Mr. Schieffer goes to Austin
For those Texas Rangers fans who want to know why their beloved baseball team fails year after year to live up to expectations, we advise you look only to the man in charge--general partner and president Tom Schieffer, a man who apparently never took to heart the advice that one should learn from his mistakes.
Glancing through an old Texas Monthly from July 1975, we stumbled across the magazine's annual list of best and worst state legislators--which happened to include Schieffer among its very worst. "What you get is even less than what you see," the magazine wrote of Schieffer, a sentiment you could apply to the teams Schieffer has fielded since taking over the Rangers' reins in 1991. The article also referred to him as "arrogant and--what is worse--ambitious."
Texas Monthly chided the conservative Democrat, who somehow managed to serve three terms in the state leg, for sponsoring a bill meant to aid in getting Lloyd Bentsen elected president, for killing important legislation proposed by members he didn't like, and for being so arrogant he once even nuked his own bill just to get even. "The worst type of person is someone who's very ordinary and gets it into his head he's some sort of big shot," said one lobbyist.
Fact is, we had forgotten all about Schieffer's time in the Legislature, and we don't like to dwell on someone's old blunders--what's done is done. But sometimes, it takes a little blast from the past to remind you why your present is often so damned lousy. Go, Rangers.
The horror, the horror
There is further proof that the Dallas school board is our local version of the Vietnam War, inflicting battle scars so severe, the wounded can only overcome them by moving far away.
This summer former DISD board president Sandy Kress moved with his family to Austin. A partner with the law firm of Aiken, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, Kress claimed he was moving because his work required him to do an increasing amount of lobbying in the state capital, plus he had been working with Governor Bush on a statewide reading initiative. But those in the know claim Kress high-tailed it out of town because he felt beaten down by the fall-out from his school board presidency.
Now, it's Bill Keever's turn to duck and run. Keever, who followed Kress into the DISD presidency, and his family moved from North Dallas to a three-acre spread in a small town outside of Fort Worth last weekend.
"Dallas politics are just too ugly," Keever, the latest victim of DISD posttraumatic stress disorder, told Buzz when asked why he was moving. During Keever's tenure, he says he received death threats, had his phone tapped, and had to have bodyguards.
Of course, Buzz has to wonder, weren't some of these wounds self-inflicted?
More than we wanted to know
Buzz is never averse to keeping tabs on the seamier side of life, but sometimes things float across our desk that makes even hardened news warriors say "eeewwww."
A copy of the Rev. Rudy Kos' psychiatric evaluation was one of those things.
We'll spare you the more lurid details and just pass on the news that Father Rudy, facing sexual abuse charges involving alleged molestation of altar boys, has a thing for feet.
"Rudy has had a foot fetish since about age seven," the evaluation reads. He particularly likes white socks and once was a shoe salesman while in college. "He said that was not as good as he thought it might be."
Isn't that just the way it too often is--with work as well as sex?
The Dallas Morning News gave a prominent front-page tease in this past Sunday's paper to something called "Skifest," a section that promised skiers "a jump on what's new and extravagant out West for the '97-'98 season." What they got was an advertising section parading as news copy in a fashion brazen even by the DMN's elastic standards.
Edited by the paper's travel editor, Karen Jordan, the section featured stories such as "Adventure Tours blankets ski country," which touted "one of the largest ski-package tour operators in the United States," package prices and all. No need to mention that Adventure Tours is one of the DMN travel section's advertisers.
Buzz kept looking in "Skifest" for the usual warnings--"Attention, groveling ad copy"--but couldn't find any amidst all the winter wonderland huckstering. This clearly reached some sort of new journalistic low, but given the increasingly whorish habits of the dailies, who even noticed?
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We don't know what exactly has been rattling the craniums of the DMN's editorial writers lately, but whoever wrote a recent editorial on the Louise Woodward au pair murder case must have been given a good shake--or needs one.
"The final lesson is that shaking a baby forcefully has the same effect as shaking a glass globe with a snow scene inside. The snow eventually settles in the globe, but the child's brain is permanently damaged," the editorial concluded.
Buzz hasn't quite unraveled what the analogy is supposed to mean, but it does conjure up some interesting images of Christmas mornings at the homes of Morning News staffers.
--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams