Valentine: Judging American History Out of Context

Feinstein

Original art by Mark Valentine

Americans do not approve of torture…

That said, most of us are conflicted about “The Torture Report.

There are some big problems with it. First of all, it didn’t stop any of the torture. The techniques were abandoned years ago. Second, the release of the report made Americans and our allies less safe by opening old wounds and offering propaganda opportunities for our enemies.

On the surface, it appeared to be California senator Dianne Feinstein inflicting a wound on the CIA to get even with them for looking at her emails. Aside from the decision to put us at risk for such a personal reason, the report made the mistake of passing judgment out of context.  Continue reading

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Hearne: The Flip Side of News-Talk Station KMBZ’s New Split Personality

Unknown-1Once upon a time – not that long ago actually – KMBZ 980 AM was taking down in excess of $6 million a year in billing…

But you know,  times change – listeners get older, advertisers loose interest or boycott – and then whamo – next thing you know you’re KCMO Talk Radio 710. As in, you’ve gone from the penthouse to the outhouse and nobody under 50 even remembers that there was a time when you actually mattered.

which explains in part why the powers that be at Entercom Kansas City opted nearly four years ago to simulcast KMBZ 980 on 98.1 FM instead of making the arguably more obvious choice of moving 610 Sports to the high ground.

At this point however, that’s all water under the bridge. Continue reading

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New Jack City: Exhibitors Were Right to Pull the Plug on ‘The Interview’

UnknownMy take on movie exhibitors pulling THE INTERVIEW from their screens for Christmas?

It was the right thing to do.

Ultimately the circuits dumping the movie led to Sony Entertainment scrapping the picture for good.

Yet as late as early yesterday afternoon,  evening press screening of THE INTERVIEW that night was still on. I didn’t receive word of the that cancellation until around 4:00 p.m.

So why am I taking this pro theater cancellation stand? Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: Reese Witherspoon Captivates In Gritty ‘Wild’

FOX_3558.psdIf you read Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild: From Lost To Found On The Pacific Crest Trail you’ll be happy to hear that the film follows the book quite closely…

You may also be wondering how well WILD translates to the screen.

Rest assured that DALLAS PLAYERS CLUB director Jean-Marc Vallee pulled it off.

Of course a lot of credit has to also go to co-producer and star of the film Reese Witherspoon who gives it her all.

As Cheryl Strayed she brings to life a soul that after years of reckless behavior, sex addition and the destruction of her marriage, searches for a fix to turn her life around.

Witherspoon finds it along the Pacific Crest Trail, an 1,100 mile stretch of powerful terrors, pleasures and maddening physical encounters.

All the while being haunted by memories of her mother played by Laura Dern. Continue reading

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Starbeams: Kathie Lee Fingers Cosby, Sprint-NASCAR Divorce, New AMC Movie Deal

rs_300x300-141216112622-600.-kathie-lee-gifford-hoda-kotb-bill-cosby-2011Kathie Lee Gifford says Bill Cosby once tried to kiss her.  I’m going to defend Bill on this one.  HE must have been drunk.

                                                          *******

Sprint will drop its NASCAR sponsorship after the 2016.  “That’s terrible news because I LOVE using my fancy cell phone!” said no NASCAR fan, ever.

                                                           ******* Continue reading

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Hearne: Rumored KMBZ Radio Format Change Could Backfire, Experts Say

homer_simpson_doh_pic-300x204It took nearly four years for Entercom to admit it made a mistake…

To confirm that blowing up adult contemporary powerhouse KUDL (98.1 FM) in order to simulcast News Radio KMBZ (980 AM) on the FM band to try and attract younger listeners was a failure.

That deal went down in March 2011.

However if the word on the street is correct – and Entercom and KMBZ officials aren’t returning calls on this one – and come January KMBZ AM and FM are divided into two different, competing radio formats, it will be an admission by station management that its three and a half year plus “experiment” with simulcasting was a failure.

For several reasons.

