Wrong time; far right place
We were watching Big Sky's unique lifestyles on CNN last week. You know--anti-government freemen, suspected Unabombers...is that Dick J. Reavis?
Yep, it sure was. The Dallas-based author of Ashes of Waco and former Observer staff writer was trying his damnedest to get an interview with the FBI-besieged freeman in Jordan, Montana. When we caught up with Dick later by phone, he explained that he was on assignment from Life to interview the militiamen.
Before approaching the house, Reavis had to sign in at the FBI checkpoint where he learned that other journalists feared a request for a freeman face-to-face could easily convert a sympathetic reporter into a hostage. "I thought, 'Well good,'" says Reavis. "'I'll get the story from the inside.'"
Sadly, Reavis' dreams of being held hostage didn't materialize. A very nervous man from inside the building came out to greet him with, "Are you a Freeman?" but wouldn't allow him to enter or conduct an interview.
Reavis did have the presence of mind to slip the man a copy of his Waco book, which has made him something of a darling to the extreme right. Now Reavis, like the FBI, is waiting the freemen out.
"If they hang out a sheet that says, 'We want Dick Reavis,' I'll go back," he says.
We couldn't help but notice that Arlington has become the center of the universe for The Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. We fear all the attention is going to the "Home of the Wax Museum"'s head. Sure, the DMN's Arlington Morning News calls itself "Arlington's own newspaper," but isn't that like the Russians offering to give the Chechnyans their very own government?
Years of undercoverage seem to have left Arlington Mayor Richard Greene particularly unsophisticated when it comes to dealing with the media. Greene, when faced with the invasion of two competing corps of reporters, told the AMN, "That has got to be, ultimately, very beneficial for our community."
You're right, mayor, but have you ever heard the Washington, D.C., axiom, "Don't screw up on a slow news day"? Well, it's a perpetually slow news day in Arlington.
It's probably just space aliens
The FW Weekly hasn't even published its first issue yet, and we fear it's entered a guerilla newspaper war with its daily competition. Its spanking new newspaper boxes keep mysteriously disappearing from in front of the Star-Telegram's offices.
But FWW Publisher Robert Camuto refuses to jump to conclusions. Charitably, Camuto attributes the dissappearances of two boxes over two weekends to a "Bermuda Triangle effect."
"I always knew that Seventh and Taylor was a black hole for sensitive sacred cow stories, but I didn't realize that would apply to a competitor's news boxes," he says.
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