Reports of Rizzo Rage At Irish Fest Reflect On Star’s Legacy

Buried in the back pages of a recent edition of The Kansas City Star (Saturday A-9) is one of the most interesting tidbits regarding the legacy of Dead Tree Media.

Jesse H. Rizzo of Warrensburg, Mo., son of Kansas City Star crime reporter Tony Rizzo, was recently cited with disorderly conduct after a run-in with Kansas City Police Chief James Corwin in which he reportedly threw a beer on Kansas City’s top cop.

This is funny for a great many reasons, none of which involve an assault on a law enforcement official.

First of all, obviously Rizzo the Jr. doesn’t take much of an interest in dear old Dad’s profession if he can’t spot Corwin on sight. Then again, Rizzo the younger lives in the college town that hosts Central Missouri State University – A place that I consider to be a last resort learning institution and not a place known to inspire great intellectual curiosity.

And let’s not forget that infamous Rizzo temperament that has often been the subject of gossip among local journalists. There’s a not-so an insignificant number of local reporters, editors and other colleagues who have faced the “wrath of Rizzo” and survived to relay the details. While Rizzo rage normally involves nothing more than a lot of bitter whining, it’s somewhat troubling to see that the sins of the father have been passed down to a son who should have been a lot more careful about where he was throwing his beer.

And finally there’s a question of The Star’s legacy. This isn’t the first time that relatives of folks employed by the daily paper have been in trouble with the law. Earlier this year, Publisher Mark Zieman’s wife was picked up for DUI and received exceptionally loving treatment from the paper-of-record with only a similarly small write-up of her arrest along with some creative description of her resignation and job duties long after after the details of the incident were all over the Internet. Similarly, the story of the beer-throwing-brat of a crime reporter was no secret to a great many people on the streets of Kansas City and eyewitnesses at the scene. I ran it as a blind item but I hear that a great many in The Star newsroom were chuckling at the bad decision connected to a fellow newsie throughout the week. And I guess a crime reporter’s son showing no respect for the most visible member of the KCPD could be considered a cruel irony but I think it just seems like a typical bit of decadence from the print media institution that has strayed so far from its roots.

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6 Responses to Reports of Rizzo Rage At Irish Fest Reflect On Star’s Legacy

  1. Anonymous says:

    So this Web site is really just about ridiculing the Star. I suppose you also spent some time joking about Central Missouri State University, which is now called University of Central Missouri. I did not go there, but I was surprised to learn that it has expanded its liberal arts offerings. You can now pursue African-American Studies, Religious Studies, and Women’s Studies at UCM. Like many public universities, it is going to attract a fair amount of fun-seekers.

    Back to the point at hand …. I would truly like to have a site that offers decent journalism, but so far KC Confidential has been more about sour grapes.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I was shocked to see the disclosure of the relationship between the beer tosser and his daddy in The Star. It’s ironic but not relevant, unless you want to attribute bad parenting to it.

    While no one would suggest that CMSU is a think tank if a kid wants to learn they can do it anywhere. Hell if you watch enough episodes of Jeopardy and Cash Cab you can pose as a relatively well informed person. I can’t recall any intellectually challenging or provacative conversations with any recent MU or KU grads.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sour grapes or not, The Star has become an embarassment and doesn’t seem to be taking any positive moves to boost revenues and circulation or improve the quality of journalism. You can cut costs all day long but that road comes to an end pretty quick. They whack Hearne and keep Hendricks and Penn? I’m sure there was some inside politics but wouldn’t the better business move have been to let Hearne spread his wings a little bit more and turn those two loose? Like the guy or not Hearne was one of the most widely read columnists at The Star. His broad array of life experiences give him a far better platform to write about different things. Hendricks and Penn are neolithic journalists who should have been purged a long time ago.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Rupert Pupkin
    Tony B seems to have something against Tony R…”infamous temperament that has been the subject of gossip…” ????? If the victims Tony R’s “wrath” have survived to tell the details, why don’t you have any details? Then you say the wrath “normally involves nothing more than a lot of bitter whining.” You’ve just described the lion’s share of conversation among every member of the Star’s reporting and editing staff, as well as the staffs of every newsroom in the country. Whine, bitch, complain about perceived slights, be jealous of coworkers–that’s what reporters do before, after and during assignments.

  5. Anonymous says:

    wow, this story is HUGE

    how could the star have SHAMEFULLY buried it on A-9 when it should have been on the FRONT PAGE!

    KC Confidential is definitely my favorite place to read about the Star when I’m not reading the Star! Tony is a world-class journalist who rightfully believes that everyone who doesn’t agree with him should be fired, or if they are a woman, even worse!

    Bravo, cowtown.comfidential!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I hate herne and tony
    We hope you know, asswhipe, that one wrong step on your part, one traffic stop, one dui, one indecent exposure and you, shithead, will get yuour own headline. Is mom paying taxes on that place of yours on Jefferson? No, you rent. But everyone is watching. once you stoop to this level, you’re setting yourself up for a bigt fall.
    Anyhoo! play with the big boys, and you can expect the same treatment.

    ps the same thing goes for Hearne for allowing this kind of tripe on his site. hope your girl never get into trouble, hearne, because when it happens no one will cryu when some shitheel blogs about it…
    hows the divorce going?

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