The News Shouldn't Be Proud About Outing the Anonymous Blog Commenter in the Nasher Fight

Categories: Schutze

SHZ_GetOffMyLawn_TitleImageV2.jpg
Oh, I guess we had some fun Saturday on the KNON radio version of "Get Off My Lawn," a program I have been sharing every Saturday at 10 a.m. with political consultant and D Magazine columnist Eric Celeste. We took an on-air call from the elusive pseudonymous Dallas blog commenter, Wylie H., who was speaking in a voice disguised by software to sound like someone making a demand for ransom.

I say I guess we had fun. This topic is not especially fun-and-games for former television anchorman and public relations consultant Mike Snyder, who has been more or less ruined -- I suspect temporarily -- by revelations that he used fake Facebook personae to make anonymous comments about a local brouhaha.

Tom_Paine.jpg
Library of Congress
Portrait of Mike Snyder without the makeup, also known as Tom Paine.

In the stentorian tones of a Watergate scoop, The Dallas Morning News last week revealed that Snyder had cooked up a couple of phony Facebook accounts in order to make camouflaged blog comments about the reflected-light fight between the Nasher Sculpture Garden downtown and Museum Tower, a new luxury condo tower with a glass skin. The reaction to the story was a typical Dallas roaches-when-the-kitchen-lights-come-on festival of panic. Everybody and anybody who had any connection to Snyder ran for the crevices. Snyder got pushed out by his partners from a public relations company he had helped found, and everybody on the condo tower side of the fight was saying, "I'm sorry, Mike who?"

The city's only daily newspaper and D Magazine, a local publication, are both fiercely partisan on behalf of the sculpture garden against the condo tower. Their characterization has been pretty much that Snyder is guilty of something sort of like identity theft mixed in maybe with financial fraud and even kind of like, you know, whatever that's called where you hit somebody with a pistol.

I think he may be guilty of violating Facebook's terms of service. Or not. I have a column coming out later this week in the newspaper saying The Dallas Morning News, by using information from its own servers to out him, is certainly guilty of violating the spirit and the public representations, if not the fine print, of its own privacy policy and terms of service. And, by the way, you better check into what they know about you, too, and what they could do with it if they ever got pissed off at you the way they did at Snyder.

But anonymous speech? We built this country on anonymous speech, even though I know many readers here may think it was rock 'n' roll. From Cato's letters in 1720 to Tom Paine's Common Sense in 1776, anonymous and fake-name speech have been pillars of basic American liberty, enshrined and protected by countless court decisions as crucial elements of free speech.

Anyway, more on that later in my column in the paper this week, and back to Wylie H., the pseudonymous blog commenter who apparently played a role in the Morning News' Snydermania scoop. They reported in their story last week: "One online commenter, who posted under the name 'Wylie H Dallas,' was particularly critical of pension officials ... Snyder, posing alternately as Schwarz and Eley, quickly struck back ..."

I exchanged emails with Morning News managing editor George Rodrigue last week to ask, among other things, why the News outed Snyder but not Wylie H., who was also a partisan in the light wars but on the newspaper's side. Rodrigue told me that Snyder's fake Facebook personae, Schwarz and Ely, had betrayed obvious one-sided interest in the matter, while Wyle H., who has been around for years, seemed more like a legitimate wide-ranging and believable citizen-commenter.

Fair point. In fact, Wylie H has always been welcomed on our own blogs at the Observer as a smartly provocative provider of comment and good information, although I would have to say his comments also always have betrayed a very inside connection to events related to and emanating from City Hall.

In fact, for several years we here at Unfair Park have referred to Wyle H. as "Ol' Friend of Unfair Park Wylie H.." He even had the winning bid for a T-shirt in an Unfair Park auction there years ago, so I assume somebody who used to be here who's at the News now whose name rhymes with bobonsky must have found out who he was in order to collect his money. We sometimes complain when Wylie H fails to comment, asking " Where's Wylie H.?"

