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5 Things to Know About ‘Why It Matters’ That Our Mayor Lies

Or: why does the Dallas Morning News treat readers like children?
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Today in the Dallas Morning News, Sharon Grigsby writes about something our Bethany Erickson tackled last week. Our headline: “Mayor Eric Johnson’s Revisionist History.” The DMN headline: “Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, We See Your Charade of a Fond Farewell for the City Manager.” A bit prolix for my taste, but that’s not what I want to address.

The mayor is making stuff up. That’s the first thing you need to know. The second thing you need to know is that the DMN recently announced that important stories in the paper will be accompanied by a sidebar of sorts labeled “Why This Story Matters.” From where I sit, this idea is silly. And insulting. Readers don’t need to be told why something matters for the same reason that watchers of Tropic Thunder don’t need to be told why the movie is funny.

Quick aside: I’m not going to actually identify five things to know about “Why It Matters.” That’s another dumb thing the paper has taken to doing recently. The other day, I saw four stories next to each other on the paper’s website that were all titled “5 Things to Know About [Something].”

So anyway. Here’s the way I imagine the explainer sidebar would go if the DMN were brave enough to attach it to Grigsby’s story:

“Why This Story Matters: The mayor of Dallas is an elected official. Lying is bad. When elected officials don’t tell the truth, citizens get hosed. If you pay taxes and elected officials say things that aren’t true, then kittens will be murdered.”

I apologize. I lost the plot there right at the end. Here’s why this blog post doesn’t matter …

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Tim Rogers

Tim Rogers

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Tim is the editor of D Magazine, where he has worked since 2001. He won a National Magazine Award in…
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