Damn: Last week, Buzz suggested that The Dallas Morning News could provide a service to its readers if it would begin publishing longer Sunday pieces that wrap up big breaking local news stories, rather than letting the news come in bits and pieces. Specifically, we were looking for a scorecard to keep track of the FBI's investigation into possible corruption at City Hall. This Sunday, the News delivered with a bundle of stories by reporters Scott Parks, Reese Dunklin and Holly K. Hacker that was Observer-esque in length. (We're not vain or dimwitted enough to think that anything we said last week prompted a package that must have been in the works for a while, and we hope our boss and fellow Dallas Observer staffers agree.)
The News story was a fine fix for hard-news junkies trying to make sense of the FBI's investigation into the development of tax-subsidized low-cost apartments in southern Dallas. Better still, it should help put an end to the claims of racism that arose because the FBI's search warrants and subpoenas have, for the most part, involved black public officials. As the Morning News stories make clear--or at least as clear as possible, since the FBI and Justice Department aren't talking--this isn't a black thing or a white thing, baby. It's all about the green. Of course, technically speaking, that's not really "news."
Also in the technically-not-news department, we have News columnist Sherry Jacobson's piece two weeks ago about Mayor Laura Miller's habit of trashing co-workers, acquaintances and everyone else behind their backs and then smiling sweetly to their faces. Don't get Buzz wrong. We liked the column--it was mean, snarky, petty. In fact, it was almost Miller-esque.
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But jeez, did Jacobson really have to go back 20 years to the first time she met Miller, then a reporter trash-talking her bosses at the News, to come up with an anecdote to make her point? What, did Jacobson lose the mayor's phone number? Miller is one of the most indiscreet politicos Buzz has ever met--God bless her snippy heart. In fact, the only people Buzz has ever met more likely to talk smack behind someone's back is virtually every good reporter we've ever known. Listen, Laura, the local media like you just as you are. And remember the words of Teddy Roosevelt's daughter Alice: "If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me." --Patrick Williams