I, for one, have derived some pretty good scoops from Mr. H. including large scoops of sand, as when his comments led me to the issue of dangerous sand deposits in the Trinity River bed beneath the new Calatrava fake suspension bridge. On that occasion I referred to him as, "Astute Friend of Unfair Park 'Wylie H.'" I actually love people who give me scoops.

In the Snyder controversy, the D Magazine news blog, FrontBurner, also gave Wyle H. kudos for his mention in the Morning News story: "Congratulations, too, to Wylie H. Dallas, a longtime FrontBurner commenter who plays a central role in the tale."

So, anyway, Celeste and I were chatting about all this on KNON Saturday, and who should call us but Wylie H. -- we think -- speaking in a scary fake voice to say what, I'm not entirely sure. I am afraid I may have interrupted him, because I wanted to point out a couple things about his own fake Facebook persona created in violation of Facebook's terms of service, I guess. A couple days before we took his call on the radio, I had clicked on Wyle H's Facebook page, and noticed on his "timeline" that he had accessed Facebook from within City Hall but also from within the Morning News building.

I asked him directly if he worked for the Morning News. His response was, I believe -- and this was a little difficult to grasp because of the weird-voice software -- a giggle. It could have been a groan, or -- I hope not -- a desperate choking sound, in which case we should have called 911 and said, "Quick! Find out who Wylie H. is!"

But Wylie H. did not answer my question the first time about working for the News. If memory serves, he did not answer me the second time. The third time I asked, he said something to the effect of, "Of course not."

Of course.

Well, anyway, I really don't like dragging Wylie H. around by the toe, because I welcome the Wylie H.'s of the world to comment on anything I write, just as I would welcome Mike Snyder to comment under a fake Facebook name. I happen to think a whole lot of really good information gets to the table when people can do it without giving their right names.

And a whole lot of bad information, too. But readers, especially American readers since well before Tocqueville, are smart, very skeptical and have incredible radar for bullshit. Allowing a couple of nitwits to spill misleading information is a small price for the piercing wide-ranging comment and inside intelligence people like Wylie H. can bring to the table. The nitwits are spotted by the readers almost before they click "comment."

But now I have to ask. (Sorry, Wylie H., it can't be avoided.) If it's acceptable for the Morning News to use information from its servers to out Snyder, whose comments flew in the face of the paper's party line, why was it not necessary for the sake of balance to use the same information to out our dear friend, Mr. H, whose comments supported the newspaper?

By the way, in the column Wednesday I do a full disclosure on the one instance I could find where we at the Observer outed somebody, too, having to do with Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins. I hope you will agree that was a legitimately different issue and case. (The thing we never quite got to on the radio Saturday was whether that one had anything to do with Celeste, who was working for Watkins about then. Oh, the tangled webs!)

So I'm waiting. Cat got your tongue, Wylie H.? How about a pithy comment from someone named Cedric-at-rest? Or The Great Bobonsky? Rory Intrigue? You are all welcome here, my pseudonymous colleagues. Even Schwarz and Ely. Especially Schwarz and Ely! Hey, if you two didn't know it, you are pseudonymous stars now! You two should do a movie.


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92 comments
garlandistheworst
garlandistheworst

arguing over the curtains while rome smolders, "never mind the rent bubba, just look at these jiggling tits" - HST

Unigoggles-R-Us
Unigoggles-R-Us

After seeing Wick's minions scrabbling all over this like carrion beetles I'm overcome with an irresistible urge to see Despicable Me 2.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Why Bezos Bought the Washington Post - Henry Blodget, Business Insider

"So, anyone rooting for the Washington Post to transform into a successful digital business should be thrilled that Jeff Bezos is buying it.  (Anyone hoping the Washington Post will never change, meanwhile, should find some other status quo to cling to. The status quo at the Post is dying with or without Bezos.)"

snip!

Bezos said things were going to change . . . 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Well, I can say one thing about Snyder-gate, it actually did make this story interesting to people outside the metroplex.

jimismyrna
jimismyrna

Jim Schutze is "Myrna Minkoff-Katz". Isn't it obvious? Did anyone else notice that "Myrna" hasn't commented on this post, although "she" trolls every other DO post with her annoying non-sequiturs? Jim Schutze is "Myrna Minkoff-Katz".

