I fell in love with The Pitch three years ago when I read C.J. Janovy's story about her visit to First Family Church ("Open Wide," February 10, 2005). As I have become more experienced as a journalist and after a recent conversation with a friend, I have become disenchanted with this newspaper's sensationalism.
I began to doubt The Pitch when I read David Martin's column about store owners in Zona Rosa raising the prices of their products to make improvements to the shopping district ("Nickled-and-Dimed," August 16, 2007). The Pitch called this practice "taxation without representation," which is invalid because the phrase was coined to protest the government raising taxes on the colonists while denying them their basic, democratic rights.
In the December 13 issue of The Pitch, Martin wrote unfair statements about Mayor Mark Funkhouser to expose Funkhouser's unfair statements. In response to Funkhouser's wife saying, "'Regular folks everywhere' told the Funks to keep the free car," Martin wrote, "Dragging the (pretend) will of the masses ... is pathological." Funkhouser's wife used loaded language ("regular folks") to act as though Funkhouser followed the will of the people. In response, Martin used loaded language ("pathological") to act as though Funkhouser's wife's statement was a terminal illness.
While the smaller articles are biased, the feature stories are handled in a journalistic manner. In investigative features, Pitch writers show both sides of the issue. Nadia Pflaum's "Pay 2 Play" (December 13, 2007) exemplifies this.
The opinionated articles in The Pitch have headlines and photos with captions, which are more frequently used in pages that have news or feature stories. Some of The Pitch's articles are opinionated, and if that is intentional, they should clearly be labeled as such.
Jenna Cheryl Groth, Overland Park
Experienced hikers know better than to hike at 14,000 feet in 15 degrees Fahrenheit in blue jeans and sneakers. I agree, Jacob Gately is very fortunate that his intuition kicked in when he needed it, but had his common sense kicked in before heading out, the situation could have easily been mitigated.
Experienced hikers know that failure to follow basic safety procedures can easily make them another statistic to Mother Nature. Hikers need to have proper attire and equipment (maps, GPS, whistle, candle, waterproof matches, food). They need to have a plan and leave an itinerary with friends that includes the details necessary for a rescue. I think it is important for the author to highlight what needs to be done to stay safe and not just chalk this up to being a miracle.
Dana L. Hall, Overland Park
Clarification: A Night & Day item in the December 20 issue about The Mafia and the Machine: The Story of the Kansas City Mob suggested that author Frank Hayde believes the Kansas City Chiefs once owed a debt to the mob. Hayde's book simply refers to a decades-old betting scandal that implicated the Kansas City Chiefs.