Ever get sick of seeing Wilmer-Hutchins stories on this site and think: “If only Josh could summarize everything he’s written in the last three months in just nine short minutes, using his best radio voice!”
Tada! Here’s an MP3 of my Texas Matters interview, which aired today.
Very short story in today’s paper.
More than 1,200 Zambian teachers have died of AIDS-related illnesses since the beginning of 2004. I hate to say it, but I told you so.
New Christmas song from The Walkmen.
“In an effort to win new readers, [Washington Post top boss Len] Downie said Post reporters will be required to write shorter stories.” Damn. Et tu, WaPo?
Did You Know?: Vincent Schiavelli, one of the most recognizable faces (if not names) in Hollywood, played the first regular gay character on American prime-time TV — Peter Panama on 1972’s The Corner Bar.
New Pernice Brothers live album coming out, now streaming half the tracks here.
Happy weekend, folks.
I hate Bob Edwards.
Okay, “hate” is too strong. But I couldn’t understand all the hubbub around his departure from NPR’s “Morning Edition” earlier this year. He was a moderately competent newsreader and a poor-to-middling interviewer. (The man didn’t seem to get that an interview could be more than just a series of disjointed, unconnected questions.) Since his ouster, all he’s done is bitch bitch bitch about how NPR screwed him over. And the bizarre anti-NPR rage from listeners seemed to bring out the worst aspects of the NPR demographic: smug self-satisfaction, resistance to change, and a innate sense of superiority. His successors on “Morning Edition” are, in every way, an improvement.
Anyway, what pushed me over the top was this article, which touches on what Bob is up to these days. The reporter remarks on Howard Stern’s new gazillion-dollar deal to move to Sirius radio. Edwards plays the poverty card: “I’m still making public-radio money.”
Bob Edwards made $256,000 a year (see page 7) at NPR. Not bad for a guy working for a non-profit, taxpayer-supported organization who reads what’s put in front of him and can’t do a decent interview.
Today’s Wilmer-Hutchins story: “The principal of Wilmer Elementary has decided to resign, less than two weeks after a Dallas Morning News analysis of TAKS test scores found strong evidence of organized cheating at the school.
This would be the analysis I’m talking about, from the Nov. 7 paper.
Are you a central Texas resident in need of more Wilmerosity in your life? I just got interviewed by Texas Public Radio. I’ll be on Texas Matters at 12:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday. That’s 89.1 FM on your San Antonio radio dial.
Man wins school board seat with only sketchy evidence of his existence.
“Neighbors who have lived next door to him for years say they’ve seen the 53-year-old man only occasionally, when he takes out the trash from the home he shares with his parents…Neither the district nor the registrar has a phone number on file for him, and nobody answered the door at his home. Somehow, though, without mounting a real campaign, filing a candidate’s statement or showing up at a community forum, he managed to upset his formidable opponent, Phil Martinez…
“He’s become a bit of an urban legend, a kind of political Loch Ness monster or Sasquatch. ‘I haven’t met him, that I know of,’ said outgoing Trustee Bob Viviano. ‘I hear he’s kind of a recluse, but then that’s just hearsay.’ Said Trustee Kim Nichols: ‘You hear things because people are desperately trying to find some info on him. I heard he rides his bike. He likes garage sales. He hangs out at a 7-Eleven. I don’t know if any of that is true.’
“When the district sent him mail during the campaign, it was returned unopened. He was invited to a PTA candidates forum via registered mail. That letter came back marked ‘Refused’…
“He ran for mayor of Santa Ana in 2000 and for the Rancho Santiago Community College District board in 2002. He tried to also run in Santa Ana for mayor in 2002, but that candidacy was nullified because the two offices were incompatible. There has been one unconfirmed sighting of him at a city forum, wearing military fatigues.”
Wilmer-Hutchins custodian indicted on theft charge. Blah, blah, blah.
Author Richard Blow changes name to “Richard Bradley.” Wuss.
Carl Hiassen on journalism: “All of my best work comes from some kind of anger. If you go up to Jimmy Breslin, he’s as pissed off today as he was 30 years ago. That’s the fire you want to have in your writing.”
I’d say “that’s the fire you want to have in a certain kind of writing,” but otherwise true.
I have been duly shamed for writing about the death of Ol’ Dirty Bastard and not linking to the one story on the topic co-bylined by a crabwalk.com reader. So I am doing my penance.
In addition, the story was linkworthy if only because of its use of the term “mad paranoid.” “Mad” being, in this case, a glorious adverbial substitute for “very.” Which reminds me of the great ol’ Calvin Trillin bit about the distinctions between being “crazy stupid” and being “stupid crazy.” I always thought “crazy stupid” was a preferable state of being.
By the way, that great story for tomorrow will only be a so-so story. I have to stop preselling these things.
Today’s Wilmer-Hutchins story: “After being introduced to the Wilmer-Hutchins school board they will govern, one of the district’s new state-appointed managers had something to tell trustees. ‘God help us,’ businessman Albert Black said. His statement