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Deep Background

Updated 3 days ago

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A news and politics podcast by the Kansas City Star's reporters, including in-depth commentary and analysis. It's a deeper look at news and issues in Kansas and Missouri.

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A news and politics podcast by the Kansas City Star's reporters, including in-depth commentary and analysis. It's a deeper look at news and issues in Kansas and Missouri.

iTunes Ratings

24 Ratings
Average Ratings
16
2
2
2
2

Great insightful program

By NycDet - Feb 16 2020
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So appreciate the insights not only of the subjects but of the people interviewed & involved.

More social commentary than legitimate reporting

By MT8131 - Nov 14 2018
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I’ve been listening to this podcast for a while. Initially, I was very elated there was a podcast about KC’s current events, but I’ve become increasingly frustrated by the host’s manner of, well, hosting. He brings people on to offer their expertise on certain issues or stories, but directs the conversation in a manner that isn’t journalistically smooth, and sometimes just isn’t professional. My sister gave up on this podcast months ago, and today I’m doing the same. “Bad dude”, “bad dude”, “bad dude”... while the guy they might be reporting on is a ‘bad dude’, I’m not listening to hear personal commentary. I’m listening for factual evidence about current happenings around the city. With this most recent podcast listing, I’ve hit a wall. I might give it a chance at a later date, but today, I am done.

iTunes Ratings

24 Ratings
Average Ratings
16
2
2
2
2

Great insightful program

By NycDet - Feb 16 2020
Read more
So appreciate the insights not only of the subjects but of the people interviewed & involved.

More social commentary than legitimate reporting

By MT8131 - Nov 14 2018
Read more
I’ve been listening to this podcast for a while. Initially, I was very elated there was a podcast about KC’s current events, but I’ve become increasingly frustrated by the host’s manner of, well, hosting. He brings people on to offer their expertise on certain issues or stories, but directs the conversation in a manner that isn’t journalistically smooth, and sometimes just isn’t professional. My sister gave up on this podcast months ago, and today I’m doing the same. “Bad dude”, “bad dude”, “bad dude”... while the guy they might be reporting on is a ‘bad dude’, I’m not listening to hear personal commentary. I’m listening for factual evidence about current happenings around the city. With this most recent podcast listing, I’ve hit a wall. I might give it a chance at a later date, but today, I am done.
Cover image of Deep Background

Deep Background

Latest release on Feb 19, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 3 days ago

Rank #1: A look at the Kansas governor race after Kobach's victory

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Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will advance to face Democrat Laura Kelly and independent candidate Greg Orman in the general election for Kansas governor in November. Reporters Bryan Lowry and Hunter Woodall drop by to discuss what this means for the November election. Dave Helling and Leah Becerra co-host.

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Aug 15 2018

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Rank #2: Outrage over 13-year-old's felony charge for finger gun; and what's up with KCK's T-Bones?

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A 13-year-old Johnson County eighth-grader who was arrested for pointing a finger gun at classmates was handcuffed, arrested and charged with a felony. Education reporter Mará Rose Williams is here to discuss the latest. And after threatening to evict the Kansas City T-Bones from the taxpayer-owned stadium, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas followed through by padlocking the gates early Monday morning. Business reporter Kevin Hardy gives an update on what's next for the T-Bones. Dave Helling and Leah Becerra co-host.

For further reading:

Pointing a finger gun lands 13-year-old Johnson County student in handcuffs

Overland Park 13-year-old who pointed finger gun might avoid original felony charge

Wyandotte County padlocks T-Bones stadium, evicts team for months of unpaid rent

KCK may spend $1M on stadium as part of lease with new Kansas City T-Bones owner

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Oct 16 2019

32mins

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Rank #3: A Star investigation into our broken foster care system: Is there a solution?

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The Kansas City Star's Laura Bauer and Judy Thomas spent a year investigating the United States' foster care system. A quarter of those in our prisons started out as foster kids - and there are no easy solutions in sight.

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Dec 18 2019

30mins

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Rank #4: A 'blue wave' in Kansas? Plus, the state takes over 21 struggling nursing homes

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Could a ‘blue wave’ be coming to red Kansas? Reporter Eric Adler drops by to discuss his recent story ahead of the midterm election. And, normally, Kansas might have to take legal control of one or two nursing homes. This year, the state has taken more than 21. Reporter Andy Marso explains the implications of this. Dave Helling and Leah Becerra co-host.

