I got an email from a FrontBurnervian today asking where Brad went and why he hasn’t been posting on the blog. I saw Brad yesterday at the Bush dedication. He was turned out in a natty midnight-blue suit and wearing a pair of tan wingtips that made me wonder how much trouble I’d get into if I borrowed a 600-millimeter lens from one of the nearby photographers and used it to hit Brad over the head so that I could steal his shoes while he was lying bloody and unconscious. They were nice shoes, is the point I’m trying to make.
Before I could come to a conclusion about how much trouble I’d get into, Brad decamped from the backwater print press viewing area where I was and finagled his way up into the primo television broadcast riser. He did this by sticking his sorry orange press badge into his shirt pocket so that it wasn’t visible to the security woman whose job was to allow only blue-badged TV people into the riser. Then he just walked past her, looking intently at his phone, as if he were texting with David Gregory. It was a pretty slick move. Anyway, Brad was there yesterday under the auspices of Esquire. Here’s what he wrote for their culture blog today about his trip the Bush Library.
Hey, you. Yeah, you. You like movies or the theater or going to concerts, yeah? Enjoy spectator sports? Sometimes watch TV, or listen to the radio? We thought so. Because of your unique qualifications, we’re inviting you to decide on the best arts and media and athletics in the Dallas area.
The balloting begins Monday, and as with our previous Best of Big D Readers’ Choice rounds, you can vote once per day (through May 12) from your desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile internet-connected device. We’ve assembled an elite list of nominees for each of our several categories, but you’ll be free to write in your favorites as well. The winners will be announced in the August issue of D Magazine.
Come to Dmagazine.com on Monday morning to get started. Meanwhile, jump to see the fabulous matters we’ll be asking you to judge.
If you read Mike Mooney’s story about slain Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle in our April issue and you thought, “Man, I could read approximately 8,000 more words about that,” then you’re in luck. Next week, Little, Brown and Company will publish an expanded e-book by Mike. You can pre-order it now. Full press release:
Once again, in the wake of a deadly explosion, Pulitzer Prize-winning DMN editorial writer Tod Robberson has shown us that he is not very good at at his job. A pattern is emerging. After the Boston bombing, he speculated about who was responsible for the attack before acknowledging that speculation wasn’t useful and concluding that there was nothing to say about the matter because we live in a “sick world.” And now West. Last night, three hours after the explosion at the fertilizer plant, Robberson gave us his take on the Opinion Blog. Three hours. The fires were still burning. EMS workers were still searching for bodies. And Robberson wrote this:
The devastation from the explosion in West, especially given the known destructive power from the Oklahoma City bombing, should have been foreseeable. … [W]hy didn’t local planners demonstrate … forethought and imagine what kind of problems could arise when you place a middle school, a retirement complex, apartments and houses next to a fertilizer plant with a 12,000-gallon tank containing highly volatile chemical compounds? Someone needs to be called to account for the scores of deaths and injuries caused by this explosion.
Then, two graphs later, he wrote:
Obviously, this isn’t the time to be asking how this could happen because the main concern is saving lives, easing suffering and containing the damage.
It’s breathtaking. He literally did that. He asked how the explosion could have happened (as he blamed planners), and then, just 100 words later, he said it wasn’t the time to ask that question — obviously.
If this were golf, and if Tod Robberson were a gentleman, he’d withdraw. That’s how sloppy he’s playing. It’s like he carded a 10 on a par-3 after taking an illegal drop and then stepped up to the next tee and duck-hooked his drive into the gallery. Who is his caddy over there? Please, talk to him.
Now, if you want to read something poignant written by a professional who understands how words work, then read what Robberson’s colleague Mike Hashimoto wrote this morning. That’s more like it.
In speaking to the trade group Newspaper Association of America on Monday, the publisher and CEO of the Dallas Morning News asserted that print has not been killed by the internet, “nor have we committed suicide by stupidity as some have suggested.”
Moroney said by next year the newspaper industry will collectively post a year-over-year increase in total revenue. “Business diversification” — the DMN has opened or acquired five other businesses in 2012 — and “reader engagement” were the optimistic buzzwords of the meeting.
“As an industry, we’ve got barrels of whoop ass left,” he said. “And all we’ve got to do is put it on.”
I’m not sure how one “puts on” a barrel of whoop-ass.
