The Iconoclast

IN OLDEN DAYS, John Young would have been horsewhipped or shot in the back for the stuff he writes two or three times a week in the Waco Tribune-Herald. You don’t razz right-wingers in what Young has labeled “Bush-by-God country”—not if you value your kneecaps. An otherwise ordinary 54-year-old who wears wire-rim glasses and has a trim mustache and a receding hairline, Young is the rarest of a vanishing breed of Texans: the unapologetically liberal newspaperman.

Here Comes Trouble

I want to begin by telling you a story that may make me look small, but which, I believe, is instructive. In 2003 I was asked to sit on a panel to interview the three men running for mayor of Houston: Bill White, Orlando Sanchez, and Sylvester Turner. The other two members of the panel were a former political reporter for the defunct Houston Post and Dan Patrick, then as now a drive-time radio talk show host.

Liz Smith

Evan Smith: So here we are in a Mexican restaurant on the ground floor of your  apartment building in New York.

Liz Smith: Do you think it’s funny that I live over a Mexican restaurant called El Rio Grande?

ES: I think it’s appropriate. But what I’m stuck on is whether you can get good Mexican food in New York.

Rather Controversial

Everyone was dying to talk with Dan Rather. So how did Texas Monthly writer Gary Cartwright break from the pack of hungry journalists and satiate his appetite with a one-on-one interview? Common Texas roots, common friends, and common interests didn’t hurt. Now Cartwright talks about the strings he pulled, the lessons he learned, and the future flavor of broadcast journalism.

Dan Rather Retorting

A light snow dusts the sprawling CBS News complex in Hell’s Kitchen, on New York’s West Side, as a figure in a black slouch hat and long trench coat swirls through the Fifty-seventh Street door, bids good cheer to the security guards in the lobby, then vanishes into the bowels of the newsroom: Dan Rather is in top form this morning. He has just returned, after a grueling 44-hour flight, from Southeast Asia, where he presided over CBS News’ coverage of the killer tsunami.

Weapon of Mass Communication

At 1:45 p.m. on Friday, July 18, White House communications director Dan Bartlett strode into the James S. Brady Briefing Room to confront a large, hostile, and deeply skeptical group of reporters. The issue in play was an erroneous assertion by George W. Bush in his January 28, 2003, State of the Union address: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." While that statement was true in the narrowest sense— the British had indeed reported it—the U.S.

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