Loose Ends Three: Pitch Editor Slices & Dices Star Columnist

In yet another nod to the Pitch, it was called to my attention that editor Scott Wilson was taking major heat for eviscerating my pal, Star features columnist Jeneé Osterheldt.

The expectation being, I guess, that I’d hop on the Spank Scott train and ride to Jeneé’s rescue.

Well, I won’t.

Not because Wilson didn’t just about totally lose it in burning Osterheldt at the journalistic stake. He did. And that’s something you’re better off not doing as a writer. It’s almost always better to count to 10.

That said, while the subject matter of many (if not most) of Jeneé’s columns tends to be on the light side, she’s hardly Kansas City’s “worst writer.”

Clearly Wilson has yet to edit a Craig Glazer column.

OK, just kidding. Everybody knows Craig’s the Ernest Hemingway of KC Confidential.

But seriously…

Wilson is a dude – and a dude with fangs I might add. And one who grew up journalistically in an environment where investigative reporting and corporal punishment are generally the order of the day.

Jeneé on the other hand – although she’s been getting a little edgier – is not above writing about how much she loves her VW New Beetle, how tasty the chicken sandwiches at Chick-fil-A are and other light hearted topics and observational musings on current events.

Hard hitting? Not even close.

Wilson barbecued Jeneé for her alleged “preschool logic” and “sub-Kardashian shallowness.”

That’s a bit much.

It’s really just that she’s a nice guy type of grrrl who’s writing in what is loosely known at 18th and Grand as the “women’s section” of the paper. Not to mention, for readers probably old enough to be Wilson’s grandparents.

Now allow me to join forces with Wilson for just a minute.

If I were Jeneé’s editor – and as it happens, I’m reasonably well-acquainted with that person – I would take Jeneé aside and steer her down a different news path.

It’s not like that never happens at the Star.

They steered me hard toward calmer, less controversial waters shortly after I arrived at the newspaper from running the Pitch and New Times.

I’d counsel Jeneé that the time had come to start covering some news. Actual news.

Entertainment news, business news, society and real estate news, political and sports news. News, news. News that either isn’t getting much if any coverage and news with a bit of an edge and or humor component to it.

And Jeneé could do it.

It would take some work and wouldn’t happen overnight but the world would be a better place. All Jeneé needs is a good editor to guide the way.

And maybe, after she grew some of those fangs (like Wilson’s), she’d start getting into it. Then she’d be too pissed to eat a No. 1 with Cheese at Chick-fil-A – let alone write about it – after skewering the company’s founder for supporting hate groups.

Matter of fact a journalist should almost never admit – let alone write at length – about ordering a No. 1 with Cheese at Chick-fil-A. Too much information. It’s time to put readers on a diet where Osterheldt’s fast food preferences are concerned.

Then maybe – down the road a bit – when that ill-fated day arrives and Jeneé gets the ax at the Star, Wilson could do the unthinkable.

Hire Jeneé.

Anyway, that’s my take on the subject.



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25 Responses to Loose Ends Three: Pitch Editor Slices & Dices Star Columnist

  1. Chuck says:

    I like the picture of Hemmingway.

    His suicide note is the passage in “A Farewell To Arms” where he lets the ants burn in the fire.

    An indifferent God, in the end, was too much to bare.

  2. Chuck says:

    Thats just my opinion, but if you read it and see Hemingway as the protagonist as I do, then, you can see why he might have done it.

    Or it could have been a series of concussions while running with the bulls.


  3. mark smith says:

    I think he got scorched not so much for slamming Jenee, but for slamming anyone who dared agree with or support a private citizens right to free speech. Seems to me that should be of paramount importance to a “journalist”. Here’s a money quote from said hack “. Did you make a point to eat at Chick-fil-A yesterday? Fuck you.” When elected officials bar business ,block free enterprise, and free speech, as they are doing in Chicago and Boston, any journalist should be fuckin outraged. The fact that so few where, speaks volumes about the state of the 4th estate today.

  4. smartman says:

    Jenee makes JoPo look like Dr. Evil. The best part of her columns are the comments where readers constantly question both her naïveté and employment. I’ve read edgier and more interesting stuff in the BV and SM high school papers. All due respect but she is an embarrassment to the Star.

  5. Bob Loblaw says:

    ^^^^^^^ Agreed. She was AWFUL. I’m surprised it took this long to axe her.

  6. Orphan of the Road says:

    Maybe it was a Knight-Ridder-thing? The Philadelphia Inquirer has her doppleganger.