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

Tom Paine had a potential British noose around his neck, Jim. And Mike Snyder had....?

PotCallingKettle
PotCallingKettle

The original board who made this deal was replaced during the last election - at least on the police side - which can be confirmed through their reps, and was made public a long time ago.  Glad the Mayor is replacing the city council positions, with Kingston, et al. 

I hope to God the Police never allow themselves to be pressured to finance a deal in Dallas, ever, ever, ever, again.  They did not want to do the deal but at the time of the pressure tactics, by Leppert,Kadane and Jasso and friends, there were articles and noise about how their pension was too good and that maybe there should be cut backs, blah, blah, blah. What were they suppose to do? Not finance it and risk losing benefits at one of the crummiest paying police departments in the country?  Their pension, if they are not shot dead before their 30 years, is the only reason they stay. 

Why in the world did the DMN not out the fake bloggers who were paid employees of the various arts groups. If they are going to out fake bloggers, out em all too. Otherwise, what they are doing is pointless tabloid journalism, which is great for the crazies but the crazies aren't buying art or tickets to performances, so who cares? 

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Here, anonymity allows the President of the United States to speak his mind on subjects to test out his ideas.  GW Bush too may weigh in anonymously.  Public personalities, captains of industry, clergy and fry cooks too come to a platform like this to debate the ideas which compel them to speak.  

I won't come if you can surreptitiously turn on my camera.

But for the moderators of this board to strike a blow below the belt by identifying an anonymous poster in order marginalize, to short circuit the debate chills the free exchange of ideas.  Surely you must understand this.

People with something to lose won't show up in the first place if they believe they will be attacked just for who they are, not what they say.  It profoundly lessens the reason we are all here.

I don't want to know who you are.  I don't CARE who you are.  It is what you say that counts.

I do not care what your race, gender, income, job, your criminal or civil history is.  It is only what you say in the struggle for the truth. It is the beauty of the blogs.   I don't really care if you are incivil, as the Dallas Morning News appeared to be riveted to for some time now until they identified Snyder.  THAT hurt the effort.  We all took a hit on this one.

This is the new court of public opinion, and the Goddess of Justice must remain - blindfolded where she is not a respecter of persons.


JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

A very bright young man with a handsome youthful-appearing-in-spite-of-his -age father in the newspaper business told me not long ago that he never "wastes time" drilling down into web sites to see who the sponsors are or who's paying for what. He was speaking in response to my question, "How do you know if any of that shit is true?" He said that if you assume everything out there is some form of disinformation and you fly around broadly enough and scoop up enough stuff and balance it all against itself, you will develop a gut sense for where the bread crumbs of truth are in the forest of lies. His point being that there are no longer any institutions or companies or web sites that carry one ounce of authority or legitimacy beyond what they can demonstrate right there on the page in that moment. I thought, "That's really cool. I wonder if understands that this philosophy would put his mother and father out of work." But I knew better than to ask. (I can't stand the polite pause that follows such questions.)

WylieH
WylieH

So… a few thoughts:

1)I actually don’t think what Mike Snyder did was particularly bad and I share Schutze’s belief that certain folks over-reacted—more specifically, I don’t see why his partners felt a need to separate themselves from him.I didn’t see him posting anything that was patently false, just a bit mean-spirited.One is wise to always assume that nothing is as it appears in the blogosphere.To me, it’s really just a Wikipedia of ideas and opinions.The best arguments/insights/information carry the day—the rest is just noise.This is why I’m still baffled (but not particularly upset) by Snyder’s postings… he would have had far more credibility as Mike Snyder, multi-decade anchorman with deep voice than Barry Schwarz, the burnout ex-TWA American Airlines employee from St. Louis.

