Wednesday, August 24, 2005
The Houston Chronicle has an interesting story (here) about a planning session attended by representatives of local Houston civic organizations about how to present "the other side of the story" about the city when the media descend in January for the trial of former Enron CEOs Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, and former chief accounting officer Richard Causey. Among the ideas kicked around at the meeting was something called "covert hospitality" in which hotels at which media members were staying would be identified and the staff would be trained to answer their questions -- an idea quickly rejected, by the way. The city will make arrangements for the expected media circus by providing a tent for equipment and parking spaces, albeit not free parking, because this is Houston.
Planning for major events like the Super Bowl takes years and involves extensive efforts to spruce up the city -- witness the major road construction here in Detroit for the 2006 Super Bowl, which will do nothing to prevent the usual round of stories about urban decay, crime, corrupt city government, and the cold temperatures. Although the Enron trial will not have the party atmosphere of a Super Bowl, it is sure to be filled with details of accounting minutiae and special purpose entities, the stuff of legends. (ph)