Nothing like getting convicted of the same crime twice…
That’s what happened to Westport businessman Bill Nigro when he walked into a neighborhood meeting Thursday and found out the hard way that new Pitch editor David Hudnall had slipped him the sausage on the zine’s website.
“I got blindsided, I went to a neighborhood meeting and everybody was like, ‘Hoo boy, the Pitch doesn’t like you, do they?'” Nigro says. “And I was like, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ And it was written by the editor of the Pitch. They wrote a story about our street privatization and what a jack-off I am and didn’t even contact me – didn’t even try to contact me. Where did he go to journalism school? I mean, if you’re going to crucify someone you might as well ask for a comment.”
Ostensibly, the story was about Westport’s efforts to keep guns out of the party zone, but instead of addressing the subject in the lead, “They shoved it up my ass in the first sentence,” Nigro says.
Hudnall began by screen grabbing a couple of out-of-context quotes from a four month-old, lame newspaper story, then trashing Nigro for “running his mouth in the Star.”
“Well, I’ll tell you one magazine I won’t be running my mouth in and that’s the Pitch,” Nigro quips. “All I was really saying is that the history of 3 a.m. hip-hop clubs here is bad. They’ve had a lot of violence. And both the the Star and the Pitch – especially the Pitch – took my quotes out of context and made me out to be a racist.”
By not bothering to do any of his own reporting, Hudnall exaggerated an already misleading characterization of Nigro based what he had told the newspaper.
“The Star reporter asked me several times why Westport didn’t have more black nightclubs and why weren’t we playing more hip-hop music,” Nigro says. “So I told him the history of the 3 a.m. liquor licenses in Kansas City and that when they first gave them out there were over 30 of them on the east side of town. And that because of the violence outside of them and complaints from the neighborhoods they started eliminating them. Now there’s only like five.”
Unfortunately that part of Nigro’s quotes didn’t make the cut since it didn’t fit the writer’s narrative of musical discrimination and the branding of Nigro as a country music loving racist.
That said, “Even the Star article didn’t make me come out nearly as racist as the Pitch’s” Nigro says. “Hudnall took everything out of context to make me look as bad as possible. You know if he wanted to write an article and do some more race baiting, why didn’t he do his own journalism and call me up and get his own quotes?”
A local businesswoman concurs.
“Here the Pitch is under new owners trying to make a big splash and instead of writing a new, fresh story, they dig up some quotes from last year,” she says. “And they didn’t even call him, that’s totally lame. They’re showing the kind of paper they’re going to be – that they’re going to trash somebody and not even give them a chance to defend themselves.”
As for Nigro getting taken to the woodshed again, “Poor guy, here he has to fall on his sword a second time and he didn’t even get the chance to run his mouth,” she says. “It’s like the ultimate punishment for a guy who likes to run his mouth – he didn’t even get a chance to, He just walks into a meeting and gets vilified and he didn’t even do anything. Who are they going to burn at the stake next month? It’s like, ‘Okay readers, it’s time to check your old Kansas City Stars.'”
Hudnall could not be reached for comment…