Saturday, September 23, 2006


The assistant editorial page editor of the News-Leader shows off his lack of style with a Saturday column that reeks.

He claims to be a Christian, but his first sentence is anything but:
I hate news conferences when television personalities start hunting for sound bites.
Yeah, that Jesus was such a hatemonger.

Lewis apparently has problems with "television personalities" who want quotes:
Here are some of the questions one television personality asked: How do you define cloning? Is it a sin to vote for this amendment? Is it a sin to vote for this amendment? Is it a sin to vote for this amendment? Why then don't you just say it is a sin to vote for this amendment?

Sigh. Theological illiteracy meets gotcha journalism.

What are the brainstorming sessions like at these television stations? Religious folks oppose this. They must be shouting some irrational hoodoo. Let's catch them.
Yeah, "gotcha journalism." That explains why Lewis belittles the questions — and then prints the answers given by Alan Keyes and Rick Scarborough.

Lewis also shows his disregard for basic newspaper-writing style.

He notes a conversation with "Greene County Medical Society president John Mihalevich." Mihalevich is a physician. AP style calls for him to be referred to as "Dr. John Mihalevich" on first reference.

Lewis identifies Scarborough as "Rev. Scarborough" on second reference. A definite AP style no-no.

But hey, we shouldn't expect anything better from a guy who begins his column with the words, "I hate." We'd call him a "newspaper personality," but that gives him too much credit. Call him a "newspaper typist."


Anonymous said...

Did Ron write this himself, or turn over typist duties to Dave Catanese, the particular TV hack referenced in Lewis's column?

Complain all you want about Lewis's sometimes strange and often disjointed editorials, but he makes a good point, which Ron (or some cranky alter-ego) appears to have missed completely.

He's not bitching about TV folks trying to get quotes -- he's bitching about TV hacks interested only in gathering pre-determined sound-bytes that are as controversial as possible, damn what the quoted actually wants to say.

Yes, Lewis belittles Catanese's single(cell)-minded questions, then prints Keyes and Scarborough's answers -- their actual, nuanced answers, not the 2-second, inflammatory crap that Catanese was hunting for.

If you're just in it to bash Lewis, go right ahead -- there are plenty of opportunities. After more than two years of working with the guy I'm still not sure which planet he's on. But picking on him for something he's dead-on about serves only as a critique of the critic.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Cheers #1. This is a bit vicious. I mean going after AP style issues? ske-scow.

Anonymous said...

I think the AP style issue is a bona fide complaint. The guy is the assistant editorial page editor at a daily metropolitan paper. Come on. Did he go to J school? Were there no copy editors on duty that day? Have they all left the building too?

As for the rest of Ron's complaints: Might have been out of coffee this morning.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Lewis really slams Catanese! I love a good journalism fight! But I wonder why he didn't have the guts to print his name. From what I hear, Catanese is the only "TV personality" who really asks any questions at all.

Larry Burkum said...

Lewis is, like many print reporters, jealous of the face time TV journalists receive. The questions Lewis is upset with are legitimate questions to ask as they get the heart of the argument of the religious fanatic opponents of stem cell research. The News-Leader's coverage of the "rally" contained zero substance. Perhaps that's why the News-Leader has already removed it from its web site.

Wonder what Mr. Lewis thinks of the "television personalities" in his own newsroom, now that the paper plans to produce video stories.

Anonymous said...

Says doclarry: "Lewis is, like many print reporters, jealous of the face time TV journalists receive."

Larry has surely never been a print reporter. If we wanted "face time" we'd be television journalists. We're print reporters because we DON'T want "face time." Print reporters are a whole different species of journalist. I would venture to guess most staff reporters at the N-L want nothing to do with their video production.

Anonymous said...

doclarry, get a grip. i doubt lewis would be jealous of the tv folks "face time" since his ugly mug is in the paper every week.

Anonymous said...

The bottom line in all of this is that Catanese's questions WERE relevant. And maybe he repeated the questions, because they weren't being answered. Has Lewis ever heard of follow-ups? Seems to me like Journalism 101.

David Catanese said...

