Letters from the week of November 25

Martin: “What’s That Smell?”
November 18

Quit Being Boring, David Martin!

This article lacked the snide comments typical of a Pitch article. Overall, it was incredibly boring. Maybe if the people being investigated were Republicans, then we would get to read a juicy story, complete with direct insults and insinuations that the people were complete douche bags.

Joshua Lawson, Peculiar

Quit Being a Hack, David Martin!

This is a real hack job in reporting. [Martin was] clearly put up to this by Mayor Mark Funkhouser, who has an issue with the Port Authority achieving some success. Making William T. Session and Trey Runnion the fall guys is disappointing at best.

Sensational journalism leads with what people are eating and drinking when they meet, implying that business done in a restaurant is clearly wrong. It takes you paragraphs to get to any actual reporting, and you never get to the real issue. I hope that time spent reading receipts was worth it.

What you didn’t mention is that the Port Authority’s land and its vision for growth need strong environmental representation. There are years of crap on that property, and unless you want it to continue to be a vast wasteland, strong leadership is needed. But if you want to slow down the process to a crawl because of Funkhouser’s political ego, then go ahead and keep writing stories like this.

As much as the writer of the article tried to paint a picture of wrongdoing, nothing wrong was done. Stories like this that don’t warp facts simply avoid them. The real story behind this story is that some successful, driven individuals finally want to do something with the riverfront, and in order to do so, they need to break away from the city’s control. Funkhouser hates this; thus, the dispute. I’d say anyone with a passion who wants to get something done in this city has my support.

Dan, via pitch.com

Feature: “Who’s Afraid of Markus Lee?” November 11

Don’t Feed the Fear

Markus Lee is a symptom of more significant problems: neighborhoods that have given up on themselves, and people who have nothing more to look forward to. The change is simple. If people want to live in peace, they have to stand up to those who, like Lee, feed on fear. Until then, they deserve all the Lees they harbor.

Allan Quigley, Belton

Double-dog Dare

Seeing that we don’t know the full story, we cannot judge this young man by what The Pitch has written. At the end of his life, whenever that may be, he has only one person to answer to. It saddens me that more and more black males are going down this exact same path. I am a 24-year-old black male in college, watching all of my brothers fading in the mist of drugs, violence and early death. One day my brothers will see their greatness. Pitch, I dare you — no, I double-dog dare you — to write a story about a black man without a criminal record. Keep your head up, Markus Lee.

Robert A. Jones Jr., Kansas City, Missouri

Knowing Him When

I’ve been knowing this young man ever since he was about 11 years of age. He didn’t exactly have the most pleasurable childhood. I extended my hand out to him when I could. I lived in the same hood as he did, and I felt that it was my duty as an older adult to help our youth out in time of need. I find it rather hard to believe that this young man I knew as a kid growing up could be labeled as a killer. This young man was kind, gentle and soft-spoken. He never bothered anyone and was well-liked. He had some family problems and was kicked out the house from time to time but always seemed to make it on these streets with the help of friends. I’m sad to think that he would do such a thing. I’ve always cared about this young man and always will. Markus, take care of yourself, and I’ll keep you in my prayers.

Bennie, via pitch.com

Gory Glory?

Nice job glorifying a little thug who “got away with murder.” Way to go, Pitch!

C, via pitch.com

Predicting the Future

I’m trying to find the part of the article where the writer glorifies this guy. His life doesn’t sound too glorious. He will be dead or in prison for life before he is 30. Nobody to blame but himself. He seems to be smart and articulate, full of wasted potential, on a short path to an early demise. Readers got a glimpse into the mindset of a section of society that’s far removed from their own. Great story. Too bad most of the readers’ comments missed the point.

Mark Smith, Independence

Correction: Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department Det. Scott Emery, not KCPD Capt. Jeff Emery, was interviewed for Nadia Pflaum’s November 11 story, “Catch Him If They Can.”

The Pitch Has Needs, Too

Art Writer

We’re looking for a smart critic to report on and review Kansas City’s art scene. What we don’t want: pretentious, dry, academic wanking for scenesters by scenesters. What we do want: sharp thinking, evocative descriptions and a distinctive voice.

Editorial Assistant
In this part-time position, the editorial assistant coordinates newsroom projects; tracks expenses; and works as a liaison among reporters, editors and readers. He or she should be proficient in Word and Excel and conversant with local media. Web and HTML skills a plus.

Interested in one of these positions? Send an e-mail to joe.tone@pitch.com. Include a résumé, some relevant writing samples, and a friendly note explaining what you want to do and why. Cover letters that don’t totally suck will be given special attention, although cover letters are hell to write, so we reserve the right to skim the lousy ones, too.