Help Me Out Commenter Wylie H., and I Swear I Won't Pay You $100,000
How Wylie H. appears to me in my dreams.
Library of Congress
There he was again yesterday commenting on my thing here about the convention center hotel, Wylie H., the city's smartest, best informed and most mysterious commenter, and all I could think of was how badly I want to see him exposed.
Wait. Why would I want to see Wylie H. exposed? How would that help anything? On almost any issue with a City Hall nexus, Wylie H. knows more than any other commenter and more than me. Is that it? Is it my thinly defended ego rising to the fore? Nah. Left the ego in a booth at a Denny's on Central Expressway years ago, don't even miss it.
Is it that he calls me names sometimes? As in: "Jim, I like you like a brother ... father ... semi-crazy uncle???? And 99% of the time, your instincts are dead on. In this case, unfortunately, you are wrong. Not just partially wrong --- 100% off base."
No, that doesn't bother me. Everybody calls me 100 percent off base. In fact that was Mom's little nickname for me. How well I recall, ah, yes, those muggy Michigan evenings, Mom on the back stoop calling me to supper: "100 Percent Off Base! 100 Percent Off Base! Time for supper, darling!"
Is it the mystery itself that I can't stand? He called in to a radio show I was on using a female voice scrambler and made a casual remark about dealing with a suburban police department because of a grass fire or something. A person I know was actually searching fire reports and drawing concentric rings on a map to pin him down.
Oh, look, that's nothing: I had a very Deep-Throat-007 Snowden-type meeting with a guy in a hotel bar several months ago who was showing me all kinds of high-tech snooping information to prove that Wylie H. was Robert Wilonksy of The Dallas Morning News, who used to work for us. I went back to the paper with it.
Patrick Williams, our managing editor who worked with Robert for many years, listened to me for about 15 seconds and then just started shaking his head no. Not Robert. I tried to ask why, but he just kept shaking his head. I don't know what Patrick knows, but he knows it's not Robert.
So I confronted Robert. He denied it, of course, but then he told me he not only knows who Wylie H. is; he said he had introduced him to me once when Wylie H. came to the Observer to buy a T-shirt. I have no memory of that, and in fact I think telling me that is some kind of bizarre Cabin-in-the-Woods mind-fuck trick to try to make me kill myself. NOT WORKING, BOBSKI!!!
There are people in town who think it's Christine Rogers, who has been involved in Nasher Sculpture Center issues and is the wife of Tim Rogers, former D Magazine editor, but I don't think so. This is stupid and sexist, but I think she's too good-looking.
Another theory going around is that he or she is a former city employee, retired, very intelligent, privy to a lot of inside information, with excellent contacts inside City Hall, articulate and possessed of a highly developed ethical sense. In other words, doesn't exist.
It's not the mystery that makes me want to see Wylie H.'s name dragged out into the public square, made coarse, made the object of gawking and cat-calls. Everybody's a mystery to me. That's why I chose this field, so I could be continually astonished by shit everybody else has known since the third grade.
Here it is. Wylie H. likes Robert better than he likes me. He is associated with and protected by The Dallas Morning News. You remember last July when the Morning News outed public relations man Mike Snyder for using fake names as a commenter on items about the Nasher Sculpture Center in its reflected light battle with Museum Tower, the condo building across the street from it? The News, which is totally pro-Nasher anti-Museum Tower in its every column inch, flailed Snyder, who had worked for the owners of Museum Tower in the past, time and again for high moral failings and public relations turpitude as if that were not an oxymoron and as if he had done something untoward with the youth. They more or less tossed privacy in the shitter and cranked up every web widget they could find to smoke his identity out of their own servers.
Did they say one word about Wylie H., who is always anti-Museum Tower and pro-Nasher? No, they did not. And when I took them to task for it, Morning News managing editor George Rodrigue said, "I can say that we see many differences between Wylie H and Mr. Snyder. Wylie H has been among our most prolific commenters, for years now, on a wide range of subjects. He has not singled out the Museum Tower for his attention. He is already well known to people who frequent our website's comments area. We have seen no evidence that he is creating multiple fake identities."
Oh, where do I even start with that nonsense? Not multiple fake identities, just one? Has not singled out Museum Tower for his attention? So the policy, I guess, is privacy for all commenters on Morning News blogs unless they single out Museum Tower for comment?
Here's the deal. Wylie H. is a friend of Robert Wilonksy and an agent and source to The Dallas Morning News. That is why they protect him. He has chosen sides. He's in the army now. I respect his right to do that. But once you don the uniform, you must face the fire.
I am hereby offering a reward of $100,000 for the real identity of Wylie H., which I am in no way ever going to pay, ever, repeat, not a real reward, not going to pay it, but I think the amount nevertheless expresses my depth of feeling, my commitment and my sincerity on this and all topics.
I'm calling it Operation Whortleberry, for Wylie-H.-Out-rtleberry. Consider this the firing of the starting pistol. The only way for him to head things off now and preserve his lifestyle would be to switch sides, which, by the way, I highly recommend.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.