SocraticGadfly: Sayonara, Jim Schutze, the Observer says, and me too; fiscally, and otherwise, I agree with the call

July 20, 2020

Sayonara, Jim Schutze, the Observer says, and me too;
fiscally, and otherwise, I agree with the call

I had wondered if this was why I hadn't seen him in two months, and I didn't investigate.

"Curmudgeonly sage" Jim Schutze is a COVID casualty at the Dallas Observer. Not meaning to go all Dan Patrick, but Jim is 74. Schutze seems to have accepted that as a reasonable decision factor, with equinamity, per D Mag. That said, as another blogsite notes, his stances and takes seemed less and less in touch with Observer readership at times recently, starting with and most notably with the Amber Guyger trial. Amen to that. This site also notes that, while Schutze seems to have accepted the decision with equinamity, he also doesn't agree with it.

That said, Schutze had other cop love, too. Eric Celeste at D Mag, also author of its above piece, called him out on a Fort Worth killer cop and his love for him. Per Celeste, it's almost like Schutze either is ignorant of or else doesn't give a damn about the Fourth Amendment. Probably offers more insight into why one older online "cover" photo for his column space had him blasting away with a gun.

Besides, for better or for worse, or, for better AND for worse, Eric now gets to work with him.

And he's already had a personal interaction with a cop to write about. And, as noted in an update, Schutze is again Amber Guyger stanning and also engaging in new Teh Stupidz.

So, let me kick him a bit, with highlights of some of his lowlights.

Schutze, per his love of cops banging in doors and wielding guns, is perhaps, curmudgeonliness aside, a centrist squish on many issues. Three months ago, he was on "no political blame on any side" on COVID.

Confirming that was him being a sucker for Andrew Cuomo weeks earlier.

Before THAT, he thought it was "going too far" to shut down SXSW.

Hmm, seeing a theme here. Schutze is at least a mild version of a COVIDIOT.

Re Celeste's take on his idiocy on both Amber Guyger and the Fort Worth cop, at the end of last year, Schutze both defended what he wrote for the Observer and rejoiced in getting to write greater nuttery at Facebook. I've heard his Facebook page is a pile of steaming crap.

Earlier that year, he had a hard-on for JFK conspiracy theorist Robert Grodin. He has defended Grodin's free speech and assembly rights before, which is fine.

Before that, he was an uncritical Beto-stanner. More than once.

Before that, I called him out on his Guyger bullshit. (I did so in weekly Roundups for months before.)

That said, after accumulating all this, I DID look at his Facebook. And it IS loonier than him at the Observer, or now at D.

Here’s a few examples.

First, he’s even more naïve, or Marianne Williamson New Agey squish or whatever, on Trumpists there:

At some point we need to have a big national truth and reconciliation process about all the people who called it Kung Flu and wouldn’t wear masks.
Yeah, right. Trumpists and related libertarian wingnuts, along with some Greens, whether libertarians Greens or not, on horseshoe theory, are laughing at this. They think they have THE truth (that’s how conspiracy theories work, Jim, in case all your time hanging with Grodin didn’t teach you that) and thus have no need to be reconciled to anybody. Why don’t you just ask Marianne Williamson to beam in some love out of the hot water tap?

And, two weeks earlier, he said this:
The anti-maskers literally hate any call to empathy that would draw them outside the confines of tribe. The Youtube below shows women spitting and coughing on people when asked to wear a mask. COVID is drawing a line in the sand between people who would work to save life and people who would murder life rather than sacrifice tribal indentity.
Jim, doesn’t that confirm that these people don’t want truth and reconciliation?

It's not just loony. As this shows sometimes he has, contra Emerson, inconsistencies that are not only foolish but directly contradictory.

One more to wrap up, because it ties with Jimbo’s being a suck-up to cops:
Matthew Yglesias at VOX has a really interesting piece up on VOX saying the main body of research in recent years shows that increased policing has a positive social effect in poor communities.

Regular readers here have some idea what I think of neoliberal Gnu Media grifter Matty Y (also a signer of the Harper’s letter, blasted by me). Matt’s piece, to which I shall not link, is a neocentrist attack on well-known left-liberal, or leftist, police reform sociologist Alex Vitale. For Schutze to bromance this is pretty sad. It also undercuts his "investigate everything" schtick.

Jim would probably point to things like U. Renee Hall and his take on her. I would point back that that was about a police chief, as chief. And that he was using anonymous as well as on-the-record information from individual cops in his columns about why she was a problem.

Jim would probably then point to his stories about Jim's Car Wash. I would point back that those were stories about policing decisions, and even more, stories about City Hall powers that be driving policing decisions. They weren't about individual cops being bad cops, or how often that happens.

And, what's "funny," or more hypocritical, on Jim's part? One of his first pieces at D Mag is about how old Dallas power is listening to BLM. And, on the matter of bad cops? Jim ISN'T. Another is about black leaders talk about how "white folks don't listen," and the rest of the story is in part about blacks dying at the hands of bad cops. And Jim ISN'T LISTENING.

So, D Mag can have him. Eric Celeste, I hope you spank him again as needed, and better than Robert Wilonsky (which wasn't much) before Wilonsky joined the Snooze. That said, Jim ain't gonna listen. He didn't listen to your cops piece, did he?

The Observer has lost something. But, it's lost less than it would have even two years back, let alone five years back. And, contra two or five years ago, it's also lost somewhat of a burden. Jim's right that he didn't fit with the Observer any more. That's because alt-weeklies are supposed to be alt, to some degree, and he was becoming less and less so.

And, that brings us back up top. For a journo, one self-allegedly outside the box, to really not get the Fourth Amendment, is disheartening.


Update, July 31. Schutze is now officially in Donald Trump Gohmert Pyle or similar territory, as in "just when you think he can't do anything stupider ..."

Schutze (nutbar alert!) weighed in on the editorial staff at the Dallas Morning News attempting to unionize. He says he "ratted out" a similar attempt at the Dallas Observer shortly before he was let go.


Schutze is sympathetic to the Snooze effort precisely and only to the degree it gives him a new tool for kicking the Snooze managment in the nads, and that's it. He also ignores the reasons besides pay and severance that unionization is happening at many media sites, including but not limited to racial and gender equality and justice issues. Once again, Schutze the old white guy who says OTHER old white guys don't listen to minorities ...


Side note to the above. Cops love snitches, but hate rats inside their ranks. And, after they've used snitches, they throw them away like rats. 

Update, Sept. 26: I guess  Schutze didn't have enough Amber Guyger stanning at the  Observer. He's now taken it to D Mag.

Update, April 19, 2021: OTOH, even tho he was interviewed for national morning talk show teevee earlier this year, Schutze hasn't actually written anything for D Mag in almost two months now. He has the title of "special projects editor" or something like that, meaning he's essentially on retainer while having been put out to pasture.

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