On Amiri King: Our readers and trolls commented, we reply

Oct 19, 2016 at 12:13 pm
On Amiri King: Our readers and trolls commented, we reply

LEO Weekly will not support violence against women. Against minorities. Against anyone. Those are the rules. Pretty simple, you would think. Did we mention anything to do with Donald Trump? No.

Because revoking Amiri King’s first place in the Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Comedian and Twitter Feed is not about whether we like Trump. It is about King supporting Trump’s glorification of groping (read: sexual assault), and his suggestions of violence against others.

So, again — No support for violence against women. Against minorities. Against anyone.

The Readers’ Choice Awards are supposed to celebrate everything good in the city of Louisville, not the ugly.

Not the ugly that King perpetuates on YouTube and social media. Or the ugly he unleashed on LEO’s Facebook page and website when he incited his followers nationwide, who then posted obscenity-laden personal attacks and wrong-headed views about freedom of speech. By the way, they enjoyed freedom of speech by posting. But freedom of the press, well — that comes to those who own one.

Speaking of King’s hordes, they voted for him in almost every category this year, including best hot dog (23 votes), best gay bar (22, not including four votes for his house) and best roofer (10). Tinder got Best Place to Find a Date, but we “censored” that because it is not local or a place — judgment.

These efforts to game the system — that is on us.

We will make clearer the rules next year, and research more so hate-mongers do not get on the list —not people with whom we disagree, but supporters of violence. And we will work to keep out-of-staters from trying to cheat.

We know some question whether we did the right thing. Some accuse us of censorship and of devaluing the award. And some claim we have a double standard because of our strip-club ads. Below is a sampling of comments that get at these issues. But first, here is King’s reply to Executive Editor Aaron Yarmuth’s explanation in the Oct. 12 issue about why we pulled the award, which can be found at leoweekly.com:

Any grown ass man that uses the word “kerfuffle” and claims that “Family Guy” can have “cringeworthy” humor... has a labia. Comparing Amiri King to David Duke is highly reminiscent of how you liberals compare Trump to Hitler. One day...some Libtards will compare someone they deem “cringeworthy” and full of “kerfuffle” to Amiri King. One thing is for sure, nobody will be comparing Yarmuth to anything other than purses and shit. “OMG Susan look at this Dooney & Bourke! It screams Yarmuth!” But you know...good luck with that. May the bridges you burn, light the way. — Amiri King

Oh my god! The salt from these alt-right fans is just wonderful. They preach about freedom of speech, but when LEO exercises it in a way they disagree with, they cry so very hard. Please keep it up LEO. I can’t wait to hear the tired old “libtard” and eighth-grade insults I’m about to get from people who can’t form coherent arguments if their lives depended on it. — Zac Clemans

Completely disagree on this one Aaron Yarmuth. It is safe to assume that more people said yes to this comedian than no. If that is the case then the decision was made purely because his beliefs did not match those of the LEO and its editors. So you support gay rights and/or black lives matter rights but not the democratic process of your own papers contest and the rights of your readership to have their votes recognized? Not to mention the censorship and blatant disregard for free speech of the comedian in question. I question whether his award would have been stripped if the subject of his comedic rants were anti-Donald Trump or praising Black Lives Matter and denouncing white privilege? I would say from a liberal standpoint that is very hypocritical. Unfortunately this is what is wrong with the media today. — Jim Kats

Are people who had never heard of the LEO before this (the same people, I suspect, who voted for King) still preaching about what the LEO should and shouldn’t do? Never mind the guy’s moronic “humor.” He’s not a local, and neither are most of the people who voted for him. The LEO is a private publication. They have no obligation to promote him. I have heard of a democracy; I’ve also heard of freedom of the press. LEO doesn’t have to be “democratic.” They don’t have to give an award to anybody. Where was that ethical high-horse when you were voting on a “readers choice” poll, for a publication you’re not a reader of, out-of-staters? — Steve Sturgill

Steve Sturgill, I’m followed by 1.8 million people on this profile alone. The LEO couldn’t do me any promotional favors, I assure you. Nice hat and beard btw. I’m sure you like combing it with di#ks. — Amiri King

Really, so freedom of speech means nothing to you, unless you approve. This is a democracy, and the people have spoken. Apparently, you do not care what the people think as long as you at LEO feel safe in your bubble. — Gilbert Kidd

1. LEO is not the government, so this has literally nothing to do with the First Amendment to the Constitution. 2. Hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment. — Colin Hayes

Thanks to LEO for restoring an ounce of my faith in humanity, though at this point in the election cycle, it’s kind of like a spoonful of soil tossed into the Grand Canyon. For those of you demanding freedom of speech be upheld, I couldn’t agree more — private newspapers can print whatever they want and assign awards on whatever basis they see fit. King is clearly human garbage, but, politics aside, it’s entirely reasonable to disqualify someone from a local award who is in no way local to this area and called upon non-local non-readers of the paper in question to stuff the box in his favor. — Abby Pollard

So, what you’re saying is that the readers chose the wrong person, and you have the right, even the responsibility, to correct their mistake, even though, by your own admission, you had never heard of this person until recently? I wonder if that should extend to other areas. Should, for instance, the electoral college step in and put the person they feel would be best suited to be president in office, regardless of who got the most votes from the people? That is what you have done. Whether you support Amiri King or not, you should still respect the choice that your readers made, otherwise cease the contest all together. Because calling it Readers’ Choice, while imposing your will if their decision doesn’t agree with you, is the height of hypocrisy. — Daniel Wilson

Eh, don’t worry, LEO. Obviously, most of the people commenting here aren’t even readers of your publication, much less live in Louisville. They’re sooo brave behind their computers (and obnoxiously large cars) and are probably the same people that grab a stranger’s butt in a bar, then call her a “crazy bitch” for scolding them and smacking their hands away. Good for you for standing up for women and minorities in a timely manner when someone like Donald Trump is making these assholes think it’s OK to say this stuff. — Kim Reece