Sunday, June 5

FOLLOW-UP TO MY "OPEN LETTER TO THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE" POST

I finally received an email from Dwight Silverman of the "Houston Chronicle" last evening and, indeed, several more today. I am pleased that he has written to me. We have had a good exchange today. Mr. Silverman indicated that the two emails I originally sent to him, which I referenced in this post of mine, were never received by him. While he cannot speak for the other people at the newspaper to whom I wrote, he suspects there may have been a technology snafu at the "Chronicle," as we determined today that I had used his correct email address. I will accept his explanation, as he seemed genuine in his email and I have no reason to question his integrity.

He did make the point that I am more than a subscriber -- a customer-- of the "Houston Chronicle" when I decide to go public, as a citizen jounalist, in publishing a criticism of the newspaper on my blog. As such, he feels in the interest of thoroughness that I should have tried to contact the various reporters and editor who never replied to emails I had sent to them in which I made inquiries about the Aiden Naquin murder here in Houston in April.

On reflection, I think he makes a fair point and I will commit to doing that in the future. I also want readers of this blog to know that Mr. Silverman requested of me, and I have provided him with, the email addresses I used and the dates on which I sent the emails to "Houston Chronicle" staff for which there was not a single reply. He has committed to working with the appropriate personnel to endeavor to resolve any technological glitches at the Chronicle and I thank him for that.

However, I have yet to receive any help from the "Houston Chronicle" in terms of the questions I have posed about Aiden Naquin's father, Ernest Naquin, who purportedly may have sold a large quantity of the drug Xanax to the wife of a member of the MS-13 street gang the same night that MS-13 gang members (principal among them the shooter, Miguel Angel Castro) forced Ernest Naquin's car over as the family was returning to the mobile home park in which they lived. Castro allegedly fired the five shots through the windshield of the car, with one or more shots striking the toddler Aiden in his head. The story had been unfolding and now has gone cold. I and many of my readers have an interest in the outcome of the case and what justice comes to bear on those involved. Moreover, this blog and its readership have more than a passing interest in the notorious MS-13 street gang, its impact on Houston and the 32 other cities in which it operates in the United States, and the implications of porous borders on the gang's growth here in our country.

Finally, I still believe that if the "Houston Chronicle" is going to publish email addresses in both its print and online editions, then it ought to have a policy within the ranks of its reporters and editors that emails must be replied to within a reasonable timeframe -- e.g., within 48 hours of receipt. Again, Mr. Silverman suspects that none of my emails may have gotten through to the folks I wrote to. And I have accepted that statement in good faith. However, a fellow area blogger familiar with this issue has told me that the "Houston Chronicle" has a hit and miss record on replying to bloggers who use email. Because credibility is so important, I think it only prudent that the "Houston Chronicle" review its practices in place on this matter and just as I have in terms of my periodic efforts at blogger-journalism. I'm changing my protocol; they should change theirs.

I'll advise if I eventually receive any information specific to MS-13 and the Aiden Naquin murder, and whether or not Ernest Naquin was directly or indirectly involved in the death of his son. And I should add that the illegal distribution and sale of the drug Xanax has impacted both middle and high school students in the greater Houston metropolitan area (as I have posted on)! If Ernest Naquin did in fact make such a drug sale, than the implications of such an illegal act go beyond just the tragic death of his little boy.