Puttin' a DART in Tim Rogers' Comeback

Three weeks ago I did a smack-down on Tim Rogers, the editor of D, after he was the subject of a bad front-page story in The Dallas Morning News. The story was about phone calls Rogers made to the media relations department of the school district to get his kid into a special pre-K program.

Yesterday Tim Rogers did a smack-down on me for writing a blog item criticizing Dallas Area Rapid Transit for poor service during the ice-bowl Super Bowl. Rogers said my article was totally unfair, because I said DART didn't know how to keep its trains running in an ice storm.

He said they did too know how. They just didn't want to. His words: "Point is, you can take steps to try to keep your trains running in an ice storm. DART knows darn well what all those steps are. But DART designed and built its system to deal with the weather we normally get in North Texas."

I guess "normal Texas weather" is the party line. You mean like normal conditions during the summer? What about normal conditions during the winter? We have winter every year, Tim.

You bought the company line, didn't you Tim? I see that The Dallas Morning News this morning quotes DART board member Jerry Christian at last night's board meeting saying DART was "wise to design its system 'for normal, North Texas weather,' rather than spending extra funds on precautions that could help during rare storms."

Yeah. Rare. So rare. So this morning, one week after the Super Bowl fiasco, DART has announced on its web page that once again "Sections of DART Rail are experiencing delays in excess of 40 minutes while the ice storm moves through the region."

Excuse me. Don't we have ice storms every year? And Christian doesn't think we need to be prepared? Man, I hope Christian isn't on the board of any major hospitals.

By the way, he's the same preacher who took a cool grand in cash from Dwaine Caraway during the recent no-alcohol campaign, then told The News's Steve Thompson, "I don't need to talk to you about what I did in the campaign."

There's your mentor, Tim. That's who you're riding with on this one.

Tim, Tim, Tim. I don't begrudge you coming back on me, man. I expect it. I look forward to it. But have some pride. I whacked you with a two-by-four. You snapped me with your scarf.

You were the subject of a front-page headline that said, "D Magazine editor's child given a Pre-K slot while needy children wait."

Think about it, Tim. While needy children wait. While needy children wait! Compare that to, "DART knows darn well what all those steps are."

It's about proportionality. Fight fire with fire, man, not dirty looks. This is embarrassing for both of us.

Look. You were the subject of a government inquiry into wrongdoing. They published a 90-page report. You think DART is going to do a 90-page report on me?

Truth be told, I'm jealous. I wish they would. And I have been the subject of a Morning News smack-down before, back during the Trinity River Toll Road election.

They put yours on Page One. Me they stuck back in the Metro section. You should be proud. Don't go around acting all woundy-snarky-snuffly about this. It's bad for the profession.

Here. I'm going to give you some free advice again, because I think you need it. You should try again to get me. But really try, guy. What you need to do is wait for a situation where you've got some live shells to pump. Something good.

For example, the thing I liked best about your DISD affair was that it involved just the faintest whiff of criminality, in an entirely speculative sense. One could wonder if you had caused federal funds to be improperly expended.

I don't think you did a darned thing criminal. I really don't. I would never want to see the feds perp-walking you out to the van in cuffs with your Billy Reid sportcoat held up over your face. Never.

But that's sort of the image you need to go for if you want to double up on me.

So instead what do you hit me with? You say I'm bad because I should have thought that maybe DART, which operates a light-rail system in a region where winter ice storms are common, thought about adopting measures to keep the trains running in an ice storm but then said, nah, screw it, we'll take our chances.


Tim, the last major journalistic effort I saw under your byline was "Why Jay Jerrier makes the best pizza in Dallas." I think you need to stick with what you know, at least until you've got something better.

By the way, Tim: The pizza places around my house were all delivering during last week's storm.

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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