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Programming Note: Merry Christmas, Happy New Year

The D Magazine Partners offices will be closed beginning this evening until January 5, and as you may have already guessed by the relatively light output today on FrontBurner, most of us already have one foot out the door.

We’ve planned a number of bits and bites online for you between now and then, so be sure to check those out. And I’m sure some member of our staff is bound to get sick of his or her family during the break and will turn desperately to FrontBurner as an outlet.

Also important to note is that we’ll likely be inattentive to the moderation of comments, meaning that if you choose to comment without logging in via any of the social media IDs that our system accepts, it may take awhile for one of our editors to get around to approving your comment so that it will show up. There’s a simple way for you around this: Don’t comment anonymously and your point of view will be heard immediately.

Other than that, have happy holidays, and we’ll see you in 2015.

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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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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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No, The Guy in That Fight Video Is Probably Not Mike Brown

A video has been circulating recently that purports to show Mike Brown, the 18-year-old shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, beating an older man over a backpack. I’ve seen this video passed around on Facebook in the last few days, mostly by people working backward from the notion that Brown was a menace to society who deserved to die. Some of the individuals sharing the video without skepticism are local journalists — because the industry just hasn’t had a hard enough time of late.

The footage is brutal and disturbing, and you probably shouldn’t watch it. Especially since the person in that video almost certainly is not Mike Brown. The rumor-debunking site Snopes looked into the matter and has determined that the video has been mislabeled. (It was also taken off of Facebook at one point, not because of the content or label or any policy of the social network, but because the person who first shared it removed the post and that’s how that works.)

Turns out, this footage was shot two years ago, when Brown would have been 15 or 16. Also, it was shot in Dallas, in the Woodland City Apartments (the original video is titled “Only in Woodland City”), and there is no indication Brown ever spent time in North Texas.

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New Websites for Morning News and Star-Telegram

Both of our metropolitan region’s major daily newspapers have recently unveiled revamped web designs. The new Dallas Morning News, in fact,  launched yesterday. Seeing as (given my job title here) it could be said that I live in a glass house myself, I’m going to refrain from detailed critiques of their new looks.

I won’t refrain, however, from saying that I like what the Star-T has cooked up a little better at this point. It appears to be in use by the rest of the McClatchy newspaper chain as well. I find its homepage more pleasant to look at, and easier to navigate, thanks largely to the use of those blue directional tags (like “Politics & Government,” “Crime”) that help to visually separate stories from one another. The overabundance of white space on the Morning News, by contrast, leaves me unsure where I’m supposed to be looking as I scroll down. Its headlines seems to bleed into one another.

I also much prefer the Star-T‘s mega-menus to the white-text-on-blue-background of the simplistic Morning News navigation bar. All that said, word is that this is just step one for the Morning News, and there could be more changes coming. I’ve heard, for instance, that the DMN homepage was supposed to have a wallpaper ad yesterday (one of those annoying ads that runs on either side and above the content, like we have on some of our site too) on it, but I couldn’t see it on my small laptop screen. With any launch, there are bound to be bugs.

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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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Another Story That Rolling Stone Failed To Fact Check Properly

After receiving a tip I’d sent to them through a colleague, the Washington Post yesterday ran an online piece regarding an article about my case that appeared last year in Rolling Stone. As the Post noted, the author began and ended that piece with a scene in which my lawyer meets with me at the Mansfield Law Enforcement Center, where I was being held at the time — a scene in which I hand him a handwritten copy of my latest article with instructions to send it to the Guardian, where I’ve been a contributor for several years. The Post correctly notes that the author was not actually present at the scene, but instead had my lawyer describe it to him afterward. The Post also quotes the author to the effect that the scene nonetheless happened as he described it, that the quotes he uses are all real, and that the manner in which all of this was executed in print was done with my understanding and permission. Unfortunately, this is entirely false.

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DeMarco Murray Accused of Having Affair With Former Teammate’s Wife

Well, this is about as salacious as it gets. And the ultimate source for all things salacious: TMZ.

