The Milpitas Beat appreciates the murdered Las Vegas reporter who spoke truth to power on his local political scene
Jeffrey German, the veteran investigative reporter who was murdered outside his Las Vegas home on September 3 after reporting on workplace bullying and apparent adultery on the part of Clark County public administrator Robert Telles, deserves the appreciation and respect of every journalist in America and across the world, particularly those upholding accountability in their local communities.
By all appearances, Telles is guilty of German’s murder: photographic, physical, and DNA evidence all point to him, and he had singled out and mocked German on Twitter before the crime.
In addition to being a grotesque assault, the murder of Jeff German can be soberly contextualized as an act of terrorism, insofar as it could have an intimidating and cooling effect on journalists working to expose lies and egregious behavior on the part of those in power. German’s colleagues describe the reporter as “fearless,” as he had a reputation for not only investigating elected officials, but also standing up to mob bosses.
Power has a corrupting influence on those who wield it. The role of journalists is to help curb that influence by seeking and reporting the truth. Oftentimes, those in power react civilly, wielding their own voices and powers of argument to address the narrative at hand. Other times, they become affronted and incensed; this is understandable, as no person likes being scrutinized and judged, let alone in a public setting. Yet public scrutiny and judgment go hand in hand with power. And intimidation and violence are not only ugly and dehumanized answers to being held accountable, but actions that embody the latent totalitarian impulse within all humans. To be called out for corruption and to answer with more or greater corruption is to expose the very reason why power must be monitored and mitigated in the first place. It is therefore incumbent upon all journalists to continue in the fight for truth.
The Milpitas Beat expresses its sincere appreciation for Jeffrey German, and sends its sincerest condolences to his family and his colleagues at the Las Vegas Review-Journal and elsewhere.