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Michael Keaton Reads SUCCESS Magazine

Perhaps you’ve heard of SUCCESS. Perhaps not. It’s a monthly based in Lake Dallas that positions itself as “the only magazine that focuses on people who take full responsibility for their own development and income.” Well, last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Michael Keaton was being his highly entertaining self, spinning tales about Jack Nicholson, when he stopped down briefly to tell Kimmel that he really enjoyed the profile of him he’d read in SUCCESS. I bring all this to your attention because I knew you’d appreciate it.

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DMN Reveals Its Bias About DISD

Let’s say you just received the results of a survey. For the sake of argument, let’s say the survey asked whether people agree with, disagree with, or are neutral toward the statement “Overall, pornography is headed in the right direction.” Let’s say 48 percent of respondents agreed, 26 percent disagreed, and 26 percent were neutral.

Now let’s say you wanted to report those results on your website. How would you write that headline? Would you write, “A majority of respondents are neutral or disagree that porn is headed in the right direction”? Or would you write, “A majority of respondents are neutral or agree that porn is headed in the wrong direction”?

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Here’s How Highland Park Responded To Having Its Suit Against Dallas Tossed

Fingers of Fury has (have?) the story about a Dallas County judge throwing out a suit filed by the town of Highland Park against the city of Dallas. The suit sought to nix a zoning change that will allow a mid-rise to be built in Dallas, on the Katy Trail. Upon learning of the news, the entire town of Highland Park thought: “Wait. What? A Dallas County court surely doesn’t have jurisdiction over Highland Park, right? A federal district court, maybe. The Supreme Court, almost certainly. But Dallas County?!”

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Barrett Brown Moved Due to Threats Against Him

Kevin Gallagher runs Barrett Brown’s legal defense fund. On Twitter, he is reporting that Barrett has been threatened by inmates. Gallagher shared some more details with me, and I’ve talked to Barrett’s mother. Here’s what I can tell you:

Last night, Barrett was threatened by two inmates, one an associate of the Aryan Brotherhood. Barrett’s cellmate called Barrett’s mom this morning to tell her about these threats — Barrett having already been moved to SHU (isolation) for his own protection. Then Barrett called his mom this afternoon but not from the Seagoville unit, where he has been incarcerated. He has been moved to the Kaufman County jail, and all his belongings have been sent to his mother. Barrett’s cellmate told Barrett’s mom that he thinks yesterday’s op-ed in the Morning News might have had something to do with the threats. Like the bad guys were all like: “You think you’re so fancy? We’ll show you.” But that’s speculation.

Anyway, Barrett’s mom says he sounds fine. He requested one of Robert Caro’s LBJ books and something on the Renaissance. No telling at this point where things go from here, how long he’ll be in Kaufman, but here’s his new address, if you’re inclined to send him something to read:

Barrett Brown, No. 45047-177
Kaufman Law Enforcement Center
P.O. Box 849
Kaufman, TX 75142

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Barrett Brown Will Just Have To Wait for That Sentence

“Lots of bench conferences and long recesses — this hearing has it all!” That was the sarcastic assessment yesterday of Tom Korosec, who was covering Barrett Brown’s sentencing hearing for Bloomberg. Tom and I know each other. He has written for both D Magazine and D CEO. We were standing around during an afternoon recess, marveling at how little Tom would have to work with when it came time to file his story. Before lunch, Judge Sam Lindsay had already warned everyone that things were moving so slowly that he wouldn’t issue his sentence until January 22.

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Leading Off (12/16/14)

Pay No Attention to Those Black Helicopters. A tweet from our own Catherine Downes is included in this report about those black helicopters that were flying low and with their lights last night. Where exactly? Not supposed to say. The choppers are U.S. Special Operations Forces training in “realistic urban sites.” (New slogan for Dallas: “A realistic urban site!”) The helicopters will be flying around for the next two weeks. We’re just supposed to ignore them and go about our business because they certainly aren’t spying on us, watching our every movement, or putting fluoride in our water so they can control our thoughts.

DeMarco Murray Had Surgery Yesterday. Here’s everything you need to know about his broken hand. If the black helicopters aren’t disturbing you too much, will you take a moment today to say a prayer for Murray’s fourth metacarpal?

Barrett Brown Will Be Sentenced Today. As long as you’re on your knees, say one for Barrett Brown, too. Our favorite prison pen pal will learn his fate today.

