The Forte vs. Mahoney smackdown
The Kansas City Star
Wednesday’s smackdown between Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte and Channel 9 reporter Micheal Mahoney was great media theater, or as good as it gets in this market.
Most public officials in the area are used to Mahoney’s in-your-face interviewing techniques. He’s a sharp TV reporter with good knowledge of local events.
But Forte didn’t want to talk to Mahoney on Wednesday, after the chief made some public comments before a Kansas City Council committee on how to reduce violent crime in the city.
Mahoney wanted some specifics in an interview after Forte’s testimony; the chief didn’t want to give the reporter any additional information,as you can see here.
That would have been the end of it, probably, leading to a bit of a gotcha report later on Channel 9..
Then Forte upped the ante, getting on his new Twitter account ( @chiefforte ) to say this:
“Just left a City Council Public Safety Committee meeting. Encountered a rude reporter from channel 9. Unbelievable!!!”
Mahoney later posted on his blog: “This would be me.”
Forte’s post semi-exploded in the local Twitter world, with several people weighing in with negative remarks about the chief’s response to Mahoney:
@vivid13 : “So @ChiefForte got his manpanties bunched up b/c @kmbc’s Michael Mahoney posed basic Qs about the “No Violence Alliance”. Suck it up, chief.”
@kccheckpoint : “@chiefforte you are the face of the PD, act like it. No wonder witnesses remain silent.”
@heuback : “Hilarious twt frm KC Chief of Police, fully-grown adult”
My take: The chief could have taken a question or two from Mahoney, saying the same thing he did last week in public when I was there for an interview: He doesn’t want to get into specifics about fighting crime.
As it is, this was a small hit to Chief Forte’s attempt to show he’s open and willing to talk about KC’s sky-high violent crime rate.