Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mostly Fluff

A quick look at the ChronBlog's local politics coverage today reveals the following:

A love letter to Gene Locke penned by Bradley Olson. - Providing a hint as to who the CCTT is going to endorse?*

An after the fact re-hashing by Lisa Falkenberg of points made by David Crossley and reporter James Pinkerton previously. - With little or no value add. On a good note: She can continue banging away with that hammer for one column more.**

The Chron's Caucasian Think-Tank gets one right by endorsing a 'yes' vote on Proposition 11 - This might come as a surprise to some observers, since said proposition could impact certain pet projects that they have long supported.

Where ChronBlog offered readers some value, in my opinion, was not in the print edition but, once again, on the Houston Politics Blog:

Peggy O'Hare provides an overview of the recent Mayoral Debate. - Something that should have received front page placing in my opinion.

And the blog posted the generic election ballots for Harris, Montgomery, Waller, Liberty, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend & Galveston counties.

Meanwhile the blogosphere has been buzzing about questions of residency for both candidates named Khan as well as the continuing issues faced by the Locke campaign.

*I know, I know, there's a "firewall" between news and editorial content over at 801 Texas. Uh-huh. And if you believe that I've got an "internal memo" that outlines a land deal in California for you

**It's hard to believe that these columns are allowed to fly in a major daily


  1. A love letter to Gene Locke? Really? Judging by their comments, readers hardly saw the story that way. It referred to Locke as a "consigliere," a term associated with the Mafia; dug out quotes like "dehonkify" from his radical student days; pointed out that his ties to powerful local institutions have drawn criticism; and reported suspicions that he isn't really interested in the job. Did you actually read the article?

  2. Yeah, I read the article. If you take the 'words' that you pulled out and put them in their correct context....

    It was 1977, and Locke was an erstwhile civil rights activist, fresh off a divorce and struggling to support two young daughters doing shift work at an oil refinery.

    After dropping off a car for repairs, he told church members, he was led by God to the downtown campus of South Texas College of Law and into an impromptu meeting with an associate dean, where he was admitted on the spot. Upon hearing about his good fortune, a co-worker at the refinery offered to cover for him on occasion so he could study or rest enough to be a successful student.

    The moral for parishioners, Locke said, was that a life of service was worth it and that God could be counted on to put great people and opportunity into your path.

    The story also goes a long way toward explaining a puzzle about Locke, 62, who is immersed in a tight race for mayor. That fateful trip downtown was the genesis of how Gene Locke, the fiery rabble-rouser of 1969 who once talked of “dehonkifying” the University of Houston, became Gene Locke, the bigwig lawyer and consigliere to Houston's powerful, the man who in 2009 would seek the ultimate establishment job.

    That's some pretty fancy prose for a Mayoral race. It takes his worst traits, and allows him to explain them away. That's a pretty positive way of dealing with them, a story of the turmoil of youth, tribulation and ultimately.....salvation.

    Yeah, I read the piece. Twice actually, before posting about it.

  3. " . . . it takes his worst traits and allows him to explain them away."
    So, the reporter shouldn't include the candidate's explanation? That might fly in the blogosphere but not in a reported news article. Readers can decide for themselves whether to accept the explanation; not to include it would be unfair.

  4. "So, the reporter shouldn't include the candidate's explanation?"

    That's not what I'm arguing. Talk about stretching the truth....What I'm referring to is accepting his explenation uncrtically without offering other information. This article, in my opinion, was slanted to favor Locke in its tone and the way the evidence was presented. IMO an article should neither be positive OR negative, it should've featured both his explenations as well as input from his detractors. The former was there, but not the latter. Possibly that was outside of the scope of this article, maybe it was edited out? I don't know this, I can only provide my opinion on what ran. Since ChronBlog is not very open about the interview process, we're not given much else to run with.

    That might fly in the blogosphere but not in a reported news article.

    Logical fallacies shouldn't fly anywhere. As invalid as you find my criticism to be, your defense of ChronBlog is just as invalid. You're taking my words and projecting onto them how I feel about what should be ChronBlog's standards.

    As a news consumer, I have a fairly strong opinion about what I want from my newspaper. As a news provider, ChronBlog has an opinion about what they provide to the consumer. My opinion and ChronBlog's standards are obviously at loggerheads.

    If you don't find my opinion relevant or worthy of taking seriously fine. You understand that I'm a silly little blogger with no couth or understanding of the AP style guide, and I keep plugging away on a minor blog with readers in the tens. I can live with that.

    Hell, I've been called worse. (Thinly veiled misogynist comes to mind, or "That outer loop joker" those are a couple of my favorites.)


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