The Chron Caucasian Think Tank's rough couple of days

The Chronicle's Caucasian Think Tank has had an erratic few days (maybe that should be, "even more erratic than usual").

Yesterday, they came out in favor of Mayor Bill White's Veterinarian Shakedown Revenue Stream.

That's hardly surprising, since the CCTT is frequently a cheerleader for Mayor White. But check out the error in this graf:

[T]he Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care has been overwhelmed by the number of abandoned and abused pets, with its primary business being the gassing of thousands of animals a year. Lack of a dedicated funding source has contributed to substandard and inhumane holding facilities.

BARC is certainly a hellhole (whose hellishness endured through Mayor White's three terms), but it does not gas animals. They are killed by lethal injection. Thousands and thousands.

While the lack of a dedicated funding source may have contributed to BARC's problems, we question whether it is the job of our area's doctors of veterinary medicine to act as the city's revenue collection agency. We think they have trained for much more important work.

On the other hand, Mayor White has shown he can be very effective at raising money for his priorities. Take a look at the Marvy Finger Park Discovery Green and all the funding that Mayor White has secured. Or take a look at all the money he's raised for his U.S. Senate campaign while moonlighting as Houston's mayor this year. If funding BARC had been a priority for Mayor White, he surely would have found the cash. Leave it to the CCTT to blame veterinarians instead of Mayor White for BARC's enduring problems!

The CCTT apparently is also confused about geography and political subdivisions. In an editorial today, they duplicated the gaffes on last night:

After a 10-day span without a murder reported in the city that once made headlines as the murder capital of the country, a woman's body was discovered north of downtown Houston Wednesday with a bullet wound in the head.

If the death is ruled a murder, it would end a moratorium that had cops and police reporters searching their memory banks for any comparable murder hiatus. Harris County is still enjoying its grace period, with no murders reported by the Sheriff's Department for more than a month.

The last time we checked, north of downtown Houston was part of Harris County. So if the death is a murder, Harris County is no longer enjoying a murder-free period.

The CCTT may have meant to refer to unincorporated Harris County, but that's not what they wrote.

And finally, Texas Watchdog broke an interesting story today on controller candidate Ron Green's back-tax problem. Texas Watchdog used public documents available to anyone for their reporting. Apparently, the CCTT, which endorsed Green, either missed that issue during their vetting, or didn't think it important enough to mention.

Are there any actual copy editors, fact-checkers, or researchers still employed at 801 Texas Avenue, and do they ever check the work of the CCTT?

Posted by Kevin Whited @ 10/22/09 09:56 PM | Print |

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