Crazy for you
We can't believe she did that.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the abrasive, conservative-values absolutist syndicated radio shrink, proved to a group of Dallas Jewish women last week that her radio persona isn't just a shtick.

The petite, dogmatic California-based Ph.D (that's in physiology, not psychology) who has office hours daily on KRLD-AM was in town for several lucrative speaking engagements, including the Jewish Federation of Dallas' fundraising dinner called Choices. And who's better at choices than the self-absorbed, imperious Dr. Laura? After inspecting three different rooms at the Grand Kempinski shortly after arriving, she announced that none of them met her standards. She demanded to be taken to The Mansion on Turtle Creek.

Later, a group of North Dallas women schlepped down to The Mansion to drive the doctor to the Choices dinner, held at the Sheraton Park Central. Dr. Laura wasn't in the car a minute before she she sniffed (literally, we should add). Someone in the car was wearing perfume! Dr. Laura, who brags on the air incessantly about her karate skill, demanded to know who had applied perfume. (All of the women were guilty, of course--this being Dallas, after all.) It seems radioland's leading head doc is allergic to even the finest perfume, and demanded they pull over and fetch her an olfactorily unabusive cab.

The mortified women were soon to learn that their emotional trauma had only begun. Dr. Laura, who was paid an id-boggling $30,000 speaking fee to enlighten and amuse the more than 1,300 women at the dinner, hadn't spent 10 minutes preparing her remarks.

Using hypnosis to recover the women's memories, Buzz learned that Dr. Laura, whose father was Jewish and mother was Italian Catholic, began her presentation with a rambling, self-serving tour of her path back to Judaism, during which she managed to insult nearly every branch of the religion while bragging about what a good Jew she is. (It's fun to note that even though Dr. Laura harangues her listeners about marrying outside their religion, her Episcopal husband has yet to convert to Judaism.)

Even a self-described "woman from whom to learn courage" like Dr. Laura can blather on only so long before she runs out of things with which to bore and irritate an audience, and she soon resorted to a time-honored radio talk-show technique: taking questions. In fact, it was just like her radio show as she cut off every questioner--even the ones who just wanted to profess their admiration--and skewered them with belittling remarks.

A sucker to the end, one of the event organizers tried to present Dr. Laura with a gift of appreciation at the conclusion of her speech--only to find the doctor was out. Schlessinger had already left the ballroom.

Fans of Dr. Laura's books, you'd better make that Eleven Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives: Invite her to a party.

Stealth mayor
Ain't irony a bitch?
Take the City of Harmony award that the Turner Broadcasting Network recently gave Mayor Ron Kirk. As we all know, things aren't exactly harmonious in Big D. Blacks vs. Hispanics vs. Anglos, in a different combination every week, it seems. Now, it's Mayor Ron vs. John Wiley Price and the NAACP's Lee Alcorn.

Not that Kirk hasn't been trying his best to keep things uncontroversial as he carries out the agenda of Dallas' business community. Buzz had learned long before Price and Alcorn led pickets outside the mayor's house that Kirk's weekly schedule of upcoming activities had become something of a classified document, at the very least a rare collectible.

When we called the mayor's office and requested a copy of the top guy's schedule for the next week, we were promised--a couple of times--that it was on the way. It never came. Nor did the mayor's aides return our phone calls. All of which supports the rumor around City Hall that even for city officials, the mayor's weekly schedule can only be gotten--and this is not an example of Buzz's absurd humor--the week after the events occur. Makes it kinda tough to keep up with Ron. Maybe that's the point.

Kirk's office has informed some fellow public servants that the schedule is kept secret for "security" reasons. But this security concern might only extend as far as protecting the mayor from the threat of Bad PR. It seems that ever since Kirk took his very laudable--not to mention out-of-character--stand weeks ago asking the community to give new, and embattled, DISD superintendent Yvonne Gonzalez a chance to prove herself, he had been getting increasing doses of the same rude treatment from black activists that she has endured. The "Mayor Sambo" picketing outside his house last week was the result of a gradually escalating campaign to get the mayor to toe their line.

At a recent Unity Conference (is irony on a roll, or what?), Price gave Kirk the cold shoulder and not a little lip. And a week or so before that, when Kirk spoke to a group about his City of Harmony award, NAACP chief Alcorn, sitting in the audience, dramatically turned his back to the mayor.

Kirk, who apparently figures the best conflict resolution is just to walk away from a stupid fight, started doing just that. Kirk was supposed to speak at Adamson High School recently as part of a group that included Price. At the last minute, Kirk's office told school officials that the mayor couldn't make the event because of a "scheduling conflict." Kirk offered to speak to the students a day earlier--alone. We hear that the separate-but-equal assemblies went very well.

Ron is learning that even mayors with the best PR consultants will take heat if they take a stand. Price and Alcorn say they want the mayor to remember that it was them--and the black community--who put him in office. But Kirk, who has been raking in easy money from the Dallas business community in the form of do-nothing moonlighting jobs--might see it differently. Maybe they ought to call the North Dallas power brokers for Kirk's long-range schedule.

Take my wife -- please
We thoroughly enjoyed the News' Todd Gillman's excellent (we mean that) story on Dallas first lady Matrice Kirk's job with a media company owned by Mavericks owner Tom Hicks. Hicks, you might remember, wants the city to give him a $70 million interest-free loan to build a new sports arena.

But one intriguing question was raised by the story, then left unanswered. Gillman notes that Hicks claimed he never talked to Matrice about the arena, "except as a passing joke a couple of times."

We don't know about you, but we found ourselves ruminating on exactly what that bit of sports arena drollery might have been. So we turned to our usual inside sources and soon regained consciousness with this answer:

Hicks (snicker): Hey, Matrice! Knock, knock.
Matrice (titter):Who's there?
Ben's who?

There's a Mercedes Benz SL 600 in it for you if your husband forks over $70 million in taxpayers' money for my new sports arena!

(Guffaws and knee-slapping all around.)

No purple dinosaurs, please
Could KERA-Channel 13, formerly known as Richie's SCUBA Tours, really be considering, gasp, local programming? Nothing's being made public yet, but Buzz has it that KERA is showing a pilot of Between the Lines to focus groups with the possibility of resurrecting the Cross Fire-wannabe--featuring political consultant Rob Allyn, Clintonite Regina Montoya, and Star-Telegram columnist Bob Ray Sanders. Sanders tells us that "It's definitely a go" for April.

KERA also is looking at a local independently produced series tentatively titled Woman's Work. The WW pilot, expected to be completed in mid-April, will feature profiles of former Times Herald editor Vivian Castleberry and former city councilwoman Anita Martinez, along with stuff of interest to working women.

Between the Lines was the last of KERA's local programming when it was canceled last year. If you remember, station manager Richie Meyers, who with $200,000 in salary and perks was one of the nation's highest paid, felt the mission of public television was to run British comedies ad nauseam and provide him and his wife with junkets to exotic diving locales. Meyers later left the station for a cushy fellowship in Taiwan. Bummer.

Despite its usefulness in curing insomnia--and Rob Allyn's inability to be half as droll as those Brits--we hope the return of Between the Lines will herald a golden, or at least bronze, age of local programming.

--Glen Warchol

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Glen Warchol