Buzz

Classy

Buzz is a little late getting around to reporting this--been busy and all--so forgive us for sharing a little old news about a class action lawsuit filed against Belo Corp. for its recent circulation woes. You may be aware of the suit if you read the business section of The Dallas Morning News closely; in August, it had a 300-word article about the lawsuits facing the company as a result of The Dallas Morning News falsifying circulation numbers. Now we're finally getting around to doing our job and filling in the dirty details the News left out. Here goes...

But wait. Before we get into recounting Belo's misdeeds, allow Buzz to say there's a good reason we were so slow about getting to this. See, we blame Eric Celeste, the Dallas Observer's former media columnist, for the lapse. Eric left not long ago to enter reha...uh, we mean to take a position with another publication, so things have been a little slow on the Belo-watching front. It's fallen into Buzz's lap to track Belo's shenanigans, a job we take seriously despite the fact that Mrs. Buzz works for the Morning News. That may sound like a conflict of interest to most readers, but trust us: The realization that roughly half our household income comes from Belo Corp. in no way influences Buzz's willingness to speak frankly of the allegations detailed in this lengthy securities-fraud lawsuit. Back to those details...

But you know, seriously, it's an odd thing, these conflict-of-interest rules. Conservative columnist Armstrong Williams was slammed recently for taking $240,000 from the Bush administration to promote the No Child Left Behind education-reform law on his TV and radio shows and failing to reveal the payments. Can cash influence a columnist's opinion? Certainly. But rest assured that Buzz is free of pecuniary interests. Now, about that lawsuit...

Hold it. You're scoffing, saying to yourself, "The Morning News is making half this guy's house payment. How can he cover their ugly doings?" Well, the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Just check out this stuff from the lawsuit...

Wait, wait. Before we get started, we gotta ask: What does "the proof is in the pudding" mean, exactly? What sort of lawyer would put his proof in a gelatinous dish? Weird, man. But we digress, back to that lawsuit...

Oh, darn. It appears Buzz has run out of space. Well, we'll get back to giving you the gory story on Belo's nefarious doings in a later column. Unless we forget.

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Patrick Williams is editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Patrick Williams