How Tim Rogers Ruined My Day

D magazine executive editor Tim Rogers
As Observer editor Mark Donald, fellow staff writer Megan Feldman and I exited our car and headed to the elevators in the parking garage at the Belo Mansion yesterday afternoon, we bumped into staffers from D Magazine. It was my first opportunity to meet Adam McGill and Zac Crain, and then Tim Rogers extended his hand. Reluctantly, I accepted.

We were there for the Dallas Bar Association Philbin Awards, and Mark later referenced the exchange between Rogers and me, saying, "You should have seen your body language. You leaned back as if you were going to spit at him!"

I always try to play nice, even with people I don't necessarily like or respect. Most times, it's out of courtesy for the people I'm with. There was no need to make Mark and Megan tense, I thought, not to mention McGill, Crain and the others. But it was mere seconds before I regretted shaking Rogers' hand.

It had only been two days since I began to digest "Why the Observer Stinks," a column by Rogers in this month's D Magazine. He claims we've "committed two offenses that call into question whether the paper has anything of worth left to say." Those offenses, according to Rogers, were Jim Schutze's September 4 column ("Toll You So") and Robert Wilonsky's September 9 blog item, both of which were related to the Trinity River Corridor Project.

To be clear, I'm not here to stick up for Jim and Robert. They're big boys and can take care of themselves. But the name of Rogers' column was not "Why Jim Schutze Stinks" or "Why Robert Wilonsky Stinks." He called out everyone at this paper, so that includes me. And given my history with Rogers and experience covering the Trinity issue, it feels appropriate to offer a retort.

I learned everything I needed to know about Rogers when he spoke to my ethics class while I was finishing my journalism degree at SMU in 2007. As I wrote in my July 18 column on Dallas Blog, Rogers explained how he exercised ethics on D Magazine's blog, FrontBurner. He said while covering rumors that Gov. Rick Perry was gay, doing actual reporting on the issue sounded like "real work," "making phone calls" and "asking for documents" -- things Rogers was clearly not interested in doing. Again, he was saying this in front of an ethics class full of journalism students.

Rogers said he had approximately 200 tipsters who sent him info and "kinda" knew where they worked. "Is that ethical? I don't know," he said. "I don't know these people. A lot of them I haven't met face to face."

I won't rehash the whole story. You get the point. I haven't liked or respected the guy from the first time I met him. And things he's written since then have done nothing but confirm my original feelings.

So Schutze writes a column about the Trinity Project detailing the delays with the bridges and toll road. At the end, he wrote: "But the really important fact, embedded in all of this, is that we have idiots steering the ship."

Rogers says Schutze has "come unhinged" because he used the word "idiots" and what's worse it that our editor let it stand.

An idiot is widely considered to be someone who's foolish or stupid. Broken down further, we can understand stupid to mean "marked by or resulting from unreasoned thinking or acting" and foolish as "lacking in sense, judgment, or discretion."

Speaking as someone who has covered the Trinity Project closely, I wholeheartedly agree that many of the key people involved have been guilty of unreasoned thinking and poor judgment. The decision to put a high-speed toll road in a floodway qualifies as both.

A few days after Schutze's column was published, I went to the unveiling of the model for the Trinity Project. I left unimpressed, writing: "For something that took almost two years to build (and isn't even completed yet), I expected it to be bad-ass. But when I saw the Trinity Turnpike consisted of strips of paper, while the American Airlines Center had a working video screen, I wondered if enough time had been spent on the actual Trinity Project as opposed to everything surrounding it."

After I posted pictures of the model, Wilonsky wrote this: "We've just posted the slide show from Sam's trip to the Trinity Trust, where they unveiled the world's most expensive and incomplete model in the history of glue. Seriously, after spending half a million dollars and taking two years, they couldn't debut a finished model? What's the rush? Somebody? Anybody?"

Rogers says this post was telling because it proves we "can't even appreciate what is clearly a work of art." When it comes to the model's craftsmanship, he says, "In that discussion, the Observer has shown it is blind to beauty. That's a sad condition, worse than idiocy."

