daily advertiser corruption

Growing up in south Louisiana, I always had an inkling the local newspaper in Lafayette, The Daily Advertiser, was a little bit corrupt.
Maybe it was the fact that, through decades of publishing, it had never once exposed a single iota of government malfeasance. (“Government corruption? In Louisiana? Never!”) But, then again, that could just be a sign that it’s an awful newspaper, not necessarily one on the take.
Maybe it was the 1980s case of Gilbert Gauthe, the first nationally prominent child-molesting priest, who did his dirty work about eight miles from my house. The Advertiser, enthralled to the powerful local Catholic Church, buried the story on inside pages, even when it was making the national evening news shows. It was left to the area alt-weekly to do all the good journalism on Gauthe. (Sadly, The Advertiser has since bought out and neutered the alt-weekly.)
But the final confirmation of my anti-Advertiser feelings came last week, when I read about a lawsuit, D’Aquin v. Wright. Richard D’Aquin was the publisher of The Advertiser; Bob Wright is a lawyer in town who, in the mid-1990s, wanted to attract a minor-league hockey team to Lafayette.
According to the suit, Wright came to D’Aquin with a deal:
Skew the newspaper’s coverage of Wright and the hockey team in a positive direction. Write lots of articles saying how great having the team’s going to be. Use your sports reporters as cheerleaders. Ignore the negatives of the city shelling out tax money to attract the team.
In exchange, Wright promised D’Aquin an ownership share of the team, worth about $400,000.
To recap, the publisher accepted a secret bribe to alter his newspaper’s coverage.
Wright never gave D’Aquin the money or the ownership. So now, D’Aquin is suing Wright to be reimbursed.
To recap, the publisher accepted a secret bribe to alter his newspaper’s coverage — and is now suing the briber for breach of contract!
It’s a wonderful world we live in. (By the way, this D’Aquin fool also doubles as vice chairman of the Louisiana Board of Regents, the agency that runs the state’s universities. It’s a plum gig. He was appointed by Gov. Edwin Edwards, last seen in Fort Worth, reporting for his 10-year federal prison term. Wonder how D’Aquin got that job.)

nyt interview, allstate

I just got interviewed by The New York Times.
Not for a job. For a story on the CD Mix of the Month Club. Things are getting a little out of hand.
In other news, if you’re like me — a young Texas male with decent credit and a clean driving record — hunting for cheap car insurance, call Allstate. I had been paying $800 per six months with Progressive. I called Geico, and they wanted $1180! Allstate came through with a much more reasonable $450.
Interesting idea: Cityblogs.