The Skinny

SATANIC MASS AT 10:30, FOLLOWED BY NAKED DANCING AND AN INSPIRATIONAL TALK BY GUY ATCHLEY: Imagine our editor's delight when a "reporter" for that crack news-gathering organization, KGUN-TV, Channel 9 (Motto: "In Touch With Mediocrity"), called him earlier this week to say that a number of reverends were upset by a reprehensible advertisement in the paper apparently depicting an African American with a bone in his nose. The editor pointed out he had nothing to do with the advertising side of things at this rag.

The KGUN "reporter" then proceeded to piss all over what could have been a good story--the reverends had a right to be upset, after all, the ad stunk--by asking the editor about The Weekly's motto of March 19: "Official Newspaper Of The Devil In Southern Arizona." (The Weekly staff changes the motto each week, based on the dictates of the Trilateral Commission and radio waves emanating from alien dimensions.) The KGUN "reporter," apparently quite serious, demanded to know what that motto meant.

Now that's what we call investigative reporting!

We're so glad to see KGUN's finally decided to rip the lid off of something--even if it is The Weekly's heretofore little-noticed motto (which appears at the bottom of Page 3, by the way).

People were telling us they were getting damn tired of KGUN's new hour-long "news" show, which generally consists of the same pointless crapola that filled their old half-hour show, plus maybe an extra local fluff piece, and three or so warmed-over reports from some Phoenix TV station (yes, meaningless bad things happen to people elsewhere, too), and a usually boring medical report about phlegm. And weather, lots of weather--a "weather school," even! Almost all of which is generally repeated in the second half hour, perhaps to catch viewers who may have dozed off.

So it's great to see those KGUNners are finally focused on the trail of the Ultimate Evil One, the Horny Red Dude behind all that bad news out there. It's a big story--perhaps the biggest--this town has to offer. KGUN's newshounds even included a 15-second soundbite from another Weekly editor confessing the paper communicates with the Devil via e-mail. Unfortunately, by playing it straight, KGUN made the real story, about insensitive advertising, look silly. We apologize to the African American community for the unforeseen consequence--unforeseen for us, at least--of KGUN's reportorial incompetence.

And we wonder what's next. Will we be seeing future reports on the frightening nature of "deviled" eggs, and those minions of hell in Phoenix who call themselves "Sun Devils," and all the products that carry the Nasty One's imprimatur in some form or another, and which might occasionally be advertised on KGUN 9?

Perhaps they'll even tell us about those crafty satanic ABC executives who've approved the nudity, sexual innuendo and blatant immorality KGUN itself vomits over the public airwaves at such a huge profit to its out-of-town owner, Lee Enterprises, every year.

The Devil, you see, is always in the details.

COUPLA Q-TIPS JUST HANGIN' OUT: And in the Shameless Self-Promotion category, the Oscar goes to KGUN-TV, Channel 9, news reader Guy Atchley, who stayed up late Sunday night, apparently just so he could be video taped in the vicinity of a real winner, Lute Olson, at the Wildcat rally after the Tar Heels game.

Normally, a mediocre TV news operation would keep some poor, recently hired young street reporter up late to cover breaking news--if they bother at all.

And since the high-priced Atchley really wasn't needed to cover the rally, we think Sunday night must have presented KGUN brass with an irresistible opportunity to get some upbeat footage for future Nine News promos; hence Atchley's odd presence.

We're staying tuned for the phony feel-good fest.

NEXT WEEK--A "SMART" TV REMOTE CONTROL FOR CHILDREN AND CATS! So we've had a couple of weeks now with The Arizona Daily Star's new Tech section, and we're wondering how long it'll be before they give us some real news we can use--like how to fix that pesky toaster that incinerates only one side of the bread. After all, what we're really talking about here is an entire newspaper section devoted to small appliances, aren't we?

As thin and spotty as it was, at least the former Moneyplus section the Star published in that tabloidal space on Mondays purported to cover the entire local economy. This new Star Tech effort seems much more limited in scope--computers, games and electronic gizmos. Whee!

