Best Newspaper Columnist

John Hoffmann

You know you're doing something right as an opinion columnist when you manage to get under the skin of Charlie Brennan. And that's precisely what Chesterfield Patch writer John Hoffmann did this past March, when he used his, er, patch of virtual newsprint to tweak the KMOX (1120 AM) radio host for a column about St. Louis tourist attractions that Brennan had recently penned for USA Today. Shot back Brennan in Patch's comments queue: "It is irresponsible to promulgate Hoffman's [sic] misinformed straw man arguments in the Chesterfield Patch." Brennan is just one of several big shots to find themselves in Hoffmann's crosshairs over the past year. Last fall Hoffmann, a former cop and Town & Country alderman, put on his gumshoes to track down the police reports from Cardinals TV broadcaster Dan McLaughlin's DUIs. The results were comic gold: Chesterfield police suggested in one report that McLaughlin was so drunk when pulled over that he had soiled his pants. Another Hoffmann column, in which he revealed to readers the makes and models of the cars owned by area politicians, earned the ire of elected officials. One Chesterfield councilman complained that it was "insanity" for Hoffmann's editors to publish such information. And in the end, it seems Hoffmann was indeed too edgy for The AOL-owned publication quit running his ruminations over the summer. Fortunately we can still keep up with the cranky columnist via his own website,

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