Hearne: Pitch Congratulates Bogus ‘Best Of’ Buddy, Travel & Leisure Magazine

Will we ever learn?

I mean, really – we’re such suckers. It’s high time Kansas City media quit pandering to inconsequential "best of" promotions promulgated by loser magazines with little to no research credibility. Publications’s like Travel & Leisure, which twice in two months has annointed KC in one of its so-called "surveys."

Contrived surveys that are published with zero information about how they were complied, the number of participants – you know, pretty much whatever one would want or need to know to consider the survey relevant or legit.

Kinda like those Pitch ‘Best Of" issues…

So it’s not really surprising that it was the Pitch which annointed Travel & Leisure‘s latest bit of tripe by "reporting" the results:

That Kansas City is the country’s 8th best burger city.

Hey now, that’s cause for celebration. Only seven other cities in the survey have better burgers.

However instead of calling out Travel & Leisure for being trite – like it should have – the Pitch‘s Jonathan Bender rewards the rag by quoting from the results instead of questioning them. And then dropping in a lame joke line about having a permanent seat at Town Topic.

Good one.

Here’s the Pitch’s quote: "The city’s best gourmet burger option may be at Blanc Burgers Bottles, which offers watercress and truffle butter as toppings. Kids and trainspotters, however, might prefer Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant, dating back to the 1950s, where the burgers are delivered by way of miniature train."

Sound like survey results to you? The best gourmet burger "may be" this and kids "might prefer" that. You can’t get much more wishy-washy than that.

You know, Blanc does a nice job but there are a billion gourmet burger joints that have popped up around the country doing similarly well. Like Robert Krause‘s Burger Stand and Dempsy’s in Lawrence. There’s no rocket science to this game – pretty much anybody can and is playing.

FYI, last time I took my kids and their friends to Fritz’s in Crown Center the joint was as dirty as could be and the burgers tasted like – don’t take this the wrong way – dog food.

The point being that zines like Travel & Leisure put these silly, unscientific surveys out for the same reason the Pitch puts out its bloated "best of" issues, to generate publicity. Not to pass on hidden truths. And dignifying the surveys by jerking off the editors behind them does little other than to encourage them to churn out more.

Like last month’s Travel & Leisure "survey" in which we learned in the Kansas City Star that Kansas City is America’s 20th "Best City for Hipsters"

And another thing…

If the Pitch is going to revel in this clap trap, the least it can do is bring a critical eye to the gunfight.

After all, it is Kansas City’s "alternative" weekly of record.

How about pointing out how dumb the survey is by leaving out almost every single burger joint in town that actually matters. Like Winstead’s and the Westport Flea Market. And relative newcomers like Grandstand Burgers.

Come on, guys. What are you trying to do, turn yourselves into INK?

Well, they do sell quite a few more ads.

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8 Responses to Hearne: Pitch Congratulates Bogus ‘Best Of’ Buddy, Travel & Leisure Magazine

  1. Orphan of the Road says:

    Best of …
    Well at least Travel & Leisure have the built-in excuse for not having a clue.

    The Pitch continues to decline, slipping further and further into oblivion. Their days of breaking a story The Star won’t touch, until they are prodded into covering, seem to be just a memory.

    The speakeasy article never mentioned Jean Harlow & Joan Crawford serving up drinks and other specials at Harling’s and other KC speakeasies.

    Dressing peasant food up as gourmet always ends badly.

  2. the dude says:

    selling backyard burgers as “gourmet” is just plain wrong, just label it as high end or something to that effect.
    Gourmet and burgers do not go together.

    Personally I will be researching soon into Franks burger (already tried the apple brat, pretty good) and the Orange Box burger (had the fish taco, pretty good)

  3. paulwilsonkc says:

    Hear, Hear, Hearne, nicely stated!!
    A decade ago, when I was running the Interactive Media company, I really did have great results, but I was voted Fastest Growing Company in Kansas City. I was asked to submit, I submitted real numbers and based on little things like % growth, different ways of judging the numbers, I was awarded the WIN along with a big dinner and celebration by the business rag in question.

    What it really was about was ad placements and potential buys for the year! Yes, I had a great company, yes it had huge percentage growth, but to say I was the FASTEST growing firm in Kansas City was to say, well…. that I’m the best known person in KC!! And we all know, thats Craig, not me!

    It IS a game…. and I dont think most people know how its played! Thanks for pointing it out, nice story.

  4. PV_Pathfinder says:

    The “Best of KC” from the Pitch is a sad joke. The red flag should have been when they stopped accepting reader votes and relied on the staff and editors to decide who got what. Funny how you no longer get nominated (much less win) when you scale back or stop advertising with them. The day that Blockbuster won best video store was the last time I read The Pitch.

  5. @PV_Pathfinder says:

    This last year’s Pitch BOKC had well over 200 voted categories. I know this because I voted on quite a few of them to help out my favorite local businesses.

  6. PV_Pathfinder says:

    How do you think they came up the nominees for all the retail, restaurant and bar categories?

  7. the dude says:

    by how much
    ad space they buy. DUH.

  8. PV_Pathfinder says:

    Dude, you made my point.

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