Showing posts with label Kansas City. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kansas City. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Just because, OK?

This Kansas City star is just as big a head case as his newspaper-management brethren.

Just eminently more likeable.

"Kansas City star, that's what I are." Now that's writing. No, seriously.

And we have a winner. . . .

The 2012 Chickenshits of the Year award goes to management at the Kansas City Star, because that's what they are.

Think I'm being harsh?

Yeah? Then read this from KC Confidential:
Check out this startling tale involving a pair of Kansas City Star reporters reportedly presented with a proposition – a variation on Sophie’s Choice – that only one position remained for the two of their jobs.

“They brought in two reporters – Karen Dillon and Dawn Bormann – and told them that one of them had to go,” says a staffer. “And that they had to decide which one would stay and they had until next week to figure it out. Sort of like ‘The Hunger Games.’ That’s the scuttlebutt anyway.”

There’s more.

“Karen Dillon has seniority, so she has the option of taking it or not taking it,” says the source. “And if she does, Dawn gets laid off. Dawn’s a great person but I think Karen will vote in favor of herself because she’s got teenage kids at home.”

This just in: Bormann is o-u-t.
CAN YOU believe it? I knew that you could.

Just like I knew you'd come around to my way of thinking.

Amid the universal hand-wringing by newspaper-management types about how the difficult economy, a disintegrating business model and everybody's favorite bogeyman -- the Internet, of course -- is killing the industry, I'd like to propose another primary reason for Your Local Daily's impending doom. That would be that most American newspapers (and I don't think this is an overbroad generalization) are run by dolts, chickenshits and a-holes.

Difficult economies, disintegrating business models and the Internet can be coped with and overcome with a little thought, creativity and effort. Dolts, chickenshits and a-holes atop the organizational chart rarely can be.

HAT TIP: Romenesko.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Catholicism today

You may wonder why I've not been all over last week's deal where a national Catholic newspaper published an interview with the Rev. Benedict Groeschel in which the Franciscan friar, psychologist and popular EWTN host called Jerry Sandusky a "poor guy" and said that, sometimes, a kid will seduce a poor, poor priest in the throes of a nervous breakdown.

Because we all just know kids want it and, besides, poor Father just can't help himself.

And you also may like to know why I didn't call bullshit on Groeschel and his order stating that he "misspoke" because he's old, sick and just not that sharp anymore, and that he really didn't mean to "blame the victim." Even though what he said in the National Catholic Register interview -- during which Groeschel wasn't challenged on his contentions, and which blithely ran online . . . until it didn't -- was the same thing he's been saying for years.

Saying amid angry attacks on the "satanic" mainstream press for even covering the Catholic sex-abuse story to start with. Saying to abuse victims themselves.

Yes, you may be wondering why I didn't call bullshit on that in this cyberspace.

you may be wondering why I didn't point out that the Register's uncritical, incurious interview wasn't terribly surprising, being that Groeschel was a marquee personality for the Eternal Word Television Network, and that EWTN is owner of the newspaper. Or why I didn't express my bemusement at why EWTN, in announcing Groeschel's "retirement" from television Monday, noted the friar's advanced age and illness, that his comments to the Register were a sign of that . . . but didn't mention it never had a problem with such sentiments when he was a decade younger.

You may be wondering why I didn't Hank Aaron that one right out of the ol' ballpark.

And what about Bishop Robert Finn getting convicted of not reporting a child-pornographer priest to the authorities? Nice example of Christian propriety the prelate of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., was setting for the flock, eh?

I bet that if I had been all over that one today, I would have said the judge was wrong for not throwing him in the pen for a year.

Yeah, I probably would have. But I'm not going there . . . or there . . . or there. Frankly, I'm weary unto spiritual death of it all. I'm weary of the arid slog that is this church that's so compromised and confused.

If I wade into that tar pit, I'm going to convince myself that a "hapless bench of bishops" and a cultish, boring-ass Catholic cable network matter a hell of a lot more than they do in the spiritual scheme of things. If I give 'em all what's coming to 'em, I'm going to think I matter a hell of a lot more than I do in the scheme of things, and I'll end up telling the Catholic Church to kiss my righteous ass.

There's one small problem with that, though.

I got nowhere else to go.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I don't understand. Not anymore.

The trouble with us Catholics is that we're willing to sell our souls to Eros' pervy cousin so we can keep buying the party line -- so we can keep believing in a God we kind of understand who speaks to us through weaselly little men we can't trust.

I realize it wasn't overly auspicious when Jesus picked a fly-off-the-handle dullard as the first pope, a guy who would go on to deny Him three times when the chips were down. Of course, I also realize that, with Peter, at least there was room for growth.

He turned out pretty OK in the end.