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Oct 10 2018

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Rank #5: The investigation into Sen.-elect Josh Hawley — and the latest on KC mayor’s pre-K tax

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Missouri GOP is demanding that the attorney leading the Secretary of State’s probe into Attorney General Josh Hawley recuse herself because of donations to Democratic candidates. Reporter Steve Vockrodt shares the latest. And Kansas City Public Schools will not support Mayor Sly James’ proposed 3/8-cent sales tax to support pre-kindergarten programs. Reporter Mará Rose Williams tells us what she's learned. Dave Helling and Leah Becerra co-host.

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Dec 13 2018

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Rank #6: The strange case of Carol Dille, and a huge development project passes in Overland Park

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Reporter Eric Adler joins Dave Helling and Leah Becerra to discuss the story of Carol Dille, an eccentric neighbor in midtown Kansas City. Then Sarah Ritter, a reporter, discusses public incentives for a huge project in Overland Park.


Read the stories we discussed:


Amid $500,000 homes, KC neighbors wage decades-long fight against woman’s ‘rat house’ - https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article236906633.html


Reverse Robin Hood syndrome’: Overland Park Council approves $200M tax break deal - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article237964979.html

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Dec 04 2019

41mins

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Rank #7: Gearing up for Aug. 7 primary elections

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This is the final week before Kansas and Missouri's primary elections on Aug. 7. Reporters Bryan Lowry and Hunter Woodall join co-hosts Dave Helling and Leah Becerra to talk about the candidates and the issues.

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Aug 01 2018

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Rank #8: We look at a free speech case at UMKC, Sprint's merger plans and KC's downtown hotels

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An anti-transgender speech delivered at the University of Missouri-Kansas City was orchestrated by an outside conservative group trying to cause disruption, student leaders said last week. Reporter Mará Rose Williams helps us unpack what's happened since the controversial event. Also, reporter Steve Vockrodt is here to discuss the latest in the Sprint and T-Mobile merger as well as his recent story on new data that shows a lack of demand for hotels in Kansas City.

For further reading:

Protester at right-wing UMKC event arrested, but was speaker hoping for a disruption? - https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article229180734.html

UMKC chancellor response to conservative speaker attack faces backlash in Missouri Legislature - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article229345909.html

Report says Sprint and T-Mobile merger is in trouble, but company leaders disagree - https://www.kansascity.com/news/business/article229364509.html

After a glut of new hotels in KC, a realization: There’s now more supply than demand - https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article229135804.html

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Apr 17 2019

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Rank #9: Shielding LGBTQ people from discrimination; Kansas child welfare system is still troubled

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Reporter Rick Montgomery stops by to discuss his installment in The Star's Influencers series on LGBTQ people and discrimination protection. And Laura Bauer discusses her recent stories on the Kansas Department for Children and Families. Dave Helling and Leah Becerra c-host.

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Sep 26 2018

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Rank #10: Inside the investigation of a UMKC softball coach accused of sexually harassing players

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Players on the University of Missouri-Kansas City's softball team and their parents accused an assistant coach of sexual harassment: entering the locker room as they dressed, kissing players, telling an offensive joke. The university responded by talking to the coach and buying him a new microwave. Reporter Mará Rose Williams joins podcast hosts Dave Helling and Leah Becerra to give some updates to this quickly evolving story.

For further reading:
UMKC softball players say coach sexually harassed them. School bought him a microwave - https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article224102915.html

UMKC softball coach accused of sexual harassment agrees to take leave of absence - https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article226144280.html

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Feb 13 2019

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Rank #11: Gov. Eric Greitens' first year in office

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The Star's Jason Hancock and Dave Helling take a deep dive into Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' first year in office — a year marked by secrecy and controversy.  What's next?  The podcast takes a look at that question too. This episode was originally published Thursday Dec. 28, 2017.

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Dec 28 2017

32mins

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Rank #12: Sheriff Darryl Forté resists legislators' questions about Jackson County's troubled jail

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Relations between Jackson County legislators and Sheriff Darryl Forté have grown tense with Forté refusing to discuss with them his outlook on the future of the county's troubled jail that is now his responsibility. Reporter Mike Hendricks drops by to discuss his latest story on the jail, Forté and why Jackson County residents should be paying attention. Dave Helling and Leah Becerra co-host.

