The Expurgated Truth
Milblogging: Your article on military blogs ("Other Sides of the Story," by Jesse Hyde, August 3) never mentioned a dirty little secret: Most of them routinely censor dissenters.
If you don't believe me, then try consistently offering a contrary voice on, say, Blackfive, one of the blogs praised by your publication.
Readers respond to "Other Sides of the Story," "Don't Touch That Dial"
You will be banned from participation there, just as dissenters are routinely banned from other right-wing sites like FreeRepublic.com and left-wing sites like Daily Kos. The political Internet is a partisan megaphone, not a forum for dialogue.
The ostensible reason for bannings, regardless of a site's orientation, will be that you are a "troll," a catch-all term applied by all Internet ideologues to those who disagree with their slant or their specifics.
A handful of the so-called "milblogs" don't censor dissent, but they are a tiny exception to the rule. The others act as a far-right-wing auxiliary to the Republican Party's version of events in Iraq and elsewhere.
Besides the hypocrisy involved in the breast-beating about "freedom" abroad while stifling debate on their sites, the so-called milbloggers--many of whom do not serve and never have served--give a false impression of sentiment within the military.
I believe there is much more dissent and dissatisfaction over the war within military ranks than is presented on the milblogs. In particular, my own contacts among active-duty military personnel lead me to believe that President Bush's invitation to "Bring It On" stirred deep resentment among front line troops and that this resentment has only grown.
The media shouldn't be so quick to embrace "milblogs" as the voice of the boots on the ground. They are not. They are the voice of the Republican Party inside of the United States, relentlessly pushing propaganda and doing everything they can to enforce a hawkish orthodoxy.
Love the Mexican
For real: I did not know the Dallas Observer had a column like this (Ask a Mexican, by Gustavo Arellano). It is GREAT!!! I love it. You are so FOR REAL!!! Just wanted to say that. Great job.
Hidden gem: Bravo! Jim Schutze has done a fine job in writing about the latest round of the WRR saga ("Don't Touch That Dial," July 27). Jim has not only asked the right questions, he has properly framed them. My thought is should the city elect to sell their property, WRR is worth significantly more than the offer detailed in Jim's well-written story. Thank you for keeping this issue where it belongs--in the open.
Schemers: Jim Schutze's perception of what is being done to WRR highlights what I have come to understand about Dallas since my return from living in another city. Dallas is no longer a city--it is a large dysfunctional family. It still believes all it has to do is pull itself up by the bootstraps, promote the heck out of "living large" and soon we're all going to get rich (and religious).Why does it always feel like Dallas is scheming instead of practicing professional public administration?
Leave it alone: WRR is a treasure. Like the Dallas Museum of Art, the Meyerson Symphony Center, the public library and many other arts-related institutions, WRR adds to the quality of life of our community. And the fact that it is self-sufficient puts it in a league of its own. Every few years, some radio broadcaster with dollar signs in his eyes makes an attempt to buy the equity in the station for pennies on the dollar. The city would not benefit from a swap with Salem Broadcasting. It would put WRR in the nonprofit category, which would force the station to try to raise money through pledge drives. We already have one station, KERA, that has been begging and pleading for financial support for years. Putting WRR in the same category could mean financial suicide for both stations. Jim Schutze is exactly on target when he says we should leave WRR the way it is. Selling or swapping it would be short-sighted, and in the long term would financially ruin a treasure.
One of the oldest: It is good to see the Dallas Observer hedging on the question of whether WRR is the oldest radio station in Texas. The fact is that the existing station goes back only to 1948. A station owned by the city of Dallas named "WRR" did exist before then, but it was an AM station with entirely different programming from that featured on WRR-FM.
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The WRR Web site says that the current station is the oldest in Texas. It's simply not true. The oldest radio station in Texas is the former WRR-AM, now known as KTCK "The Ticket," which operates on the same frequency as the old WRR-AM.
The city of Dallas has operated at least one radio station since 1920, longer than any other entity in Texas. That much is true. But the station they currently operate is a relative newcomer.