Sunday, January 27, 2008

WTF? - Part I

Damn, I hate the Houston Chronicle. I mean, I know they have always been as biased as my mother at my 5th grade spelling bee, but I mean - - well, damn.

Alan Bernstein wrote a puff piece for this morning's otherwise uneventful edition. Four separate articles on each of the four Republican candidates (I tried to find the link for y'all, but can't find it on the web for some reason. Mark, if you can find it for me, could you post it in the comments?)
At least, it starts off as a puff piece, but what it ends up being is three puff pieces on Lykos, Leitner, and Perry (the Chronicle may still acknowledge him as a candidate, but I don't) and a hatchet-job on Kelly Siegler.

I suppose that the Chronicle editors may have finally realized that stretching out the "nuts and screwballs" comment slowly over four weeks has gotten to be old news. (NOTE TO EDITORS: It was old news about three and a half weeks ago). And Lisa Falkenberg's article on Canadians had played out (which I guess happens when you do an article on something that Fox 26 broke two and a half weeks earlier). So they went looking more dirt on Kelly.

And they found it. But not until they 1) looked into her prosecutorial past for about twenty years, and 2) interviewed the president of her fan club: Dick DeGuerin.

Now let's look at this crap:

Apparently when Kelly was a misdemeanor prosecutor twenty years ago, she used the term "Jew" as a verb. The article points out that she didn't know what it meant, and went to the extra-ordinary step of actually going to the home of an offended juror and personally apologizing.

Now, everybody who is reading this board knows that the difference of knowledge and experience levels between a Baby Misdemeanor Prosecutor and a Bureau Chief could fill volumes. If I recall correctly from office folklore (and Kelly's inspirational talks at prosecutor training sessions), this is somebody who didn't win a lot of trials when she first started out. She worked her butt off to become the best prosecutor in the Office, the State, and the Country.

My point is that the Chronicle and Bernstein are absolutely ridiculous point shows that their zeal against the Office has hit new levels -- very low levels. To write such cheesy puff pieces about Lykos ("I was a charm school dropout" hee hee hee), Leitner ("I shaved my moustache") and Perry ("the tall candidate does often look the lawman part"), and then use Kelly's article to continue the smearing is just poor journalism.

Oh but wait, we aren't quite done yet. I haven't mentioned the Dick DeGuerin source. I can't link to the article, but here's what it says:

"After Siegler's recent prosecution of David Mark Temple in the 1999 killing of his pregnant wife, defense lawyer Dick DeDuerin's unsuccessful request for a new trial noted that she told law students that she regularly made remarks to juries that she knew judges would find out bounds."

So our in-depth background research was getting handed a copy of the Temple Motion for New Trial, Bernstein? Did you not do the follow up investigation into, oh, I don't know, common legal practices, which would have taught you that what is alleged in a Motion isn't evidence. I just point that out because you seem to site the Motion as some sort of proof.

And all it really is is DeGuerin stating: "It sucks that I lost my trial. I want a new one. Kelly must have cheated. I heard that she tells people she cheats."

Give me a break.

I know that there are plenty of people who read my posts on this website that don't support Kelly, and that's fine. But at least y'all will have rational discussions with me over the merits of her candidacy, as well as the candidacies of everyone else in the race (except Perry).

The Chronicle does it's readers a disservice by failing to analyze Kelly as a serious candidate when all they do is blast her with anecdotal stories.

But, then again, I've always kind of felt that the Chronicle did it's readers a disservice by existing.

NOTE: WTF? - Pt. II will be written after I eat breakfast.


Anonymous said...

I JUST read this article and I thought the same things...

I once went to an in-house training on domestic violence (I worked at the DA's office at the time).

Kelly stood up and said something like - I grew up around this - she talked about how important it is to handles these cases seriously. I wish I could remember exactly what she said.

I was was short...but it was so honest and it inspired me.

Mark Bennett said...


You and I are going to look like real meatheads when Perry wins the election.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Damn, I would hate for us to look like meatheads. We would be forfeiting our sterling reputations and universal admiration that we currently possess!