He's controversial, he's outrageous and he's informative. It's a combination that's propelled Tony Botello as one of the most popular bloggers in all of Kansas City.
KCTV5's Brad Stephens met up with Botello at a coffee shop in the Crossroads District.
For those who aren't familiar with his name, they may have heard of his website instead, Tony's Kansas City. It's a bold and wild ride as Botello posts opinions, tips from anonymous sources and links to news reports about anything and everything that's happening in Kansas City.
"I try to be a resource and provide information, but I'm also trying to be a satirist and be provocative and press buttons," Botello said. "The internet allows me the freedom to that and have a take on the news that isn't so serious, but can get serious at times."
If the pen is mightier than the sword, then Botello's weapon of choice is his smartphone, which he uses to blog with constantly.
"I am in front of a screen 23 hours a day," Botello said when Stephens told him he must be on his phone all the time.
Seemingly always on the forefront of local controversy, Botello said nothing draws more viewers to his website than issues involving race, crime and politics.
"What's great about Kansas City is you get one issue and 20 issues come into play. So an issue like crime – it's not just about crime, it's about race relations, it's also about city funding and our budget - how much money are we dedicating to different crime programs?" he said.
Botello's always quick to share his opinion on local political leaders, especially Kansas City, MO, Mayor Sly James who he said shares a striking similarity with President Barack Obama.
"He's very much a champion of the city, but I really do think it mimics the national stage. People are inspired and very much full of hope but, at the end of day, they're waiting for a payoff. I really do think that," Botello said.
And then there are the pictures on the Tony's Kansas City website. What may be a turn-off for some is meant to have the opposite effect on others.
Botello said the various photos of women in little clothing that show up between blog posts are not meant to offend and admits he's just borrowing a page from the Brits.
"It's important to have fun with it and I think the scantily clad portion of the blog is just an effort to have fun and something you'll find in other parts of the world. They do the same thing," Botello said. "I wish I could say that was my idea, but it's something I lifted from page 3."
While the name of his website is Tony's Kansas City, Botello said his dream is to take his show on the road with websites like Tony's San Francisco or Tony's Dallas. He said he'd love to find out if what seems to be playing well here could succeed in other cities.
To check out Botello's Tony's Kansas City blog, click here.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (MeredithCorp.) All rights reserved.
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