Hearne: Will Kansas City Finds Its Way?

Kansas City on the right track?

Think about it. In generations past the Cowtown had a lot going for it. The mighty Missouri River, the stockyards, Kansas City Board of Trade and Kansas City Southern Railroad for starters.

Moving forward, Hallmark Cards, Russell Stover Candies, AMC Theatres, H&R Block and more recently Applebee’s, Sprint and Garmin were the local big dogs.

Those are some of the iconic companies that helped put KC on the map.

Unfortunately most of those business icons have either tanked or are struggling to remain relevant.

Let’s count ‘em down:

The fabled stockyards – long gone – the Board of Trade – toast.

Even the vaunted Hallmark is fighting what appears to be a losing battle.

What’s left of Russell Stover sold out to the Swiss – AMC and Sprint to the Chinese –  and just about anybody and everybody from cellphone makers on down are eating Garmin’s lunch. It closed its flagship retail store in Chicago late last year.

Block soldiers on – bouncing from speed bump to speed bump – while nail biting about the possible arrival of a flat or simplified tax plan. Sprint is hanging on for dear life, waiting for a savior to put it out of its misery. Applebee’s bailed a couple years back for the Left Coast.

The $65 million question:

What companies will take these legends places?

Anybody? Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 6 Comments

Glazer: Scribe Drops ‘I told You So’ on Comments Crowd

A few years back Tom Izzo’s Michigan State beat Bill Self‘s  Jayhawks in the Sweet Sixteen…

Yesterday Self got his revenge.

KU defeated Michigan State 90-70. However the score doesn’t show how close this game was until the final minutes.  Kansas had a comfortable 11 point lead heading towards the end of the first half but Michigan State came back to close it to 5.

It didn’t feel good.

In the second half Kansas led the entire way but in the final minutes KU blew another big lead down to just a one point margin. Yikes.

Then Kansas led by Josh Jackson, Frank Mason, Devonte Graham and surprise defense of bench guy Dwight Colby went on a tear…a 14 point run and destroyed Michigan State in the final minutes ending the hard fought game with a 20 point winning margin.

Josh had 23 points against his former pals – he’s from Michigan, Mason had 20 and Devonte 18. Before he had to leave with 4 fouls, Landon Lucas scored 10 and was outstanding in his defense as well. It was a total team win.

” The game was moving so fast, hell they wouldn’t listen to me, the game was going too fast” said Self after the win. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Sutherland: Pembroke, The Hilltop, Cool Guys, Class Acts & Ruling Class Heroes (Part Deux)

Every school has what the alums regard as a Golden Age…

A period when students, faculty, and administration were working in unison to produce a good education for its graduates, with lasting memories and friendships as happy by-products of that era.

In speaking to Pembroke Hill grads, there’s surprising unanimity among them that the years 1955 to 1965 were a decade when the school – then known as Pembroke Country Day and still all-male – was enjoying such a time.

This is not to say that those who came before or after didn’t enjoy their experience there. It’s clear, though,that the disruptive and polarizing atmosphere of war and depression which marked other epochs was happily absent during that period. By 1965, when I started, Vietnam and the counter-culture were already on the horizon and the post-war consensus was beginning to fray.

I read an essay by the novelist Mark Helprin, in which he talks about his own time at a very similar prep school, where the curriculum was an equal mix of liberal arts and contact sports. His days there, during this exact same time frame, were given coherence and context because there was a “canon”-  a widely accepted body of knowledge – that one at least aspired to master.

By the same token, at Pem-Day the curriculum had been fixed since time immemorial, with the grade cards unchanged from the 1920’s because the course offerings were the same. This added to the sense of tradition and continuity, as did many long time faculty members and the beautiful Georgian architecture of the buildings. (Now, sadly, all replaced!) Continue reading

Posted in Dwight D. Sutherland, Jr. | Tagged | 11 Comments

Lefsetz: The Definitive Chuck Berry Obit

He was the father of rock and roll…

Oh, don’t talk to me about Bill Haley. Boomers were barely conscious at the time “Rock Around The Clock” was a hit, if they were alive at all. And Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis were vastly influential – especially in the U.K. – but the progenitor who pushed it over the top, made rock a staple, was Chuck Berry.

Not that we had any idea who he was either.

