Hi, Wick. Glad that you’re back from vacation. We missed you, particularly on the blog.
As for the little flap over Angie Barrett, it’s probably worth posting two grafs from a piece by Craig Flournoy that D reprinted in June 2004. I reread this before I wrote my original post:
[Morning News reporter] Tim Wyatt got a new tip in February: in 2000, beer distributor and philanthropist Bill Barrett had been kicked and scratched by his wife. Angie Barrett–a board member of a battered women’s shelter and a convicted felon–was charged with assault. Bill Barrett had asked District Attorney Bill Hill–who had received $2,000 in campaign contributions from him–to drop the charge. It was dismissed, six days after being filed, despite a tough policy on prosecuting domestic abuse. Wyatt wrote a story.
Bill Barrett, whose family had contributed $250,000 to the Dallas Morning News charity fund drive, says he asked [Bob] Mong and [Stuart] Wilk to kill the story. They did. Wyatt was devastated: “The message sent was that the story was a sacred cow, and we couldn’t touch it.” Mong and Wilk say Barrett did not get favored treatment. A few weeks later, two reporters at the paper wrote a story about a district attorney in a neighboring county who chose not to prosecute two campaign donors accused of assaulting their spouses. The News ran it on page one.
But Wick now tells me that the part about getting Hill to dismiss the charges is flat wrong. So now, in addition to the Observer and the DMN, I can’t believe Flournoy–a Pulitzer Prize winner–and D Magazine? It makes me wonder whom I can trust.