Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dallas Morning News: Creating Controversy Where None Exists

I've just about had it with our local paper.

This week two articles on Farmers Branch were featured, one about the removal of images of violence and nudity at the library, and one about the City Council's request for CFBISD to provide a list of FB students attending schools. Both very straight-forward issues.

But the DMN used three photos to illustrate the story about the violent art, two of which were not included in the pieces that were removed from the Manske Library. Those two pieces were not violent or controversial, but their inclusion in the piece made it seem that the motivations of the city were unfounded and based more on censureship. Totally irresponsible on the DMN's part.

And the article today about our request for a student list...where do I begin? First, this city council has made it clear from the start that we were going to puruse all avenues to find creative solutions to the opportunities we face as a city, among them code enforcement, revitalization, and of course, education. We have FB students who feed into three different school districts, and who attend a plethora of private and pariochial schools. If we are going to offer ideas and solutions about education, we need information.

Simple, right?

But wait! In a section of the article titled "Speculation," The DMN goes and gets a sitting School Board Member to say that our request for information "could be" about the immigration issue, and that the City Council isn't "proud of its motivations." Even though that school board member has no idea why we're asking for the list, and the DMN reporter had a clear, concise understanding from me exactly what my motivations are. Speculation: it's what hard news is built on.

But my motivations don't fit the DMN's controversial story template, so they have to ignore them completely and instead find others who can assign more sinister motivations to me.

Like Hector Flores, ex-LULAC President, who says that any information "could be used for profiling and selective use of code enforcement," and then says that somehow we are going to "target" children. Here's the quote: "What wrong have these children done to deserve this – because they're Hispanic and their parents might be here without any documents? Shame on those that would retaliate against children."

Huh? What is he talking about?!? Did anyone say anything about retaliation against children? And more importantly, DID OUR REQUEST FOR INFORMATION SAY ANYTHING ABOUT LOOKING FOR ANYTHING RELATED TO HISPANICS? It didn't. It wasn't even implied. This has nothing to do with Hispanics, but that doesn't stop the DMN from including a ridiculous quote in their article saying it did.

This is why the politcal discourse in America has sunk to the level that it has. Irresponsible journalists don't bother to cover an issue with truth and objective reporting, they seek to exploit every possible situation as the next big controversy, and go and find self-serving "experts" to say whatever they want to drive their personal agenda, regardless of how innaccurate it is.

The good news is that I trust the vast majority of you who are reading this feel exactly the same way, and know to put your "truth filter" on when you read things in print.

Have a great week,
Tim Scott

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Code Enforcement: It's What the People Want, and We're Doing It

I am excited about the progress we are making with code enforcement. Here's a link to an article in the Dallas Morning News that does a nice job of outlining our increased efforts.


Tim Scott


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Citizen Participation and Keeping Marsh Lane Beautiful

We had a rousing and productive City Council meeting last night, with at least 17 citizens speaking to a single issue: re-zoning Brookhaven Community College. It was a great exercise in citizen participation in local government. I would encourage everyone who wasn't in attendance or watching on TV to check out the replay on FBTV or on the City's web site.

I love it when citizens come to our City Council meetings and express their opinions. It's healthy and productive.

Tim Scott

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