But we knew the songs.

Tutti Frutti” was already in the rearview mirror.

But not only did the Beatles cover “Rock And Roll Music” and “Roll Over Beethoven”

But the Beach Boys ripped Chuck off for their gargantuan hit “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” which was really “Sweet Little Sixteen.”

Chuck’s got a bad reputation.

As being an ungrateful SOB who demanded cash upfront and played with unrehearsed pickup bands. Keith Richards tried to give him a victory lap with that movie, but thereafter the Glimmer Twin testified as to Chuck’s bad behavior and I’m not sure if Berry’s reputation ever recovered. You usually only get one shot at a second chance.

But you’ve got to cut the guy a break, he was there at the beginning! Continue reading

Posted in Bob Lefsetz | 3 Comments

Hearne: Will the Pitch Dump Sex Ads?

Whaddaya think?

Kansas City’s former alternative newsweekly of record, The Pitch faces a highly uncertain future come April 1st. That’s when the once-venerable entertainment and news pub plans to go from newsprint to coated stock (magazine quality) paper and monthly publication.

Kinda like its big sister zine, The Nashville Scene.

Never mind that this move was reportedly slated to go down six years back when Pitch parent SouthComm Communications made the disastrous decision to take the alt weekly off the hands of Village Voice Media. The Village Voice – under its former name New Times – had bought it from local record store owner named Hal Brody in 1999.

Unfortunately what was left of the Pitch – which at the point that SouthComm bought it – had long been in steady decline. And it continued to shrink in size, revenue and stature, leading up the the recent decision to throw in the towel on weekly publication.

Throughout an extended series of death throes – and even prior to Village Voice taking over – the weekly had wrestled with the whether to keep the several pages of highly profitable cheesy, raunchy sex ads.

At one point the Pitch did away with its sex ads because hurt the mag both in terms of distribution in desirable locations where locals complained and scared off potential advertisers that refused to be associated with that type of content.

However, money was always tight and the sex advertisers were willing to pay top dollar for access to its readership. Kinda like the local strip clubs who used to advertise in the Kansas City Star sports section until publisher Art Brisbane pulled the plug.

It’s like this, not only does sex sell, it pays quite well. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Jack Goes Confidential: This Beast—A Magical Beauty

Say what you will about kids movies, this is Hollywood magic at its best…

Could BEAUTY AND THE BEAST be the best Disney (live) family fantasy film ever made?

Some people already think so—and you can include me.

The $64 million question: does this fabulous production favor 1991’s animated feature film or fall more in line with the Broadway stage play?

Frankly, I believe it combines the best of BOTH worlds.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’s show stopping production numbers and digitally enhanced gothic fantasy sequences are unlike anything we’ve experienced.

It’s really four movies in one.

On one hand it’s an action movie – but also a comedy.

On the other, it’s a romantic drama and a musical. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

New Jack City: Just for Laughs


I’m often asked what my favorite all-time movies are…

But I have trouble coming up with a solid list, even though “DR. ZHIVAGO” and “ELMER GANTRY” continue to rank very high with me.

When it comes to comedies though, there are 10 titles that put a smile on my face.

Ten extremely funny movies that when I happen to come across them on TV, make me stop and watch them again–and again–and again..kinda like “Mama Mia.”

In no particular order here are MY favorites: Continue reading

Posted in Jack Poessiger | Tagged | 12 Comments

Lefsetz: Time to Put An End to Hate?

Should we blame the Internet or income inequality – the inability to rise above and get ahead?

Every damn day people tell me I’m an asshole online. And let me tell you, if I say something negative about you or your project, it’s open season. It doesn’t surprise me when you reach out and castigate me. But when there’s no nexus – I don’t know you and you don’t know me – why such vitriol?

Used to be society was divided into those who ruled and those who were ruled.

And we kind of liked this, because we had economic mobility.

We thought if we just put our noses to the grindstone we could get ahead. But then mothers were working alongside fathers and bills went up, income stayed stagnant and everybody started to scratch their head and say, “Wait a minute here.”

Now the paradigm’s been blown apart.

The elites think they rule but they don’t.

That  was the story of the presidential election. Those who knew better left behind those who supposedly didn’t, and those on the losing end decided to give the middle finger to the winners of society – the educated, the advantaged – even if it was against their best interests.