For starters, the combined ratings for KMBZ AM and FM actually went down, even though Entercom reportedly raised its ad rates by 20 percent.  Continue reading

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Hearne: Don’t Miss KC Confidential’s Christmas Wilding Wednesday @ Stanford’s

april_macie_l_762c8d14850214d54c1c95b520912533_MvfcNi5.sizedBrace yourselves…

This year’s KC Confidential Christmas Wilding is about to unfold. Better and badder than ever, btw, in part because we’re shedding our in-town ways and holding the shindig in South Johnson County.

That’s right, in the land of milk and honey where propped up two-income families glide about their business in late model Lexus, Mercedes and Jaguar automobiles. Where the politics are (allegedly) clean and the mega churches packed on Sundays…and in the lair of the Scribe otherwise known as “King of Sting” Craig Glazer.

The blessed event goes down at 5 p.m. this Wednesday at the spanking new Stanford & Sons comedy club in Rosana Square at 119th and Metcalf. Continue reading

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Glazer: Reveling in Mediocrity, Chiefs Win, Remain in Hunt

XU264592_2__2716957bYesterday’s Kansas City Chiefs looked looked like the team of November…

And they played very much like the team that was 7-3 before the fall to 7-6. Oakland looked helpless. All the Chiefs name players had good games. Alex Smith passed for just under 300 yards. We haven’t had a 300 yard passing game in two years. Still no wide out caught a TD pass, but the Chiefs dominated Oakland in every department.

De’Anthony Thomas had a nice return run for a TD. Travis Kelce led the Chiefs in receiving and caught a touchdown pass. Dwayne Bowe showed up and had a solid game. Tamba Hali and Justin Houston each had a sack.

So in short,  everyone got well.

Now the Chiefs have two real tests ahead of them.

A road game with a good Steeler team coming up. It’s likely the Chiefs will need to win  their two remaining games – the Steelers there and Chargers here. If they want to get into the playoffs, that is.

So there is still a chance.

In fact a 9-7 record could get in if all the also-runs keep losing. Continue reading

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Valentine: Celebrating Hate & Craig Glazer

Glazer

Original art by Mark Valentine

I was driving by the new Stanford & Sons comedy club on 119th Street the other day…

And it made me appreciate that Stanford’s owner Craig Glazer is an entertaining sports writer. Every week he makes us ride his own personal emotional roller coaster as he alternately loves then hates the Kansas City Chiefs, the team’s coaches, its fans and sometimes the city itself.

As the football season wound its way down, Craig would modify his rants and appear on his own comedy club stage.

This one’s for you:

The Chiefs can technically still make the playoffs…

“Technically” is what Craig says when asked if he’s still a Chiefs fan.

Craig got an invitation to a big wedding. One of The Chiefs is getting married next month…

So Craig is pleased that at least one Chief will get a ring this year.

Timing is everything.  It is what puts the “eek’ in losing streak Continue reading

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New Jack City: “Birdman’ Tops 48th Annual KC Critics Awards

001_BM_SG_00665.JPGThe 24 members of Kansas City’s Film Critics Circle have spoken…

Representing local and regional radio, television, newspaper and on-line media outlets— they  voted Sunday for The Best On Film for 2014.

And the KC’s Critics Circle’s top pick this year was “BIRDMAN” for BEST PICTURE,

BEST ACTOR: Micheal Keaton

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Edward Norton

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: The groundbreaking film “BOYHOOD,” for which Richard Linklater was named BEST DIRECTOR while Patricia Arquette won BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS honors.

Continue reading

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Glazer: Lawrence Strip Club Cop Stop & This Weeks Picks

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 1.09.56 PMLawrence strip club Allstars sent a limo to take me and comic Trevor Moore and his Whitest Kids U Know crew to Lawrence last night…

Stanford’s had featured the playmate appearing at Allstars on our pod cast Wednesday so they invited us to come to their Christmas party.

We got there a bit after midnight – I’d been there once before – but both times got yanked over by cops checking for DUI”s.

It’s the big thing these days – the big money play – and boy are they out there.

Hey, we were even in a limo and still got pulled over.

