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16 The Texas Observer 20% discount on books Titles below are offered to Observer subscribers at a 20 percent discount. There is no additional charge for postage, provided payment is included with your order. Amounts shown represent the 20 percent discounted price, plus the 5 percent sales tax. DEMOCRATIC PROMISE: THE POPULIST MOMENT IN AMERICA by Lawrence Goodwyn $16.75 THE TRANSFORMATION OF SOUTHERN POLITICS by Jack Bass & Walter DeVries $13.39 THE TIDES OF POWER: CONVERSATIONS ON THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION by Bob Eckhardt & Charles L. Black Jr. $ 9.19 EAT YOUR HEART OUT: HOW FOOD PROFITEERS VICTIMIZE THE CONSUMER by Jim Hightower $ 7.52 HARD TOMATOES, HARD TIMES: THE FAILURE OF AMERICA’S LAND GRANT COLLEGE COMPLEX by Jim Hightower $ 5.84 THE POVERTY OF POWER: ENERGY AND THE ECONOMIC CRISIS by Barry Commoner $ 8.40 THE TEXANS by James Conaway $ 7.52 ARCHER FULLINGIM: A COUNTRY EDITOR’S VIEW OF LIFE edited by Roy Hamric $10.08 The 20 percent discount applies to books the Observer carries in stock. In addition, Observer readers can avail themselves of our offer to send, at the regular retail price, any hardback book published in the U.S. No charge for postage if payment accompanies your order. \(Please note: we cannot fill paperback When ordering, give title, author, andif possiblename of the publishing company. Allow three weeks for delivery. \(Books ordered from our list of inTHE TEXAS OBSERVER BOOKSTORE 600 W. 7th, Austin, Texas 78701 i Power. . . news decisions, and he and Mack have had a stormy time of it. “I’m a liberal Democrat and Gene’s a conservative Republican,” Mack says. “We’ve fought hither and yon over editorials, columns, cartoons, wirecopy, budgets, news salaries just everything.” The fired editor told the Observer he saw the handwriting on the wall last spring when Jefferson-Pilot brought in one of their own Cleve Ham to serve as an “editorial consultant” to the Beaumont paper. Ham had edited a Lakeland, Florida, paper owned by Jefferson-Pilot Publications. “I knew when they brought in Ham that my days were short-lived. He’s been sitting in an office across the hall from Cornwell waiting for me to leave so he could move up to editor.” Mack says he began to look around for another job when Ham came on the scene and had one lined up last summer, but when he went to tell Cornwell of his plans he received assurances that his job was safe “He told me I was his editor as long as I wanted to be.” Angry calls from advertisers “Grocers’ battle: Competition for consumers,” read the lead headline on the front page of the Enterprise-Journal’s Sunday Living section on February 27. Written by staff reporter Beverly Narum, the three-part piece on local supermarketing took up the entire page. The first part parroted the industry line that supermarkets hardly turn a profit; a second, equally uncontroversial story concluded that store-brand items are cheaper than brand names and usually equal in quality; third was a costcomparison survey of 33 shelf items at 19 Beaumont supermarkets. There was nothing on the page that could be reasonably construed as an attack on the grocers in fact, any knowledgeable consumer would have found Narum’s story painfully pro-industry. Still, the supermarkets didn’t like it. Even though it appears in the Sunday paper, the Living section is usually printed Friday afternoon. At 9:10 Saturday morning, Cornwell received a call from Jimmy Henderson, district manager for Weingarten’s, a large Houston-based supermarket chain that figured in the story. Weingarten’s placed $192,000 in advertising with the Enterprise-Journal last year. Henderson already had the story and was calling to complain about the validity of the grocery price comparison. No one is saying how Henderson got an advance copy of the paper. Cornwell, who was rushing to catch a plan for a business trip, had not yet seen the story, but told Henderson he would look at it and get back to ‘him. He took a copy of the Sunday section with him, but did nothing to stop it from running the next day. Monday at 10:00 a.m., Cornwell’s secretary took an angry call from Ed Hughes, president of the Market Basket chain that had finished dead last in the price survey. Cornwell was still out of town, but Hughes hotly demanded and got an appointment with the publisher for the next day at 10:00 a.m. Market Basket was good for $115,000 in advertising with the Beaumont paper last year. It is uncertain whether any other chain complained. Apparently, Henderson made a second call to Cornwell either Tuesday or Wednesday, but the Ob Beaumont Publisher Gene Cornwell server was unable to determine whether he or any other Weingarten executive paid a personal visit to Cornwell. Cornwell did say, however, that two advertisers came in to see him Tuesday “to question the validity of the survey.” He admitted one was Hughes, but declined to say who the other one represented. `Absolutely not involved’ Mack was fired Tuesday morning but didn’t tell the staff he’d been sacked until Thursday. When local TV and radio reporters sought him out, Mack said flatly that he had been fired because of pressure from the two supermarkets. The Enterprise-Journal carried a front-page announcement of the firing Friday morning that said almost as much that Mack was fired “after news stories comparing grocery prices brought criticism from executives of major grocery store chains.” The paper’s evening edition dropped that lead, but local television and radio stations tied the supermarkets to Mack’s firing and named Weingarten’s and Market Basket. Advertisers don’t like to see their names in newspapers unless they pay for the privilege. When the Observer reached Jimmy Henderson in Houston to