Friday, May 21, 2004

Midnight Writer, explained

In a worldwide exclusive last week, we revealed that Houston radio personality Dan Patrick was the man behind the Midnight Writer pseudonym that's featured on the Houston Chronicle-bashing weblog Chronically Biased.

Now, in yet another worldwide exclusive, we can report that Patrick and others are secretly involved in the pseudonymously penned rants.

Background: Patrick's byline appeared, then suddenly disappeared, when the Midnight Writer's first screed made its intial online broadside. A generic "staff" byline replaced Patrick's byline, but not before I saw it with my own peepers and quickly told the world via this weblog, ie. The Brazosport News. Since then, the wussyish, generic staff byline has been placed atop the Midnight Writer's incendiary prose.

Kevin Whited, the writer behind the Publius Texas weblog (which also regularly nips at the heels of the uber-sensitive Chron), explained what the real story is behind the Midnight Writer, in an exclusive interview with The Brazosport News.

"That one's on me," he said of the Patrick's byline snafu on the first Midnight Writer communique. "The Midnight Writer is Dan Patrick's idea, for a "mystery" writer among the merry crew to post at midnight most nights. Except I didn't realize he wanted it to be (a) mystery, I thought he wanted it to named. So yep, you caught us -- me actually. :) But the writer won't always be Dan. Necessarily. I don't think."

Curiously enough, Whited did not know that Patrick, in his former life as a KHOU Channel 11 sportcaster, had painted his face blue during his sportscast to show solidarity with the then-hot Houston Oilers (who moved to Nashville, TN many years later, still disgusted and embarrassed at Patrick's clownish face-painting antics) "Maybe we can work that in somehow," Whited said of the face-painting schtick. " Maybe I will paint my face blue. If I don't start sleeping more, maybe it will turn blue all on its own. :)"

If so, we will do our best to report it. Accurately and Fairly, so You can decide.

Chronicle meeting clarified

We were contacted surreptitiously by a Houston Chronicle employee regarding our posting several weeks back (before our revamped look was launched) regarding the report on the Houston daily's sexual harassment seminar. The employee, who requested anonymity, said the seminar's aim was not strictly, or even primarily, about sexual harassment issues, (even though a female staffer has been accused of same against a male staffer, which has jaws in the newsroom and at city hall flapping).
Rather, the attorney chairing the seminar first told the assembled staff members to "quit whining." The lawyer, a handsome female African American who was impeccably attired, told the Chronistas that there were thousands of people who would be glad to have their jobs and that they were fortunate to be gainfully employed. So stop the bellyaching, she added for emphasis. Employee morale did not noticeably skyrocket at this announcement, though many continued to munch on cookies and other snacks that were provided, at no charge. Meanwhile, we're told, the Chron has canned a veteran reporter, regarded by many as a fine writer, as the newspaper continues striving toward increased multicultural diversity and its ultimate goal, a Pulitzer Prize, which will be placed on public display surrounded by red, white & blue bunting in the lobby at 801 Texas, when it is awarded.

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