1974 Letter on Handling of 'Bill Hobby Drunken Driving Story'

Here's a June 24, 1974 letter from Bob Crennen to Austin bureau manager Roland Lindsey about the handling of Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby's arrest for DWI:

Mr. Roland Lindsey

Dear Roland:

This communique will confirm our telephone conversation of last Wednesday night regarding vice president and managing editor Ed Hunter's compliments on the way you and Ann Arnold handled the Bill Hobby drunken driving story.

Hunter called my home and spoke with my wife who explained that I was attending the Texas Press Association meeting in Arlington. Bev said Ed sounded in good spirits, but did want to talk to me about "the Bill Hobby affair."

I called assistant m.e. Kuyk Logan at the paper (the now- Defunct Houston Post) and asked him what was going on. He informed me that "we're using UPI on the Hobby story because it was more objective." He suggested I call Hunter at home which I did not knowing what to expect. Hunter said to "pass on my compliments on to Lindsey and Ann Arnold. I had a few technical questions about your first night lead, but your people cleared them up and we elected to use UPI on the story because it was straighter than the AP version.

"Bob," said Hunter, "the AP went bananas on the story. I'm mad as hell about it, and so is Mrs. Hobby. I elected to use a wire story on page one so even the reddest of rednecks could not accuse the Post of being anything but objective. Your stories were more in focus and objective -- and that's why we're using UPI."

I asked whether Garth Jones was (the AP Austin bureau chief) "to let such a thing happen. Ed said, "I don't give a damn where he was, but I'm surprised he let the AP run crazy with the Hobby story the way it did."

As I said on the telephone, Sir Roland, nice going. Pass the good word to Ann. I'm proud as hell about the way you people handled the story and the fact that our stock is at an all time high with: the Houston Post; Ed Hunter; Mrs. Oveta Culp Hobby.

Regards, Bob Crennen cc: Stevenson REED/Myers Dafiles Schultz/Overton Nxfiles