Nobody was drinking – although we could have been. Finally the cop let us go after questioning us about what we planned to do and needling us for no reason. But I mean seriously, a limo pullover?

Aren’t you supposed to have a professional driver if your group is drinking?

Oh, well. Continue reading

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Leftridge: KC Takes “No Room for Improvement!” Approach at Winter Meetings, Apparently

morales_kendrysHot off of their first World Series appearance in almost three decades (when I stop and think about that, it still freaks me out and doesn’t feel quite “real”), the Kansas City Royals headed into Major League Baseball’s winter meetings with three holes to fill: a starting pitcher capable of replacing the departing James Shields, a right fielder better than Nori Aoki, and a designated hitter with more oomph than Billy Butler.

Here’s what they did:

  • Signed relief pitcher Jason Frasor to a one-year deal worth $1.25MM.
  • Signed woodsman/failed starter/good reliever Luke Hochevar to a two-year deal worth $10MM.
  • Signed recently-terrible DH Kendrys Morales to a two-year deal worth $17MM.
  • Probably had some delicious food.
  • Probably enjoyed being in San Diego in early December.

Continue reading

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Donnelly: Sporting KC Overhauling Roster After Disappointing Season Finish

Sporting Kansas City spent the second half of the 2014 season on an epic slide that finally and mercifully ended with a first round playoff loss to the New York Red Bulls.

There’s a lot of blame to go around, to be sure.  Injuries, for one.  National team call-ups.  Fatigue from playing in so many different competitions. Poor goalkeeping.  Lack of continuity from constantly juggling the lineup.

So it’s no surprise that Sporting has been cleaning house over the last few weeks, addressing their failings from 2014 and rebuilding the roster.

Let’s do a recap: Continue reading

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Glazer: The Indisputable, Awful Truth About The Kansas City Chiefs

JonBaldwinUpsideDownWhy do our Kansas City Chiefs fall short of the mark every year?

Simple, we’re one of the NFL’s worst drafting teams of all time. We’ve not had a franchise quality quarterback since Len Dawson in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.

That’s the simple answer.

But yes, you can add in a poor front office, poor coaching and bad moves of every sort over the past 30 years. All of which have led to zero Super Bowls the past half century.

This year is coming to an end and once again Kansas City fans have been hoodwinked by the long term contract for Alex Smith, and soon another one for Justin Houston and “Boy, Andy sure is a Dandy.”

Hey, even I got suckered earlier this season.

Why? Because like most of you I wanted to believe we had something (even though deep down, I knew we really didn’t).

Football is a modern game based on passing and we don’t have that. Continue reading

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Star beams: P&L Red Light Zone, Bill Cosby, NASA & Making Whoopi

amsterdam05The historic Power and Light Building will be renovated with some apartments going for as much as $3,500 a month.  If you’re a woman you can make that money back quickly via that giant flashing red light.

                                                           *******

A NASA spacecraft just awoke from hibernation and will begin to photograph Pluto.  The craft fell asleep in the 1970s after a date with Bill Cosby. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: Chris Rock Hits With ‘Top Five’

Top-Five-1-Chris-RockYou’ve gotta give Chris Rock a lot of credit… 

After a period of involving himself with—shall we say—less than stellar movie parts, all of the sudden he’s turned edgy again.

Rock wrote, directed and stars in his own motion picture which Paramount picked up for distribution following its triumphant debut at this year’s Toronto Film Festival.

TOP FIVE is a star-studded adult comedy romp, complete with an irresistible romance while digging deep under the surface of the television and movie business and the media in general. Oh, and let’s not forget politics—all while being black and famous in America.

TOP FIVE tells the story of New York City comedian-turned movie star Andre Allen (Rock) whose screen fame consists of starring in the Hammy The Bear action-comedy trilogy—of which he is damn tired.

So he’s made a new beginning in his film career with a dramatic telling of the 1791 Haitian revolution called UPRIZE. And he’s making the media rounds, talk shows and junket sessions in the Big Apple to promote his new movie.

Trouble is, his audience isn’t buying it – they want more Hammy the Bear!

