Two Versions Of The Chron's Bill White Story Out There: The Houston One Is Nicer

Two cities, two versions of a story

The

Houston Chronicle

did its Bill White's Houston Legacy story today, and it was picked up online by the

Dallas Morning News

.

It had the same writer in the byline, and the stories were essentially the same. But there are subtle differences between what showed up in the News and the Chron.

Within the opening paragraphs, the Chron had:

Some of his most significant moments occurred as he stretched the limits of his authority as the city's chief executive, from using litigation to wrest concessions from companies polluting Houston's air to his regional leadership during Hurricane Katrina.

Under White, Houston often succeeded where other governments foundered. While other cities struggled during the economic downturn, Houston had no layoffs or furloughs...

The version the News used:

Some of his most significant accomplishments - and failures - occurred on the margins of his authority as the city's chief executive, from using litigation to wrest concessions from companies polluting Houston's air to the management of a transit agency that since has found itself reeling from local and federal investigations.

In many ways, the story of Mayor Bill White can be told through the prism of what did not happen while he was at the helm.

While other cities struggled, Houston had no layoffs or furloughs...

The News' version includes "to the management of a transit agency that since has found itself reeling from local and federal investigations" and the Chron's doesn't; the Chron's includes "Under White, Houston often succeeded where other governments foundered" and the News' doesn't.

The News' version says "City pension systems remained woefully underfunded"; in the Chron the word "woefully" is gone.

Paragraphs about Mayor Annise Parker in the News that didn't make the Chron:

The multitude of financial challenges she inherited led her at one point to say the city's finances, which she was party to as city controller during White's tenure, had been run in an "unbusinesslike" fashion "for years."

Perry pounced, and the remark has been a staple of his TV ads for months.

Later, the News' version says "but several significant problems have come to light since he left office"; in the Chron the word "significant" is axed.

In a section on Metro, the News has this paragraph that's not in the Chron's version:

Since Parker took over, Metro's plan to build five new light rail lines has been put in jeopardy as she and the Federal Transit Administration have repeatedly faulted the people White put in charge.

Now, especially in the web age, stories are updated and changed all the time, so different versions of it can be out there on the net to be picked up and linked to.

We're told the print edition of the San Antonio Express-News, the Chron's sister paper, has a version that looks more like the News' than the Chron's, but their online edition only includes a brief summary and then a link to the Chron. So we can't confirm that.

We're just pointing out that some interesting differences showed up on the web.


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