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The 500 Most Famous Dallasites — Poorly Ranked

Over at Central Track, they did something a couple days ago that I find amusing. They attempted to rank the 500 most famous Dallasites, alive and dead. “We don’t always list at Central Track,” they said. “But, when we do, we like to list longer and harder than anyone else in town.” Pretty funny. But the list stinks. Kourtney Kardashian at No. 11, ahead of Dirk and Romo? And ahead of Lee Harvey Oswald? Laughable.

More than a decade ago, we ranked 100 Dallas celebrities. Only 100, yes. But we consulted with an SMU professor to create a formula with which to rank the people. That formula relied on no fewer than 13 variables. It was quite an undertaking.

All this I bring to you right now because it is Friday and our office Christmas party is tonight, which means we are all skating with a defensive posture, trying to kill the penalty without letting in a goal.

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D: The Cookbook Wins Big-Time Design Award

The trade magazine called FOLIO: does this award thing every year in New York City, handing out Eddies for editorial excellence and Ozzies for design. If you’re not in the magazine business, you’ll just have to trust me that the Folio Awards are a big deal. Well, at a breakfast this morning ($350 a seat for breakfast?), it was announced that our D: The Cookbook took top honors in the design category for an annual and one-off publications. One of the other finalists in that category was a little organization called Time Inc. So yeah. Solid win for the team.

Congratulations to Nancy Nichols and Krista Nightengale, who wrangled the recipes, and to all the Cafe Momentum volunteers who helped test them. Huge high-five to Kevin Marple, who took all the beautiful photographs (and whose food photography you see every month in the magazine). But the big, warm, awkwardly long hug goes to our creative director, Todd Johnson, who designed the thing. Todd makes us all look good.

And you, dear reader with a hungry mouth? Well, that cookbook sold out. But you’re in luck! We’re making another one early next year. If we were a little more on top of our game, here’s the place I’d provide you a link to pre-order it.

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An Open Letter to Mike Wilson, Lead Candidate for the Editor Job at the Morning News

Dear Mike Wilson:

First, why is your headshot at FiveThirtyEight so low res? Come on. Pixels are cheap. Give us a few more of them

Okay, with that out of the way, please take the editor’s job at the Morning News. Have you seen the memo that was sent to the staff this morning, the one that says you’re coming for a visit tomorrow? If you haven’t read it yet, I’ve pasted it below. Anyway, the memo makes it sound like you’ve pretty much got the gig, if you want it. So, please, take it.

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Wick Allison Announces He Is Helping To Form a PAC

A few days ago, I had a conversation with a connected guy who is in the business of shaping people’s perceptions of various matters. He told me something along these lines: “For the past couple of months, it seems every conversation I have with a rich, old white guy [ed: this was said with intentional irony, as the fellow himself is a rich, old white guy], I’m trying to explain to him how things have changed — radically, quickly — in this city. The Citizens Council doesn’t have the power it once did. It has shifted, gotten younger. People are talking about urban issues in a way they haven’t before in Dallas. I’m trying to figure out how it has happened, and I keep coming back to Patrick Kennedy.”

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Leading Off (12/9/14)

Tony Romo Actually Didn’t Have a Broken Rib. As Romo said in an interview after the win against the Bears last week, and as everyone reported, he has been playing with a broken rib. Well, that would be a no-no, because the broken rib was never included in the Cowboys’ injury report. Yesterday, Romo was all like, “Did you guys think I said broken rib? It was cold in Chicago. My lips were totally numb there on the outdoor set with Deion Sanders and the rest of the guys. What I said was — and this is really funny, looking back, seeing how everyone misheard me — what I said was ‘Bro, can I get a Mr. Pibb?’ Glad I could clear that up.”

SMU President Defends Cuts. The university is looking to cut up to $35 million in administrative expenses after a consultant found that SMU has “excess management layers.” Pony up.

Flu Cases Spike in Dallas County. The flu virus should hire the Richards Group. Here’s my thinking: Ebola killed one person in Dallas, and everyone got very concerned. Now, what if I told you that during the Thanksgiving week, Dallas County had 758 flu cases and that someone has died? What if I promised you that more will die? In the United States, thousands of adults and hundreds of children die each year from the flu. Are you freaked out? What if I told you that there is a vaccine? Anyway, look at this picture of a 3-year-old getting vaccinated. [shivers]

A Good Thing About TCU and Baylor Getting Snubbed. The playoff games will almost certainly have a greater economic impact on North Texas. See there? Doesn’t that make you Horned Frogs feel better?

Gruesome Details About Murder of Hulen Mall Employee. If Carter Cervantez and her boyfriend, Clarence Mallory, did what police think they did — “beat, bound, strangled, and set afire a former co-worker who had identified them as possible suspects in an August theft” at American Eagle Outfitters — then I hope a jury shows no leniency.

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