Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Honesty Was His Only Policy

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Honesty Was His Only Policy

Article excerpt

RICH KOSTER would not have cared that his obituary ended up on the third page of the local section Sunday, but he would have shook his head in disgust at the fact that the entire front page of the section was devoted to photographs of people having a good time at the VP Fair.

For that matter, the entire Sunday paper would have bugged him. The headline in the upper right hand corner of the front page - "Loving St. Louis" - would have annoyed him no end. The headline advertised a story in the feature section in which a Washington University professor extolled the virtues of our city.

"That's news?" Koster would have said. "Some guy loves St. Louis?"

And, oh, how he would have railed against the lead story on the front page of the newspaper. "A Sports Junkie's Dream Come True," screamed the headline. The story was about the U.S. Olympic Festival.

In his very last public statement, Koster had dissed the festival.

It's a high school track meet, he had said. It's largely made up of a bunch of sports that nobody cares about, he had said.

He made these comments at the end of last Thursday's "Donnybrook." The show on Channel 9 features several local journalists arguing about whatever there is to argue about.

Who would have thought that anybody could argue about the Olympic Festival?

Certainly not me. I'm one of the panelists on "Donnybrook," and I arrived at the television station shortly after work Thursday.

We always meet in the basement cafeteria to decide what issues to talk about on the show. The general rule is this: Unless there's some disagreement on an issue, we won't talk about it.

Somebody mentioned that the Olympic Festival was about to get started, and somebody else said, Yeah, but we probably all agree that it's good for the area, right?

Wrong. Koster was against it. At the very least, he thought the importance was wildly overblown.

Well, who knows?

In a city that is still reeling from the NFL fiasco and still paying for a stadium we're not allowed to use, maybe we do have a tendency to pretend that the festival is more important than it is. Maybe it's not really a sports junkie's dream come true.

In fact, for the sake of argument, let's concede that the Goodwill Games and the Pan-American Games are each a bigger deal. …

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