Attention Beccy Tanner and Sarah Gish.
Tanner, with the Wichita Eagle, and Gish, who writes for the Kansas City Star, both wrote articles on Dodge City being the choice of Culture Trip’s naming of the 50 Most Beautiful Towns to Visit in Each US State. According to the website, "Whether you’re living in the States or just traveling through, here are 50 beautiful small towns — one in each state — which you really shouldn’t miss."
The articles aren’t exactly flattering to our city.
Tanner’s article states, "I’m not making this up." That was followed by the this statement, "Don’t get me wrong, I love Dodge City, used to live in Dodge City — but the most beautiful town in Kansas?"
Wow, back-hand compliment much? That’s a journalistic equivalent to the South’s "Bless his heart," which translates to, "He tries, but it’ll never happen."
Tanner goes on to suggest the website’s people "have never set foot in Dodge."
Tanner contacted former mayor Nancy Jo Trauer who immediately defends Dodge City, and Tanner does the back-handed compliment thing again listing Boot Hill Museum and Boot Hill Casino, but also mentions there were better alternatives and suggested readers contact her for their submissions.
She’ll get a lot of emails I’m sure, touting this town or that, and some who agree with her comments about Dodge City, but wouldn’t it have been better to celebrate a western Kansas town getting accolades than to do this?
Gish’s story offered specific alternatives, "For Kansas, I picture the endless prairie of the Flint Hills surrounding Manhattan, or the tree-lined brick streets in Lawrence."
Uh, Sarah, Dodge City has tree-lined brick streets too.
Gish also mentions she’s been to Dodge City and has visited Boot Hill Museum and has the "old-timer family photos to prove it," but Gish said her lasting image of Dodge City is "cattle feedlots and those aren’t particular beautiful to me."
Well aren’t you just a doll?
Dodge City is cattle. Feedlots, beef plants and all the rest. Since back in the day when cowboys still rode through town.
Sure it’s cool to mention Boot Hill Museum and shootouts, but actually look through the exhibits, see what built Dodge City and understand us.
Both these journalists chose to downplay the honor for Dodge City and suggest the choice was wrong in print. These were probably both opinion pieces by these ladies, but they shouldn’t have been done. What good comes from the concept of "Dodge City was honored, but the people who did it are wrong and therefore, Dodge City didn’t deserve it."
Hey, I moved here site unseen. I had no idea of the history of Dodge City. I didn’t know anything. Yet, the people of Dodge City are great, the history is outstanding, the tourism appeal is great.
One of the journalists blasted people throughout the world as only knowing of Dodge City through the TV show Gunsmoke.
So? We get visitors every year because of that association. This is bad? They stop because of Gunsmoke, but return based on how they’re treated while here. How can that be a negative?
I know reporters often look for things to write so this was an easy topic, but I still wonder about why they wrote about it in such a negative way? So Kansas City and Wichita weren’t chosen. So their choice didn’t match your expectations.
My surprise comes more from Tanner than Gish. Tanner used to call Dodge City home. I’ve lived in many different places in my career and I can honestly say there is no former home I would take shots at in public.
I know, I know, both will say they weren’t taking shots at Dodge City, but at Culture Trip, but really, isn’t it all the same thing? In the opinion of these two journalists, the choice of Dodge City is wrong, so therefore, Dodge City doesn’t deserve the honor.
Opinion columns are expected to get people talking. There’s also an old journalism saying, "Love me or hate me, but at least you’re reading me."
A lot of Dodge City residents have read your columns Beccy and Sarah. I’m guessing, from those who have contacted me, you might be getting some emails soon.
Roger Bluhm is the managing editor of the Dodge City Daily Globe. Follow him on Twitter @roger_dcglobe or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.