I can’t name names, but after a week or so of calls and negotiating, I was able to get an inside source on Oprah Winfrey’s team. The source was on set when Winfrey had her showdown with Lance Armstrong today, and shared the following transcript with me.
I’m a few days late in coming to this, but WFAA Channel 8 reporter Byron Harris has been singled out by Politifact.com for a bit of shoddy workmanship that has had some big consequences. Harris has broadcast a series of stories about unnecessary Medicaid-funded orthodontics performed in Texas. The highest-profile such story involved Dr. Richard Malouf, the dentist who is building a water park in his backyard. A refrain that Harris has hit in these stories goes something like this: “[Texas] now spends as much on braces for poor kids as the other 49 states combined.” Harris’ claim has created its own echo chamber.
Last fall, Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), who chairs the House Committee on Public Health, said at the Texas Tribune Festival: “It’s unacceptable that the state of Texas spent more than all 49″ other “states combined, according to many, many reports and even our own data.” Those “many, many reports” and their “own data”? That would be Byron Harris’ reporting and a congressional report published in April 2012. Problem is, the congressional report (which wound up being cited in a Wall Street Journal story) also relied on Harris’ reporting — which was flawed. From Politifact.com:
Harris said that he and a producer contacted the states that, with Texas, comprise the nation’s 10 most populous: California, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia and North Carolina. Harris said letters sent to officials in each state inquired into how much the state had spent in 2010 on orthodontic procedures the station had zeroed in on in Texas. ..
Harris said the station did not research spending in the 40 other states, which would have drained too much time. Instead, he said, “we just guessed” at how much the other states spent. He also agreed that such spending in the other 40 states could push the total for all other states over the Texas total. “It could go either way,” he said.
Well, okay, but which way does it go? Harris should have found out before he asserted the “fact.”
P.S.: Do I have an ax to grind with Harris? Why yes. Yes, I do.
Don’t let that incessant Bangles’ song get stuck in your head today (even though I secretly kind of like it). Instead, you can focus your positive energy on these manic Monday night offerings.
Tonight is the last chance for Shakespeare Dallas’ The Winter’s Tale in the cozy atmosphere of the Winspear’s Hamon Hall. This staged reading is latest in an ambitious plan to present all of the Bard’s works over a five-year span, and it includes oddly fantastical elements like clowns, bears, and babies (oh, my). Another perk of this show is the pay-what-you-can offer at the door tonight, which is always a nice touch.
But if you’re thinking your brain will be too fried by the end of the day to take in Shakespearean dialogue, there’s a new exhibit at Craighead Green that might peak your interest. It features photographer Kendra North, painter Krista Harris, and sculptor Kevin Box in a showcase of fluid, abstract, and versatile works. I’m especially intrigued by Box’s sculptures, which paradoxically show the delicacy of paper through the toughness of metal.
Or at least that’s what he’s supposed to announce, at 1:30. From an email to media Friday afternoon:
After the incident in Newtown and the rise in violent offenses in our community, especially domestic violence, Mayor Mike Rawlings announces plans for a strategy to reflect on our community’s role in dealing with these issues.
So, we’ll see. The video above will carry the press conference live. Right now it’s an old video of Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins talking about MegaFest, if that’s something that may interest you.
Jesse Morrell is a Christian, a Christian who recently visited the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. He lives in Lindale, 90 minutes east of Dallas off I-20, where he’s the head of a group called Open Air Outreach, which is “dedicated to taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to where it truly belongs — to lost sinners.” His approach has not been accepted by all. In his self-written Wikipedia user profile, Morrell addressed some of theseÂ criticisms, saying he is “often called a ‘heretic’ and a ‘Pelagian’ by Calvinists, but he is in good company because these same Calvinists say the same thing about great revivalists like Charles Finney, William Booth, and John Wesley.”
As you can see above, Morrell did not enjoy his visit to the Perot Museum. He called it “fairytale propaganda” and was stunned that a science museum included photos of Charles Darwin and Richard Dawkins. Imagine that, a science museum with photos of scientists. The above screengrab is a Google review Morrell wrote, brought to the attention of the masses via Reddit.Â Redditors got a good laugh at Morrell’s expense, but thought he was nothing more than a troll. Wrong.
It’s time to begin our Survival of the Cutest tournament, during which your votes will determine which of our 32 competitors is the most adorable dog in Dallas.
Cast a ballot up to once a day. The Round of 32 runs through Friday.
In case you missed it, here is St. Mark’s grad Tommy Lee Jones at the Golden Globes last night. While everyone else was yukking it up, he most certainly was not. (h/t Mashable)
Rich People in Dallas Today Are Boring: This piece by Alan Peppard points out that today’s Dallas wealthy are much wealthier than the money-flinging showboats that built Dallas’ reputation as a strut-and-spit capital for the callously nouveau riche. But they are also less interesting. Gone are the days of the pumpkin-colored “Fat Albert” 747 waiting at Lovefield ready to whisk people better than you off to Acapulco.
Kennedy Is a Conspiracy Theorist: Speaking at the Winspear Opera House Friday, RFK Jr. told Charlie Rose that the Warren Commission was a “shoddy piece of craftsmanship,” and he doesn’t buy the lone gunman theory.
Bush Not Beating Around the Bush About Political Ambition: “‘We for sure are running, the question is the office,’ [George P.] Bush told The Associated Press during the first interview about his political future since filing paperwork in November to seek elected office in Texas.”
TCU Quarterback Kicks Rehab Habit, Back on Team: Casey Pachall disenrolled from TCU after being arrested for a DUI in October (which was after 15 TCU students, including Pachall’s roommate, were arrested in last summer’s drug sting). But now he’s back, because top-recruited college quarterbacks get more chances in life than you do.