By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Further, this whole thing is a Sunday-school picnic compared with what the Democrats have done in using Chinese money to help elect our current president. Is the article a collection of sour grapes from the Democratic losers? Again, is the Observer making any effort to report a story fairly? Or has a writer and/or management taken to attacking Christians?
It was 1969, and the young communist professor was taking questions from the audience. Two little old ladies (I swear they were wearing tennis shoes) asked him how he'd gotten to the hall. When he replied that he'd ridden the bus, they immediately attacked him for hypocrisy. How, they demanded, could he criticize capitalism when he was willing to use capitalism's products and services? Few were convinced by their disruptive outburst, and few, I suspect, will be convinced by Thomas Korosec's outburst "Holy handouts."
Mr. Korosec's article was marred by gratuitous rhetorical flourishes ("Winning Strategies [is] a welfare queen in pinstriped drag, a sucker of Canton's public teat"), unnecessary repetition (how many times do we need to be reminded that the Christian right opposes abortion? Korosec tells us this at least four times!), and occasional apparent but unresolved contradictions (Richard Ray, for example, claims that Winning Strategies has "a totally different agenda, even for Republicans here" while an unnamed consultant insists that in Canton members of the Christian Coalition are everywhere).
It is also disturbing that although Mr. Korosec tells us at the very beginning of his article, "Since 1979, Texas has allowed towns and cities to levy special taxes to fuel their visions of economic progress," we must wait until the end of the article before reading that "Craig Pinkley, director of finance for the Texas Department of Economic Development and an expert in the law program being used in Canton, says there is almost no state oversight of how localities use their sales tax money, and few restrictions. Nowhere are political activities even mentioned in the law empowering these so-called '48' corporations, the Development Corporation Act of 1979." Gosh, then it would follow that no laws were broken, wouldn't it?
Let me give Mr. Korosec some advice: If you are going to be polemical while pretending to be a reporter, try to be less transparent.
As disturbing as Thomas Korosec's unveiling of the "Holy handouts" was to read, it is more disturbing to know that conservatives who read it will snidely say "so what," confirming that their gripes with the so-called "welfare state" are nothing more than the bigoted hatred for another class and race of people--and all in the name of Jesus, too. Excellent reporting.
A gamer friend sent me a link to the ION Storm story ["Stormy weather," January 14] on your site, but I stayed to read two other stories, "Holy handouts" by Thomas Korosec and "Censor.com" [January 21] by Juliana Barbassa. Both of these stories impressed me with the quality of their coverage and their exploration of the issues involved. Please pass my appreciation to Mr. Korosec and Ms. Barbassa. Their articles were refreshingly free of oversimplifications and rampant emotive bias--although I'd hazard a guess that Mr. Korosec isn't on the Christian right's Christmas-blast guest list.
The baseless insinuations and accusations against Governor Bush in your recent "Buzz" column [January 21] showed a complete lack of knowledge of the subject that was being reported. Was insufficient research the problem, or do you regularly lean on stereotypes in your writing?
To begin with, it is irresponsible to state that Texas is "firmly in the grip of the Christian Coalition." If you had paid attention, you would remember that the religious right criticized Bush during his campaign because he would not use anti-abortion or school prayer as planks in his platform. While Bush did espouse personal responsibility and the fact that choices have consequences, there was no embracing between Bush and the Christian Coalition.
The embrace that did happen that obviously bothered you was the one between the governor and former Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock. You have obviously developed a talent for reading words that aren't even on the page. So what if the two men hugged? Obviously the two developed a close friendship during Bush's first term. I'm willing to bet that Bullock provided more day-to-day help in running the state than did the former president. To imply that something is going on at the expense of the rest of the Bush family is analogous to accusing someone of being a witch.
Mr. [Patrick] Williams, do you pine for Ann Richards? If so, your memory has gone soft. Do you remember what a loving relationship she had with lawyers? But that's another gripe, isn't it?