A woman from South Carolina replied to my blog that I should go national. Well, folks can read this from anywhere. All they have to do is log in. However, I understand her point and I appreciate what she said.
I write my blog simply for the enjoyment of it and the chance to vent. I don’t pay any attention to how many hits this blog gets but I do know that I get a kick out of talking to friends and family who catch me in person and discuss various facets of a particular topic in one of the stories. Of course, I hope others get involved and manage to take some of my thoughts to heart.
I fear the way the country is moving. I think of the worn-out but oh so true phrase, we’re only as strong as our weakest link. And that causes me to segue to, a rising tide raises all boats but a lot of folks out there can’t afford the boats.
Newspapers, radio and television journalism fails to measure up to my expectations. As for the KC Star, it’s a case of yesterday’s news tomorrow. Radio? Geez. In Kansas City, you no longer have news radio. You either listen to music off a computer format or a conservative pundit spewing misinformation, flat-out lies and hate. If you pick and choose wisely, you can put together some good TV news sources, although the chore is becoming more and more difficult. But, quite honestly, you get maybe a half hour a day of hard news from local, national and cable news. Local has a lot of happy talk; national has so very little time; and cable repeats stories without anything new.
I catch myself slapping the paper, upset at the reporting and editing. I yell and cuss at the TV and they can’t hear me shout, “Ask the tough question, dammit.” They don’t follow up and the source is sugar-coating the answer. If the TV set didn’t cost so darn much, I would throw something at it.
The Star upsets me because of the lack of good, hard news reporting. Back in the old days, reporters were alert to get on top of a story by listening to the police radio, cultivating sources and beating the bushes. When news happened, reporters were on it.
I refer to a story a few years back that reflects just how poorly the paper jumps on a truly breaking story. A Grandview Triangle bridge collapsed on a Saturday afternoon. The paper ran an Associated Press story for Sunday’s editions. For Monday’s paper, a small item appeared. Finally, on Tuesday, they realized they had a page one story.
It’s not just the timeliness of the story, it’s also the reporting and editing of it. So many stories, so many holes, more than a western Kansas field inhabited by prairie dogs. Our Brooksider Group spends much of Wednesday afternoons pointing out the numerous short-comings of the Star and wonder why if we can catch the flaws why in the world can’t they — after all, they are supposed to have the resources and staff to stay on top of the process.
Local TV news leaves me begging for more. They say they don’t have the time to fill with local stories and yet they add national feeds, ones that don’t take staffing.
Oh nationally, all those staffers and so many just don’t get it. Maybe I’m jaundiced by so many of the reporters lacking sound journalistic backgrounds.
Chuck Todd of NBC is considered one of the most influential reporters on TV. He attended George Washington University from 1990 to 1994. He played the French horn and attended on a music scholarship. He majored in political science but didn’t graduate. He worked on political campaigns in Florida and Washington, D.C., before working his way from Hotline to spots on MSNBC. He’s now chief White House correspondent for NBC.
CNN makes me gag most of the time. They’re supposed tobe the real journalists of cable-TV. Not! Wolf Blitzer is its lead reporter and anchor who has been at the network since 1990. Fluent in Hebrew, he became known for his coverage of the arrest and trial of Jonathan Pollard, an American Jew who was charged with spying for Israel. He has become the Brent Musburger of TV news — way over-exposed and tiresome to view.
And don’t even bring up Fox News. It’s an abomination. The shows spread conservative propaganda, out-and-out lies and more misinformation than a con man caught with a Ponzi scheme.
Don’t get me started on USA Today. Can’t stand it. Instead of consistent journalism, the paper snows its readers with color and graphics.
You want a terrific daily newspaper, then you gotta live in Dallas. The Morning News is solid in every respect. Terrific newspaper in all ways. The sports page is really good with entertaining columnists, in-depth reporting and blanket coverage of the state.
The Star has some good reporters but they mainly have to follow the yesterday-tomorrow time line because of the management philosophy.
They have more columnists than Bayer has pills. The paper had it just right when Mike Hendricks was the main news columnist. He was good and provided a good face for the Star. Now he’s doing news and they fill the columnist job with so many different people that I think I’m running down the list of Sybil’s 16 personalities.
Dave Helling and Steve Kraske try to do a political column and they do a woeful job, for the most part. Helling will miss key facts needed to fulfill the nut of the story and Kraske, well, he’s not robust enough for me. Mary Sanchez and Barbara Shelly do good jobs but the Star needs that one dominant news columnist, not column-by-numbers.
Allow me to touch on the Star’s sports section for just a moment. So much potential, so much disappointment. From a columnist standpoint, well, the two of them, Sam Mellinger and Vahe Gregorian, are more take-out writers than columnists. An old editor of mine would say now, they may not write very well but they sure do write long. Blair Kerkhoff does a terrific job for the sports page. The KC Chiefs and KC Royals get basically good coverage.
Oh, I could go and on but I won’t.
I will just keep on writing and doing what I please and hope the ones who read will be incited to think and exchange their ideas.