The President Of The State Fair Has Been Following This Series And Has Been Personally Giving Out Free Passes To People Who Complain About Our Coverage.

Unlike seemingly every other media outlet in Dallas and, to a degree, the whole goddamn state, we here at Central Track aren’t exactly enamored with the State Fair of Texas. Why? Because, for starters, we’re not kids any more, and we’re no longer oblivious to the ways of the world. But also for a litany of other reasons, which we’ll happily run down for you here, one per day, over the entire course of the fair’s 2017 run. 

Our readership, far as we can tell, has been pretty split about our Why The State Fair of Texas Sucks series.

It’s clear just by scrolling through the comments y’all have left on our Facebook posts that some of you see the same issues with the fair that we do, and that others don’t care what we have to say because you’re resigned to defending this tradition tooth and nail regardless.

We’re not the only ones who’ve noticed this, turns out. Seems the top brass at the State Fair of Texas has been carefully reading your comments, too.

Early on in the run of this series, we were tipped off to the fact that no less an authority than State Fair of Texas president Mitchell Glieber was trolling your Facebook comments, tracking down the personal email addresses of those who defended his cause, and then personally emailing these people to thank them for their loyalty and offer them a complimentary “Honor Guest 2017” pass for their vocal support of the fair.

Here is the text of an email that one of our readers received from Glieber:

“Sorry to reach out through email, but I prefer not to use social media to respond on some issues.

I’ve seen your comments about the State Fair on the Central Track series, and I appreciate your support.

I can assure you that the information being communicated through this series is false and misleading to say the least. There is so much misinformation in that last piece on the economic impact that I don’t even know where to start. I’ve offered on many occasions for people who want to sit down to discuss the State Fair to just let me know and I’m willing to do that to set the record straight. I would offer the same to you if you would like. Unfortunately, these folks don’t take the time to talk to the State Fair or even ask us for comment on issues like this.

Let me know if you are interested in visiting the Fair this year, and I would certainly set you up. You don’t have to come visit with me, but yo are welcome to if you wish.


Mitchell Glieber.”

To our knowledge, those who accepted the invitation were granted VIP parking access and offered a meet-and-greet with Glieber on the day that they decided to take advantage of the free admission. Remember, this is a guy who works so hard on the fair that he pays himself an annual salary of $708,000 — double what the next highest-paid state fair executive in America makes. And yet, somehow, he’s got ample time to chase down email addresses, to personally message people who shitpost in defense of his efforts and to even give them guided tours by himself.

That is some Grade A pettiness right there. And it would be downright unbelievable if it didn’t just confirm everything we thought about the fair.

Honestly, this move just falls totally in line with what we’ve come to expect of the State Fair of Texas’ operations. It proves what we’ve been arguing all along — that, rather than to be more transparent about its operations, the State Fair of Texas is ultimately interested in taking care of its own. What a misguided move this is, too. Think about it: Isn’t it likely that the fair’s most vocal advocates would probably be willing to pay their own way onto the fairgrounds? Wouldn’t Gieber’s personal attention and charity be better served if it were directed at the marginalized Dallasites who live in Fair Park’s shadow?

Of course it would.

Instead, Glieber acts like he’s some sort of open book (lol) and accuses our post about the fair’s potentially overestimated economic impact on Dallas of dabbling in “misinformation.” Except, no, it wasn’t. We simply provided a counterargument to the State Fair’s own projections in the form of a third-party study that openly acknowledged that, while its own findings were estimates, so too were the fair’s — well, best as we can tell, given how the fair has fought and, insanely, won in court to keep its books from the public eye.

Looking into the way the fair interacts with Dallas at large is a totally legitimate effort. Asking questions about its operations is part of our role as journalists. In producing this series, we’re simply doing our jobs.

Meanwhile, Glieber is shirking on his own duties and spending valuable time acting like some sort of George Soros figure, funding his army of supporters in this latest battle in what Dallas Park Board president Bobby Abtahi has referred to as the new local “culture war.”

On the plus side, we can do our part in keeping Glieber busy and making him work for his bloated paycheck. Please, by all means, share this post on social media and tell all your friends how wrong we are about all this and how great the State Fair of Texas is and how we’re assholes for criticizing it. Hey, there might be an email and some free State Fair of Texas passes in it for you!

Will we be offended by your posts? Nope. Honestly, don’t even sweat it. Give us your worst. We can withstand that heat.

Because, unlike the State Fair of Texas, we can handle a little criticism.

Cover image via bk1bennett at Flickr.

More Reasons Why The State Fair Of Texas Sucks:

  1. Its history is super racist!
  2. It’s a major drain on Dallas police!
  3. It’s bad for your health!
  4. It’s so damn expensive!
  5. It’s not the economic driver it says it is!
  6. It’s a super shitty neighbor!
  7. It’s an altar to false idols!
  8. It makes Fair Park useless!
  9. It wastes city funds on out-of-towners!
  10. It exploits cute animals!
  11. Its executives take home too much money!
  12. Everything on the midway is a ripoff.
  13. It has willfully ignored its obligations and allowed Fair Park to fall into disrepair!
  14. It refuses to be transparent about the way it spends public funds.
  15. It can’t handle Fair Park’s long-term needs.
  16. Its lauded scholarship program is a joke compared to those of other, similar events.
  17. It uses fear tactics in its negotiations with the city.
  18. It goes out of its way to shield its crowds from the poor black neighborhood that surrounds Fair Park.
  19. Its low-level employees get burned by its executives’ bad business decisions.
  20. Its ticket-based economy is designed to squeeze even more cash out of attendees.
  21. It cares way too much about parking lots that go unused most of the year.
  22. It’s petty as fuck.
  23. It celebrates humanity’s fucked up relationship with livestock.
  24. It refuses to change.
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