In many ways, a recent post was a typical CultureMap item: headlined "Becca Cason Thrash, Scott McClelland, Gina Gaston & more share their living lean strategies," it was a hard(ly)-hitting look at the holiday diet tips of Houston's wealthy social types.
It concluded with this:
Just not fair!
We turned to the slim and enviably trim Becca Cason Thrash for her secrets of a silhouette just made for haute couture. We were slightly disappointed.
It seems that she eats whatever she wants, including dessert and is known to enjoy a few adult beverages on party nights. And her exercise routine is less than rigorous. Cason Thrash hits the treadmill three or four times a week for 30 minutes and does Pilates once a week as her busy travel schedule allows.
Her one nod to restraint: "For my insatiable sweet tooth, I indulge in Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. Only 140 calories and taste divine!!!! " she e-mailed.
And then we remembered that a doctor once told her that she has the metabolism of a 14-year-old. And that is truly annoying for those of us with metabolisms of 80-year-olds.
What it didn't say: "And that is truly annoying for those of us who know Cason Thrash's husband partly owns this publication."
The well-funded CultureMap, which snagged longtime Houston Chronicle society writer Shelby Hodge (the writer of the diet piece), often glowingly mentions Cason Thrash, and offers what it probably would call "oodles" of pictures of her. Her connection to ownership, not so much.
CultureMap began a little over a year ago as, according to Texas Monthly, "the brainchild of Lonnie and Candace Schiller, co-creators of Café Annie and Café Express, and backed by natural gas muckety-muck John Thrash and his wife, Becca Cason Thrash. CultureMap is starting small--as a local site with see-and-be-seen party pictures and a places to go/things to do mandate--but has ambitions to go national (CultureMapLA, CultureMapNY, etc.)."
Becca Cason Thrash owns no piece of CultureMap, but her husband certainly does.
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CultureMap editor Clifford Pugh, a longtime (and sharp) writer for the Houston Post and Chronicle, tells Hair Balls "our coverage of Becca really has nothing to do with her husband's involvement with CultureMap....As a leader on the social scene, Becca is included in coverage when she does something interesting or has something interesting to say."
The co-owner's wife is included when she says or does "something interesting"? Who defines "interesting"?
Pugh says neither Cason Thrash or her husband "have any say about what we cover -- nor have they ever suggested a story idea or tried to dictate coverage in any way. We should all be so lucky!! Having worked at other publications where the top editors and publisher are constantly assigning stories about their friends and cronies, I feel remarkably fortunate."
As does Cason Thrash, we're sure, whenever her amazing metabolism of a 14-year-old is glorified.