The Platte County Landmark

Covering Platte County, Missouri Weekly Since 1865

Local News

Between the Lines
by Ivan Foley

Off the Couch
by Greg Hall

The Rambling Moron
by Chris Kamler

Parallax Look
by Brian Kubicki



Community Calendar



Weekly publication dates are Wednesdays

***Sign up for ***
The Landmark's E*Newsletter


Featured Advertisers

Noted weatherman: Only 14 inches of snow coming this season

Posted 12-23-12

Retailers, restaurateurs and nightclub owners love it…
Bring on the fair weather and the fair weather customers, they say. For many the warm winter climes this year have been a welcome respite from the gloomy, cold temps we’re used to.

White Christmas? Bring it. Freezing cold weather, snow and sleet – fuggedaboutit!
However there’s a price to pay for all this balminess.

In the form of serious damage to crops we city people seldom think about until we get nailed at the grocery store, restaurant or with a huge water bill.

The latest:
“In my winter forecast I said we were going to have a continued dry weather pattern and we’re in an extremely dry weather pattern,” says KSHB weather wonk Gary Lezak. “The Midwest and Central Plains will continue to be dry. We may get two or three minor snowstorms – one two-inch, one three-inch and one five-inch – and I predict 14 inches of snow for the whole season. And the chance of a White Christmas is small this year.”

As for the State of the Earth, “The Winter Wheat crop is a potential disaster,” Lezak says. “And if it stays dry it will be a disaster – it’s not looking good. We’re in a dry weather pattern, so between now and April I’m expecting the precipitation to be way below average.”

Looking ahead to 2014…

“The drought continues, there’s no doubt about it,” Lezak says. “In fact, it’s worsened. It’s very hard for a drought to worsen going into November during the colder months but October, November and now December have all had below average rainfall
Maybe we should resched the outdoor events the Spirit Fest and KCPT’s TV Dinner to ensure at least some guaranteed rainfall?

“I know,” Lezak quips. “If we could schedule those things we would get all kinds of rain. We should schedule them every day!”

David Scott Whinery, Esquire’s take on last Friday’s School shooting:
In the aftermath of the Connecticut school shootings, the “solution” always goes back to the simplistic notion that banning guns will somehow prevent tragedies like this from happening.

This notion ignores the fact that someone who wants to commit violent acts will find a means of accessing a firearm. As was done in this case.

The mass murderer in this case, Mr. Lanza, was denied the ability to purchase a rifle from a Danbury, CT. gun shop- earlier that week, according to NBC News. So he simply went to “Plan B” and stole his mother’s guns.

But what if assault weapons were banned?

The more apoplectic readers will undoubtedly cry out, “What if they were?”
The Clinton assault weapons ban from the 90’s didn’t retroactively confiscate existing weapons in private hands, so they were still around and available for the savvy consumer.

Look at Chicago. It has some of the toughest gun laws in the country and its gun violence rivals Baghdad!

What no one in the media wants to talk about, is that in places where there is concealed carry, violent crime has dropped.

As Bill Bennett, President Bush the First’s Education Secretary, opined on “Meet the Press” last Sunday – and with which I wholeheartedly agree – the arming of certain school employees might prevent or minimize atrocities in the future.

In probably the one time I’ve ever agreed with David Axelrod, he suggested that violent movies and video games contribute to the culture of violence. As he so eloquently put it,
”Shouldn’t we also quit marketing murder as a game?”

Numerous studies have shown that violent video games and movies when played or watched by the young and impressionable teach and normalize aberrant behavior.
The military has run tests on recruits that were raised playing “Call of Duty” like games and found that the transition to using real weapons with the accuracy they performed in the game greatly reduced the learning curve for using live fire.

Which may explain how murderers like James Holmes and Mr. Lanza were able to hand out such “impressive” kill ratios during their horrendous sprees.

Another factor that mass killers like Holmes, Lanza, and the Columbine killers had in common is being under the influence of SSRI’s like Paxil and Prozac. The “$27” word used to describe one of their side effects is Akathisia – where the drugs drive people- particularly the 25 and under crowd – towards suicide and violence towards others.
Why you would give someone who’s depressed something that makes them violent and suicidal is beyond me.


Go to and see for yourself the havoc these drugs wreak. Then go to if you want to see how much the pharmaceutical companies pay out each year defending the lawsuits against the deleterious effects of their drugs.
America’s a vicious, warlike nation and there’s no “putting that genie” back in the bottle.

We’ve got more guns than people in this country and a assault weapons ban would probably work out about as well as the Drug War has. And as for video games- they make more money than Hollywood does now. So don’t think they are going anywhere. And bad pharmaceuticals, anyone who watches the evening newscasts with their wall-to-wall ads knows the drug company”s probably don’t worry too much about being exposed by “journalists.”

You know what? Most of these “problems” are Constitutionally protected anyhow. The same people who say that the 2nd Amendment protecting gun ownership is outdated and not what the Founding Fathers intended, think that hardcore pornography is under the realm of their intent in regards to 1st Amendment.

I personally think that if the Founders were to be resurrected, they would be shocked at the morally bankrupt, militaristic, police state we’ve become… with only one guiding principle- GREED.

About comic Kat Williams no-show Friday at Sprint
KC Confidential’s Craig Glazer of Stanford’s has the inside skinny on Friday’s last minute no show by funny guy Kat Williams:

In the early 2000's Kat Williams replaced Dave Chappelle as the No. 1 Urban Comic in the world…

His career was on fire. Kat was being paid six figures a night to do his stand up thing in front of both black and white audiences all over the nation.

Then something went wrong.

The Little Pimp, a nickname he embraced, began to not show up. He acted strangely, got in fights, got arrested weekly and didn’t seem to care that he was going broke.
Since he’d become a huge star, making his agency, producers and hangers-on tons of dough, he got a second chance to come back about a year ago.

And this Friday in Kansas City, with thousands on hand at Sprint Center, The Kat In The Hat once again NO SHOWED.

“Ladies and Gentleman the Show is cancelled, we will refund your ticket money,” they announced according to one of my staff who was there.

I met Kat Williams in the early 2000's. His agent and mine was Matt Blake who had earlier brought a guy named Dan Whitney to the attention of Hollywood - you know him as Larry The Cable Guy.

Larry, like Kat, was a regular at Stanford’s from the late 90's into the early 2000's. Blake saw in Kat the same type of audience response Larry had achieved. Neither had big TV or film credits when they were noticed, but both had talent.
Williams was the most gifted Black comic I had ever seen.

And that list is a long one, including Damon Wayans, Earthquake, Mike Epps, Bruce Bruce, Ricky Smiley and even today’s number one guy, Kevin Hart. None had more talent than Kat Williams.

Blake told me that he’d found Kat pretty much on the street. In fact, Blake paid to put false teeth in the guy’s mouth. He was semi toothless at the time. Kat got a break and had a small, but memorable part in the smash hit film Friday After Next playing Money Mike the “little pimp.”

And KC loved him when he tore it up on Hot 103 Jams. I was there on the air with the guy and I saw him as a modern day Sammy Davis Junior. He even had the same voice. He didn’t depend on doing the “black thing” on stage. Instead Kat did a ton of material about having six kids, being a great dad, being a broke dad and loving these children.
So what happened? Was it drugs? Was it booze? Both? Nope.

Kat is the rare case of having severe bi polar Schizophrenia.
He is mentally ill and he needs help, but won’t get it. The guy has whizzed on almost everyone near and dear to him. He’s not married, just has kids. Rumors are he’s broke and doesn’t care. He’s been arrested for strange behavior several times lately on the west coast. Like for attacking a guy in a bar over a pool game and yelling and screaming about really nothing in a bar. He hit a fan with the microphone, and nobody really knew why. He took a police car on a chase with his three-wheeler. And the cops said he was not drunk and not high. Wow!

Was it the success? The money? The fame?

We all know what that got Dave Chappelle, he pretty much has dropped out of sight after his $100 million career. Kat was going to be even bigger. His hit HBO special, tons of TV shows, more films like Norbit and Epic Movie. Everyone wanted the guy but he just quit.

I hung out with him back in the Westport Stanford’s days.
I never saw him drunk or high, ever. He did have a strange love for pool (by the way he was horrible). He would lose his paychecks to con men who bet him they could make pre arranged trick shots on the table. This street guy fell for it every single time and would lose the bets for hundreds and later thousands of dollars.

It was then that I thought he might have a screw loose. However he was a pro, always on time and very nice person. I hated to lose him to the theaters, but he got huge by 2003 and I never saw him again.

Sprint in Kansas City was just another example of the strange fall from grace of THE KAT IN THE HAT. I wish him well, hope he gets some help and makes another comeback.

For more Hearne & KC Confidential check out


Here's a Jason Whitlock update

Posted 12-16-12

Is nothing sacred anymore?