For those interested, I have just published a response to Brian Lewis on the KY3 Political Blog.

Anonymous said...

And ... I think you are right Dave ... I know it is difficult to ask reporters to understand the science behind stuff ... and sort out the science from the science fiction... I have jumped all over Lisa's butt about it.

But if you are going to report political stuff about public decisions made about science, it would be informative to your audience to actually talk to scientists, rather than politicians about the science.

There are so many area that we just get furious with the news people about not understanding what the facts are -- and you guys are suppose to be about facts ... not heat, or spin, or ratings for that matter.

Anonymous said...

Incidentally Anon 959 is me ... I tried no fewer than 7 times to post the comment under various scenarios that ID me ... whatever Ron has done ... I hate it ...

John Stone

Anonymous said...

Grow some skin, David Catanese. I say that as a fan.

Boobs like Lewis are a dime a dozen. The only thing that differentiates him from most other boobs is that, like you, he currently enjoys a public forum from which to demonstrate his shortcomings. If Lewis had the courage of his own convictions, he would have named you in the column, but he hasn't those convictions, so he didn't. You shouldn't waste your time responding to such a gutless wonder.

One other thing, Dave. In your return volley against Lewis that you posted on your blog, you suggest it is acceptable for a journalist to be rude in order to get answers to questions. Not to sound biblical here, but you only reap what you sow by doing that. You can be tough and effective without abandoning civility and basic courtesy. Instead of being a bombthrower or a human siren at your next news conference when a subject fails to respond directly to your question, let the subject deconstruct himself with his failure to respond, and let the viewers see it in your reporting. Try being the grown-up, and letting the subject be the spoiled brat. Perhaps that's too great a challenge for you to even attempt?

I write this as a journalist with nearly 35 years of professional experience working in print and broadcast. It's attitudes such as yours that have brought public regard for our profession to its current dismal level. But it's not too late for you to change.

Anonymous said...

I'm posting this message here as Dave's blog won't allow anonymous posts. (Sorry, doclarry, I have too many accounts and too many passwords to sign up for yet another.) Lewis responded on Dave's blog and I'm responding to that:

Thanks, Brian. I think you summed that up very well. As a print journalist, I couldn't agree more, especially about the need to be rude. If I've gone there as a journalist, I haven't done my job very well. I'd reconsider journalism as a profession.

As for Dave, I agree that criticsm is often a learning experience, although I'd never respond to it. Aside from a job as a columnist, print reporters prefer to stay removed from the story. The reader/critic should have the last word.

Lastly, on blogs such as KY's: Again, not like print. I don't want my personal opinions known. My position's are irrelevant. No one should be able to tell what my opinions are - or again, I haven't done my job. Impartiality is integral to good journalism.

Anonymous said...

VD Jericho is going to take up this issue on Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

Anon #1 here,

For the doclarry and the others defending Catanese -- I don't dispute that the question he was asking was a relevant one. The fact that he kept asking it because he didn't get the answer HE WAS LOOKING FOR is the problem. Keyes and Scarborough answered the question, it just wouldn't fit into a two-second, brain-dead soundbyte.

Anonymous said...

Over 6 years of work have gone into the Technology Park issue and all the City does is say nothing about it publicly. There is a NEW PETITION WHICH DOES NOT APPROPRIATE MONEY at This has always been a citizen’s lead non-partisan effort!

Along comes the Sheriff and the City of Springfield law department looks the other way. National media is saying turn out is the most important thing in November. It looks like the Republicans are using the City election process for “Conservative” turnout. Last week KSPR-33 ran a story on how the group supporting the 21 and under ban---running the campaign are doing voter registration at Evangel University---more Republican. In a close US SENATE race this effort for a higher turnout could affect all the people of the nation because a US Senator votes on national issues.

The prosecutor should ask the issue be removed from the ballot---clearly it under enforcement is a citizen’s petition requiring the city to pay money to enforce the law.

But money and power rules the day.

Movie of the year

CD of the year Modern Times

What the heck---wasting time anyway the City does whatever it wants!