Sure, computers are in the process of changing a lot of things in our lives, but they're still just small appliances, after all. Once the video phones, web connections, satellite dishes and geo-positioning guidance systems have been around a while, they'll seem about as interesting as that damn toaster we seldom think about. Take, for example, cellular phones: At first it seems amazing to be able to talk to your boss while you're driving your car; but once the novelty wears off, who really gives a rat's ass?

With all of its resources, you'd think southern Arizona's "largest news-gathering organization" could come up with something better--like, say, a weekly supplement on basic scientific developments. Something that would at least attempt to challenge our minds, instead of merely encourage the fondling of our pocketbooks.

MR. ETHICS STRIKES AGAIN: Back when freshman Rep. Brian Fagin was running on his ethics platform in a tight District 13 House race last fall, he sent out a self-made "scorecard" identifying the positions of his opponents and himself on various issues.

On the scorecard, Democrat Fagin declared his opposition to tax increases while accusing Republican opponent Scott Kirtley of supporting higher taxes, because Kirtley supported a plan by state schools chief Lisa Graham Keegan to straighten out Arizona's screwed-up school finance system by shifting the tax burden from property taxes to a more evenly split half-cent sales tax.

But earlier this month, when Rep. Jeff Groscost sponsored a similar half-cent sales tax, Fagin--who's earned the nickname "Kramer" up at the Capitol--voted in favor of the plan. To make matters even worse, Groscost's plan doesn't even eliminate the property tax, unlike the Graham Keegan plan Kirtley supported.

While we applaud Fagin for supporting the half-cent sales tax plan, which actually takes steps toward correcting the wretched inequities of the current school finance system (unlike the lousy ABC bill pushed through by Gov. J. Fife Deadbeat III), we find his demagoguery on the campaign trail a bit much for a man who holds politicians to such high ethics.

BLACK HORSE TROOP: Kevin Costner's latest sci-fi film, The Postman, will depict some interesting scenes from a future world. We'll have a mile of overgrown Interstate 19, a lot of guys with bald heads or short hair, and the latest: 200 black horses.

Seems some bad guys in the flick all have to ride black horses in one scene. But there aren't that many black horses around here, so there was a run on black hair dye. And how much dye does it take to change a horse's color? Depending on the size of the beast, between a dozen and 20 bottles.

Which means some gray guys didn't get a hair fix last week.

SEWER STINK: Pima County Supervisors Chairman Raul Grijalva finds himself in the unique position of being board chairman without a working majority.

On most environmental issues he can count on his Democratic colleague Sharon Bronson, even if personal relations between the two have been strained--witness the recent vote okaying expansion at Canoa Ranch, which passed three-to-two, with Democrat Dan Eckstrom joining his GOP cementhead colleagues in the "yes" column.

But Grijalva's latest load of wrath has landed on the county's Wastewater Management Department. He considers it a rogue outfit, not unlike Tucson Water, which pursues its own agenda and goes out of its way to take care of developers.

Grijalva is hoping he can get three votes to turn Wastewater Management around. In the meantime, he's looking upon the May 20 county bond election as his "lowest priority."

Maybe Grijalva should have put the Wastewater item on the agenda before he decided to leave County CEO Chuck Huckelberry in place--one would hope Huckelberry could get a handle on those Wastewater rogues if it were made part of keeping his job.

In the meantime, good luck, Raul. Maybe Mikey Boyd is ready to act like a tree-hugger again after being a complete builder stooge so far this term.

AND SPEAKING OF REDHAWK, IT AIN'T OVER 'TIL IT'S OVER: The Arizona Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week concerning that failed petition drive to place the gigantic Redhawk development rezoning on the ballot in Marana. At issue: What, exactly, needs to be attached to a referendum petition for the signatures to be valid.

It's possible the local Superior Court decision throwing the referendum off the ballot could be reversed, and Marana residents might be able to vote on the issue after all.

Between that possibility, however remote, and the recent town election dumping Vice Mayor Sharon Price and retaining former Mayor Ora Harn by a mere seven votes, and the discovery and listing of the pygmy owl as endangered species, the land-raping in the Marana end of the valley may actually come to an end some time.

But then, we're just a bunch of April fools. TW

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