The Thumb Awards

Thumbs Down: To the Cullen Davis defense team (Phil Burleson, “Racehorse” Haynes, et al.) for hiring a public relations man, Pierce Allman, to aid their efforts on Davis’ behalf. In the first place, the whole notion smacks of electioneering among the press, such as the cocktail party thrown for journalists covering the case (and paid for by the defense) on the eve of jury selection. In the second place, Allman’s methods on at least one occasion have been downright unsavory. When Allman learned that D Magazine contributing editor Tom Stephenson was working on a magazine piece about the Davis mansion murders he contacted him with an offer to buy the story for a new publication he said he was starting. When Stephenson turned down the offer, Allman contacted him again and admitted he was working for the Davis defense team. This time he offered Stephenson $500 in cash to see an advance copy of the story. He offered an additional sum if Stephenson could obtain a copy of a similar story being prepared by Gary Cartwright for Texas Monthly. It seems the definition of p.r. has changed – perhaps it now means payola representative.

Thumbs Up: To one Carl LaFong for his suggestion in a local publication called White Rabbit that the now-defunct Hawaii Kai amusement park in Arlington be reopened as a “Boys Town.” Consider the benefits: it would give the park new life, it would relieve much of the congestion on Cedar Springs, and, most important, would be a terrific financial boost to the City of Arlington. Aloha, big boy.

Thumbs Down: To District Judge Dee Brown Walker for another of his knee-jerk injunctions, this one a temporary restraining order against KDFW-TV Channel 4’s consumer reporter Glen Loyd for reports concerning discrepancies in the practices of a job search firm. The issue of prior restraint raises delicate First Amendment questions. Walker’s delicate response? The case “may get into a constitutional thing.” Well spoken, Judge.

Thumbs Up: To Dallas Mayor Bob Folsom for his efforts to finally build a sports arena in Dallas (and ultimately to bring professional basketball and hockey to the city) – perhaps the most glaring void in our cosmopolitan life. If he can pull it off, he can even name it the Robert Folsom Coliseum with our blessing. Hell, he can name it Bob’s Place if he wants to.


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