New Jack City: It’s Time to Lay Off the Bogus Hyatt Criticism

I hadn’t paid much attention to the many stories about Hyatt’s refusal to financially involve itself in the proposed SKYWALKS MEMORIAL…

That all changed Sunday when I came across an absurd letter to the STAR.

Under the heading of "Hyatt Moral Debt" an Olathe woman wrote, "I am disgusted to learn that Hyatt Hotels Corp. will not be contributing to the Skywalk Memorial. They took money from Kansas Citians for 30 years, but when it came time to remember the 114 people killed and countless others injured or affected, they skip town."

Hold it right there.

Hyatt didn’t skip town. The owners of the hotel simply didn’t renew Hyatt’s management contract and reflagged it as a Sheraton managed property.

On top of that, Hyatt had no responsibility or blame in connection with the collapse of the skywalks. They weren’t the contractors on the construction. Yet for all these years since the disaster the company’s name has been wrongly tarnished with that infamous day at Crown Center.

It’s like me renting an apartment which later collapses onto the street and cars. Am I to blame?
No, it’s the apartment complex ownership’s and the developer’s responsibility.

Or if CBS  allows an f-bomb on the air by mistake. Is KCTV to blame? No, they’re simply an affiliate accepting and re-broadcasting a program under different ownership.

The FCC would put the blame squarely on CBS’s shoulders.

Put yourself in Hyatt’s position.

They were simply the renters of the hotel. Yet they got their good name slammed for years. Lost their management contract—and now are being asked to contribute to a memorial that would continue to drag their name through the mud for years to come.

Thanks, but no thanks.

The hotel always has been and continues to be owned by Crown Center Redevelopment Corp.—the good folks who also give us those feel good Hallmark Cards.

So when the writer to the Star "challenges Kansas City to hold Hyatt responsible for leaving town without paying its moral debt," I say she’s way off base.

"Maybe when Hyatt tries to build again in Kansas City, public outrage will prevent them," she writes.

Why did the Star – which screens its letters carefully – even publish this one?

Well, to my knowlege Hyatt has never built here and problably never will. That, of course, wouldn’t prevent them from ever managing a hotel in the market again. Someone else’s hotel—just like they did at Crown Center.

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24 Responses to New Jack City: It’s Time to Lay Off the Bogus Hyatt Criticism

  1. Super Dave says:

    Good One jack
    I agree with you Jack 100%.

    A good many people as a whole are idiots and can’t or won’t take the time to see the real picture and then understand it when they do..

  2. paulwilsonkc says:

    Great points, Jack…
    Also, no one mentioned the multiple millions in law suits paid out to the victims. I’m sure some of that came out of the Hyatts pockets! That’s a far more fitting contribution.
    And finally, I’ve served on the Board of Directors of the Greater Kansas City Hotel and Lodging Association with Rusty Macy, the GM of the Hyatt up until this merger. A finer, more ethical gentleman and business man who loved his staff you will never find. I got real tired of the bad press he was getting over the refusal. The Hyatt has paid a price for 30 years.
    Which begs the question; 30 years? Why now and just where is $600k going?
    Nice piece. Thanks.

  3. SPELLCHECK says:

    “obsurd?” it’s absurd. Which of course it is not. But neither is it obsurd.

  4. Michael Copps says:

    Not So Fast, Jack
    You don’t know your FCC guidelines well enough to make an indecency analogy.

    In numerous instances – be it the Janet Jackson/Super Bowl incident, the ABC/NYPD Blue nudity case or the FOX/Whatever Crap Reality Show got nailed – each individual station that aired the offending material outside of the “safe harbor” time was fined by the FCC. In the case of ABC with NYPD Blue, a good portion of the offending stations aired the show in the 10p hour, after the safe harbor, but the middle America stations were rebuffed by the FCC because here in the heartland the show aired at 9p.