Just two weeks before Christmas and the Grim Reapers at 18th and Grand are up to their old tricks. As in laying off Kansas City Star news staff right before America’s Holiday.

“MEMO TO: Co-workers,” the internal notice begins.
“FROM: Mi-Ai Parrish.

“RE: Reduction in force
“As we continue to be challenged by uncertain economic news, I have decided to restructure and realign some pieces of the business, eliminating several positions, as well as some open positions.

“The employees affected by the reductions have been notified.”
Nothing like a pre-Christmas pink slip to set the holidays on motion.
The name that jumped out in the early body count was that of Star librarian Eric Winkler.

I can tell you from my experience Winkler is one of the most popular, helpful staffers at the Star. Just like newsroom IT Chase Clements who took a bullet in the Star’s September bloodletting.

Clements however must have some kickass juju because three weeks later the Star‘s parent company McClatchy snapped him up, reportedly with a tidy raise.
Wonder if Winkler will be so lucky…

As for the ultra low morale that continues to pervade the newsroom, it’s business as usual, the publisher says.

“Job eliminations are a tough reality, and they are a difficult step,” Parrish’s memo concludes. “As we continue to restructure and strategically reinvent our operation for our future, your efforts are vital. Please ask me or any member of the senior team if you have questions.”

Put another way…
“I mean, what’s a December without layoffs,” quips one Star staffer.
Then there were none
Another casualty of Monday’s layoffs and cutbacks at the Star…
Would you believe the newspaper’s Kansas City Store?
“I just heard both Star stores are closing,” says one newspaper insider. “The one on the Plaza and the one at Union Station.”

Exact closing dates of the stores and fate of the staffers who head the respective retail operations remain unclear. But the betting money is they’ll be taking a bullet with six months going away paychecks.

Here’s the rub though.

“In order for them to receive the severance package deal they need to work at the stores until the end of January,” says the source. “Nothing like rubbing their noses in it.”
The standard exit package offered to Star plank-walkers is two week’s notice with pay and six months severance money and benefits. With the option of working during those two weeks or taking an immediate hike and still getting paid.

From my experience, most people just clean out their desks and leave right away. In my case, I worked both weeks and turned in a full complement of columns.
Not familiar with the Star store? Take a number.

It’s basically a variation on those Best of Kansas City themed stores offering everything from Chiefs. Royals, KU, MU, K-State and All-Star Game merch to books written by past and present Star staffers, Dining Club discount cards, bobbleheads of dead folks like former Chiefs bandleader Tony DiPardo, Taste of Kansas City gift baskets and $24.95 Jason Whitlock paperbacks marked down to $2.95.

From my perspective, the Star books and retail stores programs were almost assuredly money losers from the get go, but that the newspaper felt it could afford them for promotional purposes during better times.

No mas.

This is a little sick, but…

How cold can one get?

The answer; at the Kansas City Star, very cold.

Check out this startling tale involving a pair of Kansas City Star reporters that reportedly were presented 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.”

True enough, by Tuesday Bormann was o-u-t.
A similar proposition is thought to have gone down two years back between a pair of Star copy editors in the main newsroom with Monday morning poet Don Munday being the survivor.

“What’s really awful about that choice is it pits two colleagues against each other with the expectation that they will determine who is the better fit,” says one area senior marketing executive. “And it takes the responsibility away from the employers which is cruel and unprofessional.

“If the Star really didn’t want to make the choice at that time what they should have done is explain that there was only one position and that those two would have to apply for the position. Or if they knew one person had the seniority – Karen – they should have approached her in private and let her make the decision in private instead of having to make a decision knowing that the other person knows she’s making the decision. It’s unprofessional, cruel and unnecessary.”

Incidentally, Dillon, a longtime investigative reporter at the Star, was credited by Rolling Stone with bringing down Pee Wee Herman in 1991 as follows:
“An able young reporter named Karen Dillon, working the three-to-midnight shift at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, recognized Paul Reubens’s name on the police blotter and broke the story.”

Bill O’Reilly Hammers Jason Whitlock on Jovan Belcher Murder-Suicide
Just when former Star sports scribe Jason Whitlock was well on his way to becoming the forgotten man…
Up pops the devil in the form of no-name Kansas City Chiefs player turned ghastly murderer, Jovan Belcher.

Belcher’s dastardly deed was the perfect storm for the race baiting former Kansas City columnist, garnering him props from Bob Costas and then brickbats last week from Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.

“I did not go as far as I would like to go…” Whitlock says in a recorded snippet that opened O’Reilly’s show. “I believe that the NRA is the new KKK.”

To which O’Reilly shot back, “More far out craziness surrounding the murder-suicide perpetrated by a professional football player. We’ll cut through all the madness tonight and tell you what’s really going on.”

O’Reilly then proceeded to lay into Whitlock and the mainstream media in his opening monologue.

“America and personal responsibility, that is the subject of this evening’s talking points memo,” he began. “Immediately after Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend to death and then killed himself, the excuses started – guns, violence in the National Football League and other adjacent issues were trotted out by a variety of pundits. But here’s the fact; Belcher is solely responsible for the horrendous crime that orphaned his baby daughter.

He did it. He knew right from wrong, he chose – he chose – to inflict lethal damage.. (And) to blame society or guns or football is grossly irresponsible.”

Now on to Big Sexy…
“Another guy who has inserted himself into this story, Kansas City sportswriter Jason Whitlock, sees it this way:
“‘I believe the NRA is the new KKK,” an unmistakable recording of Whitlock’s voice begins. “And that the arming of so many black youths and blowing up our community with drugs and just having an open shooting gallery is the work of people that obviously don’t have our best interest.”
“What a bunch of bull,” O’Reilly shot back. “We invited Mr. Whitlock on the program tonight. He’s hiding under his desk. He knows he can’t defend that position. Here’s a bulletin to Whitlock: no society can protect people against a guy like Belcher. Ever since man first walked the planet there’s been violence. It’s hard wired into some people. This deflection into guns or race is simply nonsense.

“We’re living in a time of denial. Our culture is cluttered with excuses for bad behavior. It’s always somebody else’s fault, not the individual screwing up…Jovan Belcher was a villain, a person who was given athletic talent and instead of building a worthwhile life for himself and his baby, destroyed lives. That’s on him. Period.”

But O’Reilly wasn’t through with Whitlock.

In the second segment of the show on Belcher, O’Reilly said: “Let’s get to this guy Whitlock…This guy Whitlock believes – and I really would like to talk to him – that there is an organized attempt to get guns in the hands of blacks, and drugs in the hands of blacks. That’s how far out this Whitlock guys is. That there’s some kind of cabal in America saying, ‘You know what we ought to do? We oughta get a lot of guns into the African-American community and narcotics, so that they destroy themselves.’ That’s where he is. That’s crazy.”

At which point, token Fox News liberal Alan Colmes chimed in: “To equate the NRA to the KKK is nuts,” he said. “And you’re bringing in a racial element that doesn’t exist. I’m no big fan of the NRA, however, to suggest that they have some kind of racial motive, there’s no evidence of that whatsoever.”

“Even Colmes admits that this far out Whitlock deal is insane,” O’Reilly quipped.
No wonder Whitlock passed on going on the show.
It should be noted that under kinder, gentler circumstances last November, Whitlock went on O’Reilly to bag on Penn State students and Joe Paterno.

Whitlock’s excuse for not taking O’Reilly’s bait:

“I’ve been on O’Reilly Factor several times. I have no fear of O’Reilly’s intellect..” reads one Tweet and “If Bill would like to discuss gun culture and my views, I’d love to talk with him on Real Talk (Whitlock’s podcast). I give everyone a chance to talk freely.”

Look, anybody who was paying attention during Whitlock’s long tenure at the Star knows that in no small way, the fat man forged a career of pimping and race baiting readers.

It worked for him then and it’s working now.

Last time I checked on Whitlock’s Fox Sports columns months ago he was writing several a week. A glimpse at his recent pre-Belcher body of work reveals he’s only been choking out a column every five to seven days.

Which doesn’t exactly sound like the healthy six-figure paycheck Whitlock duped former 610 Sports host Nick Wright into “reporting” shortly after big Sexy left the Star two years back.

Hey, say what you will, for now the Big Cat is back!

Speaking of the Big Cat being back…

Looks like Whitlock’s gonna need a new crib to keep his kitty litter box in now that he finally sold his South Overland Park abode.

For the better part of a decade it was his dream home…
A four bedroom, three and a half bath Nottingham Forest bachelor pad where Big Sexy hosted celebrity bashes, reportedly attended by guests such as Ollie Gates, Carl Peterson, Marty Schottenheimer, Derrick Thomas, Bill Self, Danny Manning, Mark Mangino, Roy Williams, Frank White and who knows how many strippers.

