SAGA Pod: Jim Schutze on JWP, Inland Ports, DISD, and Hippies

On this post but not the pod: A long digression about the DMN's inland port coverage

A JWP-heavy edition of the SAGA Pod. We talk to Dallas Observer columnist Jim Schutze about the biggest news story in Dallas in 2014: the indictment of County Commissioner John Wiley Price. Jim, who has covered JWP for three decades, talks about how JWP went from being a “ray of sunshine,” and “a very brave guy” — someone who “taught courage” to southern Dallas — to a county official under indictment. Jim tells great stories, from covering Price in the ’80s (the one about how Price would intentionally sweat on editors at the Dallas Times Herald is gold). He discusses how the money for votes has always traveled form north to south, and how Price wanted his cut from the minster networks. Jim tells about the time Price told him the reason “Our Man Downtown” always aligned with downtown interests vs. progressive, East Dallas interests. (“Because you’re a bunch of hippies.”)


At one point, you’ll hear me consider talking about how the DMN covered the inland port stuff. Look, I’m just too tired to go back over this. Here’s all you need to know: Jim Schutze broke the stories about the inland port and how the architect of it, Richard Allen, got screwed by JWP, Tom Leppert, and others who were ALLEGEDLY carrying water for Ross Perot Jr. (Because the inland port was a threat to Perot Jr.’s logistics operation at Alliance Airport, which RPjr is on record as admitting.) The DMN backed Price’s stalling tactics and basically made fun of Schutze (and cattily derided the inland port developer, or at least his understanding of “Dallas’ complicated racial politics”) until the paper caught up to the reporting in 2009. You can read Tod Robberson’s attempt at rewriting history here, but make sure you see the comments of Wylie H, who all but blows Robberson’s assertion out of the water. (Wylie H doesn’t even mention George Rodrigue’s snarky, dismissive column in late April 2009 mentioned here in a Robert Wilonsky column — Rodrigue’s column is no longer online.) To see just how damaging the backing of JWP and Leppert were to the inland port’s development in late 2008/early 2009, have a read of this, and scroll down to where inland port head Richard Allen talks about trying to finalize his deal with Target, and how that can’t happen unless Dallas stops advocating for Price’s delaying tactics. (In the podcast, Schutze mentions Walmart, but I think he meant Target.) The bottom line: the DMN needs to own up, say they were late to this story, and acknowledge the paper as a whole caused real harm to the inland port’s development. Once the inland port operator declared bankruptcy, then, sure, everyone realized what a huge screw-up this was for North Texas in general, and Dallas leadership in particular, and from then on got on the appropriate trolley.


Oh, yeah, we also talk DISD, and I scream the eff word, because Jim wound me up, and I’m easily enraged. We look at just how stupid the effort to fire Mike Miles was, and look with hope toward the reform efforts targeted for this year.

You can listen above. Or listen here. The RSS feed is here. You can subscribe on iTunes here.

As always, thanks for downloading, and listen with your ears.



  • Eric Celeste

    By the way: I was Managing Editor at D at this time. We COMPLETELY missed the boat on how important this story was. We did almost no looking into it at all. (Maybe I’m forgetting something; Tim will remind me.) In retrospect, we were 100 percent remiss in not pointing this out to D’s audience and making an effort to highlight what a terrible thing this was for North Texas. Bad on us.

  • RAB

    It’s “Dallas’s.” You were once an editor; you should know this.

  • Tim Rogers

    You’re wrong.

  • RAB

    No, YOU’RE wrong. Please refer to Strunk & White’s “The Elements of Style.” The example they use is Congress’s, but the same rule applies to Dallas.

  • RAB

    Can we at least agree that Eric blundered with “form north to south”?

  • joeptone
  • RAB

    Like the switch from two spaces after a period to one, it’s just further evidence of a civilization in decline. (I’ll bet you write “e-mail” as “email.”)

  • Purvis

    You can expand the “Bad on Us” to be 1997 to 2009 – your magazine’s years deep in the “Dallas Way” wilderness. Also, for joining the ill-advised smear campaign against Schutze and Ms. Hunt during this period.

  • Eric Celeste

    You are just mad at me because of our text exchange today.

  • Eric Celeste
  • RAB


  • BM-5

    What are you? Tod Robberson? Did you forget about the blog posts?

  • t’pau

    D CEO covered the Port, but not the politics:

  • Amy Severson

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Tim Rogers

    Man, what happened to the intro music? Such an abrupt start. No kissing or petting first? Please be more gentle. Bring back the music.

  • Bill Marvel

    Two spaces after the period is a printer’s convention, based on obsolete technology. Another example of a rule that long outlives its usefulness. Wanna see a civilization in decline, look at the loss of the serial (Oxford) comma.

  • VMA

    Good luck finding a graphic designer who won’t remove the double spaces after periods.

  • Eric Celeste

    I can’t be responsible for everyone’s blog posts. Just defending the mag.

  • Eric Celeste

    I will send you the file so you can do the Garageband edits.

  • BorninBigD

    Thank you once again for informing the citizens of Dallas that D-Magazine is not a trusted source of information for anyting beyond restaurant reviews.

  • Puck

    Talking about splitting hairs.

  • RAB

    The serial comma is not dead. The Wall Street Journal still uses it (and I think the New Yorker.) And myself, of course.

  • Tim Rogers

    RAB: “Myself”? Myself uses the serial comma? You just lost all credibility.