Last week in our story, “Moore Stories You Haven’t Read In Local Media” I asked local mainstream media (MSM) outlets to please let me know if I incorrectly stated that none of them (with one 2020 exception) had reported on several bizarre statements by Chas Moore, Founder and Executive Director of the influential Austin Justice Coalition. In those statements Moore:
- said if it was up to him a Pflugerville cigar bar that he frequents would be Blacks Only;
- acknowledged repeatedly that he is a police abolitionist, including before the Austin City Council on February 15; and
- made national news in the New York Post for also being a prison abolitionist, including saying that even if someone blew his grandmother’s brains out he would not want that person to go to prison.
We did hear from one media outlet who had discussed two of the items. That was Todd Jeffries and Patrick Osborn from KLBJ-AM’s Todd and Oz Show, which airs from 5 AM to 10 AM Monday through Friday on AM-590. They had discussed Moore’s stance on being a police abolitionist and also his foray into national news, including the part where he brought up his grandmother. While the two read from the Independent on the air Thursday August 24, one of them said, “I wish Daryl would give us a little more credit here.”
They’re right and I should have. Todd and Oz were kind enough to have me on the air Friday August 25 (starting around 8:15 if you care to check out the replay/podcast). We had a nice chat, including acknowledging that our political beliefs are different, but at least we can have civil discussions.
I told them I was sorry to have left them out of the article and tried to explain that I’m retired, generally do yoga in the mornings and don’t listen often to talk radio. (Also, it’s hard to Google talk radio, but I should have thought about them.) They waved that off, said it wasn’t necessary to go into it, and we went into the discussion instead. We didn’t talk as much about the story itself, but more about why so many Council Members seem afraid to cross Chas Moore or other activists in his camp.
One thing we agreed on was, as Jeffries put it, “our city is slipping away.” I talked about what I see as a need for a centrist coalition in local politics. I explained that even though I have always considered myself left of center (most other people have seen me that way too), things have shifted so much that I am now in the center. I also acknowledged that I might have moved somewhat toward the center on my own as I grow older, but not very much.
Anyway, we had a really good talk. After I left, Jeffries said, “I think that was kinda cool. He’s been a liberal so many years. We lean conservative. It’s nice to hear the two sides talk about something.”
Osborne then said, “I think what that really highlights is Daryl Slusher is an old school liberal. He’s not this new era of extremist progressives who scream about fascism while using fascist tactics to shout down and try to stifle everybody’s else’s speech. He’s actually someone with the common sense to understand that not everybody is going to have the same opinion. That’s how we progress as a society.”
I agree with Osborn and Jeffries that dialogue across ideological spectrums is important; and I agree with Osborn that dialogue is important to progressing as a society. Those are some of the reasons I went on their show.
No One Else Wrote or Called
Other than Todd and Oz, no members of the media contacted the Austin Independent to say that they had run stories on any of the three core items I covered about Chas Moore. So I’m taking that to mean that my story was accurate.
In other words — except for the one exception noted earlier — none of the local mainstream media reported — or saw as newsworthy — any of the three bizarre statements from Chas Moore listed above, and discussed in more detail in the previous story.
And, it’s not like the local media haven’t had time to get around to it. Depending on how one looks at it, local mainstream media have had since 2020, or since February 15 of this year, to report Moore’s public acknowledgement that he favors abolition of police.
The New York Post article was published on April 5.
And, Moore’s comments before the Pflugerville Zoning and Planning Commission were on May 1.
At this point I want to repeat something I said in the earlier story. I believe Moore has a right to these views and I believe that they deserve to be part of the discussion. I also believe, however, that when the media consistently quotes someone as an expert on police reform, that it is germane to report if that person also favors abolition of the police. That information is relevant to readers in how they analyze Moore’s positions and recommendations. For instance, if someone believes in abolishing the police, then it might not bother them so much if the police force is seriously understaffed and morale has plummeted. In fact they would be making progress toward their ultimate goal.
Still another aspect of this is that none of the members of the local MSM have picked up on any of this since I reported it on August 23. Given all that, it’s getting really difficult for me not to think that mainstream reporters and media outlets in Austin either:
- see themselves as on Chas Moore’s team and are thus protecting him; or
- are scared of being labeled racist for daring to scrutinize him; or
Response to Reader Comment
One reader pointed out that in the previous story the closed captioning on the screen shot of Moore talking to the Pflugerville Zoning and Planning Commission ended with the word “because:” “If it’s up to me it would only be Black people in there because.” Thus, continued the reader, people were unable to see what Moore said next, leaving the possibility that I didn’t let Moore explain what he meant. That’s a fair point.
I used that screen shot because it showed Moore making the key statement on which I was reporting. The reader is accurate that the last word on the screen shot was “because.” The closed captioning on the screen shot ended after that (the photo below is a second screen shot with the closed captioning a little further along).
Here’s what Moore said immediately after “because: “(because) I’ve seen historically, ah, since we want to talk about history, right, a person that does not look of Native American descent had the audacity to come up here and use the term ‘in my backyard.’ I think that’s pretty wild because anybody that’s a breathing, living American in this state, in this country, we are quite literally in the backyard of the indigenous folks that people that look like the person that said that comment came over and pillaged and raped and stole their land.’” The previous story included the parts of the above quote dealing with the term “backyard,” but I include it here as part of responding to the reader’s comment.
So Moore appeared not to really complete his explanation of why, if it was up to him, only Black people would be allowed in the cigar bar — even though he said “because” after making that statement. He instead shifted to discussing his views on white people using the term “backyard.” (Anyone who wants to view the meeting in Pflugerville can find that here. Moore’s speech begins at 1 hour 21 minutes into the meeting/video.)
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