By MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ
I began this piece just two minutes from midnight on Saturday. At this time, we’re usually expecting articles from our sportswriter assigned to Friday night football coverage. Our staff writer, graphic designer and production manager, not to mention the press and circulation crew, wait patiently while we put the finishing touches on the Sports page. Awaiting us at home are our families, our refrigerators and, more importantly, our beds. There’s little that can distract us from doing our jobs at this time of the evening; after all, you don’t want to be the employee responsible for hardworking men and women arriving home late.
There are exceptions, however. In this case, consider Noe Treviño that exception and the reason why I decided to pen this column.
I called Noe on Friday evening to get his thoughts on his niece, 17-year-old San Benito High School varsity cheerleader Alexandria Hernandez, cheering at that evening’s football game thanks to a judge signing off on a temporary restraining order, which allowed her to cheer despite being kicked off the squad on Monday following her arrest for alleged misdemeanor assault.
“I don’t think I have no comment to tell you guys,” Noe said. “Even if I wanted, it don’t matter to me. What you all did with her this last newspaper was pretty sorry, but that’s about it. That’s all I have to tell you.”
Puzzled, I asked Noe, “What do you mean, ‘what we did?’”
“You know, what came out in the paper,” Noe replied. Then he proceeded to ramble somewhat incoherently. “Whoever, even if it’s the school district or whatever, how they just smeared Alex, that she wasn’t gonna be a cheerleader tonight… well, they were mistaken. She’s out there. That’s all I have to say.”
I understand what he’s implying (that I guess everyone is now in on allegedly bullying his niece?), but something tells me he was confused when saying “whoever” and “whatever” before lumping the school district into whatever he was trying to say. The only problem is that I didn’t get the chance to ask him. He pulled the ol’ I’m-gonna-hang-up-on-you-before-you-have-a-chance-to-respond-but-not-before-I-say-my-peace move. Well played, sir. I guess you made your point.
As I read over his comments, it became abundantly clear how bewildering it was for Noe to say that what we did to Alex was “sorry,” especially when considering the fact that, of all the coverage in the media thus far, it’s the San Benito News that has been 100 percent fair and balanced. Is it that Noe prefers it when the media covers Alex’s allegations of bullying against her fellow cheerleaders yet reports little about: A. Her accusations found to be “unsubstantiated” by the San Benito CISD Special Education attorneys; B. Her arrest for the alleged misdemeanor assault of a parent of another squad member; C. Her removal from the squad as a result of the aforementioned?
Okay, allow me to refer to my checklist.
• Got both sides of the story. Check.
• Gave equal (not special) treatment to all involved. Check.
• Fact-check information reported by sources. Check.
• Confirmed said information with officials involved. Check.
• Confirmed said information via official documentation. Check.
• Made attempts to seek comment from all affected. Check.
There’s more, but I don’t want this to turn into a column about how well we do our jobs here at the News. I simply don’t have enough space to complete such a task.
In all seriousness, I apologize if I’m not seeing how anything we did when covering this ongoing cheerleader controversy warrants reprove, especially from Noe.
If his beef is with responsible journalism, then I concede—guilty as charged.