That more of Peter's successor popes and bishops haven't exhibited equal growth potential have contributed to an ongoing crisis of authority in the church. "Do as I say, not as I do" is a better ethos, I suppose, than "do what thou wilt," but it only takes one so far -- especially when one believes, as Catholics are taught, that salvation runs through the church.
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"
They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."
Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
OF COURSE, in 1517, it became a little hard to take when yet another crooked Borgia pope wielded the keys to the kingdom with a capitalistic flair including not only the sale of indulgences, but also the keys to the kingdom itself. It had to be rather like acceding to the belief that salvation ran through the Corleone family.

When the Reformation blew up in the church's face, things got so bad that Catholics actually had to clean up their own soiled sanctuary. It was too late, of course, but better late than never in the eyes of the God we kind of understand, one supposes.

In our own time, the God we kind of understand tells us that salvation runs not through the Corleone family (yay!) but instead through the National Man-Boy Love Association (crap!).

Of course, that's not what the God we kind of understand actually says through His district managers -- indeed, they will swear up and down that everything's on the up-and-up -- but we're well familiar with the whole "do as I say" deal. Besides, every day we have hammered into our weary brains the sights and sounds of the dirty deeds done by those weaselly little men we can't trust.

JUDGING by appearances, the God we kind of understand is fine with that. Well, at least the prosecutor in Clay County, Mo., must be. The Kansas City Star reports he just gave the weaselly little bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph a "get out of jail cheap" card:
Bishop Robert Finn today avoided facing a criminal misdemeanor indictment in his handling of a priest facing child pornography charges by agreeing to enter into a diversion program with the Clay County prosecutor.

Authorities have pledged not to prosecute Finn, the leader of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, if he lives up to the terms of a five-year diversion agreement.

Clay County Prosecutor Daniel L. White also said that a grand jury indicted the Rev. Shawn F. Ratigan on three counts of possessing child pornography. The new indictment supersedes a state criminal complaint that charged Ratigan on May 19. Ratigan, 46, also faces a 13-count federal indictment of possessing, producing and attempting to produce child pornography. He remains in federal custody.

The Clay County indictment alleges that Ratigan possessed three images of child pornography on a computer on May 13. White said each of those counts is a Class C felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.

Finn’s agreement with Clay County requires him to meet face-to-face each month with White for the next five years to discuss any allegations of child sex abuse levied against clergy or diocesan staff within the diocese’s Clay County facilities. Finn also is to describe what steps the diocese has taken to address the allegations. White would then decide whether to encourage police to investigate any allegations.

Finn also agreed to visit all Clay County parishes to outline new programs the diocese is implementing to protect children. In those meetings, Finn will be accompanied by the diocesan ombudsman and its newly appointed director of child and youth protection.

ON THE other hand, Finn's treatment at the hands of the Clay County prosecutor is far harsher than anything he faces from the long arm of the Lord. The one we understand, because He's been explained so thoroughly to us these days by weaselly little men.

No, so far as I know, what Finn faces from his Catholic Church superiors would be . . . nothing.

I hope I'm wrong, but somehow I doubt that.

That would be close to the extent of what I know about anything anymore -- particularly my church. I do know this: I am sick of being repeatedly sickened by the institution that's supposed to help me get to heaven.

I also know this: I no longer believe in the God we kind of understand. The God who reminds one, more than anything, of the Mighty Oz. Pay no attention to that pederast-protecting bishop behind the curtain.

What I want to believe in is the God we don't understand at all.

Flannery O'Connor once wrote that a god we understood would be less than ourselves. Minimalist bishops -- those whitewashed sepulchers who helped get us into this mess -- understand that one quite well. To hell with it, and them.

I want that other one. I want the God who flummoxes me, yet gives me life.

I want my church to want Him, too. And I want "shepherds" like Robert Finn to get the hell out of His way.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Arrest one, instruct 434

The bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., just found out the hard way that holy water won't ward off the cops.

He just got arrested. For the usual, sad reason these days.

NPR posts this story from The Associated Press:

Kansas City's Roman Catholic Bishop is facing a criminal charge for not telling police about child pornography that was found on a priest's computer.

Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese Bishop Robert Finn pleaded not guilty Friday to a misdemeanor count of failing to report suspected child abuse. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said Finn had "reasonable cause" to suspect a child had been abused after learning of the images, and should have immediately alerted police according to state law.

The fact that this is a misdemeanor "should not diminish the seriousness of the charge," Baker said. "Now that the grand jury investigation has resulted in this indictment, my office will pursue this case vigorously because it is about protecting children. I want to ensure there are no future failures to report resulting in other unsuspecting victims."

Finn has acknowledged that he and other diocese officials knew for five months about hundreds of "disturbing" photos of children on a computer used by the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, but did not take the matter to police. The diocese also faces one count of failing to report suspected child abuse.

Finn has said that St. Patrick's School Principal Julie Hess raised concerns more than a year ago that Ratigan was behaving inappropriately around children, but that he did not read her written report until after Ratigan was charged with three state child pornography counts this spring. Ratigan has pleaded not guilty.