In 2004 Big Sexy wrote about one of his many wildings here in the Star saying, “My mama’s annual soul-food Christmas party- which is invitation only – will celebrate its 10-year anniversary on Monday, Dec. 20. She’s flying into Kansas City on Friday with a vat of bacon grease and a suitcase full of seasonings.”


Actually, Whitlock moved the party that year to the Peachtree because it had grown so in size and scope – but you get the idea.

Even though his outdoor swimming pool - now in disrepair according to the listing – was probably mothballed for the winter, those bashes there were the stuff of local legend.

Because Jason said they were.

Reportedly the house had been on the market for two years or longer after Whitlock parted company with the Star. A parting that went ugly after he dropped out of sight for a couple months then went on 610 Sports to trash his bosses and try to tell the awful truth about the divorce.

So nasty were Whitlock’s accusations that 610 pulled the plug mid interview as he was telling a story that involved Star editor Mike Fannin allegedly planting a drunken kiss on a male reporter at a local dive.

Who knows? One of these days the Big Guy may unleash a tell-all book with the rest of that story and more.

Until then, we can only imagine.

Back to Whitlock’s house…
At one point it appears Whitlock was asking $260,000 for it, but by the time it sold he had faced market realities and was down to an asking price of $225,000. It sold for $208,000, less real estate commission.

Here’s the listing description:

Open Contemporary Home with Vaulted Ceilings and “OPEN” layout Newer Roof. GREAT space for the $$!! BIG Private Lot – and LL Hot Tub Room – THIS house is MADE to Entertain! Finished Walk-out LL with Wet Bar, Full Bath and Work-out Area. Main Floor Master Bedroom with HUGE Jetted Tub and Walk-in Shower. POOL will need work – selling AS IS.

There you have it, the divorce is final. Whitlock’s hanging on the West Coast with Kansas City little more than a blurry image in his rearview mirror.

For more blurry images and Hearne check out


Some media BS in the Belcher story

Posted 12-8-12

It was predictable, formulaic even…

“A City United in Sorrow,” read the bold headline atop Monday’s Kansas City Star. “Community Mourns – Kasandra Perkins and Jovan Belcher remembered.”


Two people 99 percent of Kansas City never heard of before check out violently and because one of them was a Chiefs player – who murdered his girlfriend and himself in a sensationalistic manner – the entire city is supposedly awash in sorrow?

I don’t buy it.

I’ll tell you what we’re awash in and that’s media BS.

Kansas City is crawling with black on black crime, senseless, heinous murders that get little to no news coverage outside of cookie cutter TV shorts. Now suddenly, because of the high profile nature of the crime, we’re wading through front-page headlines like, “Victim’s friends ‘don’t want her to be overshadowed.’”

And we’re treated to endlessly long, trivial details about how murder victim Perkins was such a nice person, how she and Belcher argued but no biggie, that Belcher liked to shoot guns but no one thought he’d ever use one on someone, how another Chiefs player’s wife fixed the pair up, they had a movie date and on and on.

Voila, instant newspaper soap opera!

Did we really want or need to learn that the victim liked to go out with girlfriends, eat Mexican and shoot the crap over margaritas? What’s with that research? I mean, really. Check out this quote from the Star story:

“Perkins and Belcher often showed their loving side, kissing and hugging and joking around.”

Imagine that. After dating for three years and having a kid together they actually kissed, hugged and joked.

Talk about investigative reporting.

Basically the Star was milking a sensationalistic story about a dude who lost it – a guy the Chiefs would have cut in a heartbeat for a slightly better player and not done didley for or cared one whit what happened to him later. Milking it to keep the story on the front burner until a couple days later when the police released the details.

And like KC Confidential‘s Matt Donnelly said, what’s with all the Chiefs player tributes to Belcher? The dude lost it, offed his girlfriend, then himself.
That’s hardly tribute worthy.

Yet not a single paragraph in Monday’s “news” stories about what a jerk Belcher was for murdering the mother of his child.

I know, it makes a better read reporting that the victim liked to hang out, eat Mexican and drink margaritas.

Go figure.

Gangsta Culture Needs to Give Way to Education
As the former operator of Kansas City’s No. 1 black hip-hop club in Westport, Stanford’s Craig Glazer has hung out with Chiefs and Royals players for years. And gleaned some insights along the way.

Glazer’s take on Saturday’s Jovan Belcher murder-suicide:

Hey look, I’m not dancing…

But KC Confidential got out in front of most media with the real story on the murder/suicide Saturday. My story was on the money.

This is not something to brag about because it’s truly upsetting and more than sad.
But yes, this was a racially motivated incident. It was about an all too common crime committed by a young black man who was a highly paid pro athlete. And who killed someone for no real reason. It’s about a culture that makes even average Black Americans just as ticked off and ill.

The young hip-hop, urban core scene is basically, “We just hate.”
Even when they have dream jobs, a dream life and attention they’re still angry and prone to violence.

Jovan Belcher was drinking and partying at the Power & Light Friday night into Saturday morning. According to police, they found him drunk and asleep in his $400,000 dollar Bentley around 2 AM. Had that been you or I we would have probably been taken in for a D.U.I.
Instead, they sent him home.
A couple hours later he emptied his semi-automatic handgun into his girlfriend.
Why? Shocker - he was drunk, jealous and – oh yeah – they had FINANCIAL ISSUES.

This man was making close to $2 million a year, drove a Bentley and this was his home where his girlfriend, baby and mother lived. And let’s just say it was not a home in Hallbrook. Money problems? Seriously?

A 25 year-old, a pro football player with a seven figure salary and climbing but he’s broke. How do you do that?

I’ll tell you, NO EDUCATION, that’s how. Anger, that’s how. I’m bad and you’re stupid, that’s how.

As I’ve written before, most – not all – but most NFL and NBA players are broke or bankrupt 3 to 5 years after they leave the game. Most. I’ve known many of them.
Jovan was GIVEN a degree, as are most soon-to-be pro players of color.
It’s as simple as that.

We all know it but we don’t care because they’re great players and we need them out there on the field.
Hey, even Belcher’s best friend on the team couldn’t spell his name.
Dwayne Bowe and other Chiefs wore T-Shirts honoring their fallen pal with his name spelled Janvan.

I rest my case.

The media danced past these issues as Hearne pointed out Monday.
Hearne was right, few people even knew the name Jovan Belcher – he was a starter but not a star. Chiefs fans knew of him but little else. Yet the Star wrote a headline saying the “Community Mourns.”

We didn’t know he was already in counseling over anger issues with his girlfriend.
The victims are the murdered girlfriend, her 3-month-old child and their families. Jovan had plenty of other guns in his home. Like he needed those.

Was Belcher a pro football player or a gangbanger? Which?
I did a similar story on KMBZ about how shopping and entertainment areas could not have young black people in them or they would fail. I based that on national statistics about their bad behavior.

I used Westport turning around as my example.
It was simple. Westport ran off the young black crowds and now they’re thriving again.
No, not all blacks are bad, but there are just too many troublemakers and whites fear them.

Examples of great African Americans are everywhere – including in the White House.

I came from a violent background, but I left that world decades ago and I don’t miss it. So I know things can change, people can change.

The Point 99.7 FM’s Kelly Urich serves up humorous helpings of local news takes for KC Confidential:

I’m trying to figure where I stand on immigration, abortion and the fiscal cliff. Hurry Bob Costas, channel Jason Whitlock.

New medical research from Australia shows mistletoe may be just as effective at fighting colon cancer as chemotherapy. Plus, if you have mistletoe in your colon, everyone can kiss your ass!

Kate Middleton is pregnant. She said getting screwed by a high-ranking Royal made her feel like Frank White.

Bazooka bubble gum is getting rid of the comic strips. Don’t worry. If you still want predictable humor, continue reading my column on KC CONFIDENTIAL.

The End is Near
KC Confidential’s David Scott Whinery, Esquire’s take on life after Romney and before the fiscal cliff:

I have good news and bad news…
I’m not sure what the good news is, but I’ll think of something.
The bad news is that the World that you know and love is KAPUT!
Depending on how old you are, the death of Western Civilization may very well occur in your lifetime. The Leftist forces are on the march – Marxism, multiculturalism, egalitarianism and radical feminism are growing in strength and effectiveness.
Laissez-faire Capitalism, freedom of speech, religion, thought and all those “dated” concepts are soon to be subjugated by the Politically Correct crowd and eradicated by their growing Surveillance State.

Like all great civilizations, our Judeo-Christian society, rooted in family values, is crumbling into dust. The West is soon to be relegated to the history books with only our negatives studied. Our great leaders, achievements and innovations will be forgotten or appropriated by the Socialist hordes.