Rogers claims Schutze has ruined our paper's credibility by calling some people idiots for steering a sinking ship, yet he calls us worse for not being able to appreciate a model that was intended to show off the Trinity Project, but that was the least detailed part of the model. No levees, no depiction of the floodway and a piece of paper representing the most controversial part of the project.

Rogers goes on to gush about the model and it's makers, Susie and Charles Kendrick, who were featured in a 2007 story in DallasCEO, a D Magazine publication. He also corrects the $500,000 price tag that Wilonsky and I both reported as the cost of the model, saying it's more like a $400,000 model, with the Kendrick's getting paid $300,000 while donating $100,000 of their time.

Of course, Rogers doesn't mention that his column is a regurgitation of his September 10 blog called "How the Observer Abdicated Its Watchdog Role," in which he wrote: "So, yeah, it cost $500,000 and has taken two years -- so far."

Let's dissect Wilonsky's points. First he says the model is expensive. Whether it's $500,000 or $300,000, I think we can all agree that holds up. He also says it's incomplete, which has never been disputed. Rogers admits as much in his column, saying "the Kendricks are probably down there in the Design District, working on it right now." Then Wilonsky asks a legitimate question that no one, including Rogers, has been able to answer: Why spend all that dough and show it off with obvious flaws?

Maybe Rogers has a hard time understanding people who don't have an average household income of $344,000, a net worth of $1.7 million and a $540,000 house. Maybe he resents going bald. I dunno, but his attack on the Observer was baseless. If you're going to call someone out, especially an entire paper, you better have some legitimate shit to back it up.

My Voice Nation Help
69 comments
Rakibull
Rakibull

Web DesigneSeveral points:

1) The most I've delved into a D Magazine is looking at the cover in the Tom Thumb checkout line. It looks to me like one of those "Best 50 plastic surgeons/Lasik doctors/restaurants in Dallas (who have advertised with us enough over the past year to merit being on the list)."

2) Instead of calling out the Observer for spelling out all the details and disagreeing with the toll road/Trinity mess, why not point out WHY the Observer is wrong instead of resorting to petty name calling.Web Designe3) Okay, Observer...this point you may not like. Your publication has never pulled punches when it comes to calling out other media entities and their publishers/editors/writers, constantly pointing out the inadequacies of others. This smells a bit like being able to dish it out, but not willing to take it.

4)Rogers' "putting on the Ritz" picture looks like it could have been taken from the studio choreograph scene from Blazing Saddles. "Put out your hands, stick out your tush...." 

ashiqeit
ashiqeit

What is the difference between D Magazine andthe Yellow Pages?

The Yellow Pages doesn't put Janine Turner on every other cover? Web DesignFormer SMU cheerleaders who aspire to be Kay Bailey Hutchinson with a Anna Nicole brain and and arrogant pretend journalistputting out a semi-upscale Penny Saver.Web DesignSam Merten....you have balls because they are going to trash you from now till doomsday. You do not upset the Timmy.You do not question the Eric.

online free movie
online free movie

Excellent post! Well-done post that covers the highlights; you say “in no particular order,” but your first point,“scalabilty,” may be the most important I always say that to keep waiting for inspiration is a way to fool ourselves andjust not do the job! The more you practice, the more you get in touch with whatever turns you on, more often this muse wecall inspiration will visit you! Thanks for the insight and hitting such a complex area of design on the head with yourconcise points.   http://livemoviestv.net

Gujjarashraf
Gujjarashraf

Thanx for a very informative website. Where else could I get that kind of info written in such a perfect means? I have a project that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the look out for such info.http://become-nurse.co.uk/

Gujjarashraf
Gujjarashraf

Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appeal. I must say you have done a fantastic job with this. Additionally, the blog loads extremely fast for me on Chrome. Excellent Blog!.http://london-parks.com/

Ffroger
Ffroger

please he continues to be a douche - a smart ass frat boy who sold out years ago

luciser
luciser

Who else do you know in dallas/ft. worth who could get canned in radio

Hap, tur?u,lida, biber
Hap, tur?u,lida, biber

The only thing better than having both the Observer and D Magazine in town is having them sniping at each other. Me like.

