This post is about media ethics and birthday cake and Councilman Philip Kingston’s dog. There’s a lot to explain. Let’s start with our podcast on Thursday.
We recorded an episode of EarBurner with novelist Harry Hunsicker. You should listen. It’s a pretty good little chat, conducted, as always, around table No. 1 at the Old Monk. Before we talk to our guest about what’s going on in his life, we generally discuss recent events in Dallas. Earlier in the day, I’d heard from a trusted source a silly little story about Councilwoman Tiffinni Young’s birthday cake and Councilman Philip Kingston’s refusal to procure same. Here’s the way, roughly, I told the story on our podcast:
The Dallas City Council has a tradition of randomly selecting members to get birthday cakes for their colleagues. Kingston was picked to buy for Young, but he refused for some reason, possibly because Young had lost her reelection bid and will be bounced from the Council this week, making her birthday cake not something Kingston cared to fuss with.
The punchline to the story was that the Council had to vote on Wednesday whether a recent Kingston absence from a committee meeting was excused because he was on official city business, attending an event in Young’s district. Young raised her hand and let everyone know that Kingston, in fact, had not attended this event. So he was docked pay for having an unexcused absence. I said that I thought this move was Young’s retribution for Kingston’s cake kibosh. Earlier that day, I’d called Young’s office to ask about the cake and was told to email my questions, which I did. I said on the podcast that these details were as yet unconfirmed and that I’d update our listeners when I heard back from Young.
That’s the media ethics portion of this post. I would not have published the Cakegate™ story on this blog or in the magazine without a better grasp on its details. I have yet to hear back from Young…