Tony: Mark Zieman Confronts Contradictions Amid Fannin/Whitlock Kerfuffle

For the record, I think the most damning allegation against Kansas City Star Editor Mike Fannin was a sordid tale of non-sexual man kissing that not even the media allowed Jason Whitlock to complete.

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.

Tony Botello
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10 Responses to Tony: Mark Zieman Confronts Contradictions Amid Fannin/Whitlock Kerfuffle

  1. Anonymous says:

    Burman Dinstow
    Love to Starbash as much as the next guy, but this item is a disjointed, muddled waste of time. I guess if you’ve got nothing new, just rearrange the words from the previous posts.

    Here’s the formula: “blah, blah, blah FANNIN, blah blah blah WHITLOCK…blah blah blah ZIEMAN. Stir repeatedly. Add a pinch of Rhonda Lokeman and Derek Donovan for flavoring.”

  2. Anonymous says:

    Agree with the Dinstow comment. Waste of time and space. If you’ve got nothing to say, keep quite.
    HC: You’re quiet right

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Star is the joke here. They will not be around in a while and their editors will struggle to find work.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Great analysis
    Unfortunately the only people this matters to anymore are the washed up creepy Bonner Springs types who hear Derek Donovan talking to them from their house plants.

    Other than that, The Star can vet their employees anyway they want. Obviously, they have.

    Also they are all handmaidens of corruption (obligatory), etc.

    But seriously folks: the assault charge was 16 years ago. That’s ancient history.
    HC: Ancient history – when does the statute of limitations run out on character? What about the assault at the Star and the other indiscretions? There’s a pattern here. Combine everything with Fannin’s warning to Zieman not to hire him and you get…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t you just call this site KC Star Retribution Forever and get it over with. This is NOT interesting to anyone outside of that clique.

    And what does it matter that they are white? What is wrong with being white, Tony?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Stop beating on that dead horse!
    HC: With all due respect, d, that horse was still galloping last time I checked

  7. Anonymous says:

    John Altevogt
    Strange, when TJ Reardon ran for office in WYCO, The Star ran both news items and editorial comments about a 20 some year old drug charge that occurred when he was kid, with no evidence that it was a continuing pattern of behavior. I guess, the worst Hearne and Tony are doing is living down to The Star’s standards.

    As for the troll who on this thread refers to himself/herself/itself as Great analysis, sorry, misstating arguments and spewing out collections of non-sequiturs aren’t terribly impressive amongst educated adults. Surely there must be a wading pool nearby.

  8. Anonymous says:

    John Altevogt
    What has always been interesting to me is that if there is one thing the left and the right in the metro area can agree on it is that activists on both sides hate The Star. That is not because they’re straight shooters. It’s because editors like Fitzpatrick, Fannin and Zieman and columnists like Shelly are little more than shills for the sleaziest elements of the metro area establishment that all of us would like to change.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well what have we here… a post from Tony with some actual comments. Congrats Tony!

    [reads the post and comments]

    Oh Tony, if I wanted to read someone obsess over the goings-on at a place that fired them, I would stumbled into one of Hearne’s posts.

  10. Anonymous says:

    get help john
    Get help John. Seriously. Get help.

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