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Part 3: K.C. Star Lacks Integrity, Few Are Surprised | Missouri Political News Service

Part 3: K.C. Star Lacks Integrity, Few Are Surprised

October 26th, 2009 by mopns · No Comments

The K.C. Star & Selective Reporting

Part Two: K.C. Star Biased?

In a recent piece of “investigative journalism,” the Kansas City Star manufactured a corruption story featuring Rod Jetton, former Speaker of the Missouri House. While it very well may be true that Jetton had issues, The Star clearly invented the “facts” they presented to meet their political goals. In their fabrication, they alleged unlawful “pay to play” activity after leaping to conclusions about a few contributions to various campaigns that Jetton was connected to.

They alleged that Jetton played a role in passing various bills in 2009 and directed contributions to reward legislators who voted in his favor. The Star seems to forget, however, that his power over legislation ended when he was termed out of the House – now he runs campaigns and is a consultant for various Missouri companies, not Speaker. He is not a “puppet master” as one of their quoted sources asserts.

While the Star is on the topic of corruption, why don’t they look at the contribution practices of the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys? According to published reports in 2004, the MATA PAC alone raised well over $1 million and promptly distributed it to its offshoot committees, who raised even more money and gave primarily to Democrats. According to MEC records, this special interest group and their leadership gave over $3 million to Missouri campaigns in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles – with approximately 86% of it going to Democrats. This doesn’t even include the amount given by rank-and-file members of MATA or MATA’s two PACs. It is clear that MATA has an agenda and throws money around like candy at a parade. Why not accuse them of “pay to play” tactics?

Undoubtedly, the Star chose to target a Republican to take some of the heat off of Missouri Democrats after a federal investigation ended with three high-ranking legislators – all Democrats – stepping down amid convictions on corruption-related charges. Not surprisingly, the Star has for the most part avoided covering this story; it simply does not mesh with the ideals of the editorial board. It is too bad that the news division of this once-respected newspaper chose to abandon the ethical principles of journalism to kowtow to the political whims of their higher-ups. No wonder this newspaper keeps losing their readers.


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Tags: Kansas City · Media Bias · MO Supreme Court

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