Star Search: Hell Week @ KC Confidential & Star Edits Out Controversial Photo

Talk about a whirlwind two weeks…

One minute I’m standing on a beach along the Pacific Ocean in Cabo saying, "I do" to a judge marrying me in Spanish while butchering my first name…a week later I’m masterminding the sale and a move from my home in Prairie Village to Lawrence via Topeka. That’s a lot to love, especially given it was squeezed into not much more than the space of a single week.

But you know they say about distance lending perspective.

So when I called the Kansas City Star on Friday afternoon at the height of my chaotic moving experience, the least of my worries was when and if I’d be able to transfer my newspaper subscription to T-Town. Not that the nice woman from South America or wherever the Star has outsourced such matters had a clue. All she knew was that the transfer would require someone at a higher pay grade to determine if I would be allowed to continue receiving the physical newspaper long distance. Or be relegated to reading the paper’s Web site free-of-charge like most of you – as Tony might say, dirtbags – probably do.

It would likely take two or three days to make that determination, she said. Meanwhile, for continuity’s sake, I should continue to have the newspaper delivered to my Prairie Village address to the four women who would be occupying my now-former residence.

Stay tuned; we’ll see what happens, I’ll get a call.

However when I stopped by the old hood to pick up my mail on Saturday, there was no Star in the driveway. And no phone call telling me if I’d qualified or not. Later that night though, after returning to the wilds of Topeka, I was startled to find Saturday’s paper in my driveway.

A little soggy but sweet.

They may not know exactly what they’re doing all of the time at 18th and Grand, but results matter and the bottom line is they totally got the job done on virtually no notice whatsoever. Overnight.

Which brings me to a long overdue Star Search column critiquing the paper through more-or-less out-of-town eyes. Or in this case, a front-page story by Eric Adler about a controversial statue at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.

Here’s where things start to get more than a little lame.

Because how in the world can the Star deliver to its core readership – the paying customers mind you – a front page story about a public controversy over a lifesize, sexy, bronze statue of a topless chick without providing a photo of the artwork in question? A more than 50-column-inch in length story, no less.

I would say, I don’t get it except for the fact that I worked at the Star for 16 years and I know how small the thinking can get where s-e-x is concerned. "Be careful! Remember this is being read by people at their ‘breakfast tables.’ "

Not that it didn’t occur to the Star to send a photographer to the Arboretum to capture the image in question.

Which by the way, did find its way into the same story online for the nonpaying, lowlife readers who digest the newspaper’s news on the cheap and who obviously have far stronger stomachs for such frightful imagery.

Not that Adler didn’t do his part to dial in as much R-rated fun and controversy to the tale as he could.

Attendence at the park has been "far busier" since the sexy statue went in – at least "anectdotally" he "reports," while doing a bit of fuzzy, journalistic math.

"We had a group of middle aged men out there last Friday looking at it," Adler adds in a quote from the park’s PR dude Sean Reilly."

The implication being by the placement and inclusion of the quote, that the statue was somehow attracting the juice bar crowd.


With tens of thousands of visiors to the Arboretum every year – and during peak season – of course there would be groups of men "looking at it." Along with groups of women, children, grandparents, people from other countries and you name it. Who’s not going to tour the grounds and look at the artworks as they walk past?

See how the game is played?

Adler’s little word game strongly implies that people are flocking to the park to see the naked lady. Especially horny, older dudes with nothing better to do than drag ass out to some park to check out a pair of bronze boobs.

Sex sells and the middle aged, white reporters and editors at the Star know this as well as anyone.

Yet with political correctness being the name of their game, the object of said game is to fly as close to the fun facts as possible without getting their wing wax melted.

Now if the dudes were yucking it up, fondling the statue in question or trying to leave dollars bills, that’d be one thing. However those details – should they exist – went unreported.

Here’s my point.

Using journalistic artifice to pour gasoline on a tempest in a teapot controversy is silly and sophomoric.

If you really want to fan the flames of a controversy, man up and let the readers in on the joke by showing the photograph and supporting the anecdotal inferences with a few facts.

After all, it is art and it is mainstream journalism, right?

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11 Responses to Star Search: Hell Week @ KC Confidential & Star Edits Out Controversial Photo

  1. Super Dave says:

    Another silly story about an even more silly story about a woman who has no clue about art or anything else for that matter. In fact this story leaps and jumps around so much one has to wonder what your real intent was Hearne. Was this story about the statue, moving, you selling your house, transfering your newspaper subscription, crappy customer service from the Star, horny old men in the woods, who, why and how many go to the Arboretum every year, or is this just a page copied and pasted from your personal diary?