2)That being said, you can’t equate what Mike Snyder did, attempting to pose as two different REAL people attempting to sway public opinion on behalf of an employer with Wylie H.Wylie H. is obviously not a real person… he could be anybody--- that’s kind of the point.Zac Crain wasn’t far off the mark when he theorized about the “gorilla with some sort of typing stick.”That comes much closer to describing me than Jim’s guesses during the KNON radio show.(I have to admit, however, that I was sorely tempted to “out” myself as Robert Wilonsky when asked if I worked at the Dallas Morning News.)

3)The MUCH BIGGER story, I thought, was the use of taxpayer funds to hire highly paid attorneys to go after Christina Rees (this is what I actually wanted to talk about when I called into KNON).If that hadn’t been called to account (I’m glad to see Rawlings taking decisive action this afternoon), that is something that should make ordinary residents very, very nervous.Rees is a woman who merely expressed her opinion about a public topic.It is simply unconscionable that the pension fund went so far as to contact her employer in what appears to have been an attempt to jeopardize her livelihood and implying that they could ruin her financially.It’s not much of a leap from that to some regular person calling 311 to complain about the wrong, Dallas City Hall-connected person, only to then get a threatening letter from the City Attorney’s office for making the complaint.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

In this instance you are chasing the wrong story. I am much more interested in Strasburger's and the Pension Fund's threats against Christina Rees.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

DMN won't post my comments, always says "awaiting moderation". 

Of course, my comments never have anything to do with how my sister's gardener's grandmother makes $7483.26/mo on the internet, so there's that.

And I too like Wylie's contributions to the discussions here, and wonder who our UP Deep Throat really is.

JackJett
JackJett

I love your funny line about Frontburner being a "news blog". 

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

"The Dallas Morning News, by using information from its own servers to out him . . ."

The only stated reason why the DMN went to FB, was in the name of civility.  Not veracity.

As long as Syder remained civil in his posts, then the use of their servers to ferret out and publicly name Snyder as the author of his posts . . . was because they disagreed with his posts, could not argue on the merits, so attacked him personally.

If they got him fired or otherwise damaged him, he should sue.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

The issue Jim is Snyder had accepted $ by one of the parties, and was then an agent. There are different rules when agency comes into play, and one of those rules is the agent needs to disclose their relationship.

if Snyder had done that, even under the aliases, he would be OK. he didn't, and as you note he is not OK. he's out on the street.

WylieH
WylieH

@PotCallingKettle The definitive vote to develop Museum Tower was pretty interesting... a long meeting, and not a unanimous decision, as I recall.  Leppert appeared to have his folks lined up onside... the idea was to show PROGRESS!... Museum Tower... the Omni Hotel.

Bad things tend to start happening when public pension funds start allowing politics to interfere with their investment choices.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@holmantx Don't want to know if a paid spokesman for the tower is passing off his pro-tower arguments as just the humble opinions of one more average citizen? I think that more than qualifies you, holman -- if that is your real name -- to take over Jim's column. Just accept stuff from any old source, provided it fits your fixed ideas. Real journalists know that who says something makes ALL the difference.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@JimSX"...balance it all against itself" indeed!  Your bright young man needs a course in remedial logic. If the only test whether the comments on a blogsite are reliable is ...the comments on the blogsite (and if we have no idea where those comments are coming from), then we're really wearing a blindfold to find or way in the dark, aren't we?

In your fomer life as a journalist, Jim, did you ever accept the word of an informant whom you did not know, whose name you did not know, without first checking that word with an informant whose name you DID know? And yet here you are asking us to swallow the say-so of barking anonymous blogdogs by checking it against the say-so of other barking anonymous blogdogs. 

As for the truth and legitimacy of The Page -- and I say this as a writer -- the page has no authority or legitimacy in itself. It is only the place where stuff, and not necessarily true stuff, gets written down. Anybody that depends on the page for truth -- or on its avatar, the screen -- is a damn fool or worse.

You and I both know -- and your readers ought to know -- that the only reason UnfairPark, Front Burner and all such operations encourage anonymous and pseudonymous bloggery is not to sprinkle bread crumbs of truth in the forest of lies. It's to encourage the trolls and bullshitters, because they attract more hits, and more hits bring more money to the bottom line. 