Western culture will survive in libraries, art galleries and as answers on Jeopardy. Orwell and Huxley’s visions of the future are upon us.
And for those of us who know this type of society is “wrong,” we are powerless to stop it for all intents and purposes. Pockets of Western Meritocracy and values may survive in the sparsely populated areas of the country and the GREAT STATE OF TEXAS. But as far as influencing this country and the world as a whole, I don’t see it happening anytime soon…

We on the Right and our Libertarian brethren are correct in our assessments of what needs to be done to save this country and the world in general. But face it, we’re hopelessly outnumbered by the
“Takers and the Moochers.”

Thomas Jefferson was right when he opined that America will only survive if its population is educated and aware of the machinations of its leadership.
However, Americans know more about the Kardashian’s and their favorite athletes than who their leaders are and what they’re up to in the early 21st century.
We’ve been dumb downed, drugged, fattened up and are ready for slaughter.
The only good news is that the World Economy is collapsing and FAST. The mass printing of fiat currencies and borrowing by Western Governments may be all that saves us from the darkest visions of Ayn Rand.

I believe it was the “Iron Lady,” Margaret Thatcher, who once said ‘The problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
I think she was right.

You could confiscate all of the wealth of the one-percent and it wouldn’t keep Obama’s Government running for more than 18 months.
Global economic collapse is all the lovers of freedom and liberty have left to hope for.
May it come swiftly…

For more Hearne and KC Confidential check out kcconfidential


Slam a Red Bull before seeing Lincoln

Posted 11-23-12

Better late than never, right?

Look, I get that moviegoers of America pronounced me dead wrong when I said last summer “Ted” was a snoozer. Maybe I was having an off day. I’m going to try it again on video and who knows?

That said, this past weekend I saw back-to-back movies that nearly caused me to come down with a case of trypanosomiasis in the middle of both, “Lincoln” and “Skyfall,” the new James Bond flick.
Lincoln being the drowsier of the two.

I went at my 15 year-old daughter’s request. One of her teachers in Blue Valley asked students to see it and offered extra credit if they could prove they had. To that end Liza retained her movie ticket and Hollywood retained my 15 bucks.

And while I can’t sing Jack Poessiger‘s movie reviewing praises enough, I’ve got to tell you guys, up until maybe the last hour or 45 minutes maybe, Lincoln was a snore. Even Jack said it was too long too.

I hate to say it, but Oliver Stone would have kicked Steven Spielberg’s butt if he’d made the movie instead.

It might not have been 100 percent historically accurate, but who knows how accurate Spielberg’s Lincoln really is? Or who cares?

There was sporadic applause at the close of the movie at The Legends in KCKwhere I saw it. Not surprisingly, when the lights came on, it became crystal clear that the majority of the crowd was oldsters. Well rested oldsters because I didn’t hear any snoring or see anybody rubbing their eyes on the way out.

So let your conscience be your guide.

Go see “Lincoln” if you wish – especially if you get extra credit somehow – but allow me to suggest pounding a Red Bull or latte before the movie starts.

Then Sunday I saw Bond, James Bond, again at The Legends.

After Saturday’s Spielberg marathon, I can tell you that I know Lincoln pretty well and James Bond is no Lincoln.

It starts out with a totally unmemorable theme song written and sung by pop star Adele. Which is too bad. And like Lincoln, the movie’s too long – nearly two and a half hours.
Secondly, like Jack told me, the opening sequence is so excellent nothing else in the movie comes close to matching it.

About a third of the way through my wife turned to me with a disappointed look and said, “Awww, it’s not very good.” She was right.

Where’s Ian Fleming when you need him?
The former British naval intelligence officer penned a dozen James Bond novels and two short story collections before checking out in 1964 at age 56.

“Skyfall” is the 23rd James Bond movie, so obviously moviemakers have no intention of letting the franchise die off merely because there are no more Fleming novels to be adapted.
The villain in “Skyfall” didn’t seem very real or threatening to me. And even though the writers have modernized things a bit, somehow it just didn’t connect.
Think about, for example, of the Bond movie villains of the past. They were too corny even then, let alone by today’s standards. That’s why Austin Powers had such an excellent time spoofing them.

Who really thinks today anybody would find Goldfinger believable?
It’s a different world, why not make Bond a more contemporary, real life, believable spy? You know, and place him in believable predicaments and locations?
There’s certainly no shortage of spy and sex material out there in the real world.
In part, the problem with James Bond movies is times have changed so much. The concept of a debonair spy dude bedding smoking hot, sophisticated babes with the mere bat of an eye is so 1960s. Or 70's, maybe 80's.

Look at Jason Bourne…
The Bourne films blow James Bond away by being far more real and believable.
Like Bond, Bourne scores with the ladies, but only after the prerequisite groundwork. Not just by bedding them upon first meeting at some exotic casino after cashing in $4 million in chips.

On top of that, “Skyfall” tries too hard.
We all knew about Bond drinking Heineken beer months before the movie opened because product placers wanted us to know. What about the martinis, “shaken but not stirred” many wondered?

Not to worry, in one scene a bartender shakes up a martini and pours it for Daniel Craig who says something like, “Just the way I like it.”
Craig by the way is looking a little haggard and long-in-the-tooth for some of the action sequences he performs in this movie. However Jack tells me he’s signed for two more films, with Bond 24 slated for 2014 two years from now.

Filmmakers even note Bond’s getting older in “Skyfall” by having him tested for his physical abilities and him failing with a measly 40 percent score. Craig may need counsel from Lance Armstrong if he’s to get in shape for the movie two years from now and presumably the one two years after that.

The ending is a little odd as well, too neatly stitched together.
In it we learn that fellow spy Naomie Harris – who Bond beds early in the movie – turns out to be Miss Moneypenny, the longtime secretary to Bond’s longtime boss M. And M becomes actor Ralph Fiennes after actress Judy Dench takes a bullet and checks out.

At age 77, it wouldn’t have been wildly surprising if Dench had bought the farm before the movie was even done filming – but what the heck, it was time for a change.
Older Bond fans will remember that Bond never, you know, made love to Moneypenny because she was far too homely to be a “Bond Girl” (even though she joked about being attracted to actors Sean Connery and Roger Moore in the first 14 Bond flicks she appeared in).

Demure B movie actress Lois Maxwell snared the Moneypenny role in 1962. But at age 36, Harris – Skyfall’s new Moneypenny – is far and away more beddable. By the way, there was no romantic tension between Moneypenny and Bond in any of Fleming’s novels.

So there you have it.

If you’re torn between “Lincoln” and “Skyfall” this holiday weekend and you’re under the age of 60 – or even 50 and maybe 40 – go for Bond…James Bond.

And if you end up loving both movies and think I don’t have a clue…take a number.
After all, I thought Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter was, you know, fine.

Scribe Begs Chiefs Owner for Mercy
Stanford’s Craig Glazer – aka The Scribe – had this to say in an open letter to Chiefs owner Clark Hunt:
Besides that the Chiefs are one of the worst NFL teams ever, its front office is also considered one of the all time worst…

Because of that it’s going to be hard to recruit quality people to lead this team out of the basement.

The Chiefs were once again a no show Sunday, most of the players having already quit. Fans too have quit, as evidenced by an attendance of no more than half a stadium. And as it gets colder, and we fall to 1-10, 1-11 and so on, the attendance may hit less than 25,000.

I know we have tons of season ticket holders, but why go? To see what?
Why spend money on parking, beer, food and junk for a team that’s led by people who only seem to think we are hick chumps.

And yes, that includes Chiefs owner Clark Hunt.
Mr. Hunt, your lack of understanding in football and lackluster leadership skills have helped lead to this tragic end.
What more does it take for you to stand up and be a man, sir?
We know the Chiefs are nothing more than a financial tool your family uses to back up bigger investments around the globe. But it’s nice to have a billion dollar asset isn’t it? However as this team goes 3-13 next season with attendance way down, Chiefs gear not selling, and a general lack of interest, that number will fall by the millions.
We know the NFL‘s TV deal saves your butt and the overall split of NFL profits, but by God man, FIRE THE PROBLEMS. Lose $10 or $20 million to save $150 million, my friend.

How much more do you need to see, hear and feel, Clark?
Everyone but the Easter Bunny is telling you to FIRE SCOTT PIOLI ASAP. Like now!

Replace him with another temporary executive for a few weeks until you find a replacement. Start the process now. Just pay him off, get rid of him.

Scott is such a poor leader he has even let NFL coaches, players and future general managers know he won’t pay up on contracts. Monday Night Football even mentioned the “We aren’t paying Todd Haley‘s contract off” issue.
NOT GOOD, Clark.

Sure Todd will be paid at some point, after he spends a few hundred grand on lawyers to get his money. This is clearly being done out of spite by Pioli.

