By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
I read the Dallas Observer once in a blue moon, and today must have been that blue moon. I read your article on Dick Armey ["The improbable rise of Richard Armey" May 4] and was not entirely surprised to find that you barely got through a paragraph without some cynical implication that Mr. Armey is hardly deserving of his status.
Creative journalism never ceases to amaze me and your story, through all of the not-so-well hidden criticisms, still did not take away from the fact that Dick Armey is powerful and a representative voice of many Americans. As much as you tried to brand him with the "dumb ol' cowboy" stereotype, it didn't work. Hard work and perseverance earned him his position. I would contend that it takes more than an idiot to earn a Ph.D. in economics, or a Ph.D. in anything, even journalism.
For the most part, I enjoyed reading the article. He has certainly lived an interesting life and is none too different from so many Americans who have suffered through family problems and dealt with other obstacles which could have given way to hopelessness.
I've had my Observer "fix" for 1995; maybe I'll catch another of your slanted articles next year.
Carol S. Cline
Thanks for the feature on Rep. Dick Armey! He is the most honest member of Congress. That's why he deserves to be believed when he insists that he never deliberately called your favorite congressman "Barney fag."
I know you won't publish this, but it should be noted that some of us who strongly disagree with your views read your paper anyway. Molly Ivins is almost 100 percent wrong, yet she is hilarious about it on occasion.
Perhaps you can explain the purpose and meaning of the following two sentences. "Weniger is now the mother of two. But at the time she studied at North Texas, she was an attractive single woman in her early 20s."
One can only assume that the irony of placing this statement in a segment on sexual harassment escaped the attention of the author and editors. These sentences served no purpose except to reinforce stratification along the lines of appearance and age, and to erroneously categorize mothers as separate from their young, "attractive," single counterparts. How dare you follow a statement about a woman's present motherhood with a sentence beginning with "But" and referring to her attractiveness in the past tense as though it passed out of her along with the placenta?
If a person claims that they were sexually harassed, and one other person supports that claim, then there is cause for investigation. Period. We do not need a physical description, an account of their youthfulness, nor their marital status to corroborate their story. Ms. Weniger's allegations are neither more nor less believable because she was young, single, and "attractive" at the time of the alleged harassment.
Hopefully none of your readers saw this sexist, ageist, printed drivel and said, "Oh, well she must be telling the truth. She was young, single, and "attractive" enough to be sexually harassed." Women are "attractive," Ms. Rozen, even when they are married, even when they are older than 20, and (gasp!) even when they are mothers.
Cover both extremes
You guys have a good paper--the only local that does any serious investigation. You're a predictable source for both chuckles and thoughtful reviews of what's doing with the arts.
The May 4 cover page promises more of the same with "Wacko world: Hanging out with Dallas' own right-wing extremists" and "The improbable rise of Richard Armey." For balance, I hope to see in future issues something like "Wacko world: Hanging out with Dallas' own left-wing extremists," as well as something like, "Mournful Martin, author of A Gerrymander's Guide for Back-benchers." Although the extremist piece would likely be written as fiction, the Martin Frost story would be--potentially--more flexible. It could be a book review, thoughtful political analysis, or in the humor section.