The News Tries to Edit Itself Out of Some Unhappy History in Southern Dallas

Categories: Schutze

SHZ_GetOffMyLawn_TitleImageV2.jpg
Ah, wait a minute, hold up one second. I spy a small but significant, history-bending, rug-sweeping moment occurring on this morning's editorial page of our city's daily newspaper. Let me take one minute to remind us what's under that rug.

The Dallas Morning News has the whole trumpet section, the kettle drums and the full hallelujah choir out on stage this morning to sing the praises of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings' new plan to save southern Dallas. For all I know they may be right. I've been looking at the plan over the weekend, talking to folks, and it sounds like Rawlings may actually have listened to some real people before cooking up this major new initiative. All to the good, if that bears out.

The tricky slick stuff is not in what Rawlings is putting forward. It's in what The News wants to say about itself, in a back-handed way, in jumping aboard the bandwagon and trying to take the reins from Rawlings.

solarpoweredwatertaxis.jpg
Just ... because.
The News suggests investors may not have confidence in the plan if too many small businesses already established in southern Dallas continue to fail to do as The News tells them. This has to do specifically with recycling centers that The News wants moved the hell out of Dodge in order to make way for the kind of real estate redevelopment along the Trinity River that The News wants done.

To me, that's fairly astonishing. Does The News really think investor confidence will be bolstered if investors know that honest, law-abiding, non-polluting, employment-providing businesses with strong neighborhood and political support can nevertheless get their rugs yanked out from under them if The News comes along with some other damned "vision" for their land, one for which there is no market support yet?

But the second one is an even balder rewrite of the real history. Read what they say today:

"We also know from experience the kinds of major obstacles that people with special interests can erect to block even the most well-intentioned plans. The Trinity Corridor Project, for example, envisioned the rezoning of prime riverside property to eliminate heavy industrial sites and clear the way for residential, commercial and recreational projects. Various City Council members, their campaign coffers swelling from generous donations by industrial property owners, squashed that rezoning plan into the Trinity mud.

"Other selfish politicians and businessmen stood in the way of a major development project at the International Inland Port of Dallas. The word 'shakedown' almost certainly still resonates in the minds of outside developers contemplating future Inland Port investments."

No, no, no. Let's do the second point first. Yes, there appears to have been a serious shakedown attempt against the inland port project, which was potentially the single biggest economic boon ever to show its face anywhere in Dallas, let alone southern Dallas. Hence, the ongoing FBI corruption investigation into how it was stymied.

But The News, in both editorials and egregiously slanted, badly reported news coverage, aided and abetted the shakedown. They're the ones whose editorials and stories dared to paint developer Richard Allen as a racist -- a guy whose track record on minority involvement is 10 times better than most companies in Dallas -- because Allen had failed to knuckle under to the shakedown. If there was a shakedown in the broadest political and social sense, I believe The News was a party to it.

Back to the recycling yards for a second. What approach to that question might actually inspire investor confidence? Well, what about just a tad of modesty? What about going to these businesses, hat in hand, and saying, "We don't get your business. We don't really know how it works. We honestly wish you were not where you are, because we have something else in mind. But we also don't know when that something else would be sufficiently viable in the marketplace to be able to pay you a market price for your land.

"The last thing we want to do is use politics and the editorial page to seize your land. Could we talk about all this?"

Instead, The News says, "Get out, or we'll call you a racist." Here's a reality check: When did any minority residents of the areas around the recycling yards call the recyclers racists? Never. But I shouldn't have called attention to that because now The News will accuse those residents of being "selfish" and "standing in the way" of progress because they failed to complain about racism when The News damned well told them to.

In a way, these two things -- the recycling yards and the inland port -- are two sides of the same bad penny, the penny that keeps coming back to us as a political structure in Dallas worthy of an all-cousin town in the Ozarks. It's all about top-down arrogance that never achieves legitimacy on the ground because it doesn't even know where the ground is. It doesn't listen. It orders things done.

If it gets a little too heavy-handed in pushing people around and all of a sudden the FBI shows up, it starts rewriting history on the editorial page to take itself out of the picture.

That's really all I wanted to do this morning -- put The News back in the picture, shoulder to shoulder with Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, the Perot interests and all the other people who did get subpoenas from the Justice Department. The News didn't get one. So this is a subpoena from me.

Read the fine print on the back, Madame Gray. It orders you to stay in touch and not to leave town without notifying history. See you in the funny papers.

My Voice Nation Help
18 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
I. Witt Ness
I. Witt Ness

The Belo folks have TWICE announced they were going to build a production center on a property along I-20 north of Lancaster and somehow not a bag of Sakrete has ever been mixed for the illusionary sidewalks for the fake tours. The billboard crowing the paper's "future site" stayed up until it faded with age and probably dug itself up and threw itself into the Trinity River. Possibly execs will blame "industry reversal" but, in reality, "managed reversal" is probably to blame. They [members of the braintrust] made a political move, then they found themselves without a building in which there were employes to lay off -- it was a lose/lose situation for the manipulators of company stock, most of which is owned by heirs and pals. But, heck, everybody needs to make money and, besides, who wants to stand in the unemployment line with people who are unlikely to have had to apply for a job before?....