Clark, people don’t want to work in that type of environment where their contracts may be unpaid for months or years. Nobody likes that, sir.
St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher made it clear to insiders he wouldn’t even consider a job in KC because of ownership and the general manager. Hello! Peyton Manning wouldn’t even come to a meeting in Kansas City to hear an offer. HELLO!
Clark, maybe it’s time to rehire Marty and let him be your brain for a year or two.
Clearly you need some help sorting this thing out.

Otherwise consider selling this team to the PEOPLE OF KANSAS CITY. We are the ones who care, paid for the damn stadium nine ways to SUNDAY and spend millions to support this team with NO PROFITS like your family receives.

We care and clearly you and your family who don’t live here don’t. We’ve had it sir. So please do the right thing Mr. Clark Hunt. NOW.

Thank you.

The Death of Kansas State
KC Confidential’s Brandon Leftridge puts the plight of area sports fans squarely in perspective; times are tough!

Sometimes, the stars align so cosmically that it’s almost painful.
You get pulled over for speeding on your way to the DMV to get your tags renewed. You call the cops to report a suspicious ne’er-do-well and they find they find the kilo of cocaine sewn into the back of your son’s Spongebob doll. A hooker demands more than her pittance and you call the cops in anger, only to be reminded that it is illegal to negotiate her services.
Or if you’re the Kansas State Wildcat football team, you travel to an unranked, middling school, recently absolved of its greatest historical threat, and you get your ass handed to you.
Such is the way of local athletics.

And it’s a shame, really. Not because I’m a K-State fan—that would make me biased and therefore, a terrible sports reporter—but I am a fan of the area from whence I came. And since KU football is abysmal, and Mizzou hasn’t justified anything this year, I’m compelled as a fan of my region to root for the last hope we have, the Tommy Morrison of college football, the opposite of whoever Todd Akin is running against.
In this case, my hopes and dreams rested squarely upon the shoulders of the K-State Wildcats.

Plus, they’re a likeable team.
Coach Bill Snyder is inarguably (still) one of the greatest coaching minds of my time. Collin Klein is a treat to watch. And really, well, that’s all you need.
But they shit the bed big time tonight, on a SUPER-national stage. Ranked #1 for the first time in their history, they drove home the notion that, as Missourians or Kansans, we just can’t have nice things.

People joke about Cleveland, and God’s displeasure with that city, but Goddamn, Kansas City can’t be far behind, can it?
We can point to the pressure that stems from a number one ranking. We can pretend that the Sports Illustrated Curse is a real, pulsating thing. We can blame a million different disappointments, but the bottom line is, K-State lost. They lost hard.
They turned the ball over and they failed to capitalize on a thousand opportunities, and in the end, the Baylor Bears just played with a lot more determination and heart. Period.

And now the Cats are out of national title contention, and now the old folks can sit back and say “I told you so,” and all of us across the landscape can pretend that we were never all that excited anyway, that we knew from the get-go that nothing good happens here.

We’re a city of futility and exaggeration and false hope and ridiculous, delusional expectations. We’re stuck with what we are, and by now, it shouldn’t really be a surprise.
Regardless, I salute their season.

They’ll end up with a really fantastic bowl-game and they’ll probably win it, and though Klein won’t win the Heisman, he’ll finish in the top three and it’ll all make for some nice plaques and fond memories.
Still, though…

It would be nice to have a champion just once. Just once, God.

For more Hearne and KC Confidential check out


Prairie Village has killed Christmas

Posted 11-16-12

It’s pretty much official…
The sleepy suburb of Prairie Village, Kansas has all but killed Christmas.
That after enacting an ordinance that for the first time in more than 40 years, put the kibosh on longtime local Christmas display maestro Mike Babick who will not be decorating his home at 7611 Falmouth this holiday season.
Not unless he gets a last minute, unexpected stay of execution this coming week, which Babick says is highly unlikely.

There’s more…
Since Prairie Village’s new ordinance went into effect that states “any attraction or display that draws huge numbers of people will not be issued a permit,” Babick says, he hasn’t seen hide nor hair of any holiday lighting on commercial buildings in the city.
Buildings that by this time in past years would be festooned with holiday lights and ready to Jingle Bell Rock.

“There are no lights at all on either of the two shopping centers in Prairie Village,” Babick says. “And they should have started putting them up around the middle of October. Now why they haven’t I don’t know. I’ve been trying to find out for the past three weeks.”
Macy’s, Hen House – all bare, Babick says.
“I haven’t seen one light strung this year,” he says. “It looks like they’ll have to get permission too.
“I mean, blocking Christmas in Prairie Village? Omigod.”
What’s Going to Change?

Confound it if KC Confidential political and conspiracy watchdog David Scott Whinery, Esquire can figure out how things are gonna get much, if any better after last week’s presidential election:
What, if anything, has changed?

That’s the question everyone should be asking themselves. A year and a half of almost constant campaigning, $6 billion spent on electioneering, countless hours spent by volunteers on all sides of the political spectrum and a circus played out in the media. But what really changed? Can you answer that question? I can.

We still have the same President and basically the same political party composition of the House of Representatives and Senate. We got a bunch of the same- pure and simple. At least where our leadership, or lack thereof, is concerned.
America voted for dependency on Government.

Whether its corporate welfare, food stamps, Obamacare or crony capitalism. And the Government is dependent on handouts from the Federal Reserve, China, Japan and other entities dumb enough to fund the “American Empire.”
America used to be a bright shining beacon of economic and personal freedom.
Now we are a nation divided that stands for nothing.

Don’t believe me?
I’m just a schmuck who backed the loser, so what do I know anyway? And contrary to popular belief – I didn’t think Mitt Romney would solve all the problems facing this nation. I was just hopeful he wouldn’t try “putting out fire with gasoline” if I may borrow a lyric from David Bowie.

Will President Obama fix anything in a second term? Who knows? I’ll pray for him as I’ve done in the past. And if he follows through on the platitudes disseminated in his acceptance speech, I may even become a fan.
One thing is certain, if America is to be redeemed and returned to greatness, it will take leadership.

A Liberal Democrat friend sent me a YouTube clip of HBO’s The Newsroom and the Jeff Daniels character made a very powerful assertion after rattling off a series of anecdotes illustrating the decline of this once-great Nation:
“The first step in solving any problem is recognizing that there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore”

That’s a hard reality to come to grips with but its painfully true.
And endless political bickering and infighting will solve nothing.
Has Hollywood Given Up on Older Moviegoers?
KC Confidential movie man Jack Poessiger hears the complaints all the time…
That Hollywood has shut out the adult market and movies today are strictly for kids, teens and young adults.

Au contraire Poessiger says:
That’s not necessarily true.
Granted, the summer is skewed heavily towards younger moviegoers, who after all, are out of school. That’s when the studios like to unleash their tentpoles and popcorn flicks.
This past summer was no exception with blockbusters such as, MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS, MADAGASCAR 3, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, TED, MEN IN BLACK 3 and MAGIC MIKE all unspooling to big box office takes.

You have to admit though, there were a few gems for older audiences this summer too.

But generally speaking, Hollywood holds titles geared to the Expendables crowd until fall. And admit it, we’ve had some good ones thus far this season including TAKEN 2, TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE, ARGO, FLIGHT, ARBITRAGE, this week’s THE SESSIONS and SKYFALL.
But it’s not over yet!

Adult film fare of various genre’s revs up right through the end of the year.
Like this coming weekend with Steven Spielberg‘s LINCOLN and Ang Lee‘s LIFE OF PI.

On Nov. 21, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro introduce us to SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK followed on Nov. 30 by Keira Knightly as ANNA KARENINA.

December 7 features Anthony Hopkins pulling off HITCHCOCK.

Then on December 21 there’s THE GUILT TRIP with Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen and THIS IS 40 with Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann.

On Christmas Day comes PARENTAL GUIDANCE served up by Bette Midler and Billy Crystal and LE MISERABLES starring Anne Hathaway.
And those are just a smattering of older target titles including Matt Damon‘s PROMISED LAND and Bill Murray‘s upcoming portrayal of President Roosevelt in “HYDE PARK ON HUDSON”
So just because you’re no longer part of the 18 to 34 crowd – and God forbid show touches of gray in your hair – Hollywood hasn’t counted you out—not yet anyway.

Chiefs Almost Show Up, Brace for Draft
His day job is running a comedy club at The Legends…
But Stanford & Sons owner Craig Glazer’s true passion is handicapping sports bets and lambasting the Chiefs and Royals for KC Confidential.
Hey, who doesn’t lambast KC’s baseball and football teams anymore?
Here’s Glazer’s take on KC’s Monday Night’s fiasco at Arrowhead:
Somewhere the birds are chirping, the kids are singing and people are smiling…but in Kansas City Mighty Casey has struck out!