You might sit down and explain that to your bright young man.

WylieH
WylieH

@JimSX In part I agree with that, but I also think that the "identities" associated with information sources develop reputations over time as to the quality of their data.  The identities can range from institutions like the DMN to Zac Crain's gorilla with a typing stick.  If the gorilla provides decent insight or information, does it really matter that he's a gorilla? 

WylieH
WylieH

@Montemalone Do you use exclamation points?  I found (through trial and error) that the DMN comment filter appears to trap comments with exclamation points-- no doubt driven by the fact that most people who use exclamation points excessively are, in fact, mad (insane, not angry... although I guess they could be both insane AND angry).

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@mavdog 

How can an anonymous poster who argues on the merits of any discussion be in violation of agency disclosure, or paid advocacy?

pants
pants

@WylieH @PotCallingKettle firemen haven't gotten raises in 7 years.  but thank god for progress like a blinding tower off of woodall

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@bmarvel @holmantx 

And that's your problem.  Blogs aren't journalism, you don't rate a byline, and check your ego at the door.

If that's possible, which I doubt.

this is where the sausage is made.  Wanna hang around here?  There's no rank and nobody cares who you are or what badge you carry because you are not the word police, nor the arbiter of what the word is.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@bmarvel 

Your basic concept -- that bullshit builds audience -- betrays your real opinion of the audience. That is: you assume you are smarter than  the audience. That was never the assumption of the revolutionary press in America. It was not the assumption of the great Hearstian yellow press, which was print's most successful hour. It was only the assumption of your (my generation), which came up in an era largely unscathed by true competition and thought that readers had to read us because they had no other place to go. Look at the outcomes in the industry, BIll: we are American journalism's most unsuccessful generation. Our monument is failure. For all the reasons Holman cites here, the web and blogs are breathing life back into print, returning it to the raucous place where it started, a wild and intense Vaudeville of ideas and facts ruled over by the audience, not the paid guy onstage in a  straw boater telling snare-drum jokes. The audience is not drawn to bullshit, it's drawn to good shit, and it tells us what that shit is, not the other way around. The audience is always smarter than we are.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@WylieH @JimSX 

The very bright young man misses another point. I guess I have been strangely silent on the matter of Museum Tower gangstering Christina Rees. She is an important and valuable voice for the city, and if they had succeeded in running her off it would have been a shame. BUT. It makes a big difference in this business who you work for. That's what the young man flying around scooping up stuff may have missed. I have to operate on the assumption that Museum Tower could turn around tomorrow and gangster my ass, as could the Nasher crowd. The people I work for assume that kind of pressure as ambient and inevitable and keep a bunch of lawyers pretty well paid, I think, as gladiators to fight off that kind of thing. Its a cost of doing business if you don't want to bow to the gangsters. I'm not saying I don't feel some  outrage over Museum Tower's taking a baseball bat to an art critic. But I go back to the one-horse town thing. Look at the comments above from cops and firemen, I assume.  They see themselves getting screwed around right and left, and they don't know an art critic from a  hired anonymous blog commenter. So it's survival time, which is baseball bat time. Sort of goes with territory on this stuff. Wear a helmet.  

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@WylieH @Montemalone I seldom use exclamation points, though I am partial to multi-syllable words, which could be off putting to a majority of DMN readers.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@holmantx @mavdog You hit a nailhead. There is not a specific clause prohibiting false-flag posting, because there is not a specific license or certificate for PR agents. It's wrong only in the sense of deceptively steering the public, and heck, that's written into the PR job description. It's not as if he's soliciting donations or something under the phony name.

The out-on-street shunning might be legally actionable. PR false-flagging defended by lawyers - I'd have to shower after reading about that.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin @holmantx @bmarvel 

Journalism stops at the end of Mr. Schutze's last paid word.

we are not so . . . encumbered.  Or remunerated.

