Sunday, July 5, 2009

Praise for KC Star reporter

John Landsberg gives props to KC Star political reporter Steve Kraske for a piece he wrote on the life of Karen McCarthy, a political figure in Missouri who now suffers from Alzheimer's.

His piece should be used as an example at J-schools around the country of how to weave together a compelling and compassionate story about a complex individual like McCarthy and her life both in and out of politics.

It should be noted that McCarthy, a political superstar in her heyday, now suffers from Alzheimer's disease. How do you put together a story that is sensitive to her current condition, but honest about a political and personal life that has had its shares of ups and downs?

It was a daunting task that Kraske handled superbly.



Anonymous said...


Do you think Kraske would have written such a piece if McCarthy was a Republican? No, he would add sarcastic attacks.

Anonymous said...

Geez, can you for just one second turn off the knee-jerk liberal conspiracy nonsense? Just last week, Kraske wrote an upbeat column about Bob Dole and what the old man is up to, and before that his column was about what a shoo-in Sam Brownback is for Ks. governor in 2010. All positive ink for the GOP.
And did you read the article on McCarthy? It covered how her unpleasant ways drove her staff away, how her drinking destroyed her Congressional career, how she cannot function on her own because of bipolar disease and Alzheimer's. That's hardly going easy on her.

Anonymous said...

Love the comments on the article. Why is Sarah Palin bashed while McCarthy is lauded?

John Altevogt said...

The piece is an outstanding example of quality writing that covered McCarthy's flaws as well as her drive.

I don't know how Steve would have handled it if she was a Republican. I do know that he has not tended to pile on in some of The Star's infamous hate campaigns against conservatives and the times he's covered events I've been involved in he's been more than fair.

Again, I think it is a big mistake to treat every employee of these papers as if they were part of some monolith. Often they're as frustrated by what some asshole editor does to their work as you are .

Being personally liberal doesn't preclude fair coverage. When I was chair of the Wyandotte County Party i was covered by a reporter who later ran for office as a Democrat and an editor who today is a Democrat political consultant and they did a great job.

The biggest prick, liar and journalistic fraud I've run into here is Derek Donovan who holds himself out as a conservative and as a "readers' rep.

Judge reporters by their product, and this product is very, very good. Steve has received praise for this piece and he should.

Anonymous said...

The biggest prick, liar and journalistic fraud I've run into here is Derek Donovan who holds himself out as a conservative and as a "readers' rep.

He certainly is much of the above John, but you're really placing him on a higher pedestal than he deserves. He's the Star Librarian and writes a blurb now and then hawking the Star and slandering critics. He is a small time theater critic pretending to be one of the boys. Do you really think that if he wrote a slander piece that a national news network would even pay attention? No way, he doesn't have 12 readers.

He is no where near the fraud and slander merchant than people like Mike Hendricks, Lewis Duiguid, Yael Allah Abuobama, Rhonda Lokeman, Merriam Peppered, and Jason Whitlock are.

John Altevogt said...

There's a vast difference between having a different perspective on an issue and slanting your work in a way that benefits your argument and just making something up out of whole cloth. Derek is the latter.

Then there's the issue, for me, of taking as good as you give. Hendricks may write some absolute crap, but he'll let you have at it on Prime Buzz and even dialogue with you occasionally. There again, Derek censors posts in a self-serving manner to protect his sensitive ego. A complete wuss, start to finish.

Yael is actually good on some of the obscure local issues, but for some reason, perhaps to kiss Miriam Pepper's ass , has gone off the deep end on Midwest Voices. There he has become the most hateful voice of the bunch.

Pepper and Diuguid are both talentless affirmative action babies. Pepper was hired over Steve Winn, a man who was so vastly more talented than she and a very interesting technically minded editor. Miriam let him go.

Rhonda, whatever you may think of her writing, is very bright and when not writing about political matters is capable of turning out interesting work.

Diuguid is just bone chilling stupid. I'm convinced the gleam in his eyes is a reflection off the back of his skull. I have no personal animus towards Lewis, he's just soooooo stupid and a racist's dream come true for pointing out the flaws of affirmative action.

As for Whitlock, I never met him, but I'm told he is part of The Star's future in whatever form it takes.

Another person at the Star is Lee Judge. Again, I detest a lot of his work, but when he had his blog, you could call him anything you wanted and say anything about he, or his work, and not once did I ever see a post removed for any reason.