wendy Davis wouldn’t be running for Governor if it weren’t for her marathon filibuster against a bill that would ban abortions after 5 months of pregnancy and add higher safety standards on abortion clinics. Despite this, her opposition to this bi-partisan legislation was never even addressed.

Evan Smith has made an art form out of playing Devil’s advocate in Tribune interviews. But when it came to Wendy, he gave a very minor mention of abortion at around the 6:30 mark of the interview, and then quickly moved on to “more important” matters.

When dealing with such a skilled newsman, there’s no possibility he ran out of time, or simply forgot to address the topic. No, what we witnessed this weekend was simply willful neglect of the issue that has spring boarded Davis into the Governor’s race and led to an explosion in hype for left-leaning Texas candidates.

Why not ask why Wendy opposed legislation supported by not only Republicans, but Democrats legislators as well? Why not ask why she opposes banning abortions after 5 months, a measure supported by the majority of Texans? Why not ask why abortion clinics should not be held to stronger safety standards?

The answer is simple. Democrats, and a far too often compliant media, want to ignore the abortion issue because they are desperately out of touch with the American people on the issue. Evan has been superb at asking the tough questions of our elected leaders, but this weekend he went out of his way to set a narrative for Wendy Davis in her race for Governor.

Let’s be clear, Senator Davis is a Harvard graduate and has deftly navigated the Texas political maze to make a run for Governor, but her defense of late-term abortion is the singular issue that catapulted her to stardom amongst the pundits in Austin and Washington. I hate to say it, but the Tribune is held up by many as a new way of reporting the news, as non-partisan and designed to bring important information to the masses. What we saw this weekend, however, is nothing short of journalistic malpractice.


I have to ask you, why treat Wendy Davis differently than the other newsworthy officeholders and candidates you interview? How did Texas’ leading professional contrarian forget to ask a candidate for Governor of Texas about her views on abortion and how they differ from the vast majority of Texans?

I’ll wait for a real answer.