Because as the bard from Minnesota once told us, when you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.

And the artists are a black hole. Chasing a buck too. Anybody with power refuses to go on record in any meaningful way for fear of alienating a potential customer and the nobodies keep clamoring for attention, when they’re not hating online.

But now they’re tipping over headstones.

I want to know why this is the Jews’ problem.

Please tell me what my tribe did to become the most hated. Seems we’re decried even more than immigrants. But that bozo shot those Indians in Kansas and what’s even scarier is the nincompoops have guns. It’s like the wild west, if you feel safe…you aren’t.

What’s funny is those who feel most at risk aren’t.

Those red state denizens where the terrorists don’t go, because there aren’t enough people there. Believe me, they’re going to Oklahoma and Idaho last. But we must beef up the military for a perceived threat that doesn’t exist, when we can blow up the world many times over and we cozy up to the real enemy, Russia.

Makes your head spin, doesn’t it? Continue reading

Posted in Bob Lefsetz | Tagged | 12 Comments

Hearne: The Trouble With KU Fans

I’ll make this quick…

A couple observations on the cult-like thinking and behavior of KU basketball fans from behind the Iron Curtain in Lawrence, Kansas.

To spell it out, with rare exception they’re in denial.

To be a KU basketball fan in Lawrence, your devotion must be blind.

Anybody who can find even the slightest wrong – such as players slapping around girlfriends or kicking the you-know-what out of a women’s car outside some bar late at night, is one of two things:

Either a jealous Missouri Tiger fan or someone who just doesn’t get the fact that with ultra rare exception, basketball coach Bill Self and the Kansas athletics department can do no wrong…

Where basketball is concerned, that is. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 22 Comments

New Jack City: Weekend Staycation @ The Movies

Need an escape from the daily Trump tweets and subsequent media bashings?

Here are six cinematic big screen escapes—none of which are Trump related!

* “KONG: SKULL ISLAND” – (Iconic Kong re-imagined)

* “LOGAN” – (The Wolverine’s futuristic swan song)

* “GET OUT” – (Jordan Peele’s creepy, speculative thriller) Continue reading

Posted in Jack Poessiger | Tagged | 3 Comments

Hearne: Star Sticks It To Self / KU for Sexist Behavior

Give it up for Sam Mellinger and the Kansas City Star

Don’t rub your eyes, you heard me.

Because at long last somebody in the newspaper’s sports department reached down into their trousers, located something resembling an attitude and – voila – stuck it to KU basketball coach Bill Self and the almighty Jayhawks.

What hath God wrought?

Seriously, KC and Lawrence sportswriters and editors have been sucking up to KU basketball for so long it’s almost unbelievable somebody finally had the guts to do the right thing and call them out for kid glove treatment of male athletes and discrimination against women.

Hey, holding Self and the University of Kansas Athletics Department’s feet to the fire where ethical behavior and treatment of athletes is concerned is no small feat.

You won’t find anybody in Lawrence publicly manning up on that count.

And rightly, as noted by Mellinger,  a Title IX investigation into equal treatment of men and women athletes at KU is a no brainer.

“Four of the Jayhawks’ top seven men’s basketball players have gone off path: arrested, suspended, charged with a crime or found by the university to have likely committed domestic violence,” Mellinger writes. “Some outsiders view this as a sign that the program is teetering on the brink of chaos…”

“Many within the university and program feel the problems are misunderstood, even as school officials decline to clarify while citing privacy constraints and legal guidelines. None of this is productive. None of it is helpful. Worse, it’s a distraction from learning what is true and what is not.

“The athletic department’s bungling has left a cloud hanging over the basketball program as the Big 12 Tournament opens this week in Kansas City, the kickoff to a month when college basketball has the nation’s sports attention.

“Kansas athletics has, at best, allowed a significant image problem to grow and take hold based on slow action and administrative missteps.”

Some may be shocked to see me waxing positive about Mellinger and the Star.
Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 20 Comments

Glazer: Scribe Claims This Year’s KU Team Best Ever

I’ve watched KU basketball for years and they’re almost always really good…

Now they’re GREAT!

I think this is the best overall squad KU coach Bill Self has ever coached.

This team is dynomite, explosive and fast.