The Chiefs were gallant Monday on national TV. The defense, aided by bad weather, was very good. Especially our pseudo-stars Derrick Johnson, Brandon Flowers, Justin Houston and Javier Arenas (he’s not really a star but played well). Even Tamba Hali showed up.

The offense, led by the running of Matt Cassel worked because Matt ran boots outside where he could throw a bit or run. It might have been a good idea if they’d kept that up later in the game. You know, if you want to score like the only TD you’ve had in forever. But what do I know?

In the end they were the Chiefs.
No offense, one or two nice plays by Matt, dropped balls by D Bowe - yeah, he had the big one to extend the game - but he’s the team’s only receiver.

Jamaal Charles showed up finally for his first 100-yard game in what seems like ages. Nothing extra special, just decent. I still feel he’s near the end of his unimportant, $30-plus million career.
Then there’s Scott Pioli‘s other first round pick, Jon Baldwin – one of the NFL’s biggest busts. He has what? Five catches for the year! And no, he’s not injured, he’s just terrible.
Yes, we kept it close. Yes, it was on national TV and yes, we looked like a real NFL squad.
But in the end Cassel was intercepted and the Steelers won.

We had no offense nearly the entire game and now the Chiefs are 1-8 and that was their last hurrah.
The rest of the season we can only hope for zero wins to get a No. 1 or No. 2 draft pick, so we can blow that one again.
Nice try guys, but no cigar.
By the way, the Steelers might have won bigger had their starting quarterback Big Ben stayed in the game. He left early in the second half hurt.
Clearly the Steelers looked past Kansas City, they just wanted to win and go home. And they did.

For more Hearne and KC Confidential check out


Behind the scenes at the Hereford House

Posted 11-9-12

Looking back on it, the timing was a little odd…

Six months before Hereford House main man Rod Anderson torched the iconic downtown steakhouse, I bumped into him and dropped in an innocuous item about him combating the recession with a slate of happy hour promotions.

Little did I realize how far gone Anderson and the Hereford House already were.
Because for local reporters and media types Rod Anderson was a font.

A likeable, good natured guy with a great sense of humor who, as the restaurant’s former accountant, had ridden to the failing eatery’s rescue in 1987 and morphed himself into a “restaurateur” the old-fashioned way – tons of hard work and on-the-job-training.

Anderson quickly learned that when it came to advertising and marketing cash was not king.

Presumably because he had so little of it in those early days that he learned it was a lot cheaper to buy ad spots with restaurant trade marked at full retail rather than cough up the actual cash.

Suddenly, for years, every ad rep in town began taking their clients to lunch and or dinner with Hereford House script. It was a win-win for Anderson because he effectively bought the ads wholesale and brought influential locals into the biz who hadn’t dined at the Hereford House in ages.

And while the Hereford House comeback was on, the days when old time meat markets ruled the Cowtown’s steak roost were long gone even by 1987.

Plaza III and other upscale local eateries had left Anderson’s joint in the dust and most of the customers I saw there were blue hairs and out-of-towners with wide waistlines.
And that was long before the likes of Ruth’s Chris and the Capital Grille laid the pipe to Plaza III.

Which reminds me of some wisdom, longtime Plaza III main man Joe Wilcox shared with me towards the end of Nabil Haddad’s restaurant reign on the Country Club Plaza.

That you can have 10 restaurants with nine of them making money and the one that isn’t will lose more than all the others combined.

At the time I gave Anderson that column schmooze in 2008 he was neck deep in running seven area eateries including at least three that were fairly suspect as far as profitability – the main Hereford House that he soon burned, Pierpont’s at Union Station and his miserable failure in Lawrence that opened in 2000 .

Today there are but four area Hereford House locations and “sister restaurant” Pierpont’s. They’re all part of what’s known as the Anderson Restaurant Group an umbrella management organization established in 2004 that was to prove to be his downfall.

More on that in a minute.

What I’ll remember best about Anderson is his knack for making the most of a PR opportunity.

Like the time I asked him about the irony of opening Pierpont’s in Union Station’s original women’s smoking lounge and waiting room:

“We’re going to allow men in it, ” he said dryly. “And name it after J.P.
Morgan, who was probably the ultimate male chauvinist.”

On the Hereford House’s 40th birthday Anderson waxed nostalgic.

“We had the bull heads stolen, the water main break, a fire, ” he told me. “We had Elizabeth Taylor, Neil Diamond.

“But the funniest thing, when I first got here, was when Paul Newman ate here when he was filming ‘Mr. and Mrs. Bridge.’ When he left, everybody started taking ketchup bottles, salt and pepper shakers, the knives he touched, the forks. Somebody took the plate. I wish my bus staff was that efficient.”

Or in 1993 when Elizabeth Taylor ate at the Hereford House.

Illegally, I might add.

“Her limo driver came to the back door and we took her into a private dining room, “ Anderson told me guardedly, knowing it was a health code violation to bring pooches into a public restaurant. “Her dog was supposed to stay in the car, but I’m not sure that it did. I think she brought it in under her coat or something.”

Hereford House server Joyce Hulett waited on Taylor’s party of four, which included Beverly Hills hairstylist Jose Eber.

“It was the best time I’ve ever had, ” Hulett told me. “I was in awe the whole time.”
Taylor and her pooch had worked up a fair appetite it would appear because. she ordered a 12-ounce filet and a 14 ounce KC strip, ate about half of each and took the rest with her.

“She said she could afford to get both, ” Hulett told me. “I thought, `You bet. You can afford anything you want, darling.’ ”

Tricia Beatty , a motel clerk for Best Western in Kansas City, Kan., stalked Taylor to the restaurant’s ladies room.

“She washed her hands and the paper towels weren’t coming down so she hollered for that Jose Eber dude outside to open the door, ” Beatty told me. “But he didn’t hear so I said, `Wait a minute, I’ll get it for you.’

“She was gorgeous. She looks younger than me and I’m 44. I called my mom in Florida and said, `Guess who I went to the bathroom with?’ ”

My first journalistic experience with Anderson went down in the early 90s when Rush Limbaugh‘s stock was soaring.

That’s when Anderson converted a separate 50-person dining area into a Rush Limbaugh radio show listening room from 11 am to 2 pm weekdays.

“We’re not saying we agree with everything Rush says, ” Anderson told me. “But he…provokes a lot of thought. We thought it would be fun.”

There’s little doubt that Anderson’s intentions were good, but he spread himself too thin with seven restaurants and made some really bad decisions when his financial back was to the wall.

The most haunting part of the story of Anderson’s demise was the revelation that his downfall was ensured by a secret security surveillance system hidden locked away in the closet in his corporate office.

A decoy VCR had been set up by the security in the restaurant to fool burglars.
Apparently it fooled Anderson too.

Because he appeared surprised when his financial officer James Stanislav informed him he’d given the digital recorder to police the morning after the fire.

That’s when Anderson knew pretty much for certain his goose was cooked and said, according to testimony that “He might have to go to jail.”

Yeah, Rod was a nice guy, but ripping off an insurance company – and indirectly the public – is inexcusable.

Sad but inexcusable.

How to pad your expense account and not get busted
This just in from KC Confidential movie and travel guy Jack Poessiger:
You’re on a business trip, it’s the end of the day and you’re back at the hotel. Are you gonna watch a pay-per-view movie? Nah, been there, done that.

So let’s spend time instead filling out your expense report. Raising the question, what can you get away with these days? Which expenses will your boss approve, frown at, or simply cross off your swindle sheet?

This is news you can use in the wake of the University of Missouri staffer who got busted recently for putting more than $7,000 on his corporate card at Vegas strip club the Olympic Garden.

Obviously you’re not gonna make that same mistake, right?

Here are some common expenses that frequently pop up for reimbursement—and the percentages of approval by employers, based on a recent national survey by Business Travel News:

* Hotel room WITH internet access: 79%
* Cost of upgrade to your hotel’s PREMIUM class: 10%
* Cost of FIRST checked bag on your flight: 91%
* Cost of SECOND check bag on your flight: 40%
* Inflight MEALS/SNACKS: 51%
* Inflight INTERNET access: 48%
* Airline SEAT upgrade: 27%
* Airline PREMIUM class: 15%
* Airport LOUNGE membership: 12%
* Inflight ENTERTAINMENT: 9%
* EXPEDITED airport processing: 28%
* PRIORITY boarding: 16%
* Cost of a GPS in your rental car: 60%
* PREMIUM car rental: 10%

What have YOU been able to successfully get reimbursed for on business trips?
Oh yeah, good luck!

What would Harry Truman do?
Point 98.9 FM morning host and KC Confidential Starbeams columnist Kelly Urich’s latest:

I’m not saying things are getting bad but I just spent 20 minutes on a Ouija board with Harry Truman. He wants his name taken off the sports complex.