SaIfo
SaIfo

Wooow :D Soo NiCe

risaleforum
risaleforum

Color me stupid but I thought Tim was the lead singer for Depeche Mode.

�nk?r?
�nk?r?

Rogers is a journalist? I thought he was like Dallas' "Andy Rooney"?

jack P.
jack P.

Tom Rogers is not gay.

Downtown Dave
Downtown Dave

It's always impressive to get a bitchy bark out of one of Harlan Crow's many lap dogs. Only, this time, we have two of them snapping at each other.

What's up? Afraid the other's going to wind up with the diamond collar?

Beth Annie
Beth Annie

Not gay. Not gay at all. Just alcoholics.Which explains the lack of any real humor.

For Fucks Sake
For Fucks Sake

Did anyone mention yet that they are a bunch of pussies over there....and I don't mean like vagina..I mean like pussy cats...you know meow, scratch, whine, moan, crap in a box, etc.

Jack E. Jett
Jack E. Jett

Warhol

Gosh darn, you caught me red handed in my T conservation. My entire life is based on trying to be more like Palin. That is why I wear my hair (like her) so high on my head...he keeps from so many things going over it.

I will learn to be less tight with my T.

Online
Online

Tim Rogers is an itty bitty boy.

His remarks concerning most issues in Dallas don't even rate sophomoric. His lack of understanding of basic facts....is well, his most outstanding trait.

As far as Wick is concerned, is someone in the South looking for the last standing segregationist? His attack on desegregation in Dallas as the basis for all ills in DISD is so far off the mark.

Wick needs to have a sit-down talk with Jack Lowe, and he'll understand it all starts at level of the current board president.

brawnypapertowels bountypapertowelsautoexpressionsseatcoversbookbindinginstructionsalistairbeggbodyglovewetsuitauntmarthatransfers

b18bengine

azulenewax22kgoldbangles24kgoldbangles

babytrendexpeditionbenellim4ansystutorialmenstasselloafersrobertzurshoes

womenspennyloafersbrauntoothbrushheadsbraunelectrictoothbrushbrauntoothbrushesbushnelltelescopebraunvitalitytoothbrushactimatesbarney

adjustabledumbbellsyamahaystsubwoofer

kindleleathercoverbemistoiletseatsrollerbackpacksbumkinsdiaperssofiecashmerecashmerecardiganamericanoleantilesblueridgeparkwayremingtonhairstraighteners

kidkraftsavannahdollhousebucillacrossstitchlevianwatchadultcinderellacostumebonethugsamarettosoursunderwaterscootersbladefishseajetseadooseascooters

scubascootersaerogelhairsprayautoclavebags24x32frame30000poundsofbananas

ballysfitnessbladezscooterscooterwatersnowshovelonwheels

snowshovelpusherwearstripcitrineearringstanzaniteringsaquamarinependantperidotringslevianringsametrineringbiscottidressesarnetterage

amarettosourstshirtbrevillejuicefountain

rollerbackpackaerogelhairspray

adjustabledumbbellscheapstoreaquamarinependant

yamahaystsubwoofersyourrollerbackpacksperidotrings

levianringsametrinering

Warhol Reject
Warhol Reject

THERE you are Mr. Jett!!! I was wonderin' when/if you were going to grace us with your presence... ;)

How uncanny, I made the very same Fox News comparison to Sammy Boy himself earlier this afternoon! High five!

Waaaait a minute... "Jack Jet" Are you getting lazy with your moniker and dropping letters like Sarah Palin?? Would the real Jack E. Jett please stand up!

Warhol Reject
Warhol Reject

I swear, why can't people spell anymore (or for that matter, pay attention..)

S - C- H - U - T - Z - E

that is all... :)

...So what's going on over here? Oh yeah, D Magazine is picking on the Observer... right... cool!

wakka-wakka...

Jack E. Jett
Jack E. Jett

Dear Mr. Sucks

Here is the big difference. If you tried to post a comment like that about Tim-TimEric or Zac, you would be censored.

They make outrageous claims, tell one side of the story, and refuse to post any comment that might be different. As someone who is a blogaholic, D Magazine is by far the most our point or no point blog that exist. Even a Fox News blog is more open to opposing viewpoints.

