I attended the Texas Tribune Festival for the first time this year thanks to the organizers lining me up with a free pass for being a student. The Texas Tribune is a non-profit news organization based in Austin, Texas:
that promotes civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government, and other matters of statewide concern. Our vision is to serve the journalism community as a source of innovation and to build the next great public media brand in the United States.
The opening ceremony was capped off with a live-stream interview with Ted Cruz, still in Washington D.C. because of the upcoming government shutdown. Though Cruz is touted as a fresh, independent voice in the D.C., Hollywood act, he actually served on the campaign for Bush-Cheney in 2000. It showed when he began the interview immediately tying the United States foreign policy with that of Israel’s and hypocritically denying Iran the right to nuclear energy. When I confronted one of the staff I had met at the mixer for students being held at the Cactus Cafe with the thought that he was just riding the political wave, she retorted with, “Well, isn’t that what politics is all about?” Being a nonpartisan, non profit organization, I was obviously in attendance with hopes of a fresh outlook towards the political spectrum. I responded with, “Let’s hope we can move past that onto some leaders with morals they can stick to throughout their political careers as statesmen, and not politicians.” The conversation moved to water when I brought up the fact that T Boone Pickens is pumping the Ogallala Aquifer dry in northern Texas to make a buck. I was then hit with the news that the CEO of the Texas Tribune is good friends with the ruthless capitalist. No surprise to find the leading sponsor of the event as America’s Natural Gas Alliance, T Boone’s other favorite commodity. I informed my new acquaintance of my suspicions of this “news agency” with such ties, and she reassured me of the nonpartisan stance of the organization; nonpartisan, and most definitely capitalist oriented as you go down the list of sponsors to find JPMorgan, Lockheed Martin, and AT&T, who has partnered with the University of Texas to open the new Business Conference Center and Hotel directly on campus.