That’s when Rosario Dawson falls into Rock’s life. She’s a reporter for the New York Times assigned to do a feature story on him and—-well, let’s just say things go into some weird directions. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: What Goes Around Comes Around — The 1960s

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 1.32.46 PMThis is how the sixties started…

We’ve been told to trust Big Brother, that the government and the corporations know more. That the rich are smart. That we should be thankful we’ve got flat screens.

Hogwash.

They’ve scared you. Frightened you into believing your life is at risk from external forces only they can protect you from. If the government doesn’t scan your phone calls and your e-mails, doesn’t break every law in the Constitution, our whole nation will go under and you with it.

The truth is it has. We’ve lost our country and we’ve got to take it back.

There’s a fiction that musicians will lead the way. But they’re usually last. It’s the abused, those unjustly affected by the system, who revolt first.

That’s right, the sixties began with civil rights demonstrations. Which is why high-paid NFL players protest the chokehold but no musician with millions of Twitter followers has written a song about it… That’s what’s wrong with this nation, all the individuality, we’re only powerful when we come together. Continue reading

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New Jack City: Holiday Air Travel Tips—Read ‘Em & Don’t Weep!

c-travel-dog-airplane_49625_600x450A few holiday angst travel avoidance reminders…

With the legacy carriers all booked to the brim during the upcoming holiday peak travel period, here are a few last minute tips that may keep you from experiencing a ruined Christmas trip.

First off, bear in mind that the carriers have reduced their capacity on practically all routes—yet are experiencing more demand than ever.

What that means for you?

Many prime time flights are overbooked, so if you arrive to the check-in counter late there’s an even greater chance of being bumped—whether you’re holding a confirmation or not!

And since the next flights to that same destination are probably fully booked as well, good luck getting a seat even later that same day.

RULE NO. 1: GET TO THE AIRPORT EARLY! Continue reading

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Sutherland: An Instant Classic

gone-girl-DF-01826cc_rgb.jpgStop me if you’ve heard this before…..

But seriously, if like me you don’t get to the movies every week, and are thinking about what to see over the holidays, you can’t go wrong if you chose GONE GIRL.

David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” is based on a book of the same name by Kansas City native Gillian Flynn, who also wrote the movie’s screenplay.  Its subject is the suspicious disappearance of a young married woman, Amy Elliott Dunne (played by English actress Rosamund Pike) on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary.  Her husband, Nick Dunne (played by Ben Affleck), is a seemingly good guy who is stunned by the event.  Soon, however, clues surface that hint that things may not be what they seem, either in the Dunnes’ marriage or in the circumstances surrounding Amy’s turning up missing.

Suddenly the perspective changes in a jolting fashion, with everything you’ve started to believe about the characters flying right out the window.  Fincher’s masterful directorial force kicks into overdrive, as it did in his earlier films, “The Game” and “Social Network,” aided this time in no small part by the musical score of Trent Rezor and Atticus Ross.  Once that happens, I guarantee you that no one will leave the theatre.  You’re hooked!

There have been long discursive reviews of this movie, pondering what it says about the state of contemporary marriage or if it’s post-feminist in its attitude towards women.  Even more tedious are the disquisitions on whether the movie’s plot is “post-modernist” or whether it really is “meta” (teen-speak for self-referential).

Forget all that.  Just focus on the following reasons to see the movie: Continue reading

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Glazer: Life in the Bermuda Triangle of Football

why-we-suckThe Chiefs season ended in Arizona…

And Missouri’s football team didn’t belong in the same city as Alabama’s, but somehow they got there. Kansas State kinda showed up, but Baylor had no trouble beating them.

All three teams – as always – just can’t win the big one.

To be fair Missouri has become a really good program. They went to back to back SEC title games, losing both. K-State on the other hand has never really beaten anyone who mattered at the end of the year, so they’re not really on a par with MU.

K-State is just a nice little team and Mizzou is trying to be a big boy.

Missouri at least seems to have a shot – but K State doesn’t.

Because when coach Bill Snyder leaves, say goodnight.

Which brings us to the Chiefs… Continue reading

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