Fake News 2017: A letter from the big city editor and an undercover councilman

We’re first, second is so… sad

By Big City Metro Editor  |  [email protected]

This is not appearing in The Courier-Journal because if it were, it would be an exclusive! Not something you would read on WDRB’s website. We take exclusives very, very seriously at The CJ, because we are trying reestablish ourselves as the city’s preeminent, dominant newsgathering source. (There is some work to do on that, since a Gannett robot ejected my predecessor from the newsroom for focusing on the website, which is what he was told to do. Oh, and the paper had too many errors, although I don’t recall seeing many corrections. Anyway, that is going to happen when you lay off editors. And, of course, we will never win back those bitter dinosaurs who fondly recall the Binghams’ era, before they betrayed the city by selling to Gannett.)

Now, back to exclusives, and the dozens, nay — hundreds a week that we have. We were the first to report that U.S. Mitch McConnell had arrived back from Washington, D.C., for the congressional break. We were the first to report that Mayor Greg Fischer said something or other. And we were the first to report that a lawsuit, filed in a court for all to see, was, er… filed.

How do we know we were first? Because we were the first to post these facts online. We figure that if we jettison a fact into the Twittersphere, we are first (even if it has no context or background).

Yes, it has been a good first four months on the job. I got the editorship in a Gannett short-straw lottery, and was plucked from Wisconsin, where I oversaw 10 newsrooms, so I could come to Louisville to oversee just one. I told the staff I was going to be fully engaged in the newspaper.

He was impressed.

No, seriously, I said: “I don’t sit in an office … I sit in the middle of the newsroom.” Well, it can get lonely out in the middle of a newsroom that has suffered several rounds of layoffs. We’ve been hiring, but not editors… er, we call them coaches now, because there are so few, that is basically all they have time to do… but more about being first!

We now have a team that comes in at 6 a.m. to write about the latest WalletHub survey (we are the 15th fattest city!), whether “Jeopardy” featured a local band (MMJ!) or any hot click-bait topic (Brad’s wife got fired!), so we can capture your eyeballs at breakfast, before any real news erupts. We call it the “Now Team,” because it produces — now. Which is even better than being first. Because it is… uh, now.

We also are training the old, newsroom dogs new tricks, like the one who wrote about men who get vasectomies during March Madness so they have an excuse to sit on their, um… laurels with a bag of frozen peas on their, um… I pushed the story out on Facebook once it was filed, and, well… maybe I should have read it first (another first!) because… well, it explained that the vas deferns are “the little buddies that carry erectoplasm from a man’s baby factories to his blowhole …” [Ed. note: Not fake.] Sure, the story had some saucy language. Sure, it would not have passed what old-school editors call the oatmeal test: If a story makes you spit up your morning oatmeal, it should not have been printed. But The (new) CJ is not your hippy grandmother’s newspaper.

Anyway… we were first! Not like second-rate WDRB, which is second. A loser. Sad. What do I have against WDRB? (Other than it stole several of our great reporters.)

Well, there was that feckless, so-called exclusive interview one of its reporters had with Trump. It is exclusive only if it is a real interview. It seems the station agreed to not ask Trump about the Russia investigation. Or maybe the station was told just that Trump would not talk about it. We don’t know.

Either the reporter kept his word, per the agreement, or there was no agreement, and he lacked the baby factories to ask the hard questions, regardless of whether Trump would’ve answered. We chose to believe he lacked the factories to ask the hard questions. So we beat the bejesus out of WDRB for not meeting our unassailable journalistic standards. Plus, it was a softball interview. I bet the reporter and Trump snuggled and smoked cigarettes after.

Some, including that pesky Keith Stone at LEO, call our ongoing spat with WDRB “petty.” He questioned whether no interview at all is better than one with focused questions and follow-ups on important issues for Kentucky — and a sidebar that explained the restrictions in context of the Trump presidency. Heck! We would turn down an interview with God almighty himself if he demanded restrictions (Seven days, really?)

