Buzz

Run away, run away
Buzz hasn't seen much of John Criswell lately. But then, who has? Nobody's watched Channel 4 news since the station was bought by the Fox network and began its downward spiral into a black hole of broadcast journalism.

Buzz always liked the silver-haired, silver-tongued news anchor. Sure, Criswell's "Wednesday's Child" reports were syrupy sweet, but the guy brought a rare splash of class to the grubby world of news gathering.

So Buzz was a bit startled to learn that Criswell doesn't even work at Channel 4 anymore. According to a press release that floated through the office recently, Criswell has left the station and started his own company.

It's one of those outfits that makes vanity videos. You know, they interview you, borrow old family photos and movies, then blend it all together into a personal biography that you can pass along to your grandchildren. (Assuming, of course, that your grandchildren will even know what videotape is.) The company will even borrow video footage from the National Archives if, say, you want clips of the Vietnam War or Tiny Tim's wedding woven into your life story.

According to the press release, Criswell started the company because he has "committed himself to a new cause; preserving the heritage of families."

Could be. But Buzz figures Criswell might have taken up another cause as well; fleeing a sinking news operation.

Rotten Candy
Here's one rite of summer Buzz really enjoys. Each year, the Dallas Bar Association asks local lawyers to rank the performance of Dallas County's judges. The poll results are a pretty good indication of who the biggest louts sitting in judgment of our fellow citizens are. Remember, you elect these people.

OK, we're a little late reporting the results this year, but Buzz ain't gonna pass up a chance to point out that--once again--district judge Candace Tyson is the big loser. Some 87 percent of the attorneys who responded to the survey said they do not approve of Tyson's performance on the bench.

Only three other district judges--Adolph Canales, Michael Keasler, and Faith Johnson--received approval ratings of less than 50 percent. Civil district judge John McClellan Marshall squeaked by with a 57 percent approval rating.

But none of the denizens of the bench even came close to matching the bar's dismal assessment of Tyson.

More than 80 percent of the lawyers surveyed think Tyson is not hardworking, is not impartial, does not correctly apply the law, and does not demonstrate proper judicial temperament. Jeez. Does this woman even know how to put her robes on straight?

This year's big winner? Among district judges, David Godbey weighed in with the highest approval rating at 94 percent, followed closely by Bill Rhea and Merrill Hartman at 91 percent.

Buzz, of course, must point out the humongous caveat that attaches to these bar poll results--these are the learned opinions of a bunch of lawyers.

--David Pasztor

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David Pasztor