Monday, January 31, 2005

Take a chance...Give this a glance!!

Well, my week "embedded" with the quality folks over at the Shawnee Journal-Herald was an experience. The six day circus wrapped up (officially) this weekend, allowing me to move up and on.

The time (50-plus hours) wasn't exactly well spent, but much occurred so we must get started with the good, the bad, and the ugly of what went down.

I am currently in talks with a local publishing company to sell the rights to my upcoming book on the subject: “EM-BREDDED!: 6 DAYS OF HELL INSIDE SHAWNEE’S CUT-THROAT NEWS LEADER...” :)

All in all, I cranked out 11-12 stories and 250 miles on the lonely road for the weekly rag (all but one had photos). Napoleon herself had quite a few problems with me and my work, hence my brisk relationship with the paper. Here are some excerpts from her last e-mail:

You would be paid, if published...”

How conveninent. 50 plus hours, 250 miles, and eleven news stories later.....I am eligible to receive a grand total of $15 for the one photo I took that was published. The recently departed Johnny Carson had a joke regarding paychecks of this size. I will be sure to use it upon receiving it.

You failed to submit stories and pictures that I could publish Wednesday.”

Bullshit. She’s responsible for continuing to publish the same old boring shit. Doesn’t she see that the paper’s buried in the ground? The Journal-Herald and it’s sister paper (the Kansas City Kansan) are on a way street straight to the bottom. No wonder people in Shawnee treat the Journal-Herald like a faith-based publication (translation: take a look at it, then trash it along with the rest of their junk mail).

I was frantic Wednesday trying to publish a paper with no content.”

Are newspaper editors so stupid and disorganized that they do not review stories as they come in? How else do they determine how much content is needed as deadlines approach. Geez-us. Napoleon is much like another aging editor I had the displeasure of working with. These dinosaurs need to get out of the business; it’s passed them by.

Your Fun Factory piece was found on a Web site that you posted Jan. 16. A week before
I hired you. You failed to mention this to me.”

Boo-freakin’-hoo. It’s called the Internet - look into it. It’s not a competing company. It’s all we have left that the government hasn’t gotten it’s hands on. And it’s a big reason why you’re industry is a slowly, but surely, sinking ship.

The pictures you submitted for some of your sports stories was from the AP and NBA.”

Cleared by the NBA (Matt Freije). Suppose that’s never happened before and must have sent her into septic shock. Pictures were sent straight from the league’s web and PR folks (thanks y’all!).

You took it upon yourself to "hire" "your" writer and send him to a city council meeting, which is the most important meeting in Shawnee. You didn't ask my permission to "hire" anyone.”

I made no attempt to hire anyone. She discussed the desire to have area college students cover events because of time conflicts and staff-related hiring issues. He volunteered to cover the event for free and produce a story. I was at City Council meeting, not him. Get your friggin’ facts straight. :)

You told me you talked to Donna Smith with Fernandez Entertainment from Hawaii for the Fun Factory story, when in fact you didn't.”

Ol’ Donna spoke from her plush Hawaii office. How the hell is she making this stuff up? Who was it that I spoke to - Bozo the Clown?

Good luck to you, Benjamin. It looks like you might need it.”

Thanks for the not so subtle threat Chief. Funny, but I hear Atchison, KS calling for their golden child to return, while (simultaneously) the people of Shawnee praise the arrival of the Shawnee Dispatch.

Napoleon’s generation is having trouble dealing with the fact that the establishment is making one final gasp to hold on to the levers of power and control over the industry. They will run it into the ground rather than let go graciously and turn control over to a new generation of people who understand that the newspaper is dead. However, as Al Pacino told Jack Lemmon, the newspaper world is not a world of men. The ‘dinosaurs’ (as Walt Bodine once labeled them) are on the way out regardless of their feeble attempts to maintain order.

The only other item of note was in relation to the Fun Factory piece. The paper’s resident gay reporter questioned why I didn’t name employees of Oak Park Mall that came forward to discuss the Fun Factory’s closing.

How sad/ironic.

Why does it take a gay guy to lead the charge in ‘outing’ people? Whatever happened to protecting sources? Looks like the good folks at KU are more concerned about doing things by the holy (journalism) book, rather than ensuring that honest employees don’t face retribution from greasy employers, a la Oak Park Mall.

Comets Mid-Season Review

The Story of the Kansas City Comets 2004-2005 season has been an interesting one. First, Brian Soell and Nate Houser are shipped out after burning bridges with the organization. Monterrey and San Diego fold. They acquire a Miji Dejerisilo look-a-like (Justin Evans). Miji and Stefan Stokich show up to a game dressed ready for senior prom. Jamar Beasley gets an article in the Star discussing his movie watching habits. Wes Wade retires. Miji cruises the Plaza looking for ‘girls.’

God love the Royals....

Soren Petro said on his show this week that the team will end up with about $23 million from the MLB revenue sharing agreement. On top of that nice chunk of change, they get another $15-16 million from the TV/Radio contract.

So what is the Royals team payroll you ask? How about $42 million...

The Royals are sticking a measley $3-4 million on the line and expecting fans to show. This team starts to look more and more like Wal-Mart. Thanks a bunch Glass.

Bryan Busby: Weatherman or Messiah?

Bryan Busby...may...be a prophet sent from the Heavens.

Or...he may just be an average weather forecaster.

Recently, Busby teased the audience of his upcoming forecast with the following:

“Depending on your point of view....there’s more bad news in the weather forecast.”

What the hell does that mean “Buzz?” What point of view likes to see freezing rain and ball freezing temperature? Get rid of this guy and give us this guy.

License Plate of the Day

Shawnee, KS last Friday:

“Pray that President Bush Honors God’s Covenant With Israel.”

...Where to go with that. I guess it says it all and I’ll just leave it be. Fill in the blank yourself...I'll just say that it always makes me sleep better knowing that people in this country put the well being of foreign governments/countries above that of us.