Friday, May 24, 2013

A quick observation on Texas' LockStep Political Media

I realize the ol' blog hasn't had any updates for a couple of weeks, but life (esp. the paying and family parts) gets in the way of typing thoughts for free.

I would like to make one observation however, regarding Texas LockStep Political Media.


Outside of Burka the Clown, no group has done a worse job covering the 83rd Texas Legislative session than the Dallas Morning News.  Robert T. Garrett has devolved into a gossip writer, Wayne Slater has not only lost his fastball, but his change-up is gone as well (he never really had a working curve that could surprise), Christy Hoppe seems to have no idea what the issues are, much less how to report on them and Karen Brooks Harper needs to go back to the lifestyle section and write articles on fashion trends that few read.

Yes, The Texas Tribune is populated by young staffers who, more often than not, miss the key points behind what they're watching, are continuing their unique obsession to have Carol Alvarado be paid a living wage and are seemingly edited by a spider monkey, but at least they are making an attempt to report it straight, at times.  Jay Root's piece on Sen. John Carona is evidence of that.

I never had any hopes for Hearst's Austin bureau, they have a limited budget, no editors and no indication that they are really into news reporting (their focus seeming to be limited to gathering [and then providing snark to] actual news reported by others). Quorum Report is more interested in getting involved in Twitter flame wars with conservatives than it is actually working on it's product (their website is horrible, and their reporters view Twitter victories as something important), and other news outlets are either too self-involved, or too uninformed to really care.

I guess I have to put the DMN Texas politics team at the bottom of the heap because they're past reporting was (comparatively mind you) pretty strong.  And let's be honest, being a strong political reporter in Texas is like coming in first in a Congressional popularity poll.  The bar is pretty low.

Now that Paul Burka has officially removed himself from the realms of political journalists by basing all of this year's work on personal grudges and unsubstantiated rumors fed to him by political consultants (instead of just most of it, as he did in the past) the DMN is setting the official floor.

At the top?

Taking a page from Ring Magazine, I'm going to declare the belt vacant.  Overall it's been a very lackluster reporting season, and Texans are worse off for it.

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