Forget to fall back an hour this past Sunday?. If you’re a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, be sure to set your clock back to 1820.

The MLB All-Star Games in KC and St. Louis both generated $60 million for local economies, but the game in Anaheim generated $85 million. We should have charged more money for pre-game nose jobs.

Experts say that owning a smart phone can add up to two hours to your work day. On the other hand, I consider it an obligation as a mentor, to keep an eye on my intern’s summer bikini photos.

The way we were
Kansas City export / syndicated shock jock Erich Mancow Muller says he’s had enough:

What can we expect from a society that had the greatest form of government in history and squandered it?

The freedoms we had – notice I’m talking in past tense – were unparalleled.
“Freedom from choice”- Devo.

We have voluntarily thrown away greatness.
Now the mediocre and lowest denominator are the things to aspire for.
You’re not cool if you aren’t fluent in urban speak and ignorant if you don’t have an appreciation for rap music. Sorry, but I disagree.
I think it would be a helluva lot cooler and smarter if I had knowledge of astrophysics and the composition of the galaxies.
“But then you ain’t down with the homies.”

Oh yeah, I want to talk and act like a fool that can’t speak. Somehow that’s a virtue today. It’s like the repulsive Michael Moore video that exploits the elderly and has them using vulgar language. That’s supposed to be funny? Or hip? No, It’s sick. It’s a part of the illness in our society today.
“Oh, it’s so cute listening to a little old lady cursing like a tattooed convict.”
No it’s not.

An elderly woman like that should be as sweet as can be.
“Oh come on Ward Cleaver… ha! Oh man, you are a retro 50's cornball. HAPPY DAYS is over. Richie and Potsie are gone. The streets are mean. Life is hard.”
Yeah, I’m well aware of that. I’m very well versed on how the world is. I just want to sometimes act as though there was some decency left. Michael Moore thinks he’s being bold and daring. No way.
Bold and daring is disobeying orders and running into the crap to go save somebody else’s life knowing that you probably aren’t going to make it out alive like the Navy SEAL did in Bengazi.

Michael Moore deserves a swift kick in his fat ass.

House of Cards Collapses Around Chiefs, Owner Clark Hunt
KCC Scribe & Stanford’s comedy club owner Craig Glazer is beyond fed up with this year’s Chiefs team…and next year’s...and the one after that:
What can you say? Same old thing, no surprises…

Matt Cassel fumbles. TOUCHDOWN CHARGERS!

Game over. But it was really over before it began. The Chiefs are a team that has quit. The only star they have – Dwayne Bowe – has to be very upset.
The game’s in the fourth quarter, Bowe already has 74 yards and 7 catches. He’s our entire offense. Jamaal Charles looks to be no real threat to anyone anymore. A good scat back maybe, but not a threat inside the 30.
So the Chiefs will release Matt THE FRANCHISE Cassel, Brady Quinn, and fire Romeo Crennel as well as Scott Pioli.
They have to.

It’s start all over time.

Wow, three to five years maybe before this team can compete. OH boy.
It’s hard for me to believe the damage that’s been done by Pioli. It’s unreal.
Where do we go from here? Lord knows. This town deserves better.

And the Royals pulled that other stunt today - another loser pitcher for big bucks.
It never ends.

For more Hearne and KC Confidential check out



Some sobering takes on music icons

Posted 11-2-12

Let’s have a bit of fun, shall we?

Check out entertainment industry lawyer Bob Lefsetz’s sobering takes on some of your favorite music and entertainment industry icons.

Proceed at your own risk!

On Charlie Sheen

If you’re on TV as an end unto itself, you’re close to the end. Just wait for cancellation or the termination of your contract. An analogue is Charlie Sheen. He’s only good as a TV star, he can’t go back on the road, his cable show gets him paid but he’s fallen off the radar screen, he’s never on TMZ or Radar. Charlie made the mistake of not knowing who he was. And not knowing that everybody’s got a boss. Hell, that’s the goal of being a rock star, to have no boss, which is why when you whore yourself out to corporations, you’re in trouble. A rock star’s only boss is his audience. And when done right, your audience follows you, just ask Neil Young.


On Paula Abdul

Being famous for being famous doesn’t pay that well. Certainly once you’re past your peak. Just ask Paris Hilton. (As for Kim Kardashian…just because she got her ass through the door, don’t think it hasn’t shut closed, that this paradigm isn’t dead.) Abdul’s always looking for someone else to make her a deal. Today’s rock stars are their own corporations. If you’re looking for someone else to give you a check, you’re barely different from Paula Abdul. As for the starmakers who created her public persona… Jordan Harris hasn’t been heard from in eons, and even Jeff Ayeroff has faded into the woodwork.


On Macaulay Culkin

His only press is emaciated pictures and rumors that he’s dying. If you think you want to be a child actor, just look at him, he was the biggest.


On Bon Jovi

Selling nostalgia. He’s too afraid to be edgy, so he’s on the scrapheap.


On Bruce Springsteen

Only the fans care. Because he gave up his mystery. Once upon a time Bruce was the repository of all our darkness, our pain and frustration. If he’s still that guy, he won’t show it. Now he’s the ringmaster, the court jester, it’s all about sheen and no substance. And if you’re arguing with me I feel sorry for you, it means your head is so buried in your own crap that you can’t dispassionately see the landscape. Keep your day job, because you’ll never be a bigwig. Winners know when to leave their passion at the door. That’s businessmen, artists are all about passion. No passion, no artistry.


On Jerry Seinfeld

Stay in the public eye long enough and the truth is revealed. Larry David was the talent. Jerry’s losing cred every day. If you think his talking in cars videos were worth watching, you’re probably still playing video games on your Nintendo Entertainment System.


On The People Saying The Web Is Bad

Probably hanging with those who hated Alexander Graham Bell’s invention. The Web is here to stay. And only ignorant people like John Mellencamp are too stupid to realize it’s not 2003 anymore, and that if you’re fighting piracy, if you’re looking to Google for cash, you’ve never used Spotify, you don’t realize music is free on Windows 8 and you didn’t read Google’s numbers and don’t know mobile is a huge threat to the company.

If you’re not living in tomorrow, you’ve got no chance today.


On The Rolling Stones

On a victory lap where people truly hope someone dies on stage. It’s akin to NASCAR, people watch to see the crashes. Then again, there’s a healthy dose of nostalgia for an era so long ago that even the Stones can’t replicate those tunes, never mind the energy. If the press were smart, they’d ignore the story. But the press is dumb.


On Jim McMahon

Can’t remember his Super Bowl victory. If you don’t think football is gonna go extinct, rather soon, you still think people know who the heavyweight champion is and you’ve got no idea what percentage of kids play soccer.


On Sarah Palin

The laugh is on us. She and her family got rich. The more you bitched how ignorant she was, the fatter her wallet became. Now even Fox doesn’t want her, but she doesn’t care! She’s lived the American Dream!

Uh, so much for lovable pop culture icons, right?

Voter Fraud; Who Do ‘They’ Want to Win the Presidency?
“It’s not the people that vote that count. It’s the people that count
the votes.”
— Josef Stalin

On that cheery note, check out KC Confidential politics/conspiracy columnist David Scott Whinery, Esquire’s latest:

I’ve been sifting through all the “usual” conspiracies about election theft and now I’m even more confident of a Mitt Romney victory!

All kidding aside- something is seriously wrong with how votes are cast and tabulated in this country. And judging by what I’ve been reading, it looks like there will be nothing “free or fair” about this election.

I came across a poll recently where the majorities of each party think the other party is going to steal this election. So if you think the system is rigged, you’re not alone and your fears are not unfounded.

And both parties appear to be guilty.

Already, on the Democrat’s side, there have been substantiated cases of voter fraud. Romney votes being switched to Obama in North Carolina, a Democrat Congressman’s son being captured on videotape showing people how to fraudulently register to vote and military ballots going down in a plane crash in Afghanistan…
That last one may not be a substantiated case of Dem voter fraud but COME ON!
The Republican’s seem to be a little “smoother” about how they go about voter fraud and this is why Team Obama should be worried. Republicans don’t screw around with trying to get illegals to vote or false registrations.

There are a lot of stories from several sources alleging that Republicans just buy the companies that make the voting machines!

Google “Scytl” if you’ve got a few hours… Lots of stuff going on with that company.
So what can be done to bring back integrity to the American electoral process? I can think of two things that would go a long way towards achieving that goal.

First, its time to get rid of all the electronic voting machines. I’ve seen some startling videos on YouTube that show how easily they can be hacked and how your vote for one candidate can be “flipped” to the other candidate.

Paper ballots need to be returned to every voting precinct in the country for that reason alone.

Second, you should have to show, a state issued, photo I.D. to vote. You need one to fly, go to a bar and to get into Obama fundraiser’s! You should have to produce one to vote.

