So I was going to say that the media coverage of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell's visit to Amarillo was surprisingly good. All three networks covered it as a headline story. It was featured on the front page of the Today section of the Globe-News. A visit from a Republican candidate would undoubtably be on the front page of the entire paper, but the Today section is probably the best we can expect for a Democrat. The quotes were reasonably good. Bell's former employer, KVII (Channel 7), and KFDA (Channel 10) focused on Bell's opposition to the TAKS, though KFDA did a better job of clarifying that getting rid of the abysmal and pointless TAKS would not abolish accountability. Last week John Kanelis of the Globe-News had stuck a laughably obvious Republican talking point in his column by stating that Bell was "angry," and that it probably had something to do with Tom Delay. KAMR (Channel 4) built on that position by claiming that Bell spent most of his time attacking Rick Perry.
I was actually prepared to compliment this morning's Globe-News for this morning's coverage, however. A flattering picture showed Bell speaking to Iris Lawrence and Alphonso Vaughn, and the Globe-News didn't find a way to position the picture next to a story about child molesters or murderers. The headline didn't contain any snide double-entendres. The story was chock-full of quotes from the speech. It was featured as the "Top Story" on amarillo.com this morning (stuck underneath an obnoxious pop-up ad for Midway Chevrolet, but that always happens to the top story). All in all, pretty good coverage . . . but then, at the very end of the piece, I came to this quote:
Jim Otto was one of about 20 who attended Bell's speech.Poor, poor Chris Bell. Hardly nobody attended his widdle speech.
Of course, what the Globe-News didn't tell you was that Bell spent the whole day in Amarillo, meeting with various groups. The speech they covered was an unpublicized event attended by the media and local Democratic insiders. Later that evening, Bell spoke at a fundraiser at River Breaks Ranch. I suck at estimating crowd numbers, but I do know that at least several hundred people paid at least $25 to attend that event. I was there.
Several other PTS bloggers also attended. It was an excellent event. And I know there were more than twenty people there because they ran out of seating.