  7. mike says:

    Maybe she isn’t the best out there, but shouldn’t Scott Wilson be more worried about the Pitch than her. The only thing anybody uses the Pitch for anymore is training puppies and lining bird cages and in both cases, what is going on top of his paper is the same as what is going in it. CRAP

  8. Kelsey says:

    I think Jenee’s a little creeped out by how much Wilson obsesses over her. He must be obsessed with her because Jenee is like the only thing he writes about! He’s done maybe four stories on how much he hates her! In fact that’s the only thing he’s ever written besides a few movie reviews.
    Remember when the editor of the Pitch wrote about Kansas City? CJ Janovy wrote columns all the time! Joe Tone wrote stories all the time that were really good, and that story about Tony that’s on Tony’s site all the time, and he was only there a little bit of the time Wilson has been! Wilson seems have just taken the job to sit back, see movies, and write about… um..NOTHING! Except bag on Jenee who’s never tried to be an investigative journalist! Is he just lazy or just a jerk or in love or what? I hear he mostly just leaves the office by noon and takes a lot of vacation time and four day weekends. LOSER!!! Ink is totally the superior paper now. The stories in the two aren’t even different anymore, except Ink’s are better written!

    • Chuck says:

      Tony tortures Jenee too. Whatever.

      Joe Tone was pretty high quality in my opinion.

      • the dude says:

        I think the problem that Hearne alludes to is this is how a lot of organizations deal with affirmative action in this day and age; dump the double minority that can’t write a byline to save her life in the FYI column to blather on about pointless topics. If she is stuck in nowhereville writing about nothing it is probably for a reason. Why peolpe get worked up about the fluff column writer in the FYI section probably says a lot more about the venom spewer.

  9. PB says:

    If it’s such fluff (which it is), why does Wilson even concern himself with it? Or why not pick on CW then, he’s made a career out of that kind of crap.

  10. glenn says:

    JO is a horrible writer. I’ve read better copy from a middle-schooler.

  11. balbonis moleskine says:

    I read that article and was actually shocked it was published in a paper, even an alt weekly.

    It screamed “angry queen doesn’t like pretty popular girl”. Her crime is that she ate a chicken sandwich.

    We all realize she is a horrible writer. At least she produces copy. There is more content here on KCC than the Pitch and they are supposedly a real paper.

  12. Craig Glazer says:

    One of the biggest mistakes the KC Star made was letting Hearne go. Even if you don’t like him, he was READ…he was our only link to local “glam” and local “celeb” news period…now there is NOTHING anywhere about our local people…who got divorced, married, bought a 3 million dollar home, sold one, got caught cheating on his wife, radio numbers with KK and Dare, who’s hot, who’s not…on and on…if you let Hearne go at least have a gossip column with SOMEONE…for God’s sake…most cities do…now the only place you get that stuff is….HERE!

    HC: Appreciate the sentiment wild man, just one thing…or two.

    I rarely wrote about divorces and never (I’m pretty sure) wrote about who was cheating on their wife. The difference between what I do here on KCC is that at the Star my only job was to roam the city and come up with stories. Here I have about three full time jobs running the site, editing, handling ads, writing, dealing with site issues, promotions – you name it.

    Which leaves only a fraction of the time to actually come up with stories and write them.

    The trade off?

    Well, there’s you, Jack, Brandon, Matt, Kelly and the rest of the cast of ever changing writers. More of you guys equals less of me. It’s pretty simple.

    • the dude says:

      Cowtown Confidential at your service.

    • smartman says:

      Your point might hold water if there were some empirical data that the terminations, departures, resignations…..of any of the former Star columnists or writers impacted the bottom line in a negative way. According to the Star, as communicated by a Star salesperson to a media buyer, the departures of the big three, JoPo, HC and JW had no measurable impact on subscriptions or ad sales. Alas, it is a business and the motive is their profit and not our entertainment.

  13. Rick Nichols says:

    I agree with one of the earlier commenters. Put her to work covering real people, real news. The Star has far too many of these chit-chat columnists. Her material is better suited for a blog.

    • mike says:

      In all fairness to her, I think she was doing basically what she was told to. If she was told to do hard news, I’m sure she would have. Whether she would have been good or bad at it is just speculation.

      • the dude says:

        But Mike, good writers turn crap into spun gold every day of the week. If you can’t even pass muster on a fluff piece how are you gonna handle the big kid’s stuff?

        • mike says:

          I see what you are saying up to a point. It still would have been harder to turn that subject matter into gold that something substantitive but she could have done better. She may have lacked motivation because of what she was covering. She needs to find a job covering real news somewhere and prove she can do it.

  14. Nick says:

    “All Jeneé needs is a good editor to guide the way.”

    The same one who forgot to edit this post?

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