Wanna Happy Family?  Hit a Chinese restaurant.

Or join a listserv like those incredibly adroit thespians that darken the Journolista board.  Now there's a fine bunch of sycophants masquerading as journalists. 




ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@holmantx @bmarvel what is journalism then?  If this blog is not journalism, then neither is Front burner or culture map.  So we are left with the DMN, ha that surely isnt journalism, and if you think it is holman, then you need to out yourself as a DMN employee

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@bmarvel @RTGolden1 

Anyway, Bill, if memory serves you were always softside, were you not?

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@RTGolden1 "Sometimes Marvel assists that endeavor, sometimes not."

I'll settle for that, Golden.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@holmantx Blackie covered sports, not government, international relations, climate change, civil rights, or nuclear physics.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@JimSX @bmarvel The audience has long been aware of Marvel's disdain for our, collective and individual, intelligence.  His comments and retorts are just more grist in the mill Holman describes.  I am comfortable in my ability to sort out truth for myself.  Sometimes Marvel assists that endeavor, sometimes not.  I would never think to dislodge his feet from the stones of arrogance on which he stands, what would that gain anyone?  Let him continue to live in his castle in the clouds unperturbed.  I don't want to move in, I just want the rent.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@JimSX

Jim,

Of course bullshit builds audience, Jim. Why deny for the sake of false piety what everybody in the business knows, or ought to know. What was yellow journalism about but selling bullshit to the yokels? Compare the circulation of the popular entertainment magazines with, say, Atlantic or Harpers or The New Yorker, and tell me bullshit doesn’t pay, and pay very well.

I have no opinion about my “audience,” because unlike you I have no audience. From time to time I have some readers, and as a writer I always assume that they are at least as smart as me. So I write up to them. I also have the luxury of not presiding over a blog, where audience-building is the most important thing. Perhaps the only thing.

Our generation, I have to remind you Jim, covered, among other things, the Vietnam war protests and the Civil Rights movement. It was some of us believe our finest hour. Were we successful? Perhaps, because we had less competition, if that’s how you measure success. The warhawks, the racists did not have a press of their own, or much of one. So it was still possible to get the real news out to readers without being shouted down by the barking blogdogs, the kinds of voices that anonymous bloggery encourages because they bring in the hits, and the bucks to the large media corporations that own them. (Who signs your paychecks, Jim?)   

But raw capitalist competition, which is the kind of journalism you champion so enthusiastically, is a poor way to ensure that readers get some semblance of the truth. It works, just barely, because it leaves room for the small operators, those who do real reporting and writing. I wouldn’t for anything want a press in which some panel of authorities determine what is worth covering, what is truth. But that was never the case, even in the grey days The New York Times seemed to dominate journalism. (It did not, by the way; there has always been a vast diversity of voices in American journalism.)

But where to find the truth about anything amid the clamor of climate deniers, birthers, truthers, racists, fear mongers and just plain assholes who make up the bulk of bloggery? Inevitably you have to reach outside the blogs. The blogs are not journalism. What you do, at your best, is sometimes journalism, and occasionally very good journalism, informed by conscience and clarity. The rest is, like Hearst’s Yellow Press, show biz. And remember, Jim, for the sake of building circulation Hearst’s Yellow Press gave us the war in Cuba.

RobertStinson
RobertStinson

@JimSX @bmarvel As I always tell my friends in media and my media-saavy friends, American journalism has come full circle. 

100+ years ago: multiple local newspapers, Hearst & Pulitzer and "Remember the Maine! Let's go to war!" Today: multiple local news blogs, Fox and Limbaugh and "Remember 9/11! Let's go to war."

