Way To Look Bad In The Wake Of A Progressive Texas Hire, Local Media Elite.
Dear Whoever Was Running The Dallas Morning News' Twitter Account on Jan. 5 and also Gil Lebreton:
How are the two of you doing today? Not too well? Can't say we're surprised. You've each had rough weeks — y'know, since starting things off with some grossly offensive comments and commentaries about the University of Texas' new head football coach, Charlie Strong.
For you, person who was in charge of the DMN Twitter account, it all began with a tweet. You teased a “10 things you might not know” about Charlie Strong slideshow with the line “Why he's not a hip-hop coach,” which just yeesh.
I mean, what does that even mean? What is a hip-hop coach? We're not really sure. But, like a lot of people out there, we are sure that the idea is offensive. Apparently, you figured that out pretty quickly yourself, too, seeing as how you deleted the tweet less than 90 minutes after posting it and apologized for failing to attribute the quote — weird, since it didn't even have quotation marks in the original tweet.
Look: Even if we believed your position that the lack of attribution in the tweet was just an oversight, what in the world are you doing, quoting the ramblings of noted cultural critic Lou Holtz, the man who was forced out at Arkansas for being friends with North Carolina's notoriously racist senator, Jesse Helms.
If you're going to run a comment from Holtz in this situation, it had better be pretty darn insightful — not some bigoted, meaningless click bait.
I mean, he probably wasn't the best choice for providing analysis to UT hiring its first black head coach, was he?
Somewhat amazingly, though, your tweet — and the quote it referred to — actually had some competition for the stupidest commentary about Strong from DFW media.
Who provided the competition? Why, that would be you, Mr. Lebreton. Not content with being best known for slut-shaming the women pictured with Josh Hamilton during his 2009 relapse or idiotically comparing Canadians to Nazis, you decided to add the title of “race-baiting troll” to your resume.
In a Fort Worth Star-Telegram column complaining that Strong lacked the “sizzle” required at a program like UT, you said that it was as if the Longhorn Network had “fired Leno and hired Arsenio.”
First things first: Comparing Arsenio Hall negatively to Jay Leno is simply appalling. Leno has never done anything even a quarter as great as Hall's performance in Coming to America. And, to be honest, we'll still take Hall's newly resurrected late-night show over Leno's self-congratulatory, banal mess any chance we can. But we digress.
You could have made the point you wanted to make by comparing Strong to any number of late-night hosts who are less successful the Leno. But, no, you had to compare him to Arsenio, didn't you. Can't imagine why.
Here's the thing, you two: There are certainly some legitimate gripes to be had about Strong's hire. For instance? He isn't known to play too nicely with the media, which isn't necessarily a problem in and of itself, but at Texas, with its unique media challenges, a willingness to at least play ball with the press is a requirement. He's also lost at least two four-star recruits since his hiring, and he has a Mack Brown-esque habit of losing crucial games late in the regular season.
But none of these things excuse all your insensitivity (which might be called racism by those less charitable than us) and laziness (which is all too common these days, especially from you, Mr. Lebreton).
As long as hacks like you two are around, it seems we Texans will continue to get mocked by the likes of Deadspin for our local and state media's utter inability to deal with diversity.
So here's to the day when you won't be.
Stephen Young and The Rest of The Central Track staff