By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Sauce for the goose: Steady now. This is tricky. Buzz is going to sermonize about civility while trying not to look like the biggest hypocrite since evangelist Jimmy Swaggart went looking for love in all the wrong places.
Here goes: That Mayor Ron Kirk, when he's right, he's right.
Buzz is talking about Kirk's comments during last week's round of the brawl that erupted when picketers appeared outside city council member Laura Miller's home carrying signs calling her a "bitch" and "whore." They were there because Miller wanted more information about police Chief Terrell Bolton's role in efforts to curtail law enforcement at a topless club.
Chief among Miller's defenders was Sharon Boyd, who, as operator of the Web site dallasarena.com, is not what you'd call Dallas' answer to Miss Manners. "Cowardly Lyin' City Mismanager" Ted Benavides and Mayor "Con Jerk" are some of the choicer nicknames that have appeared on the site.
"For Sharon Boyd, of all people, to have the audacity to lecture anybody on civility, I just find laughable," the mayor said at last week's council meeting, during a brief, persuasive speech in which he suggested that less name-calling and more common decency might be a good idea all around. "If those words are wrong for us, they're wrong for everybody," he said, though apparently operators of certain "insidious little Web sites" think "it's OK to call the mayor everything but a child of God."
Good point. Sauce for the goose, etc. We called Boyd to see if she was going to pony up an apology the way County Commissioner John Wiley Price, who helped organize the Miller protests, sort of apologized.
Boyd argues that waving vulgar, sexist signs in front of a woman's children is much worse than calling someone corrupt, a liar or a jerk on some out-of-the-way little Web site. Perhaps, but saying that the picketers' name-calling was louder and nastier seems a bit thin as a defense.
"It wasn't about [whether] they hurt her feelings," Boyd says. "It was not about name-calling." As an elected official, Price had no business trying to intimidate another public official, she argues.
Right. Let's leave verbal intimidation and name-calling to the media. We're trained professionals.
--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams