Hearne: Just Another Manic Monday @ 18th & Grand

Slavery - Human Trafficking

It doesn’t make sense…

That the lowly Lawrence Journal World continues to choke out 30 percent more content than the once-mighty Kansas City Star.

Yet here we go again today, with a flimsy, 20 page, two-section Monday Star versus a three-section, 26 page Journal World.

Go figure.

As for news content – with the exception of the Journal World‘s excellent USA  Today section – neither newspaper’s knocking ’em dead.

Both lead, front page reports on the Kansas House delaying its vote on a proposed budget. However, where the Journal World follows with a giant photo and story about a female KU entomologist on a “quest to identify insects of Peru,” the Star gets down and dirty with a piece about truckers being trained “to help rescue sex slaves on the road.”

No contest.

I’ll take sex slaves and truckers over insects and Peru any day of the week!

Trouble with the Star’s trucker-sex slave story is there’s no there there.

It’s basically a sexy headline atop a boring story with no actual news smoking gun.

It’s a national story that’s been covered by USA Today and other media, that’s been tarted up with a sprinkling of generic comments by a trucker or three and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

IMG_1355The Star’s front page sex slave story was designed to trick readers into thinking it was an investigative piece with lurid details of sex at area truck stops, when in fact it was little more than a dull rehash of a several years old national story.

To paraphrase Mr. T, I pity the fool who shelled out a buck at Quick Trip thinking they were in for a spicy read.

The balance of the Star’s A Section content is equally benign:

There’s a tidbit about Ringling Brothers ending its elephant act (versus a huge colorful, front page photo and extensive story in the Journal World‘s USA Today insert; plus a filler piece about Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders pinning their hopes on the upcoming conventions (duh); an R. Kelly review (seriously?) and not much more.

The Star’s six-page sports section is respectable but nothing to write home about. 

Ditto for the Journal World’s five-page sports section, in which editor Tom Keegan’s  writes a”timely” column suggesting that “barring a major upset, KU will earn at least a share of the Big 12 basketball title”  a 13th straight year.


Talk about slow sports news days!

And that five ex-Jayhawks landed NFL free-agent deals (yawn); and a future KU basketball forward “erupted” for 32 points in an all-star game in California.

The lone, true bright spot among the two newspapers: the USA Today section.

Today’s edition includes well-crafted stories about the Ringling Brothers elephants – a 145 year-old act – that the Star story doesn’t even mention; Iraq erupting in protests over corruption; China refusing to allow a US aircraft carrier a port visit; Puerto Rico‘s financial crisis pressuring congress; a column suggesting gender neutral restrooms; a May Day riot in Hong KongBernie Sanders going after Hillary Clinton’s super delegates; China experimenting with female-only busses to combat sexual harassment; a list of the 9 lowest paid CEOs; a Chinese business travel boom and travelers as easy targets for guilt tipping.

The bottom line: Thanks to USA Today, once again Lawrence’s newspaper noses out KC’s as the superior value.


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18 Responses to Hearne: Just Another Manic Monday @ 18th & Grand

  1. the dude says:

    Okay. So between the Topuka and Lawrence cage liners which one should I subscribe to since it sure as hell won’t be Der Star?

  2. Frank says:

    C’mon Hearne, you weren’t interested in the who, what, when, why, and how of the sex slave story. You were more interested in the WHERE can you pick one of them “beauties” up.

  3. Hot Carl says:

    “And that five ex-Jayhawks landed NFL free-agent deals (yawn); and a future KU basketball forward “erupted” for 32 points in an all-star game in California.”

    You live in Lawrence. I’m here to tell you that you’ll see this stuff everyday for the rest of your natural life unless you move. They are writing to their audience and, WE GET IT, THAT IS NOT YOU! Perhaps living in a college town isn’t the greatest idea for an effeminate, former entertainment journalist and sports agnostic. You complaining about the Lawrence paper writing about the Jayhawks is reaching the same level of ridiculousness as Glazer’s incessant whining about how the Royals are killing business at his yuk-yuk shack.

    • the dude says:

      Woah man. He does appreciate pro wrasslin’ so that means something to someone.

    • admin says:


      You got a crush on me or something, Hot Carl?

      Speaking of which, maybe that explains your cute nickname.

      • Harley the Great says:

        EFFEMINATE? That’s not really fair carl.

        • admin says:

          Oh great, it’s come to this…

          Harley defending my manhood!

          Sign of the apocalypse time?

  4. But I just don’t feel like I can go to the LJW and get any kind of decent information about to how to get a good cut rate on a couple of funerals or cremations. The Star is still the go-to source for that sort of thing.

    • admin says:

      You are correct, Rage…

      In part because the Journal World has a larger (proportionately) stable of far you get contributors, courtesy of KU students and grads. A glance at the bylines in yesterday’s Star reveals that despite all the layoffs, the lion’s share of the reporting is still being done by aging Baby Boomers.

      Once upon a time, people like a young Art Brisbane and a young Jim Fitzpatrick – and on and on – were being hired a put in play by the previous generation of journalists at 18th and Grand.

      So why is a dude pushing 60 the go-to guy for cutting edge music reviews?

  5. Gassedup says:

    Whats the difference between their headline and your picture? I was expecting more from your story based on your picture. Same? Different?

    • admin says:

      My photo was merely a garnish, Gaseous…

      A somewhat obvious study in contrast to a local new story lacking in pretty much anything related to reporting on any such activities in the region.

      It was like, “Let’s take a generic national story, slap in a couple quotes from locals tisk-tisking the practice and call it good.”

  6. CFPCowboy says:

    The powers that be extend the TIFF on the Kansa City Times, costing the taxpayers about 20 million by the time it all settles out. One has to wonder how many of the 100 plus police officer jobs could have been saved if the Mayor, Council, and City Manager had just collected. Does it make sense to cut police with homicides increasing? Sure glad I do not pay taxes in KC.

  7. Dan says:

    I stop reading these posts for two reasons:

    1) Byline – Glazer, especially about sports. I am sure he has his charms, but prognosticating about sports, politics or just about anything lacks wit, facts or anything endearing, really.

    2) Any analysis about the KC Star. We get it, that’s what you know. But there is a whisper of irony to spending so much time talking about an industry that even you admit is dying. If people don’t like the content and/or the medium, why do you think they would like this slow and plodding autopsy that is happening here. Move on. Check in once a year and be done. Apply your research and analysis to the many other things going on in a very lively city.

    That is all. Thanks.

  8. Mysterious J says:

    Proposed new name for this site:

    “Hearne Christopher Junior Has An Axe To Grind & A-hole Buddies”

    • Dan says:

      Hey, you said the same that it took me 2 paragraphs to say in 11 words. Well done!

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