We don’t care what Stone thinks. All he has to worry about is publishing smut and stories about music. LEO can be first at that — but you heard it here, exclusively.

Crossfit, robot fighting and other obscure sports teams propose sport-specific stadiums be built with city money

While Louisville debates the pros and cons of building a soccer-specific stadium for Louisville City FC, several obscure sports teams attended the latest Metro Council meeting to plead for their own city-funded stadiums.

First to speak was the owner of a local CrossFit box, Brad Braggert, who said local CrossFits need an arena for its competitions.

“CrossFit has become too badass, and can no longer be contained in a gym,” said Braggert. “We need a gladiatorial style arena to compete in, because, just like the gladiators, we are slaves to repeatedly doing dumb shit that has a high risk of injury, and people think that is rad.”

Braggert asked for a multi-million dollar complex that resembled Rome’s Colosseum, but painted all black, because black is cooler, and with state of the art CrossFit equipment including large tires and sledgehammers.

Next up was xXxDragoonSlayerxXx, who was speaking on behalf of Louisville’s LARPer (Live Action Roleplaying) community.

“Uhh, just like the last speaker, I am also a badass,” said xXxDragoonSlayerxXx. “And we in the LARPing community, are tired of being ridiculed by onlookers as we conduct our extremely serious, epic adventures.”

He asked for a multi-billion dollar complex with live-size animatronics of dragons, trolls and other mythical creatures that even he couldn’t describe.

As the meeting continued on late into the night, the sports teams to make requests became increasingly obscure. They included “robot fighting,” “artistic roller skating” and “Quidditch.”

Like the proposal for the Louisville City FC stadium, the other proposals offered no concrete evidence of a return on investment for the community.

But Mayor Greg Fisher told LEO exclusively that since they sound cool, and people love sports, they will all likely get funded.

Councilman proposes ‘extreme surveillance’ to monitor ‘epidemic of gay sex’

A visibly flustered Councilman David James asked Louisville Metro Council last night to push forward an ordinance that would expand surveillance of what he claimed was an “epidemic of gay sex” in the community.

“It’s like Sodom and Gomorrah out there,” said James. “Everywhere I go, I see it. In the mall, at the movies, in my dreams. I can’t stop seeing gay sex everywhere.”

James began the push for this city ordinance after entering a gay-friendly health spa with an ID he claims to have found on the sidewalk and has since lost. James alleged that the spa was actually a “sex club,” and that he witnessed patrons having sex there.

“I’ve seen it, up close and personal,” James told the council. “And I think we need to expand our capacity for surveillance so that we can monitor this growing epidemic of gay sex in the community.”

James said that he would personally monitor the extensive system of cameras and microphones and review any recordings of gay sex captured by the system, citing his qualifications as a former law enforcement officer.

But James declined to elaborate on what he would do with the recordings after, or if any subsequent action would be taken at all. “Look, I haven’t worked out all of the details yet,” said James. “I just know that the city needs this — and I need this.”

The rest of the council was unanimous in its confusion and questioned James’ motives. Metro Council President David Yates even resorted to quoting the Adam Sandler film “Billy Madison” in his disapproval of James’ proposal.

“At no point in your rambling, incoherent proposal were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought,” Yates said.

After voting down the ordinance, council members said they would be open to a proposal supporting safer sex in the city or, perhaps, even better regulations for which businesses can open in which neighborhoods.

James was indignant. “I will continue to seek out gay sex wherever I can find it,” he said. “And while this council may have just made it more difficult for me to do that, I’ll never stop!”

Letters to the Editor 

On social justice warriors are
‘habitual line-crossing zealots’

That Shane Peabody Powell column on social justice warriors was spot-on, but it hurt my feelings and made me self-reflective and stuff. Stop making us think so much and print more that we can agree on, please. (I did like trolling your Facebook page, because it made me think I can control what you publish.) —Solly Mhah

Y’all just proved my point. —Shane Peabody Powell

On editor’s note: then, why do you
keep reading me?

