Here's the Trailer for WFAA's Full-length Documentary about the Recovery in West, Texas

Categories: Media

The one-year anniversary of the West fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people is a couple weeks away, and will no doubt bring with it some thoughtful coverage from various media outlets around town.

Among that coverage, we now know, will be an hour-long documentary from WFAA, which will have a premiere of sorts this weekend in West.

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The IRS Says Daystar, the Bedford-Based Televangelism Empire, Is Actually a Church

Categories: Media, Religion

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Daystar
Daystar founders Marcus and Joni Lamb
Daystar is that low-budget religious channel that you flip past when you're searching for something watchable on TV. You might have lingered for a few seconds once or twice, momentarily transfixed by Joel Osteen's hair, but only as long as it takes for your brain to kick back into gear.

Don't be fooled by appearances, though. The sprawling global television network, which is based in Bedford and boasts $233 million in assets, is not actually a television network. It's a church.

Never mind that it has none of the trappings traditionally associated with a place of worship. It has no members, at least none that are physically present on a regular basis. There's no Sunday sermon, unless you count those delivered by the televangelists who pay Daystar for airtime. The closest thing to a sanctuary is the gauche TV studio network founders Marcus and Joni Lamb broadcast from.

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The Ticket's Gordon Keith Is Now the Second Best Newspaper Columnist in the Country

Categories: Media

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Stanton Stephens
Non-journalists don't understand how hard it is to be a newspaper columnist. It takes years, sometimes decades, of ink-stained toil in drab newsrooms. One by one, the hacks fall by the wayside. Only a select few have the talent and perseverance to be admitted to the pantheon and allowed the privilege of putting their opinions out in the world.

Or maybe not? According to the American Society of News Editors, the second-best columnist in the entire country is Gordon Keith who, as of 18 months ago, was the house funnyman on an unapologetically sophomoric sports radio show on KTCK-AM 1310 The Ticket, and now is the house funnyman on an unapologetically sophomoric sports radio show on The Ticket and an award-winning columnist for The Dallas Morning News.

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Those North Texas Trail Life Scouts Weren't Saluting Hitler After All

Categories: Media

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The Associated Press photo, as it ran in the San Jose Mercury-News.
Trail Life USA, the splinter group that formed when Irving-based Boy Scouts of America decided to admit openly gay members, is many things: openly evangelical, unapologetically homophobic, generally lame. It is not, however, a modern-day incarnation of the Hitler youth.

You'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Over the weekend, The Associated Press ran a big feature on the group, focusing on a newly formed chapter in North Richland Hills. Included in the spread was a photo of maybe 20 kids standing in a circle, their arms extended in an unmistakable sieg heil as they recited the Trail Life USA creed.

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DallasBlack.Com Keeps Plagiarizing Local News Sites

Categories: Media

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That's funny....the words are the same.
On Valentine's Day, Dallas police arrested 41-year-old Jacqueline Edwards on suspicion of setting up at least two Craigslist robberies. The news first appeared Tuesday on WFAA's website. An hour later, DallasBlack.com had the story.

Nothing particularly suspicious there. The WFAA story is little more than a summary of a arrest affidavit. Even if the station got the story first, the facts are all publicly available.

The weird thing here is the Dallas Black's piece matches WFAA's word for word. From the all-caps "DALLAS" dateline to the closing line about a "mystery suspect," it's all the same.

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Former Editor John Wright is Suing the Dallas Voice for Firing Him, "Reverse Discrimination"

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John Wright
Fired Dallas Voice editor John Wright's feud with his former employer didn't end with the parting shots he delivered here and elsewhere, nor with the launch of Lone Star Q, Wright's new online news venture.

It's simmered on, first in hearings last fall before the Texas Workforce Commission, where Wright was trying to collect unemployment benefits, and now with a lawsuit. Wright filed suit on Wednesday against Voice Publishing, Inc., former owner Robert Moore, and current co-owners Leo Cusimano and Terry Thompson.

The petition itself is 33 pages, an epic as far as wrongful termination lawsuits go. It would probably be easier to list the legal claims Wright doesn't make against the Voice, but we'll enumerate his grievances anyway. In addition to the wrongful termination claim, Wright alleges:

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Sandra Crenshaw, Mental Illness and the Race for the Texas Legislature.

Categories: Legislature, Media

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Sandra Crenshaw, talking with Schutze when she was on the City Council. during the Don Hill corruption trial in 2009.
No one who knows former Dallas City Council member Sandra Crenshaw would dispute her intelligence or obsessive dedication to public service. It's her long and well-documented history of erratic behavior, the most recent case involving the alleged theft of a rental car, that raises questions about her fitness to hold public office.

Suffice to say that pretty much everyone was flummoxed when The Dallas Morning News endorsed her in the race for Texas House District 110 over the weekend.

Weirder still, the editorial offers only glancing allusions to Crenshaw's past antics. She "has her own shortcomings," the paper writes, and is "no stranger to handcuffs." But if she is able to "slow down and focus," she will do a far better job than incumbent Toni Rose.

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Unfair Park Needs a New Lead Blogger

Categories: Media

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Nicholson started blogging at age 2 and quickly -- wait, shit, that's him at the bottom.
When Robert Wilonsky unbolted himself from the Unfair Park throne in early 2012, there was a lot of skepticism that his boots could be properly filled. He'd started this blog several years before, one of the first and most successful blogs at an alt-weekly newspaper, and he'd slaved over it ever since.

Then came Eric Nicholson. Eric's a Dallas native, but we found him in the wilds of Arkansas, reporting for the Texarkana Gazette. We didn't know what to expect: He'd solo-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, which we thought was cool (and so did Reese Witherspoon!). He owned a bike, which we thought was cute, and he sometimes ran to work, which we thought was weird. But we didn't argue, 'cause dude worked. Hard.

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A Dallas Morning News Columnist Explains the "'Yuck' Factor" of Wendy Davis Bio

Categories: Media, Politics

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Texas Tribune
Jim Mitchell is a voice of moderation on The Dallas Morning News' editorial board, generally sticking to the middle ground and getting major points for not being Tod Robberson.

True to form, the argument he lays out today on the DMN's opinion blog, that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis' aggressively defensive response to her flubbed campaign biography is unwise, is perfectly reasonable.

We're wondering, then, what would compel Mitchell to insert these two paragraphs:

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Sean Hannity Might Move to Texas, and Governor Rick Perry is Wooing Him Hard

Categories: Media, Politics

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As far as we know, Texas Governor Rick Perry and conservative radio host Sean Hannity are still staunchly opposed to gay marriage. That said, it was impossible to glean that from the way they cooed over one another on Hannity's radio show this afternoon.

Hannity, you see, is planning to flee his native New York, taxes having cut too deep into his $35 million net worth. He's narrowed the list of suitors down to two states, Texas and Florida, which he's having vie for his affections.

Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst is trying to woo Hannity the old-fashioned way, by writing a letter. ("Our state's economic vitality and conservative culture might be a little overwhelming at first after you've spent years dealing with New York's high taxes, oppressive regulations and liberal social values, but I'm certain you'll fit right in.")

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