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October 24, 2006

The Stink Eye: Loss of touch, loss of feeling

The Stink Eye is wondering what’s wrong with The Courier-Journal’s editorial board. The decaying, out-of-touch windsuckers who think they’re still progressive are so firmly lodged up the Establishment’s ass it’ll take a jackhammer to ever see their faces again. Most recently, in this year’s round of Metro Council endorsements, they’ve contorted themselves into radically new positions. It makes them look foolish.Take the case of Ken Fleming from District 7. The C-J board endorses Fleming, despite disagreeing with him on most major issues and accusing him — in so many words — of proposing a comprehensive smoking ban to get re-elected when he hadn’t supported such a measure in the past. His Democratic challenger, Neville Blakemore, brings fresh ideas, they write, even citing one example. His views on the same key issues where The C-J disagrees with Fleming are in line with theirs. However, they say he lacks “maturity” and is “too cute” for the Council because he voted, as a member of the Arena Task Force, against the arena at The C-J’s preferred site, the riverfront. Likewise, Blakemore has kept an open mind about 8664, and as such, The C-J — threatened as it is by the sort of fresh and creative ideas it purports to covet — condemns him for it.Simply put, Blakemore is being punished for having the temerity to disagree, to ask questions, and to go against the Establishment, which The C-J, inexplicably, seems dead-set on coddling. These are all things that once upon a time would’ve been part and parcel of The C-J’s stated values, the things it used to respect. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.About Erin Ryan, the 22-year-old Democrat challenging Doug Hawkins for his 25th District seat, The C-J wrote that she’s too young for political office and that she’s unfamiliar with where she should stand — from their point of view — on the Ohio River Bridges Project. Is it any surprise that a candidate from Southwest Jefferson County would be too unfamiliar with the Bridges Project to have a firm opinion on it? Those folks were pretty much left out of that discussion.Ryan got The C-J endorsement because, and we quote, “A doorknob would be an improvement over Doug Hawkins.” The Stink Eye thinks Koko the Gorilla would be an improvement over this bunch of grunters.As adroitly as Esquire has made celebrities into soft-core porn stars, it’s also got a longstanding reputation for serious journalism. In the current issue, where cover girl Scarlett Johansson is said celebrity, the mag decided to offer endorsements in every Congressional and gubernatorial race — all 504 of ’em.In Kentucky, Esquire endorsed every incumbent but one. You guessed it: Anne Northup failed to procure an endorsement from a magazine that also gave the thumbs-up to corrupt Hal Rogers and jackass Geoff Davis, which could either be taken as ignorance or extreme pragmatism on the magazine’s part. Esquire wrote: “Anne Northup, first elected in 1996, frequently boasts of the millions in federal money she gets for her district. She is emblematic of the bloated, ineffectual government controlled by self-described fiscal conservatives. Next!” John Yarmuth gets the endorsement. Northup’s campaign dropped the yard sign bomb last weekend, releasing around 9,500 of them throughout the East End and other places in Louisville where it doesn’t look so much like Northup is the second coming. The signs are large — about twice the size of Yarmuth’s blue-and-orange ones — and feature a mug shot of Anne and bright, neon-orange letters on a dark blue background. The late release is a time-honored Northup tactic: Thousands of people didn’t suddenly decide they’re voting for Northup and generate an unprecedented groundswell of support. They already knew. “John Yarmuth is too liberal for my blood, far too liberal. But to accuse him of a lack of ethics is a low blow, and it’s uncalled for. John Yarmuth is ethical and he’s honest, and I’m not going to sit here and allow anybody to say otherwise about him.” That was uber-conservative attorney Jim Milliman on WAVE-TV’s “Hot Button” last week, commenting on the Northup campaign’s recent attack regarding a technical campaign finance law flub on Yarmuth’s part. Northup, whose poll numbers have never looked so bad, used the opportunity to call Yarmuth a “congressional scandal waiting to happen” who lacks ethical fortitude.Milliman’s counterpart on the show, Democrat Jack Conway, agreed with Milliman. Both men know Yarmuth; Conway took Yarmuth’s spot on the show when he announced his run for Congress earlier this year. Write to The Stink Eye at citystrobe@leoweekly.com