Somewhere between Bell's Palsy and death

Things I shouldn't do as an objective reporter

Monday, December 19, 2005
Know what doesn’t work in Indiana tourism? Cockblocking
So late Friday afternoon, as I was trying to get my other two stories in the bag for the night, my one editor calls me and tells me we got an anonymous letter faxed to us, could I do the requisite calling on it? Of course, I said, even though it would entail contacting our venerable tourism deity. The letter was written by Speros to a marketing guy for AM-890 WLS thanking him for the opportunity, but no, the Lake County Convention and Visitors Bureau will NOT be participating in any promotions with WLS, the Gary/Chicago International Airport and Hooters Air, because it's the LCCVB's position to bring people TO NWI, not take them out. That's a reasonable position, I think to myself, even after he scoldedasked me as to why I even thought it was a story -- which, as I've mentioned before, is, like, the No. 1 way to get on my shitlist. Why do I think it's a story? Oh, I don't know: a) you're killing funding on efforts to promote NWI and b) my editor says so.


The problem is, Speros didn't find it necessary to discuss this with Airport Administrator Paul Karas or Marketing Director Denise Williams; when I called Karas for his take, he was quite unhappy, not to mention completely blindsided by the decision. To wit:
The LCCVB is about as useful to the airport as a screen door on a submarine.

(A direct quote that made the paper and everything. That? Totally made my week, I'll have you know.)

You know how everyone who's anyone in NWI has been talking about unity and working together toward a common goal and all that for like, oh, the past 30 years or so? This would've been a great time to embrace that concept. I mean, yeah, I get it that NWI in the middle of winter when there's snow on the ground and butt-cold temperatures likely isn't one's idea of paradise, so promoting it to a market that's surrounded in sunshine might not be intuitive at first glance. But I thought the whole purpose of marketing the airport was to get people to USE THE AIRPORT, regardless of whether people are coming to hang out in the stellar NWI nightlife OR to come visit relatives, of which many people living in St. Petersburg or Vegas have here. If they're using the airport and find that it's a gem -- and it really, truly is -- does it matter what people are using it for? And that's not even getting into Speros' presumptuousness in making that call without even running it past the airport in the first place. Suppose he brought his concerns to Karas or Williams before he withdrew the money (and I don't know how much money it is, because I wasn't able to get a hold of the WLS guy) -- is it unreasonable to think that perhaps the three of them could've come to a solution that would've addressed everyone's concerns? The three of them are smart people -- I'm sure they could've worked something out.

I repeat: Lake County, and its taxpayers, are paying this clown THE HIGHEST SALARY IN THE COUNTY for this kind of wit and wisdom.
Posted by Broad5:53 PM
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Is it wrong for a broad … (Pt. 2)
to completely and derisively roll her eyes at the competition's one columnist who, when writing a column about a hit-and-run accident where the perp hasn't turned themselves in yet, calls up a Camus story?

Good God, man. Get over yourself.
Posted by Broad3:57 PM
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Figures I miss the best part of the whole evening
Found out yesterday that the best part of the ball happened just as I was making the mad dash to my car.

Each year, the chamber gives out "of the Year" awards to cops, paramedics and firefighters, and the dude who took over the Lake County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Speros Batistatos, was chosen to hand out the firefighter awards, right? Well, I'm told by several people that as ol' Speros took the stage to annouce the recipients, he scolded attendees who were still browsing at the silent auction table to sit down and that "wasn't going to tell (them) again"; after all, these men deserved everyones' full attention. That's right: He got up on stage with a microphone and scolded grown men and women to sit down. Needless to say, the grown-ups didn't take too kindly to being scolded at an event for which they paid $100 per couple.
Posted by Broad12:07 AM
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Got scooped on a story I covered over the summer. Bleh.
Posted by Broad2:39 PM
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Leave it to a lawyer to piss up my rope
So yesterday brought the end to a case that I had been following for the past year, year and half, and while I wish it had ended differently, I can totally understand and appreciate why they settled.

Y'all recall me bitching about the Town of Schererville, right? Well, among all the other crap, a former employee -- the only woman in the Public Works department -- sued it in the fed for sexual harassment and discrimination. Sounds like a stereotype, right? Yeah, except the woman had NINE YEARS OF EVIDENCE against these bastards -- signed depositions, pictures, journals, you name it. And then after the suit was filed, the town fired her. (Yes, Indiana is an at-will state, but the reasons they cited for her firing were dubious at best.) Anyway, so as the parties were waiting for summary judgment, they attempted to settle, with the town lowballing so bad, it was cute; I mean, they fuckin' fired her after systematically harassing her for nine years, and they're going start the bidding at $20K!??! Please. All she ever wanted was her job back and for them to leave her the hell alone.

