The DMN's Tod Robberson Is Hot and Bothered Over Squirt.Org's Deep Ellum Billboard

Categories: Media

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Squirt.org screengrab
Really has Robberson in a lather.
One of The Dallas Morning News' resident scolds, editorial board member Tod Robberson, is fixated on a hookup-website billboard that was erected over Interstate 345 in Deep Ellum a couple of weeks ago.

It's not so much the implication of hot, dude-on-dude action that bothers Robberson, he tells us, but that that action is occurring outside of committed relationships.

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Texas Rep Wants to End Daylight Saving Time, Start the Revolution

Categories: Media

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Daniel FR
Spring forward.
There was a palpable lethargy around the Observer offices yesterday. Not exactly atypical for Monday, but the fluorescent lights seemed especially harsh because not all quite regained the hour of sleep we lost over the weekend. If state Representative Dan Flynn gets his way, it might be the last time any of us go through this.

Flynn, a Republican from Canton, has introduced a bill that would dump daylight saving time permanently, starting September first of this year. It's set to be discussed by the Texas House's Government Transparency & Operation committee first thing Wednesday, while Sunday's switch is still at the front of everyone's minds.

Flynn says on his website that the bill will be "a benefit to many including mothers who do not want to put their kids on the bus stop when it is dark and put them to bed when it is light." While we're sure that's the case, another piece of legislation filed by Flynn shows he wants to take on all things federal.


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There Was a Dick Pic on WFAA's Homepage This Morning (NSFW)

Categories: Media

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WFAA "share" is a community engagement tool that allows users of the ABC affiliate's website to upload their photos and videos to potentially be featured on an image carousel on the station's homepage. Typically it features things like cute pictures of dogs and kids in Cowboys gear or user photos from a significant news event.

Tuesday morning, right there on WFAA's front page, just above Dale Hansen's frowning mug, it featured a big, hairy dick.

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Our Favorite Martian: The Year in Glenn Beck

Categories: Media

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The Blaze via Youtube
Honorable mention: This sweater.
As Unfair Park looks back and counts the many blessings we've received in 2014, one thing we're especially thankful for is that Glenn Beck, dadaist performance artist extraordinaire, chooses to make his home -- and film all the programs for his TV network, The Blaze -- in the Dallas area. Here are some of our favorite Beck moments of the year:

Glenn Beck Flashes Humanity, Right-Wing Twitter Gets Very Upset
This incident, and a few others we'll get to later, made us feel actual, real sympathy for Beck, something more common than you'd think. Beck, noting that undocumented kids being housed near the border had done nothing wrong, announced that he planned to send tractor trailers full of aid materials to the kids.

Right wing Twitter was incensed, suggesting that by helping "illegals" Beck was breaking the law.


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Dallas Morning News Names FiveThirtyEight's Mike Wilson New Editor-in-Chief

Categories: Media

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fivethirtyeight.com
Meet the new boss.
Mike Wilson, the managing editor of Nate Silver's ESPN-owned data journalism project, FiveThirtyEight, will take the reins as The Dallas Morning News' new editor-in-chief on February 16. He replaces Bob Mong, who is retiring after 13 years at the helm.

Wilson is a former managing editor at the Tampa Bay Times, a paper known in journalism circles for producing robust investigative and narrative journalism, as well as losing lots and lots of money.

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"Dating" Website Says Their Users Don't Like Dallas. Likewise, We're Sure.

Categories: Lists, Media

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MissTravel.com Screenshot
This classy establishment doesn't think too much of Dallas.
One of Unfair Park's favorite things is all the unsolicited lists we receive that tell us where Dallas ranks when categorized in some completely unverifiable, useless category. Normally, they just languish in our inbox like so many Groupon notifications, but sometimes we're too weak to resist.

Dallas is one of the "Least Sexy Cities of 2014?" In fact, it's the fifth least sexy city in the whole of the United States? You win this round, bullshit-list-maker. Our pride is on the line.

In truth, given our proximity to noted hotbeds of sexiness like Oklahoma City and Shreveport, the claim didn't seem too outrageous. That being said, we did begin to wonder what kind of data could possibly have been mined to back up such an assertion. Maybe the company that put out the list conducted a rigorous, double-blind survey in which participants evaluated a representative sample of Dallasites against a definitive list of sexy characteristics. Maybe plethysmography was involved. That would have been interesting. Disturbing, but interesting.

It's not even close to what happened.

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The Dallas Observer Needs a Web Editor

Categories: Media

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Nicholas McWhirter via Meat Fight
The last guy got tonged by Ron Swanson. Just sayin.
Because ours is going back to the UK. Which is sad. He is smart and funny and is easily confused by America, and he makes Chartbeat blush. Remember when we sent him to the NRA convention? Or the time he watched the World Cup -- that was that one soccer thing you pretended to understand -- with a citizen of every participating country? Good times.

Anyway, we need a new him. Get in the queue, as he would say. Here's the job posting:

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New City of Dallas Media Plan Is All About Message Control

Categories: City Hall, Media

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David R. Tribble
Taking out the middle man.
Sana Syed had a baptism by fire. Just after she took the city of Dallas' public information officer job, Thomas Eric Duncan was diagnosed with Ebola. Syed did an admirable job filtering and distributing the torrent of information that would come out over the succeeding weeks.

She would also show that she knew how to spot and promote a story that would be a winner for the city, however harrowing the circumstances. Bentley -- the King Charles spaniel who belongs to Nina Pham, one of the Texas Health Presbyterian nurses to get Ebola after treating Duncan -- quickly became the face and focus of many of Syed's tweets and press releases. The end of the dog's monitoring for Ebola and his reuniting with Pham was the unofficial end of Ebola in Dallas, however absurd the press conference that accompanied it was.

See also: Bentley Is an Extremely Cute Dog, But Tomorrow's Press Conference Is Insane

Wednesday, Syed outlined how she hopes to keep the positive news flowing with a new city news website, improved use of social media and something new called "The Communications and Policy Institute."

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Craig Watkins' Office Sees Conspiracy Behind News' Request for Public Records

Categories: Media
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A judge asked the Dallas County District Attorney's Office and The Dallas Morning News to salvage their relationship Monday, but instead the two parties will duke it out in court.
A lawyer for the Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins says politics is behind a Dallas Morning News lawsuit seeking to force Watkins' office to comply with Texas' public records law and release documents about how the district attorney spends forfeiture funds.

"This is not about trying to get records," Russell Wilson, an assistant district attorney, told state District Judge Jim Jordan at a hearing Monday. The timing, Wilson said, was "suspicious" since the News filed its lawsuit on October 23, one week after its editorial board endorsed Republican Susan Hawk, who is running against Watkins in next week's election.

It's an interesting theory, and usually Unfair Park is willing to believe all sorts of dark motives lurk behind decisions at the Morning News, but it ignores the fact that News courthouse reporter Jennifer Emily filed her first request for records about Watkins' use of his office's civil forfeiture funds on September 4. She filed a second request for additional records on September 15. The News' lawyer sent his own letter asking about her request on October 1 and another on October 9. In the latter, he even warned the district attorney's office that the paper was ready to consider its legal options if Watkins' office didn't respond by October 13.

The News' suit says Watkins' office didn't respond at all to the September 4 request and only partly to the one filed September 15.

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The Observer Needs a Copy Editor (But You Knew That Already, Amiright?)

Categories: Media

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We have an immediate opening for a copy editor. Until we find one, we'll continue to let commenters correct our terrible spelling and grammar while we try and fail not to get defensive about it. It's the Observer way.

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