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DAN HUBIG Managing the News in Keller BY RICHARD L. FRICKER Keller LIVING IN THE SHADOWS of Fort Worth and D/FW Airport has not always been easy for residents of Keller. Affixed at the intersection of US 377, which runs north and south between Fort Worth and Denton, and Farm-to-Market Road 1709, which connects Interstate split between old Keller, people who have lived there all their lives, and new Keller, which includes those who find the location ideal for working in the Metroplex while enjoying a small-town atmosphere. Life in Keller is best described as country living with easy access to the mall. The high school football team, although its win-loss percentage makes it seem like close kin to the Texas Rangers, always has been a source of pride. The Indians’ Friday night football games are a central social gathering, and during half-time the Indianettes drill team shake their booties for the assembled multitude. But for pure entertainment and test of personal will and stamina, in Keller, there’s nothing like politics, and politics in this corner of Tarrant County is a bloodsport. The most recent political bloodletting has involved Mayor John Buchanan and the press. While there is an occasional mention of Keller events in the Fort Worth StarTelegram, the main source of local information for the past 15 years has been the weekly Keller Citizen, owned by Bill and Sandra Lewis. While Bill Lewis describes the Citizen as a “mom-and-pop” operation, Mayor Buchanan sees things differently. Lewis and Citizen editor Roy Kron, according to the Mayor, are, like Star-Telegram reporters David Lieber and Valerie Field, agents of disinformation. When interviewed by phone, the Mayor said that the papers are not reporting the truth. “Oh, I know they’re not. I don’t think it, I know they’re not.” , Buchanan believes the papers were lying by omission, although he would not provide examples. “No, no I won’t do that. I can go on and on with this forever but I won’t do that,” he said in a telephone interview. “No sir, I will not give you an exam Displaced Texan Richard L Fricker, a for mer editor of the Keller Citizen, is a free lance writer working in Tulsa, Oklahoma. ple on the phone…I’m talking about the truth and I can name them, Dave Lieber, Valerie Field, Bill Lewis, Roy Kron, right down the line…. “No, I don’t think the newspaper is fair. Now, that’s what I believe and I have reason to know it. You can write what you want to in your paper because it won’t be anything new to me. Noyou say you are [trying to be fair]. That’s what Dave Lieber said; that’s what Valerie Field said; that’s what Bill Lewis said; that’s what Roy Kron said and they’re all lying. About everybody, about everything. Now you’ll say this guy’s paranoid.” Buchanan and his council of “likeminded” elected officials, as their campaign described the slate of candidates in its manifesto, have even established a council agenda item to “Discuss inaccurate and/or misleading media reports.” It was placed on the agenda by Councilman Dar rell Chumley after the Mayor’s attempt to have reporters clear their stories with city offices failed. Buchanan is upset about the Star-Telegram’ s general coverage of his couticil, the Citizen incurred his wrath because of a headline written by Lewis. The publisher admits, in fact, that the headline was wrong and says that it was corrected in the following week’s issue. The Mayor also objected to an article that reported that City Judge Bryan Buchanan, the Mayor’s son, had failed to appear in court on a couple of occasions. The “like-minded” slate won four of the five council seats during the last two elections, which have not exactly been landslides, as most of the wins have margins of less than 50 votes. \(There were 3,000 votes a win and to Mayor Buchanan a win is a mandate. 10 SEPTEMBER 16, 1994