    The FCC is not allowed to go after NBC, CBS, ABC or FOX directly because they are a broadcast NETWORK. Their signals can not go directly to the viewers. The television station, then, is the entity tasked with providing the last safeguard over material broadcast. The work-around to this in former cases has been for the FCC to target the O&O’s – that is, the stations owned and operated by the networks themselves (ie – WABC, WNBC, KCBS, etc). Any other smaller operator could claim they were not culpable since they were merely passing along the network signal and, thus, have a pledge from the network that anything aired would be inactionable by the feds. But when the network also OWNS the TV station the FCC maintains the net has given up the right to “play dumb” as it where. They know what they are getting into by airing certain material.

    Howard Stern was never fined directly – the FCC does not fine performers – but the gov’t certainly came down hard on the Infinity owned and operated stations over the years! And when CBS/Infinity would try to take the case to court or challenge the FCC on constitutionality grounds, the FCC would miraculously “lose” another one of Inifinity’s license renewal forms. Or – voila! – the feds would mysteriously drag other Infinity business through as much red tape as possible. It was that kind of bureacratic blackmail that led to the “voluntary contribution” by CBS/Infinity of so much money to the US Treasury – to free up their other broadcasting business.

    In today’s world, though, every operator is liable, every station open to huge fines, and with the maximums set by law at $325,000 per incident, believe me – everyone is minding their P’s and Q’s!

  5. Gerald Bostock says:

    misguided anger
    The anger at Hyatt is irrational and similar to blaming Obama for the 8 years of mess that GWBush stirred up.

  6. Jorges says:

    agree with JP
    I agree with this… if there should be anyone contributing maybe it should be the scumbag lawyers who got 30–50% of the awards paid to victims families…. but you know what? on 2nd fucking thought…. why do we need a shrine to this disaster? Should we build a fucking shrine every time something bad happens?? how about a shrine every time something good happens?…DO WE REALLY NEED TO SPEND $600,000 ON THIS TYPE OF THING… Is that best use of $600,000 these days?

  7. chuck says:

    Very well put Jack.
    Good points Mr. Copps. I didn’t have a clue about any of that.

  8. Hearne Christopher says:

    You don’t speak German? Nebraskan?

  9. gully foyle, jr. says:

    Yeah, but how could it have hurt them
    They could have made a low-ball donation and taken it off their taxes, and created goodwill, or they could have chosen, and did, to weather the bad publicity (which all the logical blog-posts in the world won’t dent one iota). They clearly do not care about bad publicity at least here in this area.

  10. Hearne Christopher says:

    Good comment. I was wondering about that myself. To what, if any extent, local stations were somehow responsible for doing their own “bleeping” live content. Even if it’s from a network feed.

    That said, it’s hard to imagine them having the staffing for that depending upon the magnitude of the shows where something like that could take place. During NFL game feeds, live reality shows, etc.

  11. Hearne Christopher says:

    Excellent point as well

  12. tacitus says:

    good points on Hyatt responsibility
    You’ve made a good point about Hyatt. They had little skin in the game, and did have their brand damaged by the Hyatt disaster in kansas city, through no fault of their own. However, it strikes me as somewhat offensive that some lady from olathe complained about the money that Hyatt has made from kansas city in the last 30 years. Since she does not live in kansas city, I’m not sure why she’s so concerned.

  13. Hearne Christopher says:

    Well, blog posts aside, there has been a lot more news coverage in the Star and on television news. So it’s not something Hyatt probably likes. A token donation like the Sheraton’s could have avoided all that. Giving $5,000 when $13 million is being spent fixing up the lobby is little more than a drop in a $600,000 bucket.

    But look what it got the Sheraton.

    A big, wet kiss from the memorial fund head guy and an insurance policy that they wouldn’t have to risk getting the same sort of treatment the Hyatt got.

  14. Mark X says:

    … ditto ..
    You’re 100% correct, Jack.

