(flickr photo by andrusdevelopment)

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial board, which thinks it’s so smart that it tells readers which political candidates to vote for in local and national elections, looked very, very dumb today.

Editorial writers scan newspapers and the internet for trending topics and then weigh in with their brilliance.

High school seniors giving prayerful graduation speeches – or being cut off after veering from their approved speeches – is a hot topic these days, so the Star-Telegram editorial writers announced that, by golly, those gosh-darned speeches need to be policed! After all, somebody might mention Hitler, abortion, or some other incendiary topic, and “how might an unsuspecting crowd react?” gasped the writers.


As proof of how horrible such a situation might be, the editorial quoted a speech by former professional baseball player and manager Ozzie Guillen, who told a graduating class, “Man oh man, did you little [expletive deleted] pick the wrong time to graduate. For those of you lucky enough to get jobs, maybe half of you work at [expletive deleted] Popeye’s Chicken, and the other half get your [expletive deleted] blown off in Afghanistan.”

“Those school officials banned him as a result. Can you blame them?” the editorial harrumphed and linked to the original article.

Just one problem.

The original article was posted on The Heckler, a satirical website that makes up stories for laughs ala The Onion.

Guillen is one of The Heckler’s favorite whipping boys, and in the past they’ve published fake stories about him working as a steak house server, spraying graffiti on a Harry Carey statue, and managing the Cuban national baseball team.

The Star-Telegram’s credibility keeps sliding amid financial woes, layoffs, and low morale that is impacting the paper’s quality.

Quoting fake stories to support inane editorials can’t help.

The editorial can be still seen in its entirety in the print version, but somebody at the Star-Telegram removed the Guillen reference from the online version of the editorial, as well as the link to The Heckler story.

No explanation was given.

Good thing. It might read something like this: “Dear subscribers, the editorial board removed a super-fake and super-silly attribution from today’s editorial because we committed an error so embarrassing and ditsy that it rarely even happens on high school newspapers, much less a major metropolitan one. So please forgive our ineptitude. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hang on our every word and vote for candidates we tell you to, because, like, we’re the voice of the city and all.”


  1. What makes this so funny is the cut-and-paste writer didn’t even read the whole humor piece. The quote they pulled is up high in the piece, but this was Ozzie Guillen’s quotes to the graduating class near the end.

    “So, Sean Penn thinks he rather live in Venezuela than the U.S., huh? I’d like to see how long Mr. Fancy Pants actor would last in the bad part of Caracas. That [expletive deleted] would get stabbed to death in the first five [expletive deleted] minutes.
    “And another thing: You guys seen The Biggest Loser? I swear, the producers manage to wring a one-hour show out of a couple of [expletive deleted] minutes of meaningful footage. And people say baseball games drag on!”

    How could anyone read that and not see it as satire? Amazing.

  2. This was a really bad mistake on our part. We didn’t recognize The
    Heckler site, and that automatically should have triggered alarms. Once we realized the error we posted a correction on the online version of the editorial. We apologize to all Star-Telegram followers and rest assured that we will take additional steps to make sure this type of error doesnt happen again.Mike Norman, Editorial Director, Star-Telegram

    • Owning up to the mistake and vowing to do better speaks well of Mr. Norman’s approach as editorial director. Everybody in news reporting has done something stupid at some point. It’s the nature of the beast in a business that requires you to work quickly on multiple and often complicated tasks. I’d share with readers some of my brain dead moments in the biz, but that’s for my memoirs when I’m old..

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