IF HE'S GUILTY, make Finn do time. What we need in instances such as this is a little justice.

In the grand scheme of things, that might be an avenue for mercy for the long-suffering American church. And it might go a long way toward persuading its "shepherds" to actually start acting like such -- and protect the sheep, not the wolves.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Using Auto-Tune for good, not evil

You know how I said this was the one awesome use of Auto-Tune ever? I was wrong.

This one is better. In fact, this is the best thing to come out of Kansas City since Big Joe Turner and the jump-starting of Karrin Allyson's jazz career.

In fact, this is to awesome what the Kansas City Royals are to suck. Trading Zack Greinke? Really? Two words: Johnny Damon.

Anyway, as I said back in September. . . record labels, you are so over. Buhbye!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Dear Royals, sign this guy

Pay him what it takes.

But you won't, because perennially losing major-league teams are made, not born.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pictures flying through the air . . .
and other stuff not seen in the paper

Someday, electronic pictures will fly magically through the ether, to play out like a moving picture on a new kind of Radiola . . . right in your front parlor, where your present wireless apparatus sits to-day.

IT WILL BE CALLED TeleVision, and when it arrives here in Omaha, you can be assured that your Omaha World-Herald will be right on top of the story, bringing to you, the Midlands reader, the facts and figures, little comedies and big dramas . . . the story within the story of this modern marvel.

And perhaps someday, you will be getting the news and entertainment the World-Herald has to offer by means of this new, magical medium, as your hometown, home-owned news source embraces the best this century of progress has to off. . . .


WHAT??????? Since nineteen-freakin'-FORTY-NINE!?!?!?!?!

Damn, kind of got behind the curve on that one, didn't we? OK, here's what we'll do. We'll pretend it doesn't exist.

Sure, that's the way to go. People will ignore this "TeleVision" thing. And we'll be around forever . . . long after the novelty of moving pictures through the ether has passed and Midlanders come to their senses.


What's an Enter Nets?

* * *

OK, I KID. But not that much.

And, face it, my joke is as good an explanation as any why blog readers in San Diego knew almost two weeks ago that Carlo Cecchetto -- one half of KMTV, Channel 3's anchor team -- was leaving Omaha to go back from whence he came. He's going to be the new weekend anchor at KFMB, Channel 8 in San Diego, where he was a reporter before teaming with Carol Wang (another then-newbie) at Action 3 News a year and a half ago.

An Omaha World-Herald stuck somewhere in 1932 also is as plausible an explanation as any that it was a Journal Broadcast Group press release Wednesday that revealed Craig Nigrelli, weekday 4 p.m. anchor at KCTV in Kansas City, would be Cecchetto's replacement. From there, the news surfaced in a blurb on, then worked its way over to the Omaha TV News blog, and now you're reading it here.

But not in the World-Herald.

AND WHAT you haven't read anywhere yet is that -- if there be any rationality left anywhere in television news, either from a journalistic or a promotions standpoint -- Wang, Nigrelli's new co-anchor, ought to be worried.

Coming to Omaha with the new Channel 3 anchor is his wife, Carol Crissey Nigrelli, whose 20-plus years as an anchor at WIVB, the CBS affiliate in Buffalo, earned her a spot in the Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame. She "retired from broadcasting" in June 2002 to marry Nigrelli, a former News 4 reporter then working in Albuquerque, N.M.

Here's what Carol Nigrelli's profile said when she was inducted into the Buffalo broadcasting hall:

Voted Buffalo’s Sexiest Woman too many years in a row to count, Carol transcended both television and news to become the unofficial Queen of Buffalo while anchoring the news on Channel 4 for 23 years. Her appeal as a newscaster and person is on many different levels . . .

She’s the smart, beautiful, authoritative and street savvy woman all women would love to be... and all men would love to marry. Combined with the sense and skill of a good newswoman, her career as a news anchor was a homerun.

Carol Crissey came to Buffalo from Harrisburg, PA in 1979, originally paired with John Beard at the anchor desk. Carol anchored the news at noon, 5, 6, and 11, with the likes of Beard, Bob Koop, Rich Newberg, and Kevin O’Connell until she “retired” to New Mexico last year.

NOW, IF THE perpetual Action Third News were looking to stop the ratings bleeding -- which never happened with "young blood" Wang and Cecchetto at the helm of KMTV's spastic Actioncast -- who's to say that the station won't find itself a new consultant . . . and won't start looking for another new piece to the anchor puzzle.

Maybe someone will get the bright idea to field a husband-wife anchor team. With at least one member a proven anchor talent.

And perhaps the folks at the Action Third News station -- sick of being . . . well . . . third -- will try to change a certain someone's mind about retirement.

"How do you like that? I buried the lede."