By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
··· One staffer who was let go mentioned the thing that really stuck in his craw was that, the day before, his supervisor had called him into his office and demanded that he sign a United Way pledge. "So I gave them three dollars," he said. "And now I want it back."
··· One writer carefully looked over his severance check when he arrived home. He realized it didn't quite add up. Then it hit him: "Under the Lousy Kick in the Ass category," he wrote via e-mail, "they deducted for home newspaper delivery for the entire severance period if you signed up for payroll deduction as encouraged." That smarts.
··· The science community (read: smart people) was aghast that Tom Siegfried, the whip-smart science writer, was let go. He was the reason many on the Discoveries staff came to the paper. Now, they will work for Texas Living. (No, that smarts.) --Eric Celeste
The Dallas Morning News likes to give Congressman Joe Barton, Republican of Ennis, an editorial-page spanking every once in a while for failing to live up to the News' high standards on clean air. But don't ask the News about its own behavior on the issue.
Recently the News wagged its long editorial finger in Barton's face again for leading a fight to protect Ellis County from regional clean air standards. The editorial page said Barton had "positioned himself not just against the regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency, but also against a coalition of business, environmental and GOP elected officials."
While the News knocks Barton for going against clean air groups, it appears to be a member of a very different kind of group itself--the Texas Motor Transportation Association. The TMTA is in court right now trying to knock down clean air measures in a number of cities in Southern Dallas County.
The News is listed as a member of the TMTA on the TMTA Web page. TMTA President and CEO Bill Webb confirmed to the Dallas Observer that the News is a member.
The News itself was less helpful on the question. Belo spokesman Carey P. Hendrickson, responding to a long message from the Observer detailing the issue, said: "I really have no comment whatsoever on that. I have no knowledge of any facts related to that, absolutely no factual knowledge. I'm just not aware of any of this. I don't think even if I was that I would want to comment on it. I just have no comment. I have no idea if we're a member of the Texas Motor Transportation Association. We just don't have any comment on that."
So we can assume it's fair now for Barton, next time he gets spanked by the News, to respond the same way. --Jim Schutze