An aide to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has riled supporters of the
University of Texas' student newspaper with frosty Internet comments about the
Daily Texan's fiscal woes.
The controversy follows Monday's Express-News report saying the Daily Texan might end daily publication in two years due to declining income. The report brought laments from alumni and friends nationwide, while detractors indicated they wouldn't miss the paper produced of Texas Student Media.
Among those ridiculing the paper's precarious situation was Josh Perry, director of new media for Cruz, who posted two Twitter comments Tuesday that resulted in backlash.
The first offered a link to the Express-News story and the words "My response," with a link to an image from the movie Tombstone showing outlaw Curly Bill Brocius bidding farewell to Wyatt Earp with the words, "Well, bye."
Perry also tweeted "Condolences UT students. No more Daily Texan means you'll have to pay for copies of the Statesman to defrost your fridge at end of semester."
A barrage of criticism, along with some support for Perry, ensued on Twitter and blogs that monitor the media. On jimromenesko.com, an unidentified former Daily Texan staffer said Perry "oddly seems to have no sympathy or respect for this situation. Which is weird, because most PR (public relations) folks in Texas understand what the Texan means to the industry."
Coming to the UT graduate's defense was the PJ Media website, which said the Daily Texan's "overall editorial slant is consistently to the left of Lenin."
Cruz' press office did not provide a comment about the flap Wednesday.
Daily Texan Editor-in-chief Laura Wright, however, offered a tongue-in-cheek response.
"Students should feel free to use copies of the Daily Texan to defrost their fridge at the end of the semester (a requirement in all on-campus dormitories).We at the Texan consider it just one of the many valuable services our print product provides to the UT-Austin community," Wright said.
Texas Student Media Director Jalah Goette issued a statement that didn't delve into Perry's remarks.
"The Daily Texan continues to be an invaluable resource to our campus community as well as the student editors, reporters, staff and alumni who work hard to make it the award winning newspaper it continues to be," Goette said.
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