Five stories that have North Texas talking: Matthew McConaughey is a “resident philosopher;” BuzzFeed profiles Dale Hansen; how did a little-known candidate make it into a runoff, and more.
You know that Matthew McConaughey has an Oscar – but did you know he has his own clothing line? It’s called JKL or “Just Keep Living.” It’s sold through Dillard’s. Some of the clothing has references to McConaughey’s Dazed and Confused, such as: “Be a lot cooler if you did.” But no: “Alright, alright, alright!” – a line from the same movie and a line that the Longview native used during his Oscar acceptance speech. (Or should it be “All right, all right, all right!”) JKL’s website declares: “JKL isn’t just about the clothes on your back. It’s about what’s in your head, what’s in your heart, and the things that get you out of bed every day.” McConaughey is JKL’s “resident philosopher; a rugged, masculine thinker whose own lifestyle, is a model of adventure, curiosity and determination.” A portion of the sales supports the just keep livin Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by McConaughey, which implements after-school fitness and wellness programs in inner-city high schools. (Read more about it from Jezebel and Texas Monthly.)
- Dale Hansen’s commentary on Michael Sam, the Missouri football player who’s gay, went viral, and Hansen appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Then Hansen’s commentary was auto-tuned. But, as we all know, Hansen, the long-time WFAA-TV sports anchor, was a big deal even before his Sam commentary. Leave it to BuzzFeed to explore the anchor’s long history in North Texas. Hansen “first made a name for himself and the station nearly 30 years ago when he broke a story involving a Southern Methodist University slush fund for under-the-table payments to football players. Since then he’s tangled with the area’s sports icons — Tom Landry, Jerry Jones, and Barry Switzer, to name a few. … His defense of child victims in the wake of the Penn State sex abuse scandal hinted at a deep reservoir of empathy.” (Speaking of WFAA-TV anchors, Gloria Campos is retiring Friday after 30 years at Channel 8. She stopped by the KERA studios earlier this week to reflect on her career -- we'll air that interview Friday morning and Friday evening on KERA 90.1 FM.)
Here’s Hansen’s Sam commentary:
- How to pick a candidate in Texas: Eeny, meeny, miney, moe. Ever heard of Jim Hogan? Well, not many people have, but he made it into the Democratic runoff for agriculture commissioner. Hogan thanks God for his victory. His campaign clearly had little to do with it. Hogan paid his filing fee and then did essentially nothing else. NPR’s Alan Greenblatt reports: “Nevertheless, Hogan, a cattle farmer from Cleburne, came out on top in the Democratic primary for agriculture commissioner. With 39 percent of the vote, he finished ahead of Kinky Friedman, the country singer turned perennial candidate, and bison rancher Hugh Fitzsimons.” It might have been a case of reverse name recognition. Texas Democratic officials didn't want Friedman occupying a space on the statewide ticket and had backed Fitzsimons, to no avail. Texas has long ballots, which can be intimidating for even the most savvy voter.
- An ancient, rare fish is returning to Caddo Lake in East Texas. Deep beneath the surface of Texas' only naturally formed lake there used to swim a massive, open-mouthed dinosaur-era fish with a long snout and prized caviar. Now, decades after the paddlefish was almost completely wiped out, it's coming back to Caddo Lake. This time, the fish will be closely tracked by scientists, researchers and students in 20 schools as part of a broad collaboration between private, state and federal agencies attempting to revitalize a long-damaged ecosystem by changing the water releases from a nearby dam. Scientists believe if the paddlefish survive it will be a sign the ecosystem is recovering.
- The Dallas Film Commission said this week that NBC Universal will shoot two pilots in Dallas in the next few weeks. The Dallas Morning News reports they are Salvation starring Ashley Judd and Two to Go, a comedy in which Jason Bateman is an executive producer. Janis Burklund, director of the Dallas Film Commission, told the News that Salvation is scheduled to shoot here March 10-26, followed the next day by Two to Go, which wraps April 4. Burklund says more projects may be coming to Dallas. Whether these shows will actually make it on the air – well, we’ll find out …