Update: the reporter/strip club entertainer in question has broken her silence on twitter, with this hysterically funny tweet:
Update: the reporter/strip club entertainer in question has broken her silence on twitter, with this hysterically funny tweet:
Last night’s going-away celebration for the irrepressible Dave “Davey Joe” Montgomery, the last (damn good) man standing in the once-proud Austin bureau of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram was both fun and bittersweet. The room was decorated with photos of reporters past and present, and lined with old front pages of the newspaper with legendary bylines such as Molly Ivins, Jake Dyer, Jay Root, John Moritz, Karen Brooks, and many others. But of course since Jay Root was kind enough to put together the event, most of the front pages in the room had Jay Root bylines. Funny how that works.
Here’s how universally-respected and well-liked the former Startlegram writers and editors are in this town – it brought together these two unlikely people.
|Harold, Perry Presidential Campaign Spokesman Mark Miner|
With Dave’s departure, the Startlegram bureau is no more – another victim of buyouts, layoffs, and cutbacks. Anybody think that’ll improve news coverage of the goings-on of the folks you elect? I didn’t think so.
Caption contest in the comments section! You gotta be nice. (at least to Miner)
Letters From Texas Worldwide Headquarters, Twitter Data Mining Division, brings you this tweet from the Texas Tribune:
I am completely excited, and somewhat terrified, to have been included as an IgniteSXSW speaker tomorrow night at the Austin Music Hall. This, despite the fact that I’ve never attended SXSW, nor have I ever attended an Ignite event. That the event is headlined by titans Bob Metcalfe and Guy Kawasaki doesn’t intimidate me any less, let’s just say.
Here’s the blurb on their website about my big 5 minutes of
Political Communication in 2021
The future of successful political communications in the coming decade is even more uncertain than political communications methods have been over the past decade. Political advisor, analyst, and satirist Harold Cook will explore the range of possibilities for the future, in this very unique pursuit for votes – in which more than half the candidates fall short, almost half the voters are bitterly disappointed, and almost everyone involved takes themselves way too seriously.
Somebody mentioned earlier this week that now that I’m on the SXSW program this year, I’d have to stop ragging on SXSW. She’s about to find out how utterly wrong she is, when a SXSW piece will auto-post in this space tomorrow night while I’m speaking.
Here’s what an Ignite event is all about.
Here’s the line-up of speakers.
Here’s where to register to attend, even if you don’t have SXSW credentials. And yes, the bar in the Music Hall will be open. That’s where you’ll find me immediately before and after my part of the program.
Spoiler alert: this might come up during my remarks. Just sayin’.
Reporters are funny.
Remember the dust-up last week, when it was discovered that Governor Rick Perry was blocking some Texas reporters from his twitter feed? First reported in Dallas, the story instantly went national.
Except, Perry’s behavior is nothing new. Back in early October of 2010, the Austin American-Statesman‘s Omar Gallaga reported that some of Perry’s fellow Texans had been blocked from Perry’s twitter feed, which not only prevents Perry’s communications from appearing in the timelines of those blocked, but also prevents Perry from seeing any of the blocked Texans’ communications in his own timeline.
The only new news here is that this time, it wasn’t just constituents – the people the governor represents – being blocked. This time, it’s reporters. Since reporters are so special and all, national media couldn’t wait to report on local Texas media being screwed.
But here’s what’s really special: a state’s governor, communicating by using a handle containing the title of his office of public trust, in the process of communicating with his constituents willfully chooses to block messages both to and from some constituents who might not agree.
The symbolism is unmistakable, and terrible: to some Texans, he’s turning a blind eye to their views, and his own are none of their business.
So how many publications picked up the original Statesman story last October, when it was Perry’s constituents being blocked? To my knowledge, none.
Let the Governor block a few journalists, however, and the Washington Post picks it up by sundown.
I can’t imagine why the Governor would choose to block reporters, especially the ones he blocked, who are among the fairest journalists I know. But they’re also among the journalists who never bothered to ask Perry about it until they themselves were blocked – only the Statesman‘s Gallaga had approached him before, to his credit.
I also can’t imagine why they and the national media outlets who pounced last week didn’t think it was worthy news when Perry was blocking regular citizens last October.
Perhaps Gallaga, the original reporter, who doesn’t usually report on politics, tweeted it best on the day the story re-broke last week:
A link to something I wrote that’s five months old is still better late than never! Politics: I don’t get it.
Sadly, Omar, I think you get it perfectly.
As for some of the other reporters, good thing they didn’t instead become fire fighters. They might not show up to put out the fire until it’s their own house in flames.
…is covering this important breaking news story?
This news anchor in Houston has apparently not gotten used to the new wide-screen HD format at his station. Oopsie.
Well that didn’t take long – for KPRC-TV in Houston to assert their copyright claim so that you, the crap-reading public, could no longer watch as their news anchor shot the bird on live TV. But as a consolation prize, here’s a screen capture.
