posted on November 5, 2011 by fractalbob
Don’t go running out and snatch The Huntsville Item out of your neighbor’s driveway. Even The Item is not naive enough to think they could endorse the star of “Long Pig” and get away with it.
But let’s look at the evidence that the local ragster loves it some George Haw Russell.
George Russell, as you no doubt know, is running for mayor. Here’s what you also might know about good ole’ George.
- He’s the Pope of his own church.
- He’s hypersexual, which at his age is a sign of either Viagra abuse or cyclothemya, also known as Bipolar Lite.
- He owns several historic properties that he has let fall into ruin or near ruin — either because he doesn’t have the money to maintain them or because he has some Eurotrash-inspired idea that ruins are romantic, even in these hot, humid semi-tropical environs.
- He’s a shitty landlord.
- His buffoonish public theatrics hide a sinister side.
- He’s brilliant and sly as a fox. The guy was trained in Cold War counterintelligence.
The Item knows or certainly should, even given the revolving door of owners, publishers, editors and reporters down there, that giving George Russell any publicity at all is waving a red flag at the whole town, not just the snarling Upper Lip. The populist Middle Brow have also distanced themselves from our boy George.
I’m told for years The Item refused to publish anything George and his old daddy wrote. But as soon as the Upper Lip’s boy Rex Maynor left, George was back in the paper.
This gave the Upper Lip’s upper echelon FITS until they realized how to leverage the naivete that comes with the paper’s new social liberalism. It only requires they suck it up for the occasional groin punch from George in the newspaper’s Letters to the Editor column.
The most obvious evidence of The Item’s endorsement comes with its coverage of the water plant issue.
First, The Item wastes a whole lotta ink and news space deconstructing the 99.99999 thousand dollar Crespo engineering study that claims the city’s water plant is out of compliance with TCEQ regs and needs to expand tout suite. With it is another article that is nothing more than PR for the city staff’s recommendation that rate payers should cough up $18.5 mil in hard-earned green to pay for the upgrade.
[In this article Carol Reed says Crespo didn’t say shit the city didn’t already know but the city felt like it needed the political insurance of a third party report. OMFG. Well, how’s that working out for you guys?]
The next Wednesday, The Item gives lackluster coverage to a city public forum on the water plant expansion, which goes before the voters this Tuesday, Nov. 8.
On the face of it, the vote is meaningless — City Council can do anything it wants regardless of whatever “mandate” it gets from voters. It’s actually a tool for Middle Brow electioneering, a means of turning the naturally suspicious middle, low and fixed income voters against the Upper Lip. Nicely done, Middle Brow remnants of a once-great City Council.
The Item’s article about the water public forum merely recaps Carol Reed’s talking points on the plant expansion, thoroughly reported the Sunday before, and omits the meat of the story — the political posturing from the Middle Brow and its off-shoot, Citizens Against Bill Baine.
The pig squeals of the Middle Brow political operatives must have rung loudly through the rat trap halls of the local ragster the next day. They must have been FURIOUS The Item walked out before the best part of the show.
So, in Thursday’s paper, The Item’s managing editor and publisher write a follow-up article in which they gave a blow-by-blow account of the question and answer session, even ringing up George Russell post appearance to find out what he would have said if Bill Baine hadn’t shut his ass down.
George must have been delighted to see transcribed in The Item the rambling pulses of his ramshackle brain.
The next day, the Upper Lip opened a can of whup-ass on The Item. In Friday’s issue, Mac Woodward gets the TOP OF THE FUCKING front page to defend himself and the city’s honor from George Russell’s brutish accusations.
[This flip flop of coverage is clear evidence of The Item’s schizophrenic leadership. Really, who IS in charge down there? I bet all their desks are pitched on shifting sands and the water fountains are filled with Wishy Washy.]
Now comes the piece de resistance. Sunday’s editorial endorsing the water plant by way of George Russell.
How so, you ask? Yes, the first few paragraphs unequivocally say, Vote “for” the water plant expansion. But what follows is some seriously passive aggressive shit. And that section is lifted right out of the George Russell for Mayor Illustrated Playbook.
- The cheap water this city is so happy about comes out of the asshole of Dallas industry.
- The city wants the small residential user to foot the bill for the major users in town as well as the fucking city of Huntsville itself, which can’t be bothered to follow its own water restrictions.
- TDCJ and SHSU make up the X and Y on the 3-D Huntsville Axis of Evil. Elkins Lake is where the Z slouches off to go to bed at night.
That Sunday morning at the Church of the Upper Lip, the slate zombies were all smiles and pink-cheeks over The Item’s “endorsement” of the water plant expansion. They only read the first paragraphs of it because they only read the first few paragraphs of anything. Props to The Item for knowing that.
What this says to me is that The Item was strong-armed into endorsing the water plant. And if so, letting George and his dad publish their letters to the editor is some small concession ownership allows the hunkered few in the newsroom.
Are you paying attention, George H. Russell? The force is with you, and so is The Item. And you’re their only hope.