Aaron Yarmuth, you are a rich, privileged whiner. —Dick Wood

[Ed. note: Yup.]

On sunergos removing leo weekly
from its shops

How dare you bully Sunergos by responding to a social media debate you did not start, explaining the context for your paper’s removal, providing the timeline of events and underscoring that you respect the owners’ choice to run their business the way they want. You deprived me of my preconceived notion of what happened, which would have been based on reading others’ comments and on my unfounded biases. —Most Who Commented

)n cardinals not in the sweet sixteen

Maybe the team would do better if Coach Rick let players have their prostitutes back. Worked pretty well last time. —Andre McGee

On vapor — is it a sex club or spa?

No one cares. —Pretty Much Everyone

On leo pulling amiri king’s
best-comedian award

You snowflake libtards felt what it was like to incur the wrath of the Amiri King nation. Now, give me back my LEO Weekly Readers’ Choice Award for Best Comedian! Or I will order my troll army to inundate your website and Facebook page with thousands of clicks that boost your numbers sky high… Hey… wait a minute.

—Tony Donovan Schork

On 1-star Yelp reviews
of Louisville attractions

That was the best story. I love it when your newspaper gratuitously makes fun of the city. I especially liked that you apparently did not read the Yelp review for the zoo, which you published and which called the zoo “ghetto.” Using click-bait for click bait! It’s so cute watching you try to figure out the internet. —Bullitt County Man

[Ed. note: That story ran April 18, 2016 in The Courier-Journal — not in LEO, if you can believe that.]

On churchill downs improvements

It is not an improvement to tear down the Twin Spires to build another zillionaire’s-row clubhouse. I don’t care if the spires will be projected on the side of the building. Don’t you make enough money? —All Of Louisville 

Thorns & Roses 

Nutz to you  |  Thorn

As if the Republicans could not reach further into our lives, after preaching their love for small government, the latest bill to pass the state legislature would require every vehicle to be equipped with blue Truck Nutz. Gov. Matt Bevin, who pushed the bill, said the precedent is Indiana, which requires each vehicle to have a tramp stamp and mullet.

Politicians in the mist  |  Absurd

We were amused when Mayor Greg Fischer tweeted a photo obviously taken while he was sitting on the can. But this week, he posted one that seems to have been taken from inside a sauna, with someone’s small orangish-colored hand and foot in the frame. Mr. Mayor, hire a professional photographer!

JBS, don’t hog all the fun!  |  Absurd

The decision to open the JBS Swift & Co. hog-slaughtering plant for tours seems dangerous. A spokesman for Butchertown’s odoriferous business said the self-guided tours are a way of appeasing residents, after disagreements about the smell of death that hangs over the neighborhood. “Of course, guests will exit through the gift shop, where they can buy pig blood elixir, a sow’s ear purse, play-at-home Hit the Jugular or The Repetitive Motion Injury Game and bacon with a ‘personality,’” a JBS spokesman said.

City cut off and pasta  |  Thorn

Kentucky’s Transportation Cabinet has renamed Spaghetti Junction as Fettuccine Junction, acknowledging the new, wider tangle of roads that cut off the city from the river. A spokesman for the 86-64 movement said about the decision: “They can eat a big bag of penne.”

Are you growing a tail?  |  Thorn

The Louisville Water Department has finally fessed up: Drinking from a polluted, industrial river is bad for your health, no matter how much gravel it filters through. Here’s mud in your third eye!

Jonathan Blue’s red balls  |  Rose

After taking grief for building a lot of flat spaces (read: parking lots), undeservedly-rich Louisvillian Jonathan Blue has awarded a $100,000 commission for two gigantic, red balls to be placed on the Great Lawn, reflecting his support of Cardinals basketball.