Sunday, April 10, 2005


Dan Feldstein: "My idea."
Houston Chronicle reporter Dan Feldstein has issued a communique denying that his employer was "shamed or forced" into publishing the newspaper's front-page story on Sunday concerning the spending habits of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.

In a comment directed to this morning's post in The Brazosport News, Feldstein wrote:

Actually, Banjo, nobody shamed or forced anything. When the Wayne vs. Rodeo tiff hit the paper, I thought a follow-up was a can't miss. My idea. Who wouldn't read a story about those two tangling? Beginning and end of issue. My e-mail inbox is full. Pure fun! How are the wife and kid? Regards, Feldstein

Feldstein, who it should be noted is a personal friend of this Bloggerville scribe, thus appears to be taking full responsibility for the fatwah issued by Chronicle Editor Jeff Cohen that calls for newspaper employees to cease and desist from using free rodeo tickets and free drink coupons that routinely are handed out by rodeo glad-handers.


Because his story delved into what TV muckraker Wayne Dolcefino apparently wanted to put on television during the rodeo hootenanny, and he couldn't very well leave out the part about media freebies with a clear conscience.

Ergo, he had to plop the media freebie question squarely into the lap of Editor/M.C. Cohen.

Now Chron employees will have to pay for their own rodeo tickets and adult beverages! A half-century media tradition -- gone in a blink of an eye. And all because of Feldstein. Or Dolcefino. Or M.C. Cohen. Or all three of them! Oh the tangled web, and the horror.

What's the next shoe to drop?

KTRK-TV has been embarrassingly quiet about the two-week work stoppage by its star investigative reporter after management put the cattywampus on the big rodeo scoop.

Feldstein's story suggested it was due to the ABC affiliate's desire to partner with the rodeo for some kind of festival that's in the planning stages.

Here in Bloggerville, it looks like Channel 13's mum stance falls well within the bounds of "the wussification of Texas" trend that is being targeted for exploitation by maverick gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman.

Friedman needs to jump on this and call out Channel 13.

Furthermore, we await the pearls of wisdom that the Chronicle editorial board might impart concerning the rodeo's spending habits. Will the board speak, or will it wussy out like their TV counterparts over on Bissonnet Boulevard?

Moreover, now that we think about it -- WWMD?

Which is to say, What Would Marvin Do?

As in, Ma-a-a-rvinnn Zindler -- Eyewitness News. Surely he should tell Channel 13 viewers who's right and who's wrong. He does just that Monday through Friday about everyone else's wrongdoing. What say you, Herr Zindler??

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