For further reading:
Tensions growing as Sheriff Darryl Forté resists questions about troubled jail - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article226258035.html

New Jackson County jail could cost $270 million and nearly double current capacity - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article224268260.html

Grand jury reports a filthy, crowded Jackson County jail. Where's the money going? - https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/crime/article210766714.html

Secret investigation of Jackson County jail uncovered - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article199197954.html

‘Disgusting’ conditions greeted auditor on first inspection of Jackson County jail - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article171339442.html

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Feb 20 2019

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Rank #13: The Greitens scandals take a dramatic turn

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The Star's lead political reporter Bryan Lowry — just back from St. Louis — is here to discuss the latest twists in the Eric Greitens case with co-hosts Leah Becerra and Dave Helling.

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May 16 2018

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Rank #14: For sale? What a Kansas City Royals sale would mean to the city, fans, taxpayers

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The Kansas City Royals may soon be sold. Will they move downtown? Will they get better players? What's next for the MLB team? Hosts Dave Helling and Leah Becerra chat with Royals beat reporter Lynn Worthy and investigative reporter Steve Vockrodt about the implications of a sale.

For further reading:

Royals owner David Glass is in talks to sell team to group led by Kansas Citian - https://www.kansascity.com/sports/mlb/kansas-city-royals/article234449312.html

Potential Royals owner John Sherman: ‘the kind of guy who would pour himself into it’ - https://www.kansascity.com/sports/mlb/kansas-city-royals/article234451357.html

Editorial: Will the new Royals owner want a downtown stadium? Taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill - https://www.kansascity.com/opinion/editorials/article234467697.html

Mellinger: The Royals are for sale, and here’s why that’s a good thing for Kansas City - https://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article234453167.html

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Aug 28 2019

40mins

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Rank #15: How the editorial board decides who to endorse. And a look at politics in JoCo

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It's election season, so this week The Star's editorial page editor Colleen McCain Nelson joins the podcast to explain how the editorial board chooses which candidates it will endorse. Also, reporter Lynn Horsley talks about what races Johnson County will be voting on during the November election. Dave Helling and Leah Becerra co-host.

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Oct 17 2018

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Rank #16: The Kansas City mayor's race and the endorsement battle in Kansas

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Deep Background host Dave Helling sits down with reporters Bill Turque and Hunter Woodall to talk about the latest developments in KC's mayor race and the Kansas governor's race.

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Sep 19 2018

27mins

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Rank #17: Was first part of Kansas' session a win for Gov. Laura Kelly?

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Reporter Jonathan Shorman joins us to talk about the first part of the Kansas legislature's session and discuss how effective Gov. Laura Kelly has been. Dave Helling and Leah Becerra co-host.

For further reading:
Kansas conservatives fail again in quest for big changes to school funding, oversight - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article228883624.html

Could first pay raise in almost 20 years get more Kansas dentists to take Medicaid? - https://www.kansascity.com/news/business/health-care/article228795669.html

$90M more for Kansas schools? Plan in Gov. Kelly’s hands after lawmakers approve deal - https://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article228851664.html

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Apr 10 2019

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Rank #18: Recapping Kansas and Missouri's primary election results

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We're breaking down Kansas and Missouri's primaries with Lindsay Wise, of McClatchy's DC Bureau, and Missouri statehouse reporter Jason Hancock. Also, reporter Steve Vockrodt discusses Johnson County's voting machine issues. Dave Helling and Leah Becerra co-host.

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Aug 08 2018

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Rank #19: Sales tax, pre-K education — and what's up with Clay County's government?

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Education reporter Mará Rose Williams joins the discussion this week to talk about the plan for a new sales tax hike to expand early childhood (pre-K) education. And data reporter Kelsey Ryan tells us why Clay County citizens are gathering signatures for a petition to the Missouri State Auditor. Dave Helling and Leah Becerra co-host Deep Background.

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Jun 13 2018

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Rank #20: Quinton Lucas will be Kansas City's next mayor. Now what?

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The Star's Allison Kite and Bill Turque join host Dave Helling to discuss Kansas City's election results. How did Quinton Lucas win? And what's next? Plus a look at Question 1's defeat.

For further reading:
Quinton Lucas scores decisive win over Jolie Justus in Kansas City mayor’s race - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/election/article231659313.html

Kansas City voters say no to Question One to cap developers’ incentives - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/election/article231658443.html

In a night of blowout wins, two KC City Council races stay nail-biters to the end - https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/election/article231658408.html

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Jun 19 2019

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