June, 2004
Money  4,530
Decatur Police 2,600
Governor 892
City Council 825
Republican  651
Iraq  558
Bush  472
Murder  463
Lynn Fowler  382
Drugs  346
Politics  310
Democrat  276
Sex  231
Roy Moore  188
Saddam Hussein  187
Terrorism  181
A google search of the Decatur Daily archives tells how many articles containing
certain words have appeared in the paper in the past couple of years.  I think it's
as good a measure as any to see what the Daily considers important:
Tipton  121
Death penalty (anti) 95
Daniel Wade Moore 72
Elvis  71
Bob Burrell  66
Karen Tipton  63
Catherine Halbrooks 51
Don Valeska  49
Osama bin Laden 45
David Tipton  34
Doris Baker 34
Terry Smith  21
Roger Payne  15
UFO's 7
William Dill 6
Linda Kubina  5
  The Daily's greatest concern seems to be money.
   They are Democratic activists; their favorite topics are Republicans, crime,
drugs, and sex.
   As anti-death penalty activists, they are pro-dwm, pro-Halbrooks, and
pro-chronic courthouse complainers.  They are anti-
any Republican Attorney
General (and all his staff), anti-DPD, and anti-Tipton.
  William Dill is the lead prosecutor in the biggest local news story for years, and Diane
Murphy got more coverage.  Why?  Because he's been talking about  the overwhelming
evidence against dwm, like the
DNA. And the Daily's never covered that part of the
story.  They've been too busy supporting Halbrooks trashing the DPD, the AG's office,
and the Tiptons--all for political and financial reasons.  Don Valeska got more negative
press than Osama bin Laden.
  The Decatur Daily has protected Democratic DA Bob Burrell for many years.  And
for the past two years, Catherine Halbrooks has been their hero.  But now Burrell has
switched parties, and Catherine Halbrooks is the new Democrat for DA.  I think the
Daily is worried, or at least they should be.
   Do they endorse the Republican, who's just slammed the Democratic Party?
   Or do they endorse the Democrat, even if it's Catherine Halbrooks?
   If they support Burrell, it goes against party lines, and it blows Halbrooks' credibility
in the "Tipton" case.  If they support Halbrooks, they're putting party politics above all
else--after all, they've supported Burrell for many years, and he's certainly not changed.  
Of course, Halbrooks isn't "old Decatur," and is Democrat by paperwork only.   And
good old boys don't need loose cannons.
  In this setting, where politics and the good old boy network run everything, we've
waited four months for Judge Thompson's decision on whether to have a second trial, or
to set dwm free.  The decision, either way, would likely help Halbrooks' campaign.  He's
certainly given Sherman Powell everything he wanted so far; it would be great publicity
for Halbrooks to have dwm walk free.  However, Judge Thompson (and the whole
Courthouse crowd) might not be too thrilled with Halbrooks as DA.  And he'll have
major political fall-out in 2006 if he were to set Moore free (and especially if he's
slammed on appeal).  He, and the Decatur Daily, have created a monster.
   He could order another trial, and all the press hoopla would still help her. But if
Halbrooks becomes DA, Moore needs a lawyer and Halbrooks allegedly switches sides.   
Then there's that problem of paying for a jury trial. And in the world of capital murder
trials, 2006 is like
the day after tomorrow.

   For four months now, Judge Thompson has decided the best thing to do is nothing.
NEXT