No one atop City Hall is about to spell it out, but the axing of Kansas City Star reporter DeAnn Smith had to be received with jubilation on the 29th floor in Kansas City, Missouri…
And why not?
Subsequent to Smith taking over the downtown beat for the newspaper, she made a regular practice of hanging KC Mayor Mark Funkhouser and First Lady Gloria Squitiro out to dry. It could be argued Smith almost single-handedly – given the Star’s news clout, her role in covering City Hall and her constant drumbeat of criticism – was the lead architect of Funk and Gloria’s unflattering image with some locals.
Her repeated nit pickings over essentially the same handful of things was beyond relentless.
Example: When Gloria kicked off her shoes after a long day at the office, during a sit down interview with Smith early on, the First Lady became branded as a barefoot contessa. One ax-to-grind local blogger dude practically contracted a foot fetish writing about it over, and over and over…
Similarly, Smith seemed to zero in with glee on practically each and every perceived misstep, accusation and the opinions of opposing council members and/or the city manager whose agendas ran counter to the Funk’s.
Did Smith come close to objective reporting where the Funks were concerned? Not by their measure.
So yes, the reported image of Smith weeping upon learning of her layoff by the Star on Monday was indeed grim and unsettling, however….
Squitiro’s take on Smith taking a journalistic bullet a la the Star layoffs?
“It’s a horrible thing when anybody gets laid off, and I’m saddened about anyone getting laid off,” Squitiro says. “Lay offs don’t make me happy.”
As for Smith’s absence as a beat reporter on the scene,