    If the news media would not even have made this statue affair into an issue it would have been over before anything got started.

    It’s very plain to see from live interviews this lady has given she isn’t maybe firing on all cylinders. The AFA will jump on anything they think will get them and their name in the news. I say hook her up with Glazer and then we might have a real story worth reading about. But then again maybe we won’t want to hear about it.

  2. chuck says:

    Code Blue Dr. Bortnic!!
    Note: The bronze boobs are “Bolt Ons” that have, as Nik Richie would say, a nasty “Refund Gap”.

    The work is unfinshed. At some point, there will be a disjointed version of a plastic surgeon marking up her damaged decolletage before she goes under the knife for repairs.

    On the plaque at the bottom of the statue it says, “Bearded Lady”.


  3. TC says:

    well, well….welcome to TopekaConfidential.

    Surely soon we’ll be reading about printing flaws in the C-J, which of course is printed by the Devil Star.

    That’ll drive traffic.

    Is there even a name for the Topeka/Manhattan/Lawrence region, other than “no-fucking-where?”

  4. smartman says:

    The Things We Do For Love
    We all do crazy shit for the voodoo punani but MOVING TO TOPEKA? Good God man! Surely health care benefits are part of this equation. I was overcome with joy at Nick Wright’s move to Houston and now you move to Topeka? Mike and Roxie have to be humping like bunnies over this? Only question now is who folds first Facebook or KCC?

  5. the dude says:

    boobies are outlawed
    in Topuka, they would send that artiste to the baptist gulag for thinking such impure thoughts.
    Women are not even allowed to own them, let alone use them to feed their babies in Topuka town.
    The human body, such a filthy, filthy thing!!!

  6. harley says:

    you stand corrected Mr. Chuck
    Its Dr. Bortnick.
    He’s the master of mammaries.
    Does excellent work.
    I know. I paid for several (pairs that is)
    He’s an artist/a van gogh/a respected man in his field/great eye for beauty.

  7. balbonis moleskine says:

    1% ers and the things they do for disinterested handjobs
    You know you are over the hill and hang out with fucked-out women with you have paid for multiple boob jobs in your life, Harley.

  8. the dude says:

    Not that I really care,
    but did you pay directly for some plastic jobs Harley, or did you just stuff a few sweaty, crinkled dollars in the g-strings and imagine the former?

  9. paulwilsonkc says:

    Dude, Balogonation, dont push back too hard on the “facts”
    You’ll find out you were “punked”, not lied to.

  10. Chet Gristler says:

    this isn’t art, it’s metallic soft-core
    there are lots and lots of nude sculptures that would be fitting for a public arboretum but this isn’t one of them.

    Take away the camera and the clothes and the scupture is probably fine — however, the purpose of the sculpture wasn’t to show the beauty of the human body. However, this idea is what most people are using to defend it. “Breasts are beautiful” “This is the way God made us” “Nudity is natural” Blah blah blah. Yes, all true but that’s not what makes the sculpture inapproriate for the location.

    The nudity itself isn’t the problem — it’s the fact that she flashing her boobs and taking a picture of them. Why in the world would the Overland Park parks and rec board think this was a sound choice for a sculpture?? Yes, let’s promote sexting and amateur porn. Smart choice. Seems about par for the course for the dumb arses living over on the Kansas side.

  11. Hearne says:

    Well, let’s see…
    This is kind of a diary entry Super Dave, now that you mention it.

    A bit of news explaining my limited writing the past two weeks and the transition I’m going through as I await a move to Lawrence. However, I’ll be out and about pretty quick and keeping a close eye on KC – even the beloved Star.

    What I probably won’t be doing is cluing news-thirsty readers in on the ins and outs of T Town. Frankly, I’m in for getting out of here. But these days when you sell your house you do what the buyers want and they wanted it f-a-s-t. Unlike a local promoter who bought a seven-figure house six or ten months back and is still on the hook trying to sell his $300,000-plus home.

    That said, I’m all about adventure – misadventure even – so I’ll doubtless pull a rabbit or two out of my hat while I’m trapped here.

    As for the statue story, if you noticed, I was critiquing the Star for laming out with a massive front-page story and being too gutless to publish the pic they obviously took to accompany the story. And then the writer who slipped in a really loose quote along with an unattributed inference to make it sound like the free world of horny, middle aged men where flocking to the park to see the boobs. Ridiculously dumb and silly.

    I do however know how the game is played at the Star and that was a 100 percent, manufactured bs attempt to try and charge up the sex angle to the story. Reporters are very self aware at the Star of the writing dos and don’ts and know precisely how to work around that game with editors.

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