If you hold the belief that all men are created equal, the D Magazine Blog will only piss you off.

Sam Sucks
Sam Sucks

Jim Schutz doesn't hurt The Observer's credibility, Sam Merten does. He's a schmuck. He's a wanna-be version of Schutz, but without even half the credentials or experience. His stories are horribly written. Instead of condensing the events of a meeting and writing a story, he resorts to regurgitating a bunch of quotes. That's not reporting. That's incompetence.

Obama 4 8
Obama 4 8

While they will tell you flat out that they are immunne from this recession, the fact is that people on a budget will not be able to pick up this ad filled mag at the check out line anymore. So the sales go down. Vendors will not be able to pay for space in the rag, no matter how many Best of D the rag promises them. In a recession, manicures and steak tartare are the first to go. While they, D Magazine,opnely laugh at others social status, economic status, educational status, and project an above it all arrogance that makes one want to puke, they are too ignorant to realize that they are just one illness, accident, or loss of job away from being in the same situation. Arrogance does trump Karma.My personal issue with them is their bigotry. Why would a publication that covers a city as big as Dallas have not one single blace person on their staff? Do blacks not purchase the items they have for sell? I wonder if they have any minority working for them, there in the office.

Fritz
Fritz

Just got a good look at the model in question. Where are the Warhammer armies? Could we just build the levies on a Risk board?

Never heard of this Rogers guy until right now.

Joe the Crumber
Joe the Crumber

What is the difference between D Magazine andthe Yellow Pages?

The Yellow Pages doesn't put Janine Turner on every other cover?

Former SMU cheerleaders who aspire to be Kay Bailey Hutchinson with a Anna Nicole brain and and arrogant pretend journalistputting out a semi-upscale Penny Saver.

Sam Merten....you have balls because they are going to trash you from now till doomsday. You do not upset the Timmy.You do not question the Eric.

ashvega
ashvega

I don't think we should discount what Sam says just because he graduated college last year, he could have gone back for a second degreee, gotten a late start or perhaps served in the military. The tone, and fact he feels he needs to air grievances in such a public forum, show an immaturity - regardless of his age or when his degree was conferred. If you feel personally insulted by a rival - first it sometimes means you are doing something right, second it is the nature of all business and third retaliating the same way you were insulted only brings you down to there level. Take the Michael Scott approach to fixing the problem and search a famous quotes website on how to deal with enemies, Stephen King suggests enemies are the only ones who will tell you the truth, Lincoln suggests getting rid of them by making them your friends and Oscar Wilde says to forgive them because nothing annoys them more.

jamal
jamal

rock on sam.

Billy Ray Rocket
Billy Ray Rocket

You will never find a less talented group of white people gathered in one space than you will find at D Magazine offices. So detached from reality. So high on other people's money. I will admit they have a great scam going on over there and have taken the word barter to an entire new level.Sadly, they buy in to their own hype. Try going over on their blog and suggest Tim or any of the Wickettes might be wrong. That suggestion will never see the light of day.

Americano
Americano

I don't know all the players here, and don't really have a dog in this fight as I read both publications, and accept them each for what they are.

However, writers at the Observer have no qualms about attacking their enemies, real or perceived, or people who they think are stupid, corrupt or just silly.

If you are going to throw darts, get a thicker skin. Remember, if being criticized is hurtful or bothersome to you, it's the same for them.

artie
artie

it's a fight between kids in the high school audio/visual club, half of whom want it to be called the 'audio/visual club' and half who want to change it to 'visual/audio club.'

wierd warren
wierd warren

Awwwright!! that's it!!!!

Everybody into timeout NOW!!!

Stay there until Dad comes home... and no dessert for dinner!!!

East Dallas Eccentric
East Dallas Eccentric

This is quite entertaining - how do we get Dreher Voice of Doom involved in the contretemps?

Maybe we'll see them all at The Gold Rush stabbing each other's egg yolks.

Justin
Justin

That is probably the douche-baggiest picture you could have found of Tim Rogers... good job!

chris von danger
chris von danger

Mike, I was going to say like a cripple fight, but your comment is better ;)

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...