The 3 point shots come from everywhere, all the time – and they hit!

KU has likely player of the year Frank Mason and likely NBA No. 1 or 2 pick Josh Jordon.

What impresses me most is this team’s fearlessness.

They will shoot the 3 at the end of a game without hesitation or passing the ball. This Kansas team deserves to be ranked No. 1 in the nation and they ARE the No.  1, No. 1 seed for March Madness. Continue reading

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 48 Comments

New Jack City: What’s This, A Gay ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Character?

Sometimes the media really gets to me…

Case in point: The current groundswell and utterly ridiculous targeting of the stunning new life-action motion picture adaptation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST starring Emma Watson that opens March 17.

For the record, I’ve seen the movie and find it to be absolutely terrific!

From the set design and story line to the showstopping production numbers, it’s ALL there in this fabulous (estimated) $160 million re-imagining of Disney’s 1991 animated classic by director Bill Condon.

Then I looked at Monday’s edition of USA TODAY where critic Brian Truitt agreed with my views in his glowing review headlined, “Rousing ‘Beast’ Is A Real Beauty.”

So far. So good.

However on page three of the entertainment sections less flattering headline:

“Gay ‘Beauty Character Sparks Backlash.”

So WHO is complaining? Continue reading

Posted in Jack Poessiger | Tagged | 9 Comments

Chuck: Is a Civil War Brewing?

We live in a time of war…

The Culture War –  called by many the “Cold Civil War” – is  a shooting war.  It really became a shooting war after President Obama feted Black Lives Matter representatives at the White House and paid homage to them during his eulogy at the funerals of the dead Dallas cops, who’d been killed by a black man inspired  by that very organization.

The complete bifurcation of America into Salvadore Dali‘s  “Soft Construction With Boiled Beans” began with Obama’s despicable commentary over the dead bodies of cops whose blood trail led directly to the steps of the White House.

Those with eyes that see, have viewed the many attacks from progressive thugs against Trump supporters, free speech and the right to assemble again and again.

Here are ONLY the most recent attacks.

http://www.vdare.com/articles/it-will-come-to-blood-reflections-on-the-lefts-anti-trump-inauguration-tantrum?content=some 230 arrests.

Here in Kansas City, a few days ago, one of our fellow citizens took umbrage with a man who had the temerity to display a Trump  Sticker on his car.  After some inspiring rhetoric, the aforesaid citizen left the idiot Trump supporter  (I gotta call a spade a spade.  Anyone in Kansas City, dumb enough to display a Trump sticker, is either meaner and bigger than Brock Lesner or crazier than Clay Chastain.).

Man With Rifle Livestreams Himself Threatening Stranger Over Trump Sticker | We Are Change


Man With Rifle Livestreams Himself Threatening Stranger Over Trump Sticker …

A selfie-style video of a man threatening to shoot a Donald Trump supporter at a gas station over a bumper stick…

Is it just me, or was that attack deplorable? Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 69 Comments

Jack Goes Confidential: Hugh Jackman’s Gripping ‘Logan’ Sendoff

Say it ain’t so…

That LUCAS marks the end of the road for the Wolverine.

Well, things sure seem headed that way.

However if there’s one aspect of the movie biz I’ve learned through the years it has to be: Never Say Never.’

And so we find ourselves in the not too distant future—2029 to be exact.

The location is an outpost near the Mexican border.

That’s where Logan (Hugh Jackman) is caring for the ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart.)

Come to think of it Logan isn’t doing so well himself. Continue reading

Posted in Jack Poessiger | Tagged | 2 Comments

Glazer: A Fond Adieu to One of Chiefs Biggest, Brightest

The day finally came to say goodbye to the Chiefs best running back ever…

Jamaal Charles  just had too many injuries and hadn’t played much the past two seasons.

Still he holds many of the Chiefs rushing records, including most yards per carry and has four Pro Bowls. Sadly Charles played on average and bad Chiefs teams, so a Hall of Fame career is highly unlikely.

He will be a Chiefs Hall of Famer of course.

There was no big playoff win or game for Jamaal and that is a big reason he can’t get into the HOF down the road.

The Chiefs dumped Charles because they needed the cap room to sign other players.