This election is going down to the wire and will be close enough to steal.
And I think recent history shows which party is better at “stealing” Presidential Elections…

For more Hearne, go to


Sprint Center a success, but not financially

Posted 10-12-12


Say this about this past Sunday’s five-year Star puff piece about the Sprint Center; it does cover most of the bases…

Unfortunately, some of the bases left uncovered are about eight years late in being examined by the friendly reporters and editors at 18th and Grand. Quite a few actually. Other details remain largely untold.

And so now the rest of the story.

Early on – practically from the get-go – most local news media and jock sniffing sports personalities made the conscious decision to root for a new arena rather than root out any of its cons or potential pratfalls. Thus Kansas City’s $276 million glass house was cheerleaded into existence rather than undergoing critical examination it otherwise would have.

For example, sports columnist Joe Posnanski anointed himself an expert on how the concert biz works and rattled off shows we’d missed but were sure to get if Sprint were built. WHB’s Kevin Kietzman even appeared on stage with KC mayor Kay Barnes as a reward for helping talk up the new arena on his radio show.

And lead Star editorial writer (and new arena cheerleader) Yael Abouhalkah went as far as to laugh about the newspaper having let Barnes and her spin doctors demonize Enterprise Rent-A-Car in a silly St. Louis versus Kansas City election marketing ploy.
“When Enterprise Rent-A-Car decided to oppose the downtown arena, Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes and others latched onto a brilliant – if somewhat hokey – campaign strategy: Make St. Louis the villain,” Abouhalkah wrote shortly after voters had approved the new arena. “Sports-talk radio shows were filled with hosts and callers defending Kansas City. A conspiracy theory was born: St. Louis feared Kansas City would get an arena and attract a pro basketball team, which St. Louis desperately wants. Kansas City voters, who approved the arena, appear to have been shadowboxing with St. Louis.”

Put another way, to Abouhalkah many of the Kansas Citians who voted for the new arena were delusional sports rubes suckered in by a bogus, “hokey” campaign strategy.
A variation on Romney‘s 47 percent?

Just one problem, Abouhalkah conceded (after the election, not before):

“The vast majority of St. Louis residents didn’t know or care that Kansas City wanted to build a new arena,” he said. “St. Louis newspapers weren’t filled with blow-by-blow coverage. And an NBA team will locate in the city that gives it the best deal.”
I remember attending Enterprise’s election night bash downtown with the company brass there so affronted by the newspaper’s lopsided coverage they could scarcely believe I’d been allowed to bring out their side at all in my column.

That said, I was given a cease and desist order a few weeks out before the election by then Star editor Mark Zieman. Which by the way, was not the case with other reporters and columnists wishing to write more positive stories about the new arena.
And talk about downplaying Sprint Center’s current negatives…

One of the key selling points on the new arena in 2004 was the prospect of KC landing an NBA or NHL franchise.

That said, not only did the Star‘s Sunday sum up characterize that glaring failure as a mere “wrinkle, ” it dug up a sports scholar to dismiss the notion entirely and convert not having a team into a “blessing.”

“It would have never been a wise decision to get an NHL or NBA team,” Mark Rosentraub, a University of Michigan sports management professor told the Star. “The team can’t be viable with the size market you have. I can’t find an economic model that would indicate to me a fourth professional team can survive in your market.”

That’s all well and good, given the Star’s goal of putting a sunny face on the Sprint Center.

However, Rosentraub – author of the book Major League Losers: The Real Costs of Sports and Who’s Paying For It – probably would have told the Star that same thing in 2004 (he actually may have) when the newspaper was doing its pre-election booster stories. One of Rosentraub’s warnings did make it into the newspaper back then although it was downplayed.

“The downside of the (Sprint Center) deal is there’s no anchor tenant,” Rosentraub cautioned. “There are few examples of people building these arenas without an anchor tenant. The reason you’re seeing a higher public (participation) number here is because the anchor tenant is missing.”

So on one hand we have the Star‘s expert pointing to not having an NHL or NBA team as being a liability, and now he says that getting a team would have been a huge mistake.

Some expert.

But if not landing an anchor sports team is such an insignificant matter, why did the Star write dozens of stories about it since?

Does the name Boots Del Biaggio ring any bells? Remember when hockey superstar Mario Lemieux visited the Cowtown about the Pittsburgh Penguins coming here?
Check out this passage that ran in the Star in 2007 under the headline, “Anchorless Arena:”

“Former Mayor Kay Barnes’ fondest wish was to drop the first puck or toss up the first jump ball for a major-league tenant in October at the new Sprint Center. But as the opening of the glistening $276 million downtown sports palace draws closer, it appears the building will open without an anchor tenant.”

Now this one…

“No one is more disappointed than Tim Leiweke that the Sprint Center is opening without a major-league sports tenant.”

Which reminds me, here’s another nugget that didn’t make it into Sunday’s Sprint story.
Barnes was fully engaged in pursuing a new arena at the end of her first term in 2003. However when Stan Glazer launched his bid to run against her for mayor with a “No New Arena” slogan, she immediately claimed she was just looking into the idea, neutralizing the arena issue in Glazer’s campaign.

But practically the minute Barnes won re-election the arena was back in her crosshairs and she soon appeared on the front page of the Star cheering for it alongside a prospective architect’s model.

Which brings us to the dollars and sense of this deal, which ran almost as an afterthought buried at the end of a small sidebar below the main story.

“While the Sprint Center shares its profits with the city, those funds have mostly been eaten up to cover the $1 million annual operating deficits at Kemper,” the Star reports. “This year, the city hopes to reduce that loss to about $650,000 by saving on utilities and staffing and operating the facility itself instead of paying a management fee.”

There’s more.

“The city continues to pay off the debt from Kemper’s renovation in the 1990s. That debt now totals $8.2 million, which the city spends down by about $2.2 million each year. It will be fully paid off in April 2016.”

That’s another $2 million a year for four more years by my measure – another “wrinkle.”

At the time Barnes was making her deal with AEG to run Sprint, a company named Global Spectrum had Kemper Arena running like a top but was about to take it up the you-know what.

Global was horrified when I showed them a copy of the city’s contract with AEG giving AEG right of first refusal on managing Kemper. Up until then, AEG had been led to believe it was still in running to keep Kemper and was optimistic about its future.
However by allowing AEG to sew up Kemper, the city’s chances of getting a decent bid (from Global) went down the drain, and KC was forced instead to pay big bucks to AEG to shift events from the stockyards to Sprint.

Another between-the-lines ditty in the Star‘s Sprint story: that the College Basketball Experience was throwing in the towel on its retail store off Sprint’s lobby. A likely indication the “Experience” could be doing better.

It must be a pretty big space, too.

Because the College Basketball Experience space will be replaced on October 25th by the “Grammy Music Experience,” which will include “archival footage, memorabilia, interactive video displays and a stage where budding musicians can play drums, keyboards, guitars and other instruments.”

And leave us not forget, I was alone in reporting in 2004 that the National Association of College Basketball Coaches unexpectedly pulled the plug at the last minute on moving its offices and the “Experience” to Municipal Auditorium, in favor of moving to the newly proposed arena.

Leaving the city on the short end of the stick on the deal because it had just spent $5 million readying Municipal for the coaches.

Worse yet, the college coaches had only been able to raise $2 million of the $10 million needed for their new offices and museum (which btw my sources who’ve taken their kids there say is a snoozer).

So yeah, we can label the Sprint Center as a success, there’s no arguing that.
Just not financially in the big picture.

Busty wenches alert

Allow me to say the Renaissance Festival’s not for everyone…starting with me.
I’m just not the Scotch Egg / turkey leg gnawing in public type. That said, for thousands of more “enlightened” revelers (and families with kids), it’s a can’t-miss time tunnel to medieval times in all its dragon-slaying, wanton wenches glory.

Which brings us to this year’s curtain call this weekend in Bonner Springs, the Mystical Masquerade Weekend. Think of it as a mash-up of Halloween and Carnival of Venice, Italy’s Mardi Gras.

So yes, there’ll be the perfunctory best toga contest (Ivan, you in?). And there’ll be a pasta-eating contest, juggling competition, a masked ball, even something called a “Romeo and Juliet Flash Mob (eat your heart out Plaza).”

There’ll even be a bocce ball tournament hosted by none other than the Notorious Madame Red (mild mannered Kansas City paralegal Denise Groason).

“Bocce’s kind of the Italian predecessor of bowling,” says Groason who lords over the fest’s brothel. “So it kind of fits into what I do - you know, friendly wenches bending over to bowl makes a pretty picture - but we play in earnest.”

Of course they do.

As for Groason’s, uh, cat house, “It’s actually an imaginary brothel,” she explains. “Because it’s illegal under Kansas law.”

For more KC Confidential and Hearne check out