For this social faux pas noted by Whitlock, I’m pretty sure the only “punishment” required is a weekend pass to one of those “Iron John” seminars where middle-aged men partake in primal scream therapy and complain about their fathers.
However, among newsies at the Star there are a great many complaints about more serious stuff starting with a list of Fannin’s wrongs on KCC that directly call for a judgment from Kansas City Star Publisher Mark Zieman.
Unfortunately, Zieman doesn’t exactly have the moral high ground when it comes to personnel issues. Let’s examine why, shall we?
1. What did Zieman know and when? Doesn’t really matter given that everybody at the Star claimed ignorance a little over year ago when the Publisher’s wife Rhonda Chriss Lokeman was busted in an embarrassing DUI stop.
Remember this classic from Star reader rep Derek Donovan?
“It was news to me,” Donovan said. “And as I discovered when I asked editors in the newsroom, nobody there knew about it there either, from the police/justice assistant city editor on up to editor and vice president Mike Fannin.”
Good stuff, but not as funny as the mugshots.
2. KCC Contributor Craig Glazer said he snorted cocaine with Fannin. That’s not quite a good look on a professional newsie. But then again, substance abuse comes in all flavors and a dude like Zieman with a wife busted in a high profile DUI bust faces a hard choice when it comes to cracking down on the similar proclivities of employees.
3. Previously, Hearne reported that Fannin feared the scrutiny a promotion would bring; turns out he was right. In the end, Zieman put Fannin in the spotlight and under the circumstances, giving him the cold shoulder now in his hour of need might seem callous.
However, I have to be forthright here, I really don’t care if both of these jerks go dance at the bottom of the ocean. And I doubt that even the closest media watchers care very much for boring, hypocritical white guys who aren’t in Washington. Most people have already made up their mind about the elitism at the Star and complaints from both the left and right are usually just an exercise in self-righteous outrage.
In the final analysis, KCC has documented the many misdeeds of Star Editor Mike Fannin in great detail. Sadly, I didn’t really need a lot of facts to confirm my suspicion that management at the Star was comprised of creeps. I always assumed as much. Frankly, I only take note when women live down to my expectations.
Still, I don’t want to downplay so many lapses and contradictions when it comes to the Journalistic Ethics of The Kansas City Star. It’s just that I always assumed obsolescence of the Daily Newspaper and The iPad were more expedient solutions to the ethical conundrums of newspaper and offer more hope than counting on the the integrity of a corporate hierarchy to do the right thing.