Ben Hall Vs. the Houston Chronicle

ben-hall.jpg
Ben Hall
So awhile back the Houston Chronicle set up an editorial board meeting featuring Mayor Annise Parker and Ben Hall, the two frontrunners for mayor. The meeting was scheduled for last Friday.

Parker and Hall were to meet with the board so the board could consider which candidate the paper would endorse for mayor. (We're assuming this involved a Monty Python-esque test involving a nice shrubbery and both candidates hitting each other with swords while fake blood goes everywhere. It's not actually likely this happened, but Hair Balls can dream, because it's funny.)

Anyways, about a month before the meeting, Hall's people asked if the Chron would open the meeting to the public. When the Chron nixed that, Hall's camp asked that they open the meeting to all other media outlets in the area.

And go figure, the Chron again was not having it. The meeting crept closer on the calendar and then there was that, ahem, debate between all the mayoral candidates last week. (It was like watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail if the whole movie had left out all the people and instead been two hours of watching that nice shrubbery grow.)


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13 comments
steve.olafson
steve.olafson

Hall's request was disingenuous. He figured the Chron was going to endorse his opponent no matter what, so he tried to create a scenario that he hoped would create sympathy for him. It failed. 

davidh0809
davidh0809

Basically, the Chron decides who to back based on who showed up. They heard one side, and instead of gathering more information, took their kick-ball and left the playground. Integrity, with a capital I...

Puller58
Puller58

Hall so far hasn't shown much worth commenting about, and Parker is coasting.  The Chron is churing.

marketdatabull
marketdatabull

The Chronicle should not do anything but give truthful news and ads. We need another paper instead of a Russian Putin in charge giving endorsements.  We could call the Chronicle a dictator type of news. They state what they want you to hear NOT THE REAL NEWS!!!!  Parker and Hall both need to go!!!!!!!!!!!! Houston needs a NEW MAYOR FREE FROM ALL THE CITY BULL  ..... We need an outsider and there is only one left !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Vote for number 2 on the ballot...Eric Dick

nedt
nedt

Maybe Hall's camp is right about this, and Cohen's comment about it being a 100-year old tradition simply illustrates how anachronistic the practice is. It's a new media age and Cohen might be inhabiting the dinosaur's cave.

glenn.cornick
glenn.cornick

Seriously. The writing on this article is just dirt poor. The Monty Python references are obscure, and the whole article offered nothing - no news, no (insightful) analysis. God, how far The Press has fallen that it has only this to offer.

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

So a while back ...  "   Starting a sentence with "So" ... sets the expectation for the rest of the story so low that I am not interested in reading it. 

comstone
comstone

@DuckDuckGoose You realize this is a blog posting, not a journalistic piece. There are different rhetorical expectations for blogs. Considering the content of the text -- the adolescent insistences of the Hall campaign -- the structure fits the purpose of the piece. 

yourcookedgoose
yourcookedgoose

@comstone @DuckDuckGoose  You realize that this is a blog by something pretending to be journalistic? The format may change, the rhetorical expectations should not -- unless they're some writer's personal blog, and even then, they write  like professionals.  I don't think you'll find juvenile sarcasm on NYT or the Washington Post Blog or among its writer's blogs. Being a blog is never an excuse for sloppiness; it lowers readers expectation which is the exact opposite of what a good paper does..

yourcookedgoose
yourcookedgoose

@metternich @yourcookedgoose @comstone @DuckDuckGoose  The point being that when sarcasm and that type of style is used, the "seriousness" of the issue is diluted. Had the writer taken a more serious tone,  readers would take the issue more seriously. Readers often take their cues from writers, because oif their expectations of that source, based on its reputation.. This explains why serious readers read more serious periodicals. Hall's ambitions deserve a serious approach because he has nothing to really offer the city besides rhetoric and his theatrics and antics to get elected deserve a serious spotlight, not a cheeky commentary. If I have to read between the lines of what a writer is saying, that may be too much work, and I may go elsewhere.

metternich
metternich

@yourcookedgoose @comstone @DuckDuckGoose 

I find sarcasm all the time on NYT blogs; I don't much read the Post, but I'll bet it's there too. Ever read the very good writers in the NYT Opinion section? Tell me they don't use irony, even sarcasm. You apparently link sarcasm with juvenile, and that link is unfortunate.

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