September 19, 2006

Darrell Moore, Prosecutor,
Darrell L. Moore
Prosecuting Attorney
1010 Boonville Avenue
Springfield, M 65802

Dear Darrell Moore,


The following is a letter asking you to take a look at an issue and see if it is being properly handled by the City of Springfield and its legal department.

A brief summary of the issues at hand are:

Over 2000 signatures were turned in 2001 and in August of this year 1291 citizens signatures were turned in requesting a vote on the possible development of a Technology Park to help get more and better job opportunities in the Springfield, Missouri area.

On September 5, 2006 City Council Summary - September 5, 2006. Ms. Deborah Atwood wishes to address City Council. Ms. Atwood turned in an initiative petition regarding a technology park.

The City of Springfield did not respond in any way until Ms. Atwood called at 8:30am and asked to talk to the legal department and then called back to talk with Brenda Cirtin. They both claimed to be in meetings. It would seem as though they were never going to respond. One thing they point out is that they will not be reviewing any more petitions unless they have a large number of signatures. They need to do their job as required by City Charter which is the law in Springfield. Ms. Atwood is simply trying to get approval before people go out and do all the necessary wok to secure 1300 signatures. The City Charter does not say how many signatures trigger the process. Clearly we have had lawyers look over the petition but the real matter is our grass roots group could have 20 LAWYERS APPROVE THE PETITION AND THE City Law department dream up additional reasons not to approve the petitions.

Clearly it would seem that in an open and free democratic society the City Council would sit down and help work out proper language and let the people have a vote on the issue. We are fighting wars on the premise of Democracy and letting the people be free to decide their destinies.

We are updating our website and have examples of how Technology Parks are being developed in states and nations around the world creating jobs and opportunities. At present we are not wanting to debate the issue until we get our right to place such issue on the ballot.

All three petitions were turned down because they say it is appropriating money which violates city charter. Our latest petition has a several sentence, but it seems clear that maybe a “Shall the City of Springfield Establish a Technology Park in a one to three years”.

A second option would be a petition requiring the City to change the name of the second industrial park and become its sole owner which would allow for State Promotion and State and Federal Grants to help promote and develop it. Presently it is hard to pinpoint who is responsible with so many ways to pass the buck. The City, Chamber of Commerce, Greene County, and City Utilities own it.

Companies Located In Partnership Industrial Center West
Stamina Products
Executive Coach Builder
Cabinets By RKC
Gold Mechanical

Please note the following is the letter finally sent by Brenda Cirtin:

Subject: Petition
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2006 16:09:38 -0500
From: "Cirtin, Brenda" Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert

To: mswebdeb@xxxxxxx

Here is a copy of my letter that I am mailing today.

Ms. Deborah Atwood

Springfield, MO 65804

Dear Ms. Atwood:

I forwarded the petitions you submitted at the City Council meeting to
the Law Department for inspection and review as to their validity. The
City Attorney has informed me that the petitions are invalid for the
following reasons:

1. Section 14.1 of the City Charter reads as follows:

The electors shall have power to propose any ordinance, except an ordinance appropriating money and to adopt or reject the same at the polls, such power being known as the initiative. Any initiated ordinance may be submitted to the council by a petition signed by qualified electors of the City equal in number to at least ten percent of the total number of persons voting at the last general municipal election in April.

The petition you submitted is a violation of this section in that it calls for the City to develop a technology park; therefore, it is appropriating money.

Additionally, the Law Department has indicated that in the future
petitions that are submitted that clearly do not have the requisite number of signatures will not be reviewed as to their validity, as this
purports to their giving of a legal opinion to private citizens, which is against the City Charter.

For these reasons, I will not be certifying the petition and City
Council will be informed that the petition is invalid and no action will be

If I can be of any additional assistance, please contact me.