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

Jeez JimS, next thing you gonna do is point out how the DMN's editors, senior management and ownership protect and enable the White's only no Jews tax exempt Dallas Country Club.

Don't forget Jim, The Dallas Pravda News told me Sunday that Mary Suhm is doing a great job as City Manager. What with millions wasted on a 1990 era computer billing system, a police department staffed with equal amounts of crooks and incompetents and parks she can't take care of.

Bob
Bob

 The Suhm article read like they used the same choose-your-adventure template as the JWP profile pre-FBI raid.

Darrd2010
Darrd2010

Hey JimJust wait until you see the gas industry's plan for West Dallas. That view from the new bridge looking over the pad sites in West Dallas is going to be beautiful.

engmofo
engmofo

It appears that the article was so good it disappeared up it's own ass

claytonauger
claytonauger

The Trinity floodplain has traditionally been a dumping ground for both undesirable industries and people. The dirtiest businesses were directed there by the Dallas establishment, shoulder-to-shoulder with poor folk. I don't think the solution to that outrage is to facilitate the retention of those same businesses, or recruit or write a master plan for new dirty businesses to locate there because the old ones are still causing problems - pig's blood in the river, toxic metals in the air and run-off, etc. And yes, those "recyclers" are part of the problem. RSR was a recycler that provided lots of jobs to West Dallasites. And then it provided generations of illness and death to those same employees, their families, and residents unlucky to live downwind. TXI called itself a recycling operation to keep the focus off its toxic waste-burning. Exide's smelter in Frisco is calling itself a "recycling facility" for much the same reason. Scrap yards are full of poisons that can leech and blow away, including PCBs, lead, chromium, cadmium, dioxins and asbestos. It all becomes background contamination there on the flood plain. Does that mean the DMN's instant gentrification is the best answer? No. But neither is perpetuating the same segregation that got us here. It isn't either-or. There are ways to provide jobs that don't depend on crapping in the place where your employees live.

JimS
JimS

Lumping Gold Metals in with RSR is patently unfair. Show me the assays that found PCBs, lead, chromium, cadmium, dioxins or asbestos leaching out of Gold Metals.  All industry is loud and rusty-looking. But not all industry is naughty. We can't all work at Snyder Plaza, because there aren't enough jobs at Snyder Plaza. Plus, some people prefer dirty jobs to tidy jobs because when you have a dirty job at least you don't have a bunch of tight-asses standing aorund all the time checking your underarms for sweat stains. 

RTGolden
RTGolden

I don't know all this history of the DMN and the Citizens' Council, and Schutze/times herald/DMN menage trois.  A couple of glaring contradictions jumped out at me from the DMN editorial, however.

At one point, Mayor Mike is trumpeting the need for more neighborhood associations like North Dallas has.  Then, he criticizes the protest of the Shamrock.  As far as I know, the Shamrock protest is a group of freely associating people from the neighborhood, or, an impromptu neighborhood association.  How is this different from other neighborhood associations in the city, for instance, the LGNA (neighbors protesting established businesses) or the one in uptown doing all the hollering about bars and parking and whatnot?  

If you ask me, the last thing South Dallas needs is neighborhood associations.  I really don't need my neighbors telling me what I can and cannot plant along my herbaceous borders, where and how I can park my car, or what I can or cannot do with, to, for, or around my home.

pak152
pak152

 "I don't know all this history of the DMN and the Citizens' Council, and Schutze/times herald/DMN menage trois."'

oh it is a fascinating read. the whole thing starts back in the 1880s when GBDailey moseyed on up from Galveston and established the DMN. It was the new kid on the block since the DTH/DH had been around for awhile.

when both papers were in town one needed to read both to get a well-rounded view of the news. the sports and comics were well worth the subscription price.

Raymond
Raymond

This is issue will go nowhere. Read my comment at DMN.

TraneM
TraneM

Jim you forgot the part where the dmn closed down their own building near interstate 20. The one they got the incentives for...they never really said what happened there

Heywood U Buzzoff
Heywood U Buzzoff

JimBo, it is just like going through the Standing Wave in my solar powered water taxi/gondola to admire the second and third Calatrava bridges on the Trinity, you can count on the Morning News to provide the news as if their mushroom and anti-depressant diet were subsidized by taxpayers. Of course the selfish polticos and business folks killed off the Trinity Project just to upset the DMN and probably a series of award winning articles on how global warming was going to hurt these new 'residential, commercial and recreational projects'.  Why bother with reality when we have the DMN around!

DBCOOPA
DBCOOPA

Wait... Can we afford this and let Mary Suhm to continue doing her job - which as far as I can tell is standing over a toilet flushing handfuls of money down it all day.

Heard pigs blood was being dumped into the river... among other things.

JimS
JimS

Mary Bountiful. Don't forget the last-minute million dollar economic development fund she and Mayor Bountiful devised for Stpehen Nash's church after Nash supported them on flow control. If I could get a Jim Schutze Development Fund for a couple million bucks, I might support them, too. Nah. Minumum four million.   

DBCOOPA
DBCOOPA

Or the HCL Axel fiasco. 

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...