Best Gadfly

Bill Hannegan

A prolific digester of local media and an even more prolific letter writer, Bill Hannegan rapidly responds to the news — and sometimes drives it. Regularly e-mailing detailed feedback, analysis and polite critiques to reporters all over town, he sure knows how to nag, and at the same time feed, journalists with custom tips on everything from a crumbling north St. Louis property to a tiny but controversial detail in a county-council proposal. He'll praise you when you get it right and make sure you know when you've got it wrong. Most known for his Keep St. Louis Free blog (keepstlouisfree.blogspot.com), he keeps a close eye on smoking bans locally and across Missouri, frequently making his opposition known to politicians and reporters alike. And he does not shy away from the controversial: His latest cause is publicly defending a St. Louis priest accused of child molestation whom he strongly believes to be innocent.

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