(H/T: Bud Kennedy)
Sports Illustrated‘s Richard Deitsch has a Q&A with longtime broadcaster Verne Lundquist. Around here, you may remember him from his days at WFAA. If you watch college football, you likely think of him as your kindly Uncle Verne. Here is how he met Nancy, his wife of 30 years:
We met in a bar — and I hasten to add it was an upscale bar in Dallas. It was a place called Arthur’s. I walked in after I did the 10 o’clock news (at WFAA-TV in Dallas) and I just didn’t want to go home. Nancy and her date were at the bar and her date recognized me from local television and invited me over to have a drink. He introduced me to his date and her name was Nancy Miller. It was their first date, a blind date. So we sat and chatted and her date, Raymond Willie, said to me, “Listen, I know you are single. I’m going to fix you up with a friend of mind and we can all go to dinner.” He looked at Nancy and asked her, “What are you doing Thursday night?” She said, “Nothing.” He said, “Good, you’ll be my date and we’ll fix Verne up with this schoolteacher friend of mine and we’ll go to dinner.” Meanwhile, I’m looking at Nancy thinking she is the prettiest thing I have ever seen in my life. So, Raymond finally left to take care of his business and I asked Nancy, “So, how involved are you with Raymond? She said, “Oh, this is our first date and it’s a blind date.” So I said, “Well forget what he is talking about on Thursday night. What are you doing on Saturday night?” She said, “I think I am doing whatever you are doing.”
Unrelated: I just accepted an internship with Lundquist and will be leaving D immediately. You guys have been great.
A national tragedy, and I’m about to harp on something as insignificant as a few words published by the Dallas Morning News in its aftermath? Yes, I am. You don’t get a free pass because you’re typing during a trying time. In fact, you show your mettle. And in this instance, while some good work is getting done in the trenches, from the big offices, where the highest-paid DMN writers ply their craft, we get dreck. I’m talking about the editorial board.
About two hours after the explosions, Tod Robberson took to the paper’s Opinion Blog to tell people that no one, at that point, knew who was responsible for the attack. Then he went on to speculate about who might be responsible for the attack.
One thing for sure: This was well planned. Al-Qaeda also patiently looks for openings and areas of vulnerability. The New York Marathon, for example, would have had such tight security it would have been almost impossible to infiltrate a bomb without the perpetrator being caught. Boston probably wasn’t on anyone’s radar for a big attack.
What? Why would someone try to infiltrate a bomb? No one wants to get inside a bomb. Unless you’re the guy from Hurt Locker and you find the top-secret machine from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and you think you can disarm the bomb from within, in which case Zac might watch that movie. Does Robberson know what the word “infiltrate” means? And why would he say that Boston probably wasn’t on anyone’s radar? It makes me angry just typing those words. We don’t know the attack was well planned. We don’t know whether security is tighter at the New York Marathon or the Boston Marathon. We do know that thousands of law-enforcement and security personnel were involved in the planning of the Boston Marathon. I’m guessing that an attack was on their radar. Since 9/11, an attack has been on EVERYONE’S radar.
I don’t regularly read Suddeutsche Zeitung Magazin, but thanks to Cover Junkie, I got to see its latest cover, which features an oil painting W. did of his dearly departed Barney. I ran the headline and subhead of the top story from Suddeutsche Zeitung Magazin through the Google translator. Roughly: “As a Consolation: How is one to assist others who have to cope with a devastating loss? We have asked people in the words and deeds that they were at a crucial moment of help.” So I gather it’s one of those vapid glossies filled with pictures of celebrities’ baby bumps. That sort of thing.
Contrary to what some of the city’s less talented PR professionals seem to think, D Magazine is not (usually) put together in a single day, the day before it’s printed. If you want to get some item of information into our next issue, it’s already too late. Each edition takes much planning, and a story often take months to go from being a half-baked idea a writer reluctantly mumbled under his breath at an editorial meeting to a fully-fleshed and illustrated article.
Point is, we have to work way ahead on these things. Which explains why we were all set to run a feature in May about Jaromír Jágr, the legendary NHL player who was this season with the Dallas Stars. Up until Tuesday, that is, when he was traded to the Boston Bruins.
So the story, by Peter Simek, won’t appear in the print product. Instead, we’ve got for you here a WEB EXCLUSIVE.
CNN picked the best food options at the nation’s 20 busiest airports (Dallas-Fort Worth International ranks No. 4 by passenger traffic). And they’re claiming that breakfast cereal and Cousin’s Bar-B-Q are as good as it get for us:
If you’ve got a morning flight, Cereality at gate C6 is like Chipotle, but with cereal instead of burritos.
