Wednesday Roundup: Taste the Creamy Filling

  • The corporate mandated pot-stirring from Belo for the People’s Hotel is bad enough — read any of Steve Blow’s bought and paid for house advertorials? — but is it so bad that writers aren’t putting their bylines on their assigned hit pieces?
  • DUI checkpoints a-comin’ unless they get derailed. “Your papers, citizen.”
  • Coinciding with the posting of my Star Trek movie review, there’s this bit of awesome — the instruction manual for the USS Enterprise.
  • Yes, but what about the local anchors now that the Great Hamthrax Panic is over? Won’t someone think of them?
  • ph2009050403123Finally, U.S. Rep Pete Sessions, R-Oh God It’s Dallas, has been partying it up at Tao in Las Vegas. Here’s the billboard for one of the GOP venues — “Always a Happy Ending.” (h/t Ed Cognoski.)

Full Pwnage*, Mr. Blow

(*Yes, I know, it’s old. Like Randall. I’m taking it back. It’s retro-hip as of now.)

Full disclosure please, Mr. Johnson

9:41 AM Fri, May 01, 2009 | | Yahoo! Buzz
Steve Blow/Columnist Bio |  E-mail |  News tips

Consultant Charles Johnson writes a scary guest column in today’s paper in which he dooms the proposed convention hotel in Dallas to financial failure.

I wish Mr. Johnson had also been honest enough to disclose that his opinion was bought and paid for by Harlan Crow, the hotel’s opponent in chief.


Strong and damaging accusation.

What’s your evidence his opinion was paid for?

I’d like to add, you’re asking for full disclosure.

The least you could do is disclose the hard evidence you have of your allegation.

Fair question. Anne Raymond told me.

So your saying he had no opinion or a contrary opinion to what he wrote today, and then when a check from Crow Holdings cleared, he either 1) did a 180 or 2) manufactured research to support a position he either did not hold previously, or didn’t hold at all?

Is that what you’re saying?

Oh, let’s not play cute. You know that full disclosure is simply about revealing personal/financial interests. How much importance to attach is left to readers.

What are the odds that a paid consultant in a political campaign would publicly proclaim anything other than what his patron wanted him to say? Probably worse than the odds that the convention center hotel would ever make money?

Oh, okay.

Then in the interest of full disclosure, will you now provide a comprehensive list of the land holdings around the CHH owned by the company that signs your paycheck, and its parent company? Since it is speculated the value of these parcels will rise, then that, too, is a personal/financial interest.

Then we can let readers decide how much importance to attach to that when evaluating your arguments for the hotel.

“Full” doesn’t mean half, after all.

Sorry that I can’t find it online. But in the Sunday, April 19 paper, a map ran along with a convention hotel story (page 16A) showing the location of all Belo property near the hotel site.

I’ll see about getting it posted online.

So it would be equally fair to say your position on the hotel is likewise “bought and paid for,” yes?

Hmmm… No, not equally fair.

I work for a company located in the vicinity of the hotel. My personal financial stake in the future of the hotel is near zero.

Your back peddle skills are Armstrongesque.

Wait – I’m confused. Was Charles Johnson paid to write the column, or was he once paid as a consultant for his real estate expertise?

Because if it’s the latter, well, yeah, there are similarities between Steve Blow and Charles Johnson.

Charles Johnson wrote something that just happens to jibe with an employer’s view, which he holds because he either thinks the hotel is a bad idea, or he thinks it will cut into his profits. Or both.

Steve Blow wrote something that just happens to jibe with an parent company’s views, because they think the hotel is a good idea, or because they stand to benefit substantially through real estate holdings.

I was pleased to see the map in Sunday’s paper, and the Belo property holdings have been mentioned as part of news converage.
But the Editorial Board urged voters to vote No on Prop 1 without a mention of said holdings. I know this isn’t their blog, but it’s worth noting here.

“My personal financial stake in the future of the hotel is near zero.”

This is a family friendly blog, so I won’t repeat my spontaneous utterance when I read this sentence.

1. Your employer owns a huge amount of land in the area of the Hotel.
2. Your employer has a broken business model and little hope of a course correction with out massive restructuring (try less than 1/4th of your current head count, and ceasing the publication of the paper version of The Paper).
3. Your employer has stated, publicly, that they intend to bridge the revenue gap by selling excess real estate. Therefore, your employer has a special interest in the value of the land they own around the convention center.
4. Therefore, so do you. If the hotel doesn’t get built, the cost of the land in the area won’t rise and the land will have to be sold for less money than your bosses would like. Less money from the land sales is less money for payroll, faster head count reductions, possibly bankruptcy, and maybe not existing at all.

How much longer do you think it will be before someone figures out this news paper probably doesn’t need three metro columnists anymore? It’s safe to assume the answer depends on the outcome of the Prop 1 vote.

You absolutely have an interest in seeing the value of your parent company’s land increase.

If it doesn’t, who gets the axe next?

My guess is the “journalists” who write drab, miserable human interest pieces.