On her first day back at the DA’s office after two months of treatment for depression, Susan Hawk held a brief press conference, said she was excited to be back and stronger than ever, and then took no questions. Last night, Texas Monthly put online a 4,500-word Hawk story written by Skip Hollandsworth. He got some good quotes, some of them anonymous. If you’ve been following the story from the start, there isn’t much new. What is new is the take from the Texas Observer. Headline of a 1,200-word post by Amy McCarthy: “Sexism, Stigma and Susan Hawk: Let’s Find a New Way to Talk About the Dallas DA.” The first sentence tells you pretty much everything you need to know about this thing: “There was no hotter topic in the Dallas political gossip mill this summer than the ‘disappearance’ of Susan Hawk, Dallas’ newly-elected district attorney.” If you’ll allow me, I’d like to examine the quotes around the word “disappearance.”
At first, you might be tempted to think, Wait a second. They don’t need quotes around that word. Are they trying to suggest that Susan Hawk didn’t really disappear, that the media that have used that word are sexist and biased and need to find a new way to talk about the DA? Because that’s ridiculous. Hawk did disappear.
But you’d be wrong if you thought that. Because Hawk did not disappear. She was still visible. She existed on the space-time continuum, and any light shone on her would reflect off her person. If you knew where to look for Hawk, you could have used your eyes to gather that light and form an image of her in your brain. In fact, there were people who did just that. Friends and family, presumably, who visited Hawk while she was in treatment. They saw her. Not to mention her doctors. Totally saw her. So she didn’t disappear, you sexist.
Okay, I’m done kidding around. The Texas Observer story is horrible.