    However tragic, the survivors need to move on. The letter writer from Olathe obviously has issues, I hope she finds the help she needs. Thirty years is a long time …

  15. harley says:

    Jack is out of his league.
    sorry jack…you’re not a lawyer and don’t understand tort law or liability law. Until you get a law license please
    stay discussing grade b movies.
    Hyatt still has properties in kc…at the kci airport unless it closed down.
    So you’re wrong there.
    Hyatt may have only been the managing group but I’m pretty sure they had to pay out for tthe accident.
    I will get with bartimus who was an attorny on this thing and ask him.
    Til then…since you’re not a lawyer stop giving legal opinions and keep to writing about movies…thanks.

  16. kcfred says:

    harley
    If you don’t like it here, leave. As far as Jack writing about something other than movies, you bloviate on here about shit you don’t know everyday. Jack’s pretty smart guy who’s been here and plugged in for a long time. If he wants to write about it, let him. He shows more forethought in one sentence than you do anyday. Shit, do you like anything? Talking about pissing in someone’s Cherios…c’mon man. Jack…I’d like to hear more from you on local stuff other than movies. What a bunch of maroons.

  17. Prince says:

    go fuck yourself harley
    why couldnt you be under one of those skywalks?

  18. HARLEY says:

    kc fred and prince…no intelligent conversation…
    that means you are idiots…i’ll say that again…idiots. The guy knows nothing about the hotel..the
    contract…the liability…the lawsuits…the law…the payout…hev was wrong about hyatt and their
    other propoerties.
    What is so astounding is that people with no intelligence get on here and say stupid crap without
    knowing anything.
    Tjhis guy is nothing but an old movie reviewer. He’s not a lawyer..he didn’t ask hyatt why they
    refused to pay into the fund. He doesn’t know if they paid out claims..he doesn’t knwo the
    legality of their actions….he knows nothing and comes out like the rest of these writers
    and makes comments without info/facts/data/legal items and he’s just a fool making these
    statements.
    A real reporter would have checked into what the hyatt paid..what their liability was…why they
    lost thecontract…they’d look into the law and determine what legal items may occur if they
    contributed to the fund…he could have found out if the management contract of hyatt
    made them liable in the many suits…he didn’t even check to see if hyatt had any remaining
    properties in kc (i did the research for him)…there may have been other reasons the company
    doidnt contribute…and instead of slashing the woman he could have called her and seen what
    connection she had with the disaster. He did none of this and just blah blah away with no
    coherent pattern..and he’s supposed to be a writer. And he was wrong about the fcc stuff.
    I guess when hernia gives these guys free wheel to write what they want…we realize that
    a guy whos used to reviewing disney kids flicks is pretty goofy and daffy.
    If you are going to say you are a journalist…be a journalist…don’t just write fluff…
    AS FOR KC FRED AND PRINCE…IF YOU WANT TO DEBATE ANY ISSUE WITH INTELLIGENT
    CONVERSATION PLEASE TELL ME SO,. FROM YOUR PREVIOUS COMMENTS YOU
    ARE MENTAL MIDGETS…

  19. kcfred says:

    Harley
    Jack’s not a reporter, you dipshit. I don’t see anywhere that Jack passed himself off as a journalist.
    He wrote an OPINION, Harley.
    Want to write opinions? See if Hearne will give you a platform.
    Till then STFU.
    He’s a guy with a platform and he writes. You want investigating reporting…here?
    I’ll say that Jack is uniquely more qualified to write on things that have happened in this city in the last 30 years. I imagine, working at KY at the time, he had a first row view into what happened that night.
    Jack writes.
    He doesn’t REPORT! Craig thinks he’s a reporter, but he’s not.
    Jack has NEVER jumped that shark.