Democrats and/or Republicans have been stewing and/or cackling about MSNBC’s suspension of Keith Olbermann, since the cable news host made personal campaign contributions to candidates he supports. Olbermann’s network announced last night that his indefinite suspension gets pretty darn definite tomorrow, when he’ll return to his show. So basically, all of political Earth was up in arms about what essentially amounted to Olbermann taking a long weekend in the Catskills, taking long walks with that special someone.
Did I happen to mention that it’s sweeps month? I’m thinking his show “Countdown” takes a spike on Tuesday. Yeah. Go team.
Olbermann’s frequent co-conspirator in socialism and/or The American Way, Rachel Maddow, put things in perspective pretty well on her own show.
As articulately as Ms. Maddow put it, and as much as I agree with her bottom line, do you ever get the idea – perhaps even the hope – that MSNBC and Fox News will eventually morph into attacking each other full-time, in the process forgetting all about the rest of us?
A girl can dream….
Meanwhile, forget all that, because I’m pretty sure this is where all the trouble started anyway.
Finally! This is the big break I’ve been looking for.
The Associated Press has announced their new policy that bloggers should be credited as news sources.
Well, Mr. Big Shot Jay Root, I’m calling you out: you should have covered my big exclusive story on the explosion in El Paso when you had a chance. Now you’re way behind the rest of the news media in reporting episodes of border violence that never actually happened.
And I’m calling you out, Miss Fancy Pants April Castro, for failing to report my big exclusive story on all the places Bill White has been photographed, yet in reality hasn’t been.
Or what about you, Miss “I’d rather be writing about stupid stuff like $18 billion budget shortfalls” Kelley Shannon, who completely missed in-depth analysis about how Tiger Woods could repair his reputation? Completely ignored it.
Clearly it’s time for you Austin Bureau AP people to straighten up and fly right. There’s a new sheriff in town.
A well-respected progressive blogger last week, in reaction to a perfectly ridiculous and semi-entertaining news release about how some creepy guy stole General Land Office Commissioner candidate Hector Uribe’s photo to put it on his own dating website page, tweeted “time to focus on GLO issues” Meanwhile, the stolen photo incident got some love by mainstream media.
Uribe’s campaign should be using its press releases to attack the Republican incumbent and to announce Uribe’s own policy ideas (assuming they actually exist).
And incidentally – oops – I just did it again. I used blogger criticism as an excuse to highlight Hector Uribe’s issues. More political flack cheap tricks. My bad.
Update: one of the two above bloggers, the one with the more extensive quote, had widely-hinted on his blog that Charles Kuffner, publisher of the leading “Off the Kuff” blog, agrees with him. Kuff interrupted his vacation this morning long enough to email me the following:
I strongly disagree with that characterization, which I will state on my blog when I am back online. I’ve said Hector is my favorite candidate this cycle, and I meant it.
We here at Letters From Texas Worldwide Headquarters often discuss with you, the crap-reading public, the concept of news as a revenue-generating business. This creates both problems and solutions from time to time, as journalists run all over the place looking for something people are more likely to read or watch than whatever the competition offers.
Particularly susceptible to the trend are those in broadcast media, who are in a constant battle for ever-increasing flash, glitter, and glitz.
Where does this trend lead? I’m glad you asked. Elise Hu and Matt Stiles, both very ironically with the non-profit news organization Texas Tribune, were recently on their honeymoon in Greece (congratulations, you two crazy kids!), and shot this video of the weather report of the nightly news program there.
The video originally appeared on Elise’s personal blog, Hey Elise.
Harvey Kronberg’s Quorum Report recently started linking to PolitiFact Texas – a strong indication that Kronberg has lost his rabbit-ass mind.
If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times – about how el Presidente Hopey McChangerson continually breaks the promises he made while campaigning for President. He’s getting quite the reputation, “that one” is.
Except, apparently it isn’t true.
PolitiFact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning online journalism project which holds candidates’ and officeholders’ feet to the fire on the truth of their claims, recently rated more than 500 promises Obama made during the campaign, and is tracking the administration’s progress on those promises.
So far, the new-ish Texas version of PolitiFact, originating from the American-Statesman (and frankly, deliberately not linked to from here) hasn’t made a fan out of me. There’s a fine line between the nit-picking “gotcha” journalism it has too often been so far, and the sort of sober clarity that the fact-checking project could provide readers.
In their defense, we obviously haven’t made fans out of the Statesman either, since they removed our link from their “Virtual Capitol” political portal page a while back.
And on an unrelated note, a big thank you to those of you who follow or read us through Facebook – LettersFromTexas.com passed through 1,000 Facebook followers at some point over the weekend. Among Facebook followers, that ranks us as the most followed blog in Texas of any kind, and at the moment rates us at 15th among all political blogs, and 11th among all humor blogs. Check out the badge in the right hand sidebar for the current number of followers.
This also explains why the baseball team doesn’t seem very focused on the game of baseball most of the time.
Top Secret Intergalactic Communication
From: Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas
To: Supreme Chancellor Rick Perry, AKA Darth Sidious
The future of The Empire is at risk. Please advise.
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