The more obvious Texas choice is barbecue. Family-owned Cousin’s Bar-B-Q (at Terminals B and C) also offers locations outside the airport and has 30 years of experience cooking ribs and sausages.
I’m not a frequent flier, and I’m someone who doesn’t mind eating cereal for all three meals in a day, but can’t you do better at DFW?
Here’s the list of restaurants at the airport. I’ve got to think they should’ve gone with one of the Tex-Mex offerings over barbecue. I mean, only if their article were anything more than a insidiously designed pageview magnet.
The story in Saturday’s “County by county” pages in The Dallas Morning News was brief and sort of buried: Caroline Kennedy would be appearing at the Highland Park Library next Friday at 5 to discuss her new book, Poems to Learn by Heart. Tickets would be $175 and would include a signed copy of Kennedy’s book, the article said.
Wow. Caroline Kennedy in Dallas—on the 50th anniversary of her father’s assassination, appearing at a public library no less? Seemed interesting but weird, since Kennedy has never made a public appearance in Dallas and even turned down a request to be interviewed by newsman Charlie Rose in January at the Winspear Opera House.
The mystery was cleared up in Sunday’s paper, when The News wrote under Corrections & Clarifications that it had been wrong about Kennedy’s appearance at the Highland Park Library next Friday. Then it added: “She is scheduled to visit a public library that day in Highland Park, Ill.”
As Jason indicated today in Leading Off, the DMN ran a story about former Trammell Crow CEO Don Williams taking country clubbers to the woodshed for not doing more to develop South Dallas. One thing the paper neglected to report, however, was when Williams blasted the idea of city of Dallas funds going to pay for the proposed Trinity Forest Golf Course. (Probably just wasn’t enough room to get that part in there.) The Dallas City Council has scheduled a final vote on the golf-course proposal next month.
Dr. Kern Wildenthal, target of a sort of guilty-until-proven-innocent jihad by Dallas’ daily newspaper over his expense reporting, has thanked friends and supporters for standing by him in the face of the “misleading and false information.”
In an email sent yesterday afternoon, the former president of UT Southwestern Medical Center referred to a recent “Open Letter” of support that appeared as an ad in both the Dallas Morning News and the Austin American-Statesman. The ad was signed by hundreds of prominent Dallasites, including former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and her husband Ray, Laura Miller and Steve Wolens, Caren Prothro, Ruth and Dr. Ken Altshuler, and—this one had to sting the DMN— Mrs. Burl Osborne.
Said Wildenthal in his email:
The organizers of the “Open Letter” felt that its publication was necessary because, with one exception, media stories concerning the recent reports from an independent external auditing and accounting firm (Grant Thornton LLP) and from the UT System’s newly appointed chief of internal audits had neglected to provide a balanced and fair account of the key findings and central conclusions of the auditors’ reports.
The fundamental conclusions of the new external and internal reports were similar to all the official UT System and UT Southwestern audits that had been conducted in previous years – namely, that my activities, expenses, documentations, and reimbursements were reasonable and appropriate; were of clear benefit to UT Southwestern; and were in conformance with UT rules and standards. These findings were as expected, but it was nevertheless very gratifying to have them confirmed and finalized. As the “Open Letter” noted, the auditors determined that the few over-reimbursements I had inadvertently received through clerical errors and oversights over the last ten years ($6,176) were actually outweighed by fully substantiated, reimbursable expenses which would properly have been paid by UT Southwestern, but for which I had paid personally ($17,139).
For some individuals it would no doubt be of interest for the recent reports of Grant Thornton and the UT System to be described and analyzed in detail, along with explanations of how these in-depth reviews have answered and corrected earlier mistakes, omissions, and misinterpretations (and I can provide this if anyone wishes to know more details). However, I have come to realize that perpetuating a public debate on this issue is fruitless.
This is when it happened. Let it be noted in the record books. Yesterday Jim Schutze was making a mostly worthwhile point about how the Klyde Warren Park people, who said they would operate the park with private funds, now want some tax money to get the job done. Then he ended his post with this line: Rich people are God’s clowns. That’s when he stopped caring and decided to start effing with people for giggles. March 27, 2013, at 12:42 p.m.
For the fashion spread in the April issue of the print product, photographer Scott Womack captured images of model Chloe Hundelt interacting with animals including a wolf, a rabbit, and a camel in a school-room setting. I don’t pretend to understand the concept behind the shoot, but it makes for some pretty pictures.
There was also a monkey involved in the proceedings, but his photos didn’t make the cut for publication. You can see him for yourself, however, in the above behind-the-scenes video produced by Womack.