Brenda M. Cirtin, MMC/MPCC
City Clerk
City of Springfield
840 Boonville


wrongdoing; wrongful conduct; misconduct; actus reus
╚transgression; evildoing
╚crime; law-breaking


develop - definition by
Source: WordNet (r) 1.7
v 1: make something new, such as a product or a mental or
artistic creation;"Her company developed a new kind of
building material that withstands all kinds of weather";
"They developed a new technique"
2: work out; as of a theory or an idea; "We have developed a
new theory of evolution" [syn: evolve]
3: acquire or build up traits or characteristics: "Children
must develop a sense of right and wrong"; "Dave developed
leadership qualities in his new position"; "develop a
passion for painting" [syn: evolve]
4: come to have or undergo a change of (physical features and
attributes); "He grew a beard"; The patient developed
abdominal pains"; I got funny spots all over my body";
"Well-developed breasts" [syn: grow, produce, get, acquire]
5: come into existence; take on form or shape; "A new religious
movement originated in that country" "a love that sprang
up from friendship," "the idea for the book grew out of a
short story"; "An interesting phenomenon uprose" [syn: originate,
arise, rise, uprise, spring up, grow]
6: change the use of and make available or usable; "develop
land"; "The country developed its natural resources"
7: elaborate, as of theories and hypotheses; "Could you develop
the ideas in your thesis" [syn: explicate, formulate]
8: create by training and teaching; "The old master is training
world-class violinists; "we develop the leaders for the
future" [syn: train, prepare, educate]
9: be gradually disclosed or unfolded; become manifest; "The
plot developed slowly";
10: grow, progress, unfold, or evolve through a process of
evolution, natural growth, differentiation, or a
conducive environment; "A flower developed on the
branch"; "The country developed into a mighty
superpower"; "The embryo develops into a fetus"; "This
situation has developed over a long time"
11: make a country technologically advanced; "Many countries in
Asia are now developing at a very fast pace"; "Viet Nam
is modernizing rapidly" [syn: civilize, civilise, modernize,
12: cause to grow and differentiate in ways conforming to its
natural development; "The perfect climate here develops
the grain"; "He developed a new kind of apple" [syn: make
13: generate gradually; "We must develop more potential
customers"; "develop a market for the new mobile phone"
14: grow emotionally or mature; "The child developed beautifully
in her new kindergarten"; "When he spent a summer at
camp, the boy grew noticeably and no longer showed some
of his old adolescent behavior" [syn: grow]
15: make visible by means of chemical solutions; of photographic
film; "Please develop this roll of film for me"
16: superimpose a three-dimensional surface on a plane without
stretching, in geometry
17: move one's chess pieces into strategically more advantageous
positions; "Spassky developed quickly"
18: move into a strategically more advantageous position, of a
chess piece; "develop the rook"
19: elaborate by the unfolding of a musical idea and by the
working out of the rhythmic and harmonic changes in the
theme; "develop the melody and change the key"
20: happen, as of an event; "Report the news as it develops";
"These political movements recrudesce from time to time"
[syn: break, recrudesce]
21: expand in the form of a series, in mathematics; "Develop the
function in the following form"

to establish (third-person singular simple present establishes, present participle establishing, simple past established, past participle established)
to establish Third person singular

Simple past
Past participle
Present participle

1. (transitive) To make stable or firm; to confirm.
2. (transitive) To form; to set up in business.
3. (transitive) To found; to institute.
4. (transitive) To appoint, as officers, laws, regulations, etc.; to enact; to ordain.
5. (transitive) To prove and cause to be accepted as true; to establish a fact; to demonstrate.

The follow are stright from your website: The underlying philosophy of this office is that we serve you as ministers of justice. Our job is to uphold the law and do justice.

Promote and improve public safety.
Hold accountable violators of the criminal law.
Enhance the quality of life in our community.
Be leaders in quality prosecution.
Aggressively advocate our cause.
Continuously improve the quality and quantity of our service.


I requested and received several copies of petitions approved by the City to go to the ballot. The one that is going to be on the ballot in November states generally. During a time when alcohol is being consumed, it shall be unlawful for any person under twenty one (21) years of age to be on the premises of any bar, nightclubs, establishments

Section G Enforcement. Failure or refusal of a business to provide the necessary form as required by this ordinance of allow an officer or investigator to perform such inspection of the premises at any time the business is open, or at any reasonable time, shall be grounds for suspension of the liquor license pursuant to Section 10-33 and 10-40 through 10-43.
I see that if a “Springfield Police Officer or Investigator” or any paid person spends time and is paid which will have to happen then that is appropriating money and a cost to the city. If any money from a federal grant is involved then they are involved in a violation of a LAW---which is the City Charter. I think this issue should be looked at by the Grand Jury before it goes to a vote of the people in November.

