Reading managing editor George Rodrigue’s defense of the Dallas Morning News’ reporting on Kern Wildenthal, I was struck by an analogy. It goes like this:
Danny Buck : Bernie Tiede :: DMN : Kern Wildenthal
For those who haven’t seen the movie Bernie (based on the fine work of Skip Hollandsworth), Danny Buck is the district attorney from Carthage, Texas, who prosecuted Bernie Tiede. Bernie murdered a wealthy widow. But no one in town liked the old lady anyway, and once she was gone, Bernie gave away a lot of her money, helping out the folks in Carthage who needed it. So they didn’t want to see Bernie go to jail.
All those people who have come out in support of Wildenthal? They don’t care whether he did it. A few thousand dollars unaccounted for? A few hundred thousand (as the News still claims)? They don’t care. Because they know what Wildenthal has done for Dallas.
Danny Buck was smart enough to get Bernie’s trial moved out of Carthage, because he knew that was the only way he could get a conviction. The News, on the other hand, is stuck right here in Dallas.