Skip Cheatham is one of those guys women want to be around and men want to be, a smooth-talking, slang-dropping fella with his finger on the pulse and his foot on the beat. While it's a 24/7 party at K104, it only hits its peak when Skip's behind the mike, whether he's spinning records or spinning yarns, which is one of the main reasons K104 absolutely destroys all comers in the ratings. Here's two more: He's also the station's program and music director, a true radio triple-threat. K104 has a deep bench, but Cheatham is undoubtedly the team's all-star.

This spot on the radio dial is beginning to look like that stretch of real estate where nothing ever catches on, that place in Deep Ellum where one bar after another comes and goes, rarely sticking around for more than a few months. The Zone didn't work. Neither did The Merge. The Bone looked like it might, darting up the Arbitron ratings for a few books running. And then the bottom fell out. Turn off the lights on your way out, gentlemen. Maybe it's time to stop trying.

If you can make it here, well, you can probably do better elsewhere. Say, NYC, for instance. Ask Ben Kweller, Todd Deatherage, Corn Mo, the Secret Machines, Oceanographer (formerly Panda), N'Dambi and a handful of others, almost all of whom went on to bigger and brighter things once they ditched D-FW. Even Norah Jones cut bait before selling 10 million and counting.

Yeah, yeah, we know: the fake-drug scandal, the snit over salaries, turmoil at the top, demoralized troops, the crime rate. Why on earth would we name the Dallas Police Department the best government agency? Well, we haven't been shot, stabbed or otherwise assaulted in the past year, so that's a big plus. Then there's this: Somehow, through the enormous shit storm of the past two years, hundreds of loyal, honest officers have gotten out of bed each day, strapped on pistols and simply showed up to do a very tough job. That's gotta be worth something.
What, was there another contender? Of course, Terrell Bolton's firing was the political moment. Shoot, if we had a category for best shoddy melodrama, we'd give Bolton's dismissal that one, too. (No, wait. That would be redundant.) So, what was your favorite part of the show? Bolton breaking down weeping at a news conference? The wholly inappropriate comparisons to a public lynching? The hypocritical claims of racism coming from people carrying "wetback" signs and demanding that the next chief be black? Or simply Bolton's bewildering poleaxed smile as he contended that he didn't see the pink slip coming? This one had it all.
This blog by the editors and friends of D magazine is snarky, youthful and vibrant. They discuss political, social, topical and spiritual subjects with an diversity of thought you don't find in the magazine. Not that we don't enjoy going online to find out what the "Top 472 Plastic Surgeons in North Dallas" are up to, but we would rather save that suprise for when our monthly subscription arrives.
Over the summer, one of our writers was in a car accident. The woman driving the other vehicle was not only at fault, she was driving without insurance or a license. It's not that she had forgotten them; she didn't have them--period. To make matters more complicated, she didn't speak English. When a DPD officer finally arrived on the scene (45 minutes and two 911 calls later), he refused to write a police report, saying only that he "didn't have to." The reporter asked again, saying it would make him feel better, considering that the other driver, having no identification whatsoever, could disappear into the night. "Listen," the officer replied, "I don't have to do the paperwork if no one is injured, so I'm not going to do it. That's it." Not completely unsympathetic, the officer offered a suggestion: "This is what you do. You sue her." The reporter told the officer that he wasn't injured, that he only wanted his car fixed. "So what?" the officer responded. "Sue her anyway." Nice.

On Friday and Saturday nights, the Inwood Theatre takes us back. Back to a time when things were simpler, back before our childlike innocence went the way of the parachute pant. Well, actually, not that far back, but back nonetheless. With the weekly film series Midnights at the Inwood, the theater opens the vault and screens some of our classic flick faves. Previous offerings have included such tried-and-trues as A Clockwork Orange, This Is Spinal Tap, Office Space and our personal favorite, Sixteen Candles. C'mon, who doesn't love Anthony Michael Hall? And when Molly Ringwald gets to smooch the hot guy with the dark hair whose name we can never remember, well, all becomes right with the world.

Dallas Morning News op-ed columnist Ruben Navarrette, back for his second straight "best of," was just warming up in 2002. This year, he truly hit his stride. For the first time in memory, the News has a columnist who: A) has better things to write about than his home life; B) gravitates to local controversies; C) does original reporting; D) is not an apologist for anyone, including members of the Hispanic community, where he appears to be quite well-sourced. Take, for instance, Navarrette's February 14 column, "Where are the defenders of framed immigrants?" In a single piece, Navarrette broke the news that Dallas police Chief Terrell Bolton successfully stopped the city's Hispanic leadership from criticizing the department for framing Mexican immigrants with fake drug charges. Navarrette pointed out that there were high-ranking Hispanic officers in the chain of command over the drug debacle, and their jobs were on the line. From there, eschewing matters of race and picking up on those of class, he asserted that "Mexican-Americans have convinced themselves that having more education, more money and more English proficiency than Mexican immigrants makes them superior." We've heard this before, but never in the News. Finally, he ended with an honest-to-goodness conclusion about the chief: "What confuses me is why this man is still drawing a paycheck." Nice work.

We've long contended that "television news" is an oxymoron. Yes, five nights a year a station reports something you haven't already read in a daily, weekly or monthly publication. But even the Rangers bullpen strikes out the side sometimes; that doesn't mean they're worth watching. No, our favorite people realize that television is about entertainment, not news, about pictures, not words. And we think the person who does the best job of maximizing television's potential good is Mattie Roberts, seen Mondays on TXCN from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Mattie--c'mon, we know her, we can call her Mattie--promotes herself as "the swami of sparkle" and says her show is "a cocktail of fabulosity." Is it ever! Mattie gives you the day's take on fashion, beauty, food, fashion, culture, fashion and other topics worthy of your, and television's, time. Heck, pair her with John McCaa, and you've got yourself a show.

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