Recent Fired Up! Missouri posts have included a fair amount of criticism of the Kansas City Star for its slow, subpar, and unduly credulous reporting on the importance of Missouri in the national GOP plot to use the DOJ and "voter fraud" claims to enhance Republican electoral power.
Until now we've failed to examine one potential factor in the Star's inexorable reliance on GOP talking points and tainted sources in its coverage of the Justice and Voter Fraud scandals: that the Kansas City Star's corporate legal representation is provided by none other than the firm of Lathrop & Gage --itself a key player in much of the GOP's campaign to strengthen Republican political power.Â
Lathrop & Gage, of course, is at the center of many of the Republican strategies used on both the state and national levels to build the GOP political machine. To name just a few instances, Lathrop & Gage:
- Is the firm of nationally prominent GOP attorney and "voter fraud" huckster Mark "Thor" Hearne, whose work for Bush-Cheney, for the Republican National Lawyers Association and in creating the now-discredited and defunct American Center for Voting Rights made him a critical mastermind in the use of bogus voter fraud claims to bring legal advantage to the GOP and limit legal voter participation;
- Created the elaborate and byzantine system of management companies and shell corporations into which the Blunt Administration's fee office system was organized. The fee office scheme was the focus of a DOJ investigation during which U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins was told that he'd be fired;
- ÂÂHired former DOJ Attorney and criminal defense attorney William Mateja to intervene in the Bud Cummins fee office investigation on Matt Blunt's personal behalf;
- Allowed its Âprominent attorneys to serve as media spokespeople for former U.S. Attorney Todd Graves, who is brother to GOP United States Rep. Sam Graves and husband of the holder of one of Matt Blunt's most lucrative fee offices.
There's little argument to be had that Lathrop & Gage is anything but a crucial element and facilitator of a broad and deep plan to cover for Matt Blunt, the national GOP and the White House. And the firm is also, according to its own website, an indispensible advocate and counselor to Kansas City's pre-eminent news publication, the KC Star. The site includes such highlights of its representation of the Star:
Successfully defended numerous defamation claims and lawsuits for The Kansas City Star, KCTV-5, the Kansas City Business Journal, the Kansas City Kansan, and various radio stations, newspapers and other insureds of Media/Professional Insurance. ...
Represented print and broadcast media
clients, their editors and reporters in connection with the
pre-publication or pre-broadcast review of all types of news stories,
including those involving threats or demands from the story subjects.
Might have been pretty easy for Lathrop & Gage, whose own interests were inextricably bound up in those of the Blunt Administration and important DOJ/White House strategies, to suggest "legal" reasons for why its client, the Kansas City Star, should dial back some of its stories or scuttle some reporting altogether.
It has, in some ways, always been puzzling that the Star has been so far behind other news outlets in reporting on the DOJ/U.S. Attorney scheme despite its connection to the Kansas City area and the region's own U.S. Attorney. Makes you wonder about just what sort of counsel the paper's been keeping.