The tranquil and staid Cold War journalism era of Cronkite, et al, which ended at Watergate, was an outlier.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@JimSX @bmarvel 

Blackie Sherrod said journalism went south the day they began requiring college degrees.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

"But I go back to the one-horse town thing. Look at the comments above from cops and firemen." Who are these cops and firemen and where are their comments."Yes, your silence re the Pension and Strasburger threatening Rees is strange. Aside from a visit with a real baseball bat, it is hard to imagine an attack more threatening than the threat from a major Dallas law firm threatening a person with the costs of litigating Strasburger's list of "torts" after the firm has engineered the loss of one's gainful employment. Schutze , I can't recall an occasion you where you backed off a story about the powerful bullying a person like Ms Rees.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Sorry, but I just received a phone call and I don't want to write about Rees anymore. Please forget I wrote anything against those fine Strasburger attorneys, who exemplify only the highest integrity and faithfully adhere in faith and spirit to the Bar's canon of ethics. I wish them success and thank them for all of their efforts on behalf of the City. Whatever the Pension pays them to keep this Tower dialogue fair and balanced is a pittance compared to the delivered values. Their efforts to let TCU know how concerned they were with Rees is just another example of taking care of a neighbor. I am shocked at Rees misuse of exercising her right to express her opinion without any thought how these opinions, uninformed and disruptive as they were, could affect the education and morals at TCU. And congratulations to Mssrs Lawson. nd Witte for their selfless toiling on behalf of the city and its perpetual progress.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

So are you working on the Reese story? Wylie framed the issue: why is the Pension Fund spending money on attorneys to threaten residents who publicly

PotCallingKettle
PotCallingKettle

@JimSX @WylieH Has anyone showed any proof about the allegations regarding Reeses claims. I would like to see these letters and screen shots. Did I miss them?

WylieH
WylieH

@mavdog What's really weird is that, in some of the postings under his aliases (his exchange with me, for example), he made it clear he was tight with the pension fund's leadership.  So he didn't even gain whatever advantage might accrue by pretending to be, say, a disinterested, hard-working, single-mom from Plano or the CEO of decades old, but solid, industrial products company in the Stemmons Corridor.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@wcvemail 

It is not false-flag posting when you are anonymous.  Why?

because you are anonymous.

These are the blogs.  You can assert anything you want.  I think I would lose credibility if I stated my credentials and relied upon them to validate what I said as an expert in the field, or a paid insider.  This is because what I say, or anyone else says, lets their ideas and views stand before scrutiny to see if they hold intellectual water - not because as an expert or insider I am credentialed.  

That is why it is so damning that the DMN outed Snyder.  The sole point of the out is to discredit what he said by identifying him.  Think about that.

He can say whatever he wants to say anonymously, but the Dallas Morning News attacks what he says merely by identifying him.  

This is the arena of ideas.  It matters not who or why it is said.  It is the idea, and only the idea, that must stand up to scrutiny.  To debate.

9 out of 10 doctors don't cut it around here.  

wcvemail
wcvemail

@mavdog so what if he fabricated names? As said, there's nothing in his job description or the law that prohibits it. Sneaky? yeah, but persuasion can be that way.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

...and so what if he was "anonymous"? he used fabricated names, and those fabricated people could still begin their posts with stating they were inside the org or a consultant or whatever.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

the problem isn't the fact that people are getting paid by the very groups they advocate for, that is the reality of our world. there was a client of mine who would always say "We all know what we are, we're just making sure we're paid correctly for it", it's about disclosure.

all those DMN folks? they tell you upfront who writes the checks they cash.

snyder should have started his posts with a statement that he's inside the gates, and then all would have been OK. he didn't and that isn't OK.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@wcvemail 

It's an absolute joke to imagine that the Nation of Blogpostistan has any rules whatsoever about paid agents, etc.  In Blogpostistan, nobody gives a shit if your'e paid or not.  Furthermore, while we are on the subject of bizarre cultic shunning, do you honestly believe that on the Nasher issue, like the Inland Port like the Trinity Toll Road like the JFK 50th, all of the reporters and columnists and editorial writers at the News and at D line up like iron filings behind the powerful magnetic force of the Party Line, and that's ... what? A coincidence? This is a one-horse town on those issues precisely because that's how everybody gets paid,  so if somebody is trying to avoid getting trampled by the horse and pays a guy to find some way past it, that seems like fair play to me.

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