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This morning The Dallas Morning News publishes its big front page-editorial page diatribe against having a referendum on the Trinity River toll road. It’s an exercise in truly classic Morning News Pravda Sovietski journalism. Makes me feel like I’m back at the Dallas Times Herald.

So, for your edumification and edifaction, Professor Jimovich Schutzevich will attempt to analyze today’s Major Official Required Pravda coverage of Trinity petition drive. It might help for you to slipping some Stolichnaya into your morning coffee, with which you choke down breakfast of boiled eggs and cold meats. And drink toast to Comrade Trotsky. Za vashe zdorovye, suckers.

On Page One of today Pravda, we see story by usually pretty good reporter fellow, Bruce Tomaso. Or, as Professor Schutzevich know him, Bruceski Tomasovich.

This story purports to be a definitive summary of the issues in the fight over putting a high-speed toll road through the park we’re trying to build downtown on the Trinity. Instead it is clever propaganda, disguised as superficial but O.K. reporting. What a newspaper, eh?

Tomaso should get credit for keeping out of the story a couple of the big whopping lies supporters of the toll road have been fobbing off on the public in recent debates. He does not mention the big fat lie that putting a toll road through the park has anything to do with the rebuilding of the “Mixmaster” and “Canyon” interchanges in downtown.

Much as Unfair Park might like to get credit for having exposed this lie, modestly compels Unfair Park to point out that The Dallas Morning News actually exposed this lie itself five years ago in stories by Victoria Loe Hicks. The Morning News conveniently forgot it had exposed the lie and was telling it again recently, until Unfair Park reminded The Morning News of this naughtiness.

Basic fact here: The toll road is not tied to Mixmaster.

Tomaso does sort of nibble over into another of the big lies, however -- that somehow the building of the toll road will pay for the creation of lakes in our park (because they need dirt for the road, and they’ll dig it out where we want the lakes … oh, it just isn’t worth even repeating). City council member Angela Hunt has exposed this big fat lie with her own analysis and investigation.

Tomaso tells part of the lie but (to his credit?) never completes it. His version just doesn’t make any sense, which, in Pravda terms, is better than telling the lie in a way that does make sense. (Please to understand, we drink more Vodka, lock arms and do vigorous kick-dancing for couple minutes.)

Tomaso never touches the fact that Hunt has refuted this whole thing. This is very extremely wonderfully classic Morning News Pravda-tology: just enough reporting to get the shape of the lie out there but not enough to touch the truth.

Tomaso quotes former Mayor Ron Kirk saying the Central Expressway and DART rail projects took too long to do, and now people love both outcomes. Tomaso, who knows a whole lot of this history, fails to challenge Kirk on this assertion. Therefore the reader is never told that DART and Central took so long because of bone-headed bad ideas and outright sabotage by the Dallas Citizens Council, the same Neolithics who are pushing for this toll road. The reason both DART and Central came out so well is entirely because of the influence of the new urban and urbane Dallas as expressed by the neighborhood movement and the people who fought the Citizoids on both of these issues.

Good point here for Citizen Hero Reporter Worker Tomaso: He does manage finally, almost two weeks after the news event, to get coverage of the Krieger-Eager e-mails into the news columns of our daily Pravda. These, of course, are the communications uncovered by council member Hunt showing that the experts Mayor Laura Miller has been touting to show that the toll road design is perfect have actually been telling her it sucks and it’s a betrayal of their design.

He quotes Krieger’s “it’s a damn freeway” e-mail but not Eager’s “we had a deal” e-mail.

Previously in Pravda, all we had was a column by Steve Blow saying, Citizens must not believe certain e-mails which they are forbidden to read.

Tomaso allows Krieger the stupid, wiggle-room, craven, crass escape-clause “retraction” he gave Mayor Miller after she took her spike heels to his noggin for making her look bad. You remember: After Miller -- his $600,000 client -- poked little round holes in his forehead for a while, Krieger sent her an e-mail saying, I never meant to hurt you. Tomaso never points out that the e-mail came as the result of pressure from our very pissed-off mayor and never points out that Krieger’s retraction is not a retraction and makes no earthly sense.

Tomaso does some other things in which Professor Schutzevich, major Pravda-tologist, is deep disappoint. He says, example, that the whole project costs $1.2 billion. Professor Schutzevich think Tomasovich know better. The road alone costs $1.2 billion, because road costs are now through roof.

Then we have The Morning News editorial page, which is where the really big fat lies belong, after all. Oh, man, where to begin?

Mainly, the editorial page repeats Big Fat Lie Number One: that the money for the overall project is dependent upon keeping the toll road in the park. To repeat this lie, Pravda must completely ignore and suppress the guarantees that Angela Hunt has wrested from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has told her and Unfair Park the truth in recent weeks: the Corps’ overall project is not tied to the toll road by design, time table or funding. The overall project goes on, toll road or no toll road.

And here, finally, is the underlying lie. In truth, the toll road, which keeps sucking up land and money like a starving python, is an enormous drain on the resources of the overall project. But in Pravda, the toll road is a source of funding for other parts of the project.

And so it is in this way that our daily, very upside-down-and-inside-out, read-between the-lines Pravda gives us our local news. It’s easy to understand what’s really going on when you read Pravda. All you have to do is drink much vodka, lock arms with Professor Schutzevich and kick legs like no tomorrow. --Jimovich Schutzevich

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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