I realize this letter will be


Other issues which are too many to mention except the City is under a State audit which citizens need to voice issues of concern to the State Audits Claire McCaskill’s office.

If any of the One Million Dollars which disappeared form city council is found some of it could be used for the promotion of a technology park. If any of the traffic fines and Municipal Court Money---One Million which the city says “disappeared is sent to the Federal Government---then they should look at it also.

I think the people of Springfield are more concerned about BETTER JOB OPPORTUNITIES that the city as reported on KTTS The City is Sweeping the issue under the rug. Of course the City has strongly promoted more bar and nightclub development in recent years.

The USA is fighting several wars on the premise of Democracy but we allow a City to sweep it under the rug and trounce on the rights of the citizens. If we had more and better paying jobs we could have less domestic violence.

The corruption in Springfield and Greene County is out of control and the law is being enforced for the wealthy only.


Steven L. Reed

COPY e-mailed to:

Correspondence to the Department, including the Attorney General, may be sent to:
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
E-mails to the Department of Justice, including the Attorney General, may be sent to

PS Yes I am holding my breath for a response!

Anonymous said...

What the f*&#?

John Stone said...

Huh? .....

Anonymous said...

I heard that.

Anonymous said...

It's really sad to see how far out into the snow drifts some of the former Bush White House advisers have wandered.

I hope 9:40 starts taking his meds soon...

Anonymous said...

He's Jim Talent, and he approved that message.

Anonymous said...

Steven Reed? He was great on Battlestar Gallactica and Mannix, but he will always be Mike Brady in our hearts.

Anonymous said...

I really like Chatter quite a bit more than I used to.

Anonymous said...

Mike Brady was played by Robert Reed, not Steven Reed.

Anonymous said...

I love Mannix! Is he alive? Now how did that theme song go ...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Mike Brady was played by Robert Reed, not Steven Reed.

2:52 PM, September 27, 2006

and Desidinova the Eternal Light said at 5:35 p.m September 27, 2006

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Mike Brady was played by Robert Reed, not Steven Reed.

2:52 PM, September 27, 2006

and Desidinova the Eternal Light said at 5:35 p.m September 27, 2006
DDDDDUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHH! (Sorry I screwed up the first time)

Anonymous said...

Mannix was played by Mike Connors, not by Mike Brady, Steven Reed, Steven Brady, or Jim Brady.

Mike Connors was, incidentally, the little brother of James Arness, who played Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

RE: Mike Connors was...

Actually, Peter Graves is James Arness' brother.

Anonymous said...

Steven Reed does have something in common with James Arness---he tells the truth---too bad Springfield City Council cringes--- : to shrink in fear or servility
3 : to behave in an excessively humble or servile way
4 : to recoil in distaste
---at the thought of the Truth.


By the way he has a nice website!

GO MATT DILLON because if ya doing wrong he will get you and make it right!

Anonymous said...

But for those of you who want to make me look like a fool...Robert Reed was on Mannix at the same time he was on the Brady Bunch and Larry Linnville was also on Mannix at the same time he was on MASH.

Nya-Nya Nya Nya Nya!
The point is what is all that doing in this thread?

Anonymous said...

Norman Schwarzkopf and Willard Scott are the same person.

Admit it: You've never seen the two of them together, now have you?

Anonymous said...

Press Rumors that Roy Blunt was in the know about Foley e-mails

Sparks are about to fly!

Anonymous said...

Press Rumors fly was Roy Blunt in the know? About Mark Foley e-mails

The below is on his currnt website

President George Bush

“He's a leader who knows how to raise his sights and lower his voice.”

Representative Mark Foley quoted in Roll Call 2/28/2002

“Roy Blunt will be the next Majority Whip for one reason: He knows how to work with everyone”

Anonymous said...

You're right. Lewis is a nitwit.