A couple of thousand of them currently work in Overland Park, though. So, to investigate this rare economic blow for Johnson County, Sun editor Rob Roberts did what any enterprising reporter would do: On March 26, he drove to the IRS building behind Rosana Square to make some routine inquiries.
After Orange Alerted government workers kicked him out just in case he was Osama himself, Roberts called an official IRS spokesman to confirm that JoCo would be losing 1,800 jobs. But, silly man, he also sent a photographer to snap a de rigueur shot of the building.
Two days later, Roberts says, a couple of Homeland Security dudes showed up at the Sun. "They were dressed in their Men in Black suits," he tells the Pitch. "They said they needed to see all of the images that [photographer Kevin Blayney] had taken to make sure that there weren't any security breaches."
"They just looked at them and said, 'Yeah, that's OK, you can run that,'" Blayney says.
Damn it, where are those Homeland Security guys right now? We want to run an arty, patriotic shot of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service office on Parvin Road in this week's issue, and we have a deadline to meet! We need photo clearance now! Just how busy are these guys, anyway?
"We haven't had any problems, but I'm speaking just for this area," says Gil Russo, acting director of the regional Federal Protective Service. People can take pictures around buildings, Russo says. "But because we're on high alert, there's a good chance they'll be approached and asked what they're doing."
But sending federal agents to a newspaper to sign off on a photographer's work?
"As far as I know, there was nothing wrong with the pictures," Russo says, speaking like a true photo editor. Which really makes us feel good about paying our taxes.