Saturday, February 23, 2019


Better than opinion, more useful then speculation, this week our blog community brought NEWS on one of the most important journalistic and 1st Amendment fights in the Kansas City metro.


Columnist Steve Rose shared his FIRST public rebuttal against a lawsuit from a Kansas State Senator.

Posted in fairness, The Kansas GOP shared an update to their arguments against the Kansas City Star.

Now, upon review of both sides of this debate, one thing remains clear:


Let's break it down . . .

So-Called Journalistic Ethics Are A Bad Joke And Not Something Courts Decide

Did Steve Rose practice good journalism? Did he follow the arbitrary rules touted by some soulless corporation? WHO CARES??? Anybody hinging their case on "ethics" is building on sand.

Every defamation case basically comes down to the question of actual malice and provable damage to reputation.

The column written by Mr. Rose was, in fact, professional and took up a policy issue. The debate is over an off-record quote and the argument that Sen. Denning hasn't talked to Mr. Rose in years is beginning to fall apart in the opinion of this humble blogger. Mr. Rose denies the claims and it's clear that both the columnist and the politico have open lines of communication.

All of the e-mail back and forth isn't a smoking gun, in fact, it's proof that there is a continued conversation betwixt Mr. Rose & Mr. Denning's office.

As for any alleged damage to reputation - Every elected official gives up that protection the second they start running for public office.

Furthermore, noted FIRST on TKC anti-SLAPP protections offer Mr. Rose an even greater advantage against a politico who is playing newspaper editor with this foray into the world of journalism wherein he has little knowledge or experience.

Winner: Steve Rose - IMHO, the legal argument against him isn't just flimsy, it's non-existent.

The Kansas GOP Already Blinked

In their statement on the matter Kansas Republicans noted: "We're surprised at the tone the Kansas City Star has taken since the lawsuit was filed," (Kansas GOP leader Michael) Kuckelman explains.

Translation: They're scared.

The Star knows the case is fluff and they're already threatening Sen. Denning with the costly legal fees of their team, Kansas GOP leaders should know they're on shaky ground and now Steve Rose is calling them out in public.

In the most important passage from his recent note Mr. Rose noted:

"If anyone’s reputation has been damaged by these events, it is mine. I have been accused by Denning of fabricating an entire meeting, of making up the points he clearly did make, and of somehow “ruining” his reputation as a public leader whose views – unless he states now otherwise – are precisely now as they were then. Denning has maligned me. He has twisted the truth to my detriment. His grandstanding publicity has given him the blood he sought, even though his allegations are totally absurd."

More to the point . . .


Again and again, the prefect example of the difficulty of proving defamation in the political world is Stormy Daniels back on the stripper pole after her arguments against Prez Trump were dismissed. And the Commander-In-Chief is on the record calling her "horseface" for those who might not understand the difficulty of proving actual malice.

Finally . . .

Settle Down, The Anti-Climax Is Coming

Anybody who believes this argument is going to be settled in court is merely showing their ignorance. These cases rarely see much of a judge and seldom see a jury because productive people don't have time or money to sit around and debate journalistic ethics or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Anything can happen in a courtroom and neither State Sen. Denning nor Mr. Rose are prepared to cast their fate to the wind or the whims of strangers.

Steve Rose doesn't write for The Star any longer and the Kansas GOP is more focused on winning back Johnson County -- This debate is simply another footnote in the history of local journalism.

And so, even this brief legal slap fight only proves captivating to so many out-of-work former Star reporters who struggle to find fulfilling jobs and either end up as occasional bloggers or washing cars - There's no shame in any kind of work but both professions don't hold the same self-importance of so many gilded cretins who call themselves "journalists" with a straight face.

And that's really the point here . . .

This argument exemplifies the battle betwixt the validity of public opinion vs. politicos. We realize that many among our blog community might disagree with our analysis but the basics should terrify anybody who truly values The Constitution, the 1st Amendment and Liberty.

The TLDR: A politico didn't like a quote so he sued.

The courts will not uphold the argument because it would have a chilling effect on any writing if that kind of flimsy standard was upheld. More importantly, we contend:

Conservatives would also lose if every controversial quote or even alleged misquote was subject to a courtroom fight. 

Moreover . . .

As a participant of the political discourse, State Sen. Denning has volunteered to engage in contentious and vigorous arguments where facts and motives are hotly debated. His lawsuit not only betrays the Constitution but also his oath as a public servant.

For these reasons and many, many more it's clear that Steve Rose wins this lawsuit that will be settled in his favor sooner rather than later.

You decide . . .


Anonymous said...

Citizen Tony, I like your style and I will take a copy of your pamphlet.

Dex said...

Don't agree with most of this but there is one thing that's true. There isn't much protection for elected officials and that's why so few people run for office or even vote. If we want better government, maybe it's time to change such a huge leeway for the media. It's not about limiting freedom, it should be about holding people accountable for their words.

Anonymous said...

They got Rose off the paper, that's probably mission accomplished for them. Winning back Joco is about getting rid of the RINO contingent, that should be job 1.

Anonymous said...

Don't settle Jim, fight the good fight!

Anonymous said...

^^ The good fight would have been an opposing column.

Anonymous said...

Star is just a glorified blog now anyway. Not much to lose. Maybe Denning can run a better operation when he takes over!

Anonymous said...

+1 ^^^

Anonymous said...

"So-Called Journalistic Ethics Are A Bad Joke"

Hey, your motto

Anonymous said...

Thanks for wasting my time scrolling though this crap.

The real news after getting back after driving out there is this city looks like a messed up shit hole.

Anonymous said...

I'm on Team Steve

Anonymous said...

So we're supposed to what? Send him money or something?

Anonymous said...

Whats the weekend gun shot victims counts so far?

Anonymous said...

This is just as good time as any to out the star away for good.
A lengthy trial could cost them millions and expose the editorial boards d the woman who runs it.
A victory and they sell assets and still could declare bankruptcy.
Support Jim and if you can and he accepts- donate money to Jim.
Not sure about Rose- but the star can be leverage for jury awards.

Anonymous said...

Journalistic ethics is an oxymoron, and nobody is going to debate it, because nobody really cares about journalism or its pretentions of relevance. But the lawsuit is not about journalistic ethics, it's about libel, and that will be subject to debate and analysis.

Anonymous said...


Sorry TKC, I love the blog, but this is just another rehash of your previous incorrect conclusions.

Steve Rose is a self-confessed lazy LOSER who got caught red-handed. The guy resigned his position...HELLO!

Even liberal Hillary/Podesta lover Colleen Nelson (revealed in WikiLeaks documents) recognized Rose was fabricating details.

After getting caught, Rose blamed the Star's deadline for submission, blamed Senator Denning for objecting to the fabricated lies, and I suppose anyone else except himself. Now Steve Rose is perpetuating the all-too-common liberal tactic of claiming that he is the victim. Yes, that's right, Rose is a victim like Jussie Smollett is a victim.

FACT: Rose has already lost.
FACT: The KC Star has already lost.
FACT: Senator Denning fights for truth, principles, and his reputation because sometimes otherwise acceptable people run from their responsibilities.
FACT: The lawsuit is just about forcing negligent people to be held accountable for their actions.

Anonymous said...

^Yep, 9:27. And,Denning will be awarded a $ettlement, hopefully before 2020. But, you know what they say about the "wheels of justice..."

Anonymous said...

Nobody likes Steve Rose

Court of public opinion said...

Case is settled.

Republicans write rose a check for 20,000 with an NDA.

And the public is none the wiser.

Anonymous said...

11:58AM comment

What did you take? You are hallucinating!

Just say no to those mushrooms next time.