Mea Culpa, You-a Culpable, And We Want Our Trinity Naysayers Takedown Now!

I am embarrassed, and I want to offer the Friends of Unfair Park an apology. Last Thursday I proferred an ironclad prediction that The Dallas Morning News would run one of its aw-shucks-yer-pretty-head Trinity River columns or editorials by Sunday, two days ago, telling readers not to pay attention to any of the bad news about the Trinity River project. Now I am 48 hours late on my prediction, and I just can't tell you how uncomfortable this makes me. I can't figure out what went wrong.

Obviously, the shoot-down piece is coming. I'm thinking now it will be columnist Steve Blow weighing in, at least by the end of this week, saying, "Revelations about Toll Road Don't Mean Squat to This Pilgrim" -- or, you know, words to that effect. We do know it's coming. But I just feel utterly humiliated and emasculated by the delay.

It's not that there hasn't been movement. There has been some definite wriggling around over there as the city's only daily newspaper struggles against the cruel bonds of truth.

Last Friday Unfair Park jabbed them for trying not to admit that the paper had seriously misled voters in the 2007 Trinity toll road referendum: The News -- in editorials, columns and news stories -- said over and over again that if voters rejected an alignment between the flood control levees for the proposed Trinity River toll road, the state and federal governments just wouldn't build any new highways for downtown Dallas ever.

Ever! No roads!

So, last week they tried to sort of dish a little tidbit into a blog in which they admitted that state highway officials had visited with The News editorial board and said, in effect, that of course they're going to proceed with plans to rebuild the major downtown freeway interchanges even though the toll road is dead in the water. Basically Unfair Park called chicken shit on them for trying not to admit that this flies in the face of everything they told voters before the election.

Sunday, to their limited credit and in direct response to Unfair Park, they did publish a piece in which they sorta kinda admitted that the plans of state highway officials to proceed with Project Pegasus in downtown are 180 degrees from what the paper had told voters before the election. They kind of didn't come right out and really just flat admit their own role, but they did concede the 180-degree shift.

That is not at all what I want to see. It's not what I predicted. And its not what I insist on here. What I want to see -- and I want it now! -- is the following:

I want a Steve Blow column. I want it in the paper no later than Saturday. I want it to say the following things.

1) Lots of stuff runs into problems.

2) Shucks.

3) Lots of stuff changes.

4) Shucks.

5) The naysayers and the down-in-the-mouthers are negative and bad.

6) The Trinity River toll road can to be paid for and it can to be built out where it floods and nobody cares about levees what in the heck is a dang levee anyway they're stupid.

7) If they don't build the toll road it will be the End Times in the whole world except Sunnyvale, and, finally,

8) Double shucks.

This should have been done days ago. Again I apologize for the delay. I assure you, they're working on it.

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Jim Schutze has been the city columnist for the Dallas Observer since 1998. He has been a recipient of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ national award for best commentary and Lincoln University’s national Unity Award for writing on civil rights and racial issues. In 2011 he was admitted to the Texas Institute of Letters.
Contact: Jim Schutze