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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

CSW COMMENTARY: Journalism Gone To Hell in Kansas City- Maybe All of America

I never sought after a university degree in journalism and- after working in and around Kansas City news media since the 1960's- I've never regretted wasting the time for that parchment.

Not today- not after what I know is barely or simply what does not get covered by the news media in my hometown.

I could make this post at least 20 pages long to quantify what I'm saying- but I'll restrict it to just two examples:

1) A city's persistence to foist a white elephant- i.e. another taxpayer subsidy for corporate interests- upon it's citizens and

2) The role and performance of those whose job it is to uphold the law.

Point one is this long sought-after (by the monied and blinded) convention hotel.

Local politicians and certain "civic leaders" (using latter term loosely) continue to push for KC-MO to build a 1000 room convention hotel.

An entity and structure that- in the long term- doesn't really benefit the city's livability or it's residents.

The "established (read: corporate)" news media in this burg has given this generally superficial and mostly cheerleading coverage in both print and air time and- although before any location for an actual hotel or one spade of dirt has been turned- more attention has been given to lawsuits against the mayor and his family than the like sum of money that's already been spent pursuing this pie-in-the-sky hotel.

Let's not even talk about the many millions given away already in subsidies of existing hotels- or even those taxes lost to TIF's and other corporate giveaways or the media arguments in favor or keeping that insidious "Earnings Tax.'

 Plans for this proposed hotel- in times of corporate cutbacks on things such as conventions and in light that such a hotel would require "heavy taxpayer subsidies-" should have been shelved more than a year ago.

But money- taxpayer money- taxpayer money that could be used for silly things like basic infrastructure- continues to spent chasing the civic "leaders" dream of The Grand Hotel.

A hotel you or I are unlikely to ever book one night in- much less make a dollar from.

The local news media should be tearing this proposed white elephant apart piece by piece and questioning why a hard-to-come-by taxpayer dollar one is being spent (and hundreds of thousands already have) to pursue it.

It ain't happening folks.

The second fly in my ointment is police behavior.

I'm as on-board as the next decent and law-abiding citizen that the thugs should be taken off the streets.

That happened last Sunday morning when KC-MO police and even Federal authorities chased-down and nabbed 3 men who were reportedly on an armed robbery spree.

That's great and I stood and applauded that facet.

What made me sit back down- think- then boo was when I heard from sources-in-the-know that at least one of the arresting cops inflicted a beating on one of the suspects.

I guess I'm naive to think that punishment for crimes and dirty deeds are to be meted out by the judicial system only.

I guess I missed that between-the-lines interpretation that- in certain circumstances- police can inflict their OWN justice in the form of physical injury.

We've never heard what became of the 2 police officers that shot up their own car and put an innocent citizen in danger at I-435 and Gregory Boulevard recently- nor do I hold any illusions that we'll hear about that suspect who was beaten in the face by the police after the chase last Sunday.

It's the wrong behavior and actions by those we elect and those hired to defend and protect that don't get the examination by the "American Free Press" that bothers me- and- in my simplistic estimation- threatens the very fabric of America.

But hey- why should you care if it doesn't affect you or yours- we should be more concerned about what bright-shiny crap we have a hard time buying and "celebrity" mis-behavior.

God save us all....

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