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Leading Off (12/17/13)

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Man Sentenced to 12.5 Years for Child Porn, and DMN Native-Ad Engine Needs Tuning. Yesterday, a 40-year-old Irving man learned what happens when you get busted for having about 1,000 child porn videos. And the Morning News — hopefully — learned that it needs to have a look at its ad-serving algorithm. Accompanying the story, under the heading “articles and offers from around the web” were two links to a site called RantSports. One led to an article titled “Sports stars’ little girls have grown up into beautiful young women. Here are 25 to look at.” The other pointed to “These are 25 of the hottest college and NFL cheerleaders on the planet. See them here.” Here’s what it looked like on the DMN’s site. Both links led to pics of women in their underwear. (PS: the same two ads appear under a DMN story titled “Jury Finds McKinney Man Guilty in Sex Assault Case Stemming From Craigslist Ad.”)

Really? Seriously, DMN? I mean, even if the ads didn’t appear under those stories, why are you taking those ads? I’m sorry. That was a rhetorical question.

Vought Aircraft To Lay Off 400 Employees from West Dallas Plant. Crap. A tough Christmas for those folks.

Ray Price, R.I.P. The country singer was 87 and died in Mount Pleasant.

Frisco Kindergartner Drops Dead. The 5-year-old girl became ill at lunch and died. No idea yet why.

Feel-Good Story Ends Leading Off. Bummer so far, right? Here’s a story about a secret Santa in Granbury who picked up $2,000 worth of layaway gifts at a Walmart. Have hope, people!

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  • Marcus

    So thumbs down for the DMN for running ads and accompanying pictures, but thumbs up for those same pictures to lead the post in which you’re calling them out for it?

  • Tim Rogers

    Hmm. No, I didn’t see it that way. I didn’t post the underwear pics that were on the other end of the ad links. Nor did I offer those links. I could be swayed, though.

  • Brett Moore

    “Kindergartner Drops Dead”? Tim, you’re going full scorched earth this morning, eh?

  • Tim Rogers

    Well, that’s what happened. Still don’t see anything online about what caused the death. Unimaginable.

  • Marcus

    Do whatever you need to do in order to get into another twitter fight with Courtney Kerr.

  • dallasboiler

    My sister died under similar circumstances at age 9. It happened almost 24 years ago to the day that this young girl passed away … my sister – who, until that day, was healthy as a whistle – dropped dead in gym class while jogging with classmates.

    Nothing can ever console the family for their loss, but I hope that they do an autopsy. They may identify something that can help save another family member or friend of Meaghan’s. In my sister’s case, the autopsy determined the cause to be 2 asympomatic congenital heart defects. Neither is fatal on its own, but in combination they are. Since there are no symptoms, it goes undetected in any normal physical … at the time, only an echocardiogram would have found it. If found, both issues can be treated and corrected. However, the simple tests that can identify these anomalies are still not routinely administered in children; so I’m saddened to continue to see stories of seemingly healthy kids who die too young (and the devastated families left behind).

    My advice to parents is to ask your doctor about getting your child’s heart tested. Most of the testing can be done during normal, prenatal sonograms before your child is born (and, thus, is covered under most insurance plans). I would have never known about asking for such a test had it not been for the loss that affected my family. Nothing will ever bring my sister back. But if even 1 life is saved from early detection, then it helps ease my grieving by seeing her life still having an impact on others so many years after she passed.

    My heart and deepest sympathies go out to Meaghan Levy’s family and friends.