An internet savvy FrontBurnervian told me about a browser add-on called Ghostery. It looks for trackers — cookies, tags, web bugs, pixels, beacons — and shows you how the sites you visit are monitoring your online behavior. The reason this FrontBurnervian told me about Ghostery was because he was aghast at what the Morning News was doing. So I installed the software and took it for a spin. Here’s what I found:Full Story
This is not a surprise. When current editor Bob Mong announced his retirement (effective sometime in 2015) and Rodrigue was not immediately named his replacement, the newsroom suspected its longtime ME would move on. He joins WFAA in one week. Below are the two emails sent this morning to DMN staffers from Mong. [...]Full Story
Editorial writer Tod Robberson has a bylined op-ed in today’s paper that you should read. Essentially it says: “What the heck, people? I did a bunch of really solid reporting on a slumlord in southern Dallas who has been breaking the law for years and bragging about it. DA Craig Watkins? U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldaña? Are you guys paying attention?”
Here’s the first story Robberson did, a serious bit of reporting into the operations of Douglas T. “Chase” Fonteno, a self-described “real estate cat burglar” who takes poor people’s houses and then resells them. I know, right? It sounds insane. It sounds like something that authorities should put a stop to. Robberson wrote a series of stories about Fonteno back in May. Then he brought his findings to the authorities. But as Mayor Mike Rawlings told Robberson, there isn’t much the city can do besides slap Fonteno on his wrist. So:Full Story
This morning, Wylie H. Dallas began contributing to FrontBurner. Jason offered a brief explanation preceding Wylie’s post, but I want to go a bit deeper on this because it’s an unusual situation.Full Story
Sorry, Dallas Morning News, have to call a foul on the home team.Full Story
You may have seen, on any number of other sites accessible via the World Wide Web, that Dallas was chosen the best skyline in the world — let me repeat, the best skyline in the world — in a readers’ poll on USA Today.com. In other words, not only do we have a world-class skyline, we have the world-classiest skyline.
Here’s what the newspaper’s site had to say about that:
“Dallas became initially identifiable by the opening credits of an infamous ’80s TV show,” says expert Preston Kissman. “The contemporary Dallas skyline tells a story of big banking, big oil, big money, and the occasional big bust.” James Adams add, “Dallas has continued to stay flashy. Controversially, it has done this not with the height or style of its newest architecture, but rather through an internal race to adorn its existing and new icons with colorful interactive lighting that cannot be ignored.”
We’re among friends here, so I’m sure we can all agree that ranking Dallas the No. 1 skyline on the entirety of planet Earth is ridiculous. What about Chicago? New York? San Francisco? Sure, we beat the pants off places like Houston, Omaha, and Atlanta, but do we even belong in the top tier once you factor in locales in all hemispheres?
So how did we win?Full Story
I’m going to spoil a pivotal event of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia, but if you’ve not yet gotten around to seeing that brilliant, now 15-year-old film, then face up to the fact that you likely never will and don’t hassle me for spilling the following secret.
Magnolia tells a collection of interconnected stories of people in Los Angeles. There’s nothing too far-fetched about its plot lines about ordinary people moving about their fairly ordinary lives when, without explanation, it begins to rain frogs. By which I mean, full-sized frogs fall from the sky. There are apocalyptic, Biblical overtones, but no vengeful god appears to take credit for the act. It’s ridiculous. Makes little sense. Comes out of nowhere and alters lives.
The best explanation for the sequence that I’ve ever heard came from the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who appears in Magnolia as a nurse caring for a man dying of cancer. He said — and I’m sorry that I can’t locate the interview anywhere online, so you’ll just have to trust my fading memory — the rain of frogs began to make sense to him when he thought about cancer.
Why we shouldn’t we accept the possibility of a downpour of amphibians when we’ve become accustomed to a plague like cancer? Cancer is your own body turning against itself for ultimately mysterious reasons. It’s ridiculous. Makes little sense. Often comes out of nowhere and alters lives.
I’m sure that when, in 1976, 30-year-old Judith McPheron began to suffer an onslaught of clumps of tissue growth all over her body — a rare form of cancer known as liposarcoma — she could hardly have been any more shocked if she’d glanced out the window and seen frogs descending from the sky.Full Story
Josh Brent drove drunk, after a previous conviction for doing just that, and was going between 110 mph and 134 mph in an area with a 45-mph speed limit, when he killed his friend and teammate Jerry Brown.
Michael Sam is the first publicly gay player drafted into the NFL.
Both are defensive lineman who have a chance to play for the Dallas Cowboys at some point this season. The comparisons should end there.Full Story
I follow Bob Mong, the editor of the Morning News, on Twitter. He is not given to jokey hyperbole — at least not in that medium. So I assume he’s being sincere with this boast. Boston Globe in the early 1980s? The Washington Post today?Full Story
Maybe you don’t read FD (which used to be called FD Luxe). I do (periodically). Here’s a problem I have with the most recent issue.Full Story
My apologies, dear FrontBurnervians, for not alerting you to this sooner, but former Channel 5 anchor Jane McGarry has launched an “eMagazine.” That’s what she calls Real Jane. Feels like a blog to me. But let’s not bog down with nomenclature. The effort launched in July. In today’s top post, McGarry explains why she sold her house:Full Story
If you haven’t read Don Van Natta Jr.’s profile of Jerry Jones, you really should. The access Natta had is a writer’s dream. (And possibly an editor’s nightmare.) And you will probably end up liking Jones more by the end of the story.
The access starts with the writer finding Jones alone in a bar outside an owners’ meeting. We see Jones in his suite during the George Strait concert, hear him whispering in his son’s ear in the draft room, and drinking like the guys on Mad Men. He really, really, really wanted to draft Johnny Manziel. He’s apparently a big fan of Johnnie Walker Blue. (In plastic Dallas Cowboys cups.) And even at 71, he is irresistible to certain ladies. Or, as one of his close friends puts it: “Good women won’t leave him alone.”Full Story
The folks at KERA 90.1 were kind enough to show some interest in our 40th anniversary project. On Monday, Rick Holter, the station’s vice president of news, interviewed me in Klyde Warren Park, where we’ve installed an exhibit of staff photographer Elizabeth Lavin’s wonderful portraits. Here’s the “Friday Conversation” between me and Rick that aired this morning. In the short slideshow that accompanies the audio, you’ll see that I dressed for radio — and to prevent skin cancer. Anyway, the exhibit (shown above) is up for another few weeks. It’s on the east end of the park, in an area called The Commons. If you’re in the park, check it out.Full Story
The September issue of D, celebrating the magazine’s 40th anniversary, should be on a newsstand near you soon, if it isn’t already. The centerpiece of our celebration comprises 40 stories about 40+ people who represent some aspect of how Dallas has transformed in the last 40 years, or who epitomize some aspect of what Dallas is today. Those stories are truly brought to life by the astonishing portraits taken by our own Elizabeth Lavin.
Hear her and our creative director Todd Johnson talk about what made this project so challenging, and why we were motivated to do something special to mark our company’s birthday, in this video about the cover shoot. (And thanks to Robbie Curtis for producing this and the other video clips in our Dallas 40 online package.) Enjoy.Full Story