During my Face the Tribune interview last Friday with City Council candidate and fellow journalist Frank Geary, we talked about how some journalists seclude themselves and how he, Frank, never hides from anyone and stands behind what he reports to the readers of the publication he works for.
During that segment of the radio show, I told him – and, of course, the audience as well – that I don’t like people to know where I live and that I don’t have any utilities or a telephone number in my name and I don’t get any bills at my home.
First of all, there is a big difference (in my humble opinion) between being a reporter or even an investigative reporter, and being a columnist, and everyone knows that.
In most cases, a columnist writes his personal opinion – not even the newspaper’s opinion, which is what the editorial is – and my opinion, in many cases, is considered aggressive, controversial, and even in some cases, in poor taste, because when someone in a high or powerful position is criticized, they don’t understand how a small newspaper like the Las Vegas Tribune, or someone with an accent, like me, has the audacity to write the truth (which exposes them or hurts them) and they can’t take it or tolerate it.
Writing for a self-proclaimed “powerful newspaper” – since the management thinks their poop doesn’t stink and most of the politicians are afraid of them – is a very different story and people don’t have the urge to retaliate as much as they do with a small newspaper.
Besides, I don’t like surprises. I’ve always been a very private person, very secluded, and enjoy and love my privacy. When I am home, I don’t like anyone knocking on my door interrupting whatever it is that I may be doing and I am planning to stay like that for a very long time to come. I think I can count on my fingers the number of people that know my real address, and even like that I pull into the garage and that is it.
You see, my friend, City Council candidate Frank Geary, had been working for the Review-Journal, the “only” newspaper in town, for 11 years; and that is the way they wanted to keep it; the Las Vegas Sun is inside the newspaper as a “section” and not too many people pay attention to that “section,” and the Review-Journal is under a very false impression that they are “untouchable.”
No, no! I take it back, they know that they are not untouchables, but they like to make people believe that they are untouchables.
The normal everyday people are impressed with their big building and other material things; the politicians may know that they are not untouchable, but they’re afraid to be exposed – or even worse, to be victims of the newspaper’s vindictive exposure in front page articles when they (the politicians) somehow get onto the newspaper’s hit (or black) list.
A good example of what I am saying here today concerns two different recent cases that the Las Vegas Tribune has covered: the long lines in front of the Regional Justice Center, and the behind-closed-doors business regarding the adoption of children with the knowledge – if not participation – of Family Court employees and judges.
The Review-Journal has an office inside the Regional Justice Center; the reporter assigned to the RJC passes through those long lines of people waiting to go to court at least twice every day and they never moved a finger to do anything about it.
After several local attorneys contacted the Las Vegas Tribune to complain about the mistreatment they were receiving from the marshals at the Regional Justice Center, and I personally took the matter to the county commissioners, the South Gate was reopened and the long lines of people in front of the RJC ended.
As soon as the newspaper reporter saw me taking pictures of the long lines and saw our front page article on the matter, they followed my lead and ran the story.
Probably someone saw me in front of the county commissioners speaking on behalf of those attorneys and the unfair treatment they have been receiving, and on behalf of the people of Las Vegas who were forced to stay in those long lines under any weather conditions, and then they decided to “do something about it right away.”
Only days after the Las Vegas Tribune ran the story by yours truly on the adoption scam that is going on at Family Court with Department of Family Services (DFS) and Child Protective Services (CPS,) the family of Baby Jones was notified by someone that their case was going to be reviewed again to return the child to the legitimate mother and the family.
If the article would have run in the daily paper, I am almost sure that Judge Frank Sullivan would have contacted the writer to offer his side of the story; but up to today, despite the fact that Judge Sullivan knows me, knows where to contact me, and knows how accessible I always am, he has never tried to contact me; in fact, he never returned my phone call when I called him to get his side of the story before it ran on the front page of the Las Vegas Tribune.
Public or elected officials are always afraid of what the daily newspaper may write about them because their constituents may believe what they read. Consider these recent “case in hand” incidents that I consider despicable: the situation with Assemblyman Steve Brooks of North Las Vegas and that of Las Vegas Township Constable John Bonaventura.
The latter already lost not only his elected position, but the office as a whole; and the first one is also on the way out with the help of cold blooded cowardly politicians (afraid of the newspaper’s alleged power) who teamed up with the daily paper to get their target out of office.
I don’t know Assemblyman Brooks and, in all honesty, I had never heard his name before the daily started blasting him, so I don’t have a reason to defend him other than I am always bragging that this newspaper is the voice of those who do not have a voice; but what they are doing to the man is flat out wrong and may even be illegal.
The last time I had any contact with Constable John Bonaventura was in May 2011, six months after he took office, when the two of us and eight other people had lunch at the Golden Nugget.
Later on, his mouthpiece – Lou Toomin – told me that the Constable does not like me, probably because the Las Vegas Tribune did not endorse him and I, personally, did not support him. And because I don’t give a flying IT, I never saw him after that.
But again, in all fairness and as I told County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani during a telephone conversation, what they did to the people of Las Vegas Township is wrong and it is inconceivable.
Bonaventura is going to finish out his term and after that the elected office will be closed, eliminated, so who will be losing? The people of the Las Vegas Township that are losing an elected office? or the Constable that most likely would not have been reelected?
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
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