Yesterday Brennan Clay took to Twitter to announce that his soon-to-be-ex wife was having an affair with Cowboys star running back (and MVP candidate) DeMarco Murray, a former teammate of Clay’s at the University of Oklahoma. Clay told TMZ he found an old cell phone of his wife’s that had more than 50 “inappropriate” messages to and from Murray, along with explicit photos.

Clay’s wife, Gina D’Agostini, is a fitness instructor in Dallas. She deleted her Twitter and Facebook accounts not long after the allegations went public.

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Leading Off (11/25/2014)

Locals Gather to Protest Ferguson Grand Jury Decision. After the no-bill announcement last night in Missouri, a small group showed up at the Dallas Police Department with signs. Most of people in this video seem to be having a pretty good time. Certainly a better time than the people in these incredibly dramatic photos. There’s another local protest scheduled for tonight.

Rough Week for Local Police. Unrelated to that last item, it has not been a great stretch for local law enforcement. Three Dallas Police officers were fired, and one was charged with excessive force for an incident involving a panhandler. And the Arlington Police Department is investigating how accident reports were leaked to lawyers and injury clinics.

Four Earthquakes in Three Days. All in Irving. The latest one, a 2.2, hit last night around 11:45 p.m. (Insert awkward comment about how we all know this is fracking-related, but because that industry is so profitable and powerful, nothing will change anytime soon–unless maybe it gets worse.)

Mavs Lose Ugly. At home, to the 6-8 Indiana Pacers. Final score: 111-100. Despite having served his four game suspension for last season’s gun charges, Raymond Felton was inactive.

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Leading Off (11/21/14)

Obama Announces Immigration Reform. It could mean thousands of people in Texas who otherwise might have been deported won’t be. Depending on whom you ask, this is either a great, humane thing for countless families or a tyrant seizing power to subvert democracy.

Local Family Moves to Oregon to Get Medical Marijuana for Infant. “Sure, we may have questioned the cannabis oil at first,” admits Chris Blanchett, whose 14-month-old daughter Ellanor has a rare seizure disorder called Aicardi Syndrome. “But that’s what we want to try now. And until you’re in our seat, you don’t understand what that decision means.”

The Story of Kent Brantley’s Survival. GQ’s Sean Flynn has a short oral history about the heroic Fort Worth doctor’s recovery from Ebola, from the perspective of the physicians who treated him. Worth checking out.

Glenn Beck: The Media Raped Bill Cosby. “Journalism is the most dishonorable, dishonest, callous, cynical, mean, stupid, stupid people and industry I’ve ever seen,” says Beck. Which reminds me: You can read my profile of Glenn Beck here.

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Poll: The Greatest D Magazine Story in the History of Ever

By now you’ve had a chance, obviously, to read all 40 of the greatest stories ever published in the pages of D Magazine. In honor of our 40th anniversary, we revealed them over the course of 39 weeks between February and November. Now it’s time for a little scoreboarding.

Four writers landed two bylines apiece on the list: David Bauer (“The Sexiest Woman in Dallas” and “Akin vs. Dahl”), John Bloom (“Ole Anthony and the God Thing” and “Misty Crest: On the Frontier of the New American Dream”), Mike Shropshire (“Clayton Williams: Texas Crude” and “How Willie Nelson Saved Carl’s Corner — Again”), and Zac Crain (“Charley Pride Turns 70 and — Galdurnit — He’s Still Got Something” and “Love and Loss in a Small Texas Town.”)

One scribe boasts three — or two-and-a-half, depending on how you look at it. That’s Skip Hollandsworth (“Max Goldblatt’s Last Hurrah,” “The Fall of the House of Von Erich,” and “The Black Widow.”)

So one of those gents has got to be the greatest writer in the history of our humble publication, but we’re not here to debate that. We’re here to ask you to vote on the single-greatest story ever in D. The nominees are listed below. Write-ins accepted in the comments.

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