News that disgraced former New York Times reporter Jayson Blair routinely lied and plagiarized stories has prompted a wave of soul searching among responsible journalists across the nation. We at the Dallas Observer, while technically neither responsible nor journalists, aren't immune, and we've been busily scanning our archives to see if we might have inadvertently published anything short of the gospel truth. It doesn't look good, and we'd like to correct the following errors and omissions uncovered in our review.
Fake Drugs, Real Solutions
Bolton takes full responsibility for DPD errors
. ..Bolton, ever open with the media, has never been as gracious as he's been in recent weeks, with allegations of corruption and cover-ups threatening to explode within the Dallas Police Department. Since WFAA-Channel 8 broke the news about the fake-drug busts, Bolton has held 17 news conferences, met privately with a dozen local journalists and attended 34 town hall meetings to bolster public opinion about the department. Federal officials also say privately that Bolton has been "super-duper cooperative" with the government in its investigations into wrongdoing at DPD.
"He already had the respect of the entire department," says one narcotics officer. "Now, he has our deepest admiration--love, you might almost call it."
WHEREABOUTS The author of this story claimed to have met with Bolton on January 13, but was at home watching a Nick at Nite Diff'rent Strokes marathon with the sound off. Phone records also indicate several calls were made not to Dallas Police Department headquarters, but to several 1-900 lines where the author of the story was instructed to "handcuff [himself] to the bed and ask for forgiveness."
Rich is Beautiful
If you dont live in Highland Park,
why bother living?
...Inside "The Bubble" it's a constant 72 degrees, the sun never stops shining and the sound of children at play is drowned out only by the chirping of mockingbirds frolicking in the gardens of roses and marigolds that never stop blooming. The tap water has been twice filtered and on some days tastes like sweet fluoridated wine. The streets are freshly paved twice weekly; the sidewalks, made of marble.
You need not drive to work even if your chauffeur has taken ill; your neighbor will happily loan you his. Everything is pure, clean, spotless--not a dark spot to be found, if you know what we are saying, and we know you do. The homes are expensive only to those who are not welcome; to all others, they might as well be free. Longtime residents will tell you this is paradise, but newcomers know better: Paradise is jealous of Highland Park, where pennies from heaven are more often silver dollars. And they are made of gold.
PLAGIARISM This article appeared in D magazine in November 1986, January 1992, March 2001 and June 2005.
How Laura Miller fixed the city,
one pothole at a time
...Police had shut off the intersection, but on this day no one was driving. They were congregating around a dying species, a breed about to become extinct--The Dallas Pothole, banished once and for all with the blessings of a thankful city. All of South Dallas, it seemed, had turned out for the event, as well as the city council, Ross Perot Jr., Tom Hicks, Mark Cuban, Robert Decherd, even Ron Kirk, who would later admit in a tone of voice tinged with equal parts shock and awe, "She did it, she really did it."
For years the mayor had fought Dallas' big-business interests to tend to the city's most basic needs; for years she butted heads with a council more interested in using public funds to build a hotel close to The Dallas Morning News or further fill the coffers of cats already too fat to move. The mayor, who sends her children to public schools and watches every morning as her husband trudges off to his job at a lead smelter in East Dallas, has dedicated her every waking breath to tending to the most basic needs of the city's most basic folk. At long last, her efforts have been rewarded: On this day, at the corner of Scyene Road and Second Avenue, the last pothole in the city is being filled, by none other than Mayor Laura Miller herself.
WHEREABOUTS The author of this story did not attend said pothole-filling ceremony but actually witnessed it as part of a dream, in which Mayor Laura Miller looked suspiciously like Lara Flynn Boyle and in which the pothole was being filled with cotton candy.
FACTUAL ERRORS Robert Decherd and Ron Kirk were not holding hands, as reported, but had their arms around each other.
DENIED REPORTS South Dallas is not in North Dallas.
Hart in the Right Place
How the Rangers general manager turned
a worst-place team into a first-place contender
...John Hart runs down his list of successes with the modesty of a man who's right but refuses to admit it. He points to the Rangers pitching staff's league-leading ERA, so low it barely registers; he singles out Chan Ho Park especially, whose fastball has been clocked this season at 102 mph. Hart also gives "major kudos" to John Rocker, whose command of his slider is as impressive as his command of the English language, as evidenced by his recent work as a gay-rights activist in Washington, D.C., and West Hollywood, California, during the off-season. "We are a bona fide success," Hart says, "but I will always believe we can be better, even if such a thing is nearly impossible."
Tom Hicks, who has hinted he will sell the Dallas Stars to "enjoy the one team I own that has a chance of winning something real soon," says he believes Hart and the next Rangers manager--speculation has it the new hire will either be former Yankees skipper Buck Showalter or the frozen corpse of ex-Rangers manager Ted Williams--will take this team to the World Series in 2003, barring any serious injury to Park or Rangers ace Colby Lewis. "There's no reason, with this team hitting around .753 and our runs-per-game averaging 32, we shouldn't have a world championship in Arlington come summer," Hicks says. Jerry Jones this week was rushed to Presbyterian hospital after falling into a 2,000-gallon vat of Pepsi at Valley Ranch. Emmitt Smith, who's not as quick as he used to be, was the first on the scene and pulled Jones from the tub, but not before the carbonated beverage wreaked its horrific effects on Jones' face, especially around the eyes and hairpiece.
FACTUAL ERRORS The beverage was actually Coca-Cola.
What Makes Ron Run?
Ron Kirks run for the Senate revives Texas Dems
...but some political observers wonder whether a committed liberal Democrat, known lovingly in his hometown as "Dallas' Che Guevara," can deliver in right-leaning Texas.
"Dallas is probably the last bastion of traditional liberalism in the state," one insider opines. "Kirk's brand of anti-corporate, radical social activism may not play well elsewhere. The man wears High Times T-shirts and plays Phish music at his rallies, for God's sake."
FACTUAL ERRORS We have been unable to confirm the existence of Ron Kirk or the Texas Democratic Party
Do Right Man
Governor Perry proves too sexy
for his stuffed shirt
...The six-page photo spread in Cosmopolitan featured a shirtless, oiled and well-coiffed Perry on horseback, at the gym and, in one particularly daring shot, running through the South Padre Island surf in nothing more than a Speedo.
"We wanted to show that just because he's an ultra-conservative, he still knows how to get his groove on in the confines of a monogamous, heterosexual church-sanctioned marriage, of course," a spokesman for the governor says.
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FACTUAL ERROR The photo spread actually was published in Out magazine.
DISPUTED REPORTS No, it wasn't.
Try the Coke
Cowboys owner horribly disfigured in chemical accident
Jerry Jones this week was rushed to Presbyterian hospital after falling into a 2,000-gallon vat of Pepsi at Valley Ranch. Emmitt Smith, whos not as quick as he used to be, was the first on the scene and pulled Jones from the tub, but not before the carbonated beverage wreaked its horrific effects on Jones face, especially around the eyes and hairpiece.
FACTUAL ERRORS The beverage was actually Coca-Cola.