Mike McGuff brings to our attention the huge write-up KTRK-13’s Marvin Zindler got in the Chron yesterday. It isn’t easy explaining to out-of-towners or the newly arrived who or what Marvin Zindler is, or why we love him.
At 84, he still walks with a bounce. It’s a cocky little stride, which is what you would expect from a man who looks the way Zindler does. Not that many men do. With his jutting (man-made) jaw, dark glasses, platinum hairpieces and dandified suits (adorned, always, with a color-coordinated sprouting kerchief), Zindler — who admits to having had 15 cosmetic procedures — is as singular a figure as Houston has produced in our time.
As he makes his rounds through the city — his city — chances are the people who rubberneck to catch a glimpse have on their minds neither the Chicken Ranch nor the story Zindler considers his most important — his 1985 reports on financial mismanagement by the Hermann Hospital board of trustees. And it’s a sure bet they aren’t thinking about the Agris-Zindler Children’s Foundation, which has helped children all over the world.
No, they’re thinking of his weekly reports on restaurant health inspections, with their frequent finding of “SLIIIIME in the ice machine.” He shouts it like a battle cry. Or they’re thinking of his latest piece — he’s done thousands — about ordinary people who got a bum deal.
Five days a week, at 6 p.m. and sometimes at 10, Zindler — impeccably dressed in suits that often are louder than his bray — plays the starring role in 90-second morality plays in which working-class people face forces against which they are no match. Almost always, the “little guy” wins.
KEVIN WHITED ADDS: It’s worth noting that a few weekends ago, the KTRK-13 crew added an RSS feed for Marvin in something like an HOUR after I requested it. On a weekend! Previously, I was impressed with the Dallas Morning News in responding to a request for a new RSS feed. KTRK blew them away! The Chronicle, on the other hand, seems not to care.
KEVIN WHITED ADDS MORE: Today, Chron.com unveiled scores of RSS feeds. They didn’t come as quickly as I wanted, but the sheer quantity helps make up for it. Nicely done.