    Being called a mental midget by you? Thanks

  20. harley says:

    kc fred…you’ve been beatdown by both me and glaze
    so put your tail between your legs and run home…piece of crap!
    You tried to initimiaate glaze and he rips you a new a hole…
    you try to intimidate me and I come back and you come with ab solutely no
    intelligent comments…now i’ve ripped you a new a hole.
    Need 3 times to really get your ass kicked a hole.
    Jack isnt a reporter…he reports on movies…he reports on the exciting world of clocks…reports on disney
    he offers an opinion that is completely devoid of any facts and makes up crap to suit his reporting which provves
    he’s a con man trying to push a point of view without any backing.
    Go read an op ed page. The reporter/writer gives facts that substanitate that opinion. But jack the
    german has not one piece of factual evidence to back up his stupid opinion.
    If yu have anopinion …fine…express it with some legal and consistent facts…don’t blurt out shit.
    So kc fred…i remember glaze offered to kick your ass and you shook like a dog.
    Now i’ve proved you wrong…called you a phony and lets see what you do now.
    You’re not a mental midget…you are a dumb mutha f*cker who’s had 2 people publicly
    kick your virtual ass…now go back to be in your basement.
    I’ll tell glaze i got you …i’m sure he hates you like others who are tired of your phonyy posts.

  21. harley says:

    yea jack was big time in kc at ky
    everyone there joked about him. Just a side kick that people let on the air to
    push his b.s. about some grade b movies. And know you can get on a senior cruise with this guy.
    If he was so successful…so strong kc fred…if you want to believe he had tremendous insight
    into kc…that he was a well known personality…so strong a personality..
    WHY THE HELL IS HE HEREIN KC WRITING ON THIS OBSCURE BLOG KCC…comeon
    buddy give me a break.
    The black reviewer on fox 4 is big time nationally. Sorry kc fred…having kcc on your resume hardly
    qualifies you for being well known outside of the 300 people who read thihs.
    Unless you’re glaze…who has turned this into a hell of megaphone for himself…you
    have no reason to proclaim that this guy knows more than anyone in this city.

  22. randyraley says:

    Dude
    Harley, don’t know you or anyone on this board. Jack hardly needs anyone to stick up for him.
    You know, many years ago, I used to be somebody, when FM ruled the Earth.
    Jack was always considered a team member who contributed what he knew about what was going on not only in the movies, but what was happening in KC. As far as anyone on this blog who has the cajones or credentials to give an opinion about major events in this city 30 years ago, Jack would be at the top.
    I would venture to guess that 95% of the people who have worked with Jack over the years treasure his friendship, the other 5% have no idea what the fuck he’s saying.
    We lived those days and were the ones who told the city what was going on during after that whole mess. To me, that allows him to comment on his public platform.
    Jack was never a side kick, but a member of our team and someone who I enjoy spending time with to this very day.
    With that in mind, he’s spot on correct.
    As someone who pulled an all nighter at KY that night, I think Jack has summed up my feelings about it very well.
    Sure do miss KC.
    Now, back to the hair pulling…

  23. harley says:

    another old timer
    do we havev to relive something 25 years ago stil. thats the tme ky had its high point. Do we still have to
    talk about the old ky…old old..and they had no competiton that was strong.
    Jack made statement that were wrong and unfounded and without any factual backing
    He reviews disney and gade b movies. He sits in theatres. How does that give him the
    authority to say anything about anything except the movie business.
    Hopefully you have moved on and put the ky days in the past.
    and if you really ask those who know him…hes a nice guy…but he’s out of his league when
    he gets into legal matter. Sorry…hev never made it big like the guy at 4…he’s a small market
    reviewer ….is he on any station right now? i havent heard him. HE NEED TO STICK TO MOVIES.

  24. kcfred says:

    Bingo Mr. Raley
    And we miss you, too.
    “He never made it big like the guy at 4″…you mean I never give a bad review on a movie so anyone will quote me Shawn Edwards? Harley. Weak. Jack’s been a part of the culture of KC for decades, how about you? Harley, I used to like what you wrote until you’ve degenerated into a pissed off angry old guy. Life is good, enjoy it. In my basement? Hardly. I’m actually at my lake house watching the rain. Life is too short to be constantly pissed at anyone. Jack, most of us look forward to your commentary and opinion. Maybe Mr. Raley would like to write, too?

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