Eric Berry finally got his money – $70 million over the next 6 years. He’s had a storybook career getting better with age and of course beating cancer. Last year Berry was THE best safety and was an All Pro. He’s earned the money and is the team leader today. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Hearne: The Long Predicted, Pending Death of Alternative Journalism in KC As We Know It

Death spiral, anyone?

Enough with the sentimental beating about the bush and kissing up to what little  remains of KC’s so-called alternative newsweekly The Pitch.

And as for beleaguered Pitch publisher Scott Wilson’s tap dance Monday on KCUR-FM – stating the pub’s move from weekly to monthly will finally allow it to get back into long form journalism – who does Wilson think he’s kidding?

First of all, the appetite for done-on-the-cheap, drawn out diatribes and investigations is about the last thing Kansas City wants. If the Pitch were choking out 100-plus page issues every week like a handful of years back there’d be no need for drastic cutbacks to get longer stories in.

And seriously, going to a coated stock magazine format does little to alter the fact that the move isn’t much more than an effort to cheat death…for however long.

The $64 million question:

Will the Pitch will finally pull the plug on its tacky, advertiser-unfriendly sex ads?

Worse yet, what will become of one the Pitch’s greatest strengths, its weekly entertainment coverage?

Make no mistake, this move smacks of desperation and unless a savior appears out of thin air – perhaps the Kansas City Star – by all appearances this is the beginning of the end.

Not that this comes as much of a surprise to KC Confidential readers. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 14 Comments

Glazer: Chiefs Front Runners in Tony Romo Sweepstakes

We’ll soon learn where Dallas quarterback Tony Romo will land…

Because it now appears Romo will be released by the Cowboys and not traded. The three teams believed to be in the hunt: Houston, Denver and Kansas City.

Dallas doesn’t want to pay Romo his $20 million this coming season and needs the cap space to sign other players. That’s why a release vs. a trade is likely.

And if Romo’s released signing him will be far cheaper and easier than a trade.

The Chiefs could be Romo’s top choice…why?

Kansas City is now considered one of the top three teams to go to the Super Bowl this coming season. New England clearly will be the favorite followed by the Steelers, if Big Ben doesn’t retire. Then KC.

Romo will evaluate the top teams and likely come up with the thought that KC gives him the best chance to go all the way this coming season. Continue reading

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 19 Comments

Lefsetz: Academy Awards / Oscars are for Oldsters

Who cares?

How did America’s go-to awards show – the creme de la creme – lose touch with its audience?

Let’s start with the movies themselves.

Not only is the human touch that built Hollywood purveyed now on television, but the fantasy/superhero flicks that are made to play around the world are not even honored by the Academy. It’s be like having a kid go to community college but attending graduation at Harvard – the disconnect is palpable.

But the media cannot stop trumpeting the story.

You’d think the LA Times was on the studios’ payroll.

This has been the narrative for the past 15 years.

The media controlled by Baby Boomers trumpets old paradigms while the youngsters disconnect, and then the media itself loses control. It happened in politics and it’s happening in culture.

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal had a feature on the failure of NASCAR. Its TV ratings have nearly halved – down 45% in a decade.

Wasn’t rednecks driving around in a circle supposed to be the future of sports?

Hey, only half of 18 year-olds today even get a driver’s license, and it won’t be long before no one drives themselves at all. Yet the wankers in Hollywood still think it’s about acquiring status iron and are busy tooting around in their Teslas telling us how green they are.

That’s another disconnect.

Movie stars used to be royalty we paid fealty to.

Now they’re two-dimensional icons we make fun of. Continue reading

Posted in Bob Lefsetz | Tagged | 22 Comments

New Jack City: Sunday’s ‘Oscars’—Choices versus Picks


There definitely IS a difference!

My personal preferences are not necessarily what I am actually picking to win in Sunday night’s 89th annual ACADEMY AWARDS hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

I believe the only real contest this year is in the Best Actor category where Denzel Washington (‘Fences’) is running neck-and-neck with Casey Affleck (‘Manchester By The Sea‘) and Ryan Gosling (‘La La Land’) for top honors.

If it were up to me the Oscar would go to Denzel Washington.

But reality should see Casey Affleck making the acceptance speech.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Best Actress?

My choice AND pick is LA LA’s Emma Stone. No contest here.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments