Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Chron shows its true color

The Houston daily has unveiled its new website design and it is orange. Burnt orange.

In the old days, the Chron "intelligentsia" was comprised of the "Baylor Mafia," so named because virtually all its top editors were educated at the Baptist university on the Brazos.

Most of these guys have been run off by now, and those that remain on the payroll have been banished to the This Week suburban section or assigned to other demeaning tasks.

In their place are the Teasips. Teasips is derogatory slang used for alumni of the University of Texas @ Austin. Hence the new burnt orange look on chron.com

Bloggers and commenters at places like blogHouston are weighing the pros and cons of the new web design, but they've missed the not-so-subtle, semi-subliminal message the new chron.com is putting out -- the Baylor Mafia sleeps with the fishes and the new hydra-headed capo of the Chron Family rode into town on a bull named Bevo.

The most obvious manifestation of the power shift is in the paper's editorial message.

In the Baylor Mafia days, the Chron's editorial stance was decidedly conservative. Nowadays, the editorial page message comports nicely with the thinking in the People's Republic of Travis County.

Is it any wonder? The paper's editorial board is chock full of Teasips:

Cohen, Campbell, Georgsson and Minshew all wear burnt orange underwear.

Sports? Led by Texas Ex Dan Cunningham.

Star Sports Columnist? Richard Justice, another 'Horn.

The Head Geek at chron.com is Dwight Silverman, another UT alum who is known as "Evil Dwight" to his colleagues. They have a bunch of other reporters and mid-level editors who bow before the Shrine of Darrell K. Royal each Saturday during football season, but there are too many to name. I do not know where they hold their secret meetings.

Personally, I don't have a problem with this, as I too am a Teasip. I honed my journalism ethics at the UT School of Communications and made a grade of `A' twice in Marxist philosophy. My graduating class in 1976 heard Bill Moyers give the commencement speech. I don't recall the topic, but it wasn't the joys of supply-side economics.

But if I was an Aggie (or a Cougar, Owl, Red Raider, etc.) I might have a problem with this decidedly slanted pro-UT influence that dominates the Houston daily. I might even cancel my subscription if I were them.

Making burnt orange the dominant color on the newspaper's redesigned website could be the Chron's idea of doing the right thing ethically in the interest of full disclosure.

Or, it could be the newspaper's way of rubbing its readers' noses in the UT takeover of the state's largest daily newspaper. Do you think it's just a coincidence that chron.com suddenly turned burnt orange when the Longhorn football finally beat OU after a 5-year drought and is headed for a possible national championship? I don't think so. These people are hungry. They not only want your hearts and minds and to control the flow of information. They also want to win the football trophy. And if they do, they won't paint the town red, they'll paint it burnt orange, just like their website.

21 comments:

JD Allen said...

Wow. You'd think that the Aggies or the Bears would file a discrimination suit. But at the rate they are losing readers, in a few years it won't matter.

The only reason I take it any more is the crossword. And, you gotta admit, it is still way better than the Facts.

Rob said...

the redesign looks awful. the orange doesn't bother me, and i'm an aggie.

the burnt orange media conspiracy strikes again! just in time for the annual texas A&M/t.u. game. :(

- Rob

tttyler5@hotmail.com said...

Jeeze!

You mean the Chron editorial board went to college?!?

Bill said...

That would be "teasips." I'm not sure Aggies would ever use a capital "T" on that word.

Anonymous said...

No wonder the new site is dull and uninspired! They sure fugged it up good. Even the funny pages, which are the best part of the paper for Aggies, is messed up. I should know, for I are a Aggie!

Corey said...

Having attended college deep behind the piney curtain where the purple haze runs deep and thick, I can honestly say that you silly UT people can keep your newspaper; we can still out-drink you any day of the week!

Anonymous said...

Sorry that some are jealous that they weren't fortunate enough to attend THE University. Might want to get your eyes checked. Technically, that's not burnt orange - more like an ugly crimson. ...and teasip is not a "derogatory" nickname. It just denotes class and sophistication, something the inventors of the nickname are sorely lacking.

Anonymous said...

I think some of you are paranoid.
I have been to the site and it does not look burnt orange as in THE Univeristy of Texas Longhorns colors.

ttyler5@hotmail.com said...

Anon, it's not paranoia, it's reasonable FEAR!

I mean, for god sakes, have you ever been to a meeting of the Austin city council?

And now some of them are in charge of our area's only big city news paper?

Come to think of it, where did Bill White, the current Houston city council and the MTA board go to college?

I think it's time to check out the academic credentials of all the city councils, school boards and special taxing authorities in the greater Houston area!

tyler5@hotmail.com said...

OK, so let's form a new group to fight the Orange Menace!

Here's my nomination for our theme song:

"We're meeting at the courthouse at 8 oclock tonight...
You just come in the door and take the first turn to the right...
Be careful when you get there, we hate to be direct...
But we're takin' down the names of everybody turnin' left ..."

(From "The John Birch Society" by The Chad Mitchell Trio)

Anonymous said...

It's not BURNT ORANGE !
Find something else to complain and boycott about.

ttyler5@hotmail.com said...

It's a disguise ...

...a subtle trick of the Orange Menace!

Banjo Jones said...

anon, you need to get your eyes checked. that orange is BURNT.

mikemcguff said...

Baylor will rise again!

Anonymous said...

viva Brazosport College!!!

kschlenker said...

Who cares what color it is? The new site sucks. Can't find anything, it loads like a granny who can't find her walker, and it no longer follows the content of the print edition (meaning if you read something in the paper and want an update, tough luck).
Their little "so sorry it is slow" BS is just that--they have had plenty of time for their migration by now.
As for the head dudes coming from Austinistan, well, Commie tech has always decidedly low (or no) tech. The new site just proves it.

ttyler5@hotmail.com said...

"Commie tech ..." ?

:^D :^D :^D :^D :^D :^D :^D

I love it! Or, is that "Commie Tech" !?! :^D :^D :^D

Anonymous said...

I'm not a teasip, but I've been in Texas long enough to know burnt orange when I see it, and that ain't it.

Plus, I've been in Houston long enough to know that the Chronicle hasn't been conservative in 20+ years! It was a well known fact that the Post was more conservative than the Chronicle - they just got out maneuvered in the fight to be the last major paper standing!

Anonymous said...

I'm not a teasip, but I've been in Texas long enough to know burnt orange when I see it, and that ain't it.

Plus, I've been in Houston long enough to know that the Chronicle hasn't been conservative in 20+ years! It was a well known fact that the Post was more conservative than the Chronicle - they just got out maneuvered in the fight to be the last major paper standing!

Anonymous said...

I'm not a teasip, but I've been in Texas long enough to know burnt orange when I see it, and that ain't it.

Plus, I've been in Houston long enough to know that the Chronicle hasn't been conservative in 20+ years! It was a well known fact that the Post was more conservative than the Chronicle - they just got out maneuvered in the fight to be the last major paper standing!

Banjo Jones said...

burnt orange. definitely burnt orange. i just checked. there might be something wrong with your screen. are you on dial-up? are at Starbucks? suggest you check with your ISP.