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Ben Ferguson Outdid Himself This Morning

Ferguson

Yesterday I took issue with Ben Ferguson’s work. He does the morning show on WBAP. I really didn’t want to write anything more about him, but this morning, against my better judgment, I listened to a segment and feel the need to comment on a couple things he said about D Magazine.

His guest this morning, a little after 9, was the mayor of Rockwall, David Sweet. I spent about 15 minutes on the phone with Sweet yesterday. He’s a reasonable fellow who is really proud of his city. We agreed that in a week or so, I’ll join him for a mayoral tour of the town. He promised to take me to the new Londoner, off the historic courthouse square. He joked that we’d need police protection on this tour. I’m looking forward to it.

So I tuned in to hear Mayor Sweet. He made his points about Rockwall and about what I wrote, and he made them fairly. Ferguson did something else entirely. I am paraphrasing from memory here. I wish I’d recorded the segment; I didn’t. Ferguson said that D Magazine says everyone in Rockwall is an “arsehole” because a Tea Partier had unseated Ralph Hall. Not even close to the truth.

I did write that a Tea Partier had unseated Hall. It has been brought to my attention that I got that wrong. Let this serve as a correction. While John Ratcliffe received backing from the Tea Party, and while he has said he’s still undecided about whether he’ll join the House’s Tea Party Caucus, he does not technically belong to the Tea Party. We could argue about what a “Tea Partier” is, whether one who parties with the Tea Party could be considered a Tea Partier, but for now let’s not do that.

So I wrote that Hall lost the election. I wrote that the Harbor development had empty storefronts and a broken fountain (which it does and did). I wrote that there’s more action to be found in Rockwall’s historic square, which is where I got a haircut. The barber happened to have cut Hall’s hair for many years. He let it be known that he liked Hall more than Ratcliffe, whom he called an asshole. He also said the chief of police was an asshole. I quoted the barber because I thought he was a gas. He wasn’t angry or combative, like so many of the people who have called and emailed in the last 24 hours (one woman said that I ought to shoot myself). That is what I wrote.

This morning on his show, after claiming that D Magazine says everyone in Rockwall is an “arsehole,” Ferguson said that D Magazine does not support “men and women in uniform,” a group that presumably includes the U.S. Army, firefighters, and the Coast Guard. He eventually wrapped up the segment by saying, “If you wear a badge, you know what D Magazine thinks of you.”

I feel sympathy for Ferguson. It must be exhausting for him to gin himself up over nothing every morning.

17 comments on “Ben Ferguson Outdid Himself This Morning

  1. I have always thought Ferguson is truly stupid.

    But on the other hand, he’s bagged two straight days of prominent coverage on a well-read, popular blog.

    Mike Gallagher did the same thing to me when he came to town. I wrote about it, but never used his name or the station call letters. That inflamed him more.

  2. The only reasonable answer to this is to go on tomorrow with a show that’s doing a live remote from Rockwall and clear your name. I suggest you appear at 8:40 and be interviewed by either Cartlon Maxwell or Sports Panties.

  3. I will only appear if my interlocutor is Ribby Paultz and I get to impersonate Neil Young Moose.

  4. Talk about ginning oneself up over nothing.

    I do like the idea, though, of your shooting yourself. Maybe shoot off a little toe? Would make for a great back page column. (Plus, it would be fun to see you hobble into the Monk.)

  5. Interlocutor? Check out the big vocabulary on Mr. Liberal Diatribe. If you’re going to impersonate anyone, it should clearly be a very frightened (and cold) Michelle Wie.

    But we’re buying the lede here… are we to assume that Ben Ferguson did a photo shoot, had dozens of proofs to choose from, and selected THAT photo? The one where his head is clearly outsized to his body?

  6. My thought exactly. “Where’s that unflattering pic that makes me look like a young Porky Pig?”

  7. I’m super confused as to how you guys hate the troops. Not that you don’t, I’m sure Ben has a very valid point, I’m just curious as to what it is.

  8. Ben’s bio on WBAP says he also hosts an afternoon show in Memphis (!), and has done so for 13 years. I am now curious to know…does he actually live in the Metroplex (sorry, D), and has he EVER even been to Rockwall?

  9. I believe he lives in Rockwall. Mayor Sweet told me so, and I have no reason to doubt him.

  10. Mr. Ferguson was hired by WBAP’s cheap owners after they let Mark Davis get away. The ratings for Ferguson’s show are a fraction of what Davis used to get. But he is cheaper so I’m sure they made money on that switch somehow. This weird diatribe and contrived controversy are standard operating procedure for Ferguson. He can’t light up the phones on his show with any kind of intellectual discussion so he contrives things like this to rile up listeners and get them on his side for a fight. It’s pretty sad to see a formerly great radio station like WBAP support this kind of nonsense.

  11. Tim,

    Your story came across as a very negative hit piece on a city that ranked in your magazine’s top 20.

    1. We are 20 to 25 minutes from downtown Dallas which is closer than Plano or Frisco. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to get to Downtown from Highland Park.

    2. The Harbor is being run down by a horrible management group which would be a good target for an investigative journalist. Come down on the weekends from Spring to fall and it can be crazy busy. During the week it can be a bit quiet as most people actually work.

    3. The Tea Party did not support John and only reluctantly put their support behind him when he made the runoff.

    4. Congressman Ralph Hall is a great guy as is Chief Mark Moeller and John Ratcliffe. To disparage these public officials in print because a barber says something you think is funny is very unprofessional.

    5. To talk down and insult a city that you are supposed to be writing a positive story about is strange. To be upset about the backlash or by things stated by a radio host seems a bit hypocritical.

    Do I want you fired or D Magazine to suffer financially? No.

    I do want D Magazine to actually review articles that it’s reporters publish in the context that they are being written. In your case, please be responsible and review your own work as if you a reader and not the writer.

    Rockwall has been one of the fastest growing counties in the country for the past several years for a reason and that is its sense of community. As a community member since 1999, I was offended at your blatant negativity and lack of understanding about the subject of your articles. The first amendment gives you the freedom to write what you want just as it gives the right for people to respond.