BeloWatch

Last Tuesday, June 6, NBC Nightly News broadcast a lengthy report covering some of the ground the Observer had broken six months earlier. Dallas' NBC affiliate, KXAS--Channel 5, followed with two local rehashes. (Neither credited the Observer).

The News, as the Observer was going to press on Tuesday, had published only a 140-word national news brief back in December, pulled largely from a wire report, on page 15A. A knowledgeable source tells BeloWatch the News, finally recognizing the story wouldn't go away, has now been stirred into action--with an article by staff writer Rich Oppel Jr. planned for publication as early as Wednesday.

What astonishes BeloWatch is that it took so long--how willing the News is to ignore, for months, a fascinating story on its own turf. There are two possible explanations: the News' ties to Crow, and its hatred of following a story that appeared in the Observer.

It's yet more evidence of the cost of life in a one-daily town; if it faced daily competition, the News wouldn't have dared to try dodging this story--and its responsibilitiy to readers--for so long.

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