News Hostage

Women's Lib

This one is just for the fellas.

Guys, send the little ladies out of the room, please. Slip the fillies a coupla bucks and send 'em to the mall. Tell the ol' ball and chain it's time to visit the beauty parlor, your treat.

They're gone? Great. Let's all enjoy now the September 14 column by Houston Chronicle outdoors writer Doug Pike, who wrote about how women (of all people) now have their own fishing tournament.

We warn ya, guys, that Pike may seem a bit "open-minded" when it comes to females, but remember, he's a member of the liberal elite media.

His column begins: "It happens with increasing regularity these days that women decide to do things once done mostly by men. Frequently, they do these things better than men, or at least with a fresh and enthusiastic perspective, as I witnessed over the weekend at Rockport."

The tournament started five years ago, he wrote. The few initial participants loved it, "so they told their friends, and they told their friends, just like in the hair-care commercials," and participation has grown.

According to Pike's analysis, one main difference between the men's and women's tournament was that if men don't catch a lot of fish, they head home instead of going to the weigh-in to cheer other participants.

"Ego and pride too often get in the way of a good time....[T]oo many fishermen have fallen for the 'first place or no place' attitude we're force-fed in sports advertising. Women, it turns out, are smarter than the hype. They still put camaraderie ahead of competition."

That may be, but -- - God love 'em -- the ol' sperm depositories still have a, ahem, unique way of fishing. Pike talked to several guides who took the gals out on the lake.

"None complained, but a few admitted afterward to concerns over what the good-natured anglers had in store. One young guide's team members started singing as soon as they climbed on the boat. No group of men had ever done that, he said. The women threatened that if fishing was slow, they would paint his toenails.

"Another guide...was informed on the eve of the event that, for luck, the entire team would be wearing thong-style swimsuits the next day. He had no problem with that -- until they added that he also was expected to wear a thong."

Good one, Doug.

I'm telling you, guys, you gotta wonder. What's next -- women cops?

Anyway, it looks like the dames'll be back any minute now. Meeting adjourned.

Storm Damage, Part 3

Hurricane reporting reached new heights on Channel 13 September 21 with a trenchant and informative report from Elma Barrera.

Hurricane Floyd had just swept through the Bahamas; unfortunately, Houston's Bahamian population isn't really large enough to provide much in the way of locals worried about the folk back home.

Someone at 13 had an epiphany, though -- they remembered Arthur Schechter. Schechter, in case you don't know, is a plaintiffs lawyer from Houston who is one of Bill Clinton's most tireless fund-raisers, a guy who's responsible for millions and millions of dollars' worth of soft-money campaign cash in the Democratic National Committee's coffers.

As a result of such patriotic work Schechter was named to the key governmental post of ambassador to the Bahamas. The appointment was also, one assumes, due to heretofore hidden diplomatic skills on the part of the bombastic attorney.

In any case, Barrera hightailed it to the Schechters' impressive Houston home. He and his wife had been visiting Houston; the ambassador returned to his post as the storm loomed.

We got to see Mrs. Schechter talking on the phone with Our Man in Nassau. "How is it there?" she asked. "About the same," came the reply.

Then we got to see Barrera on the phone, asking the same question.

Luckily for 13, also in the Schechter home were two "embassy employees" who had accompanied the Schechters to Houston to assist with whatever high-level ambassadorial chores needed to be done.

The two men, Barrera reported, were worried about their families.

Snow Is Snow

A reader was half watching Channel 11's 10 p.m. broadcast September 10 as they aired a feature on a guy with a homemade boat who had failed to navigate the Northwest Passage. In an attempt to liven up the piece, the report showed shots of ice fields, polar bears, wintry desolation...and penguins. As reader Allen Mewbourn notes, "It's no wonder the guy failed to 'do' the Northwest Passage. Outside of zoos, there are no penguins north of the Galapagos Islands. The guy was in the wrong hemisphere."

Oops

These are tough times all over for reporters. First The New York Times runs a 5,000-word story that refutes its earlier reporting on whether Chinese spies stole U.S. nuclear secrets. Then the Houston Chronicle has to do the same kind of follow-up apologia.

It being the Chron, the story involved not national security, but the delivery of a baby on a freeway. Eric Hanson reported September 10 that Harris County deputy constable James Phillips said he had delivered a baby after answering a distress call near State Highway 288 and the South Loop.

The next day Hanson reported that three women who were there said Phillips arrived on the scene after Hilda Suarez had given birth. His story reprinted verbatim a lengthy statement from the deputy, providing us with a visual we could have done without:

"As I placed my hands between the legs of Mrs. Suarez and under the infant baby, I felt fluids from the infant baby's birth during the exchange of the infant," part of the statement said. "I seemingly thought the baby was still attached to the mother."

Mother and child are doing well, Hanson reported. Breakfast-eating readers, however, are still recovering.

Contact the News Hostage -- rich_connelly@houstonpress.com -- with your latest greatest. You may have spotted something we missed.

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