Hey, D Magazine, Here's How You "Recant."

Speak up, son: So, Wick Allison, publisher of D Magazine, long ago dropped his support for the city's controversial plan to build a toll road between the Trinity River levees. Who knew?

We sure didn't. Last we'd heard, D was still a member of the toll road's cheerleading squad led by the The Dallas Morning News, which has begun tentatively recasting its position.

We wondered when D would weigh in on recent reporting from the News concerning engineers' doubts about constructing a submersible road. So last week, Jim Schutze posted an item on our Unfair Park blog that essentially asked, "Where's Wick?"

Turns out, Allison's been a road aginner since '09. In response to Schutze, Allison claimed on D's blog that Schutze deliberately misinterpreted a column Allison wrote in August '09 urging the city's leaders to ignore engineers and retake control of the Trinity corridor project. Allison's blog entry was followed by a post from D executive editor Tim Rogers, who wrote that Allison's " ended, far as I can tell, in [March] 2009."

Far as he can tell? WTF?

If this were the Spanish Inquisition, Allison's version of recanting would earn him the ol' Dominican hotfoot. In his "don't believe engineers" column, Allison didn't use the words "toll" or "road," but the column came not long after the News reported engineers were saying the city needed to do more tests and maybe pour a buttload (engineering term) of concrete around the levees before thinking about a road. Ignore them, Allison urged the very city leaders who want the road.

Allison did use the word "recant" in a March 2009 blog post. Far as we can tell, Allison was recanting his claim that if the city didn't build the road, it would lose a buttload (financial term) of federal money. That wasn't true, Allison admitted, but he didn't state a position on the toll road, other than to note that not building it could be expensive for the city in other ways. In comments attached to that blog entry, he pointedly refused to recant when asked directly by a commenter.

We tried calling Allison to ask him where he stands. He never called back.

But, if he really wants to "recant," it's not hard. When a priest asks you, "Do you renounce Satan and all his works?" a simple "yes" is sufficient. "Far as I can tell" is not. So, Wick, next time someone asks whether you've withdrawn your support for the toll road, try saying this: "Yes."

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