One Guess

Popular sandwich meat, rhymes with Moroney

I asked Bilbrey how hard it was for the cops to get through the door at the News that day.

"It wasn't easily gotten through, I'll put it that way," he said. "From what I understand from talking to our investigators, in our opinion it was a case of stonewalling. They made it very difficult to finally get to talk to him.

"They did eventually make him available to us. But, our officers had to meet with legal, and they had to meet with two other people from HR, and then they had to meet the vice president from HR before they were finally willing to go get him for us."

Why Human Resources? Why not also make the cops meet with the guys who deliver the paper? Cops generally like to go a lot faster than that. The whole time they're being made to cool their heels, they have to worry somebody from Belo has the guy down in the basement going over his speech with him.

I said to Bilbrey, "So that all got worked out, though, and now everybody's on the same page?"

"That's not the way my investigators would put it," he said.

Bilbrey told me he told Jason Trahan, the poor suffering Morning News reporter who had to write the story that eventually ran in the News, that Moroney's statement was baloney. Moroney was especially baloney, Bilbrey said, when Moroney stated that an "internal investigation" had been launched by Belo as soon as Quinn was arrested.

"I told [Trahan] I totally disagreed with that statement," Bilbrey said. "I told him our investigators still were not getting cooperation. The last thing our investigators heard from Belo was they weren't sure there was going to be an internal investigation."

Gee. None of that got into Trahan's story. Cut for space, I'm sure.

I called Carey Hendrickson on that one, too. He said he could send me Moroney's original statement. I explained that Duncanville police were saying Moroney's statement was baloney. He said all he could give me was the original Moroney. I said I didn't see how Moroney was a response to baloney, but he said that's it. Moroney.

One last note here, and then I really am going to go out and get a life. Actually, I have a life. But if I go back to it, I think I have a lot of chores waiting. So keep talking to me.

I wrote a column two weeks ago in which I said the Morning News had published contrary editorials on consecutive days about cutting local pork barrel projects to help pay for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The first one said Dallas' favorite boondoggles, the proposed Calatrava bridges downtown, should be on the chopping block just like everybody else's pork. The very next day, a second editorial said no: The feds can take away everybody else's boudin, but don't mess with our toot-toot.

The editorial page editor explained to me that Moroney, who hadn't seen the first editorial before it was published, came back from a trip and pronounced that it was...fill in the blank.

I also reported that the first editorial was missing from the LexisNexis online data bank, where all of the Morning News' stories are supposed to be stored. A spokesman for LexisNexis told me the absence of the first editorial was "a mystery" and must have involved a decision by someone at the News.

Certain persons who dare to doubt me--denizens of the blogosphere--then pointed out that the original editorial continued to appear on the News' own Web page. They said this disproved my fevered conspiracism, because why would the News leave it on their own Web page but withhold it from LexisNexis? My answer was that they weren't smart enough to do the expunging job properly.

Since then, I need to report that the original editorial has reappeared in LexisNexis. But note this: the editorial is dated September 20, the day it actually ran. But its "load date"--the date it was shipped to LexisNexis by the News--shows as September 29. That would be more than a week after the publication date and roughly 24 hours after my column came out.

Published. Expunged. Unexpunged.

And you know, it's what I love about them. If they were arrogant and smart, we'd be screwed.

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