Well, last week, the offer reached $85K just as she and her husband won summary judgment on most counts, but then the town said at the pretrial yesterday that it would file a motion saying if she won any less than $85K from the jury, she would be responsible for paying the town's court prep costs -- and the judge said he would grant it. He also told them at the hearing that while he was sure they had a case and was perfectly ready to hear it, they were taking a tremendous gamble; he's heard cases that he was SURE would come back with a just award that came back with a big fat nothing. Long story short, they decided to settle, which in the big picture, I don't blame them. But I SO wanted her to bring those assholes to their KNEES, because they're a shitty bunch who've been abusing the town and the taxpayers for years. Not that this decision doesn't, necessarily, because it's the second time in two years that the town has had to settle a wrongful dismissal case against an employee, and the attorney fees the taxpayers are still paying, and going to pay, are astronomical. But me, I'm all about the humiliation factor -- especially since it was the fucking town attorney who was behind the majority of the decisions in handling both cases. The guy's a nimrod.

Which brings me to why I'm pissed: After calling the attorney who would've TRIED the case and being told that she was referring all inquiries to the town attorney (she's the attorney for the liability insurance), I called Nimrod, and he said the town would be issuing a release "shortly" after first playing dumb as to what I was asking about (jackass), and then asking me how I heard about it already (keeping in mind there's NO GAG ON IT, so the parties could scream it from the rooftops). Well, that release never came to the office, and it sure didn't come to my e-mail, so my story probably looks one-sided, which doesn't bother me since I know what went down, and he's just being a jerk. But a "release" means the town issued it to the competition, too, depriving me of my "scoop." THAT irritates me.
Posted by Broad12:17 PM
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Food not for the thinking
This was the story I covered yesterday afternoon. Does it go without saying that I was absolutely turning GREEN in the courtroom!?!? Note: The final version wasn't posted on the Web site today, so this is my hard copy. I'm guessing not much changed, however.
Posted by Broad4:25 PM
Overheard during court today:
Snatch is never friendly.

Unfortunately, that's all I can give you right now, but it's a direct quote, and I can assure y'all that it wasn't supposed to come out that way.

Tipped a couple with Wad this evening before my night assignment -- well, HE tipped a couple while I stuck with water because a) I was on my way to an assignment where the paper's publisher was going to be, and b) I'm broke as a joke until Thursday, and I'm already into a ton of cash to Wad as it is. Anyway, ask him to tell y'all about Cajun Teriyaki chicken. Go on, ask him! He wants you to.
Posted by Broad1:26 AM
Friday, March 18, 2005
Days when the job is not so fun
Got an e-mail from one of my editors yesterday with a story tip: A woman called in to tell us her daughter had been assaulted, can we do a story on it? My first reaction was, "Ooooof, that's rough," and my editor said that if there was a police report, of course it's a story.

Well, there's a story, all right. Yes, it most definitely did happen ... in another state several years ago. And therein lies the rub.

I always hate doing the dead stories or the people-got-really-fucked-up-at-the-hands-of-others stories -- not because they're not worthy, but it's monumentally tough to talk to people when their emotions are so raw and exposed. You're convinced they don't really want to talk, and you're worried about saying the wrong thing. But I do them when asked, and I do an all right job of it, I think. But what do you do when there's a family in immense pain, but the story isn't germain to the readership? On one hand, it's not "news," at least as far as the public's concerned. And yet ...

Like I told the editor, "I'm really kinda glad I'm not the one making the decision."
Posted by Broad5:29 PM
Saturday, February 26, 2005
Pr0n purveyors resist union advances
I was dying to tell y'all about this yesterday, but I couldn't since it didn't run until today. Living proof that I have the best job in the universe at times. (Since we didn't update the paper's Web site last night, the stuff in brackets are edits I suspect were made.)

No, I didn't get to see any of the, ahem, merchandise, but is it necessary for me to tell you that I basically choked on my own tongue trying not to laugh while I interviewed the GM?
Posted by Broad1:54 PM • (0) Trackbacks
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Open mouth, insert spiral
You know what I hate? Reading something half-ass and then shooting my mouth off.

I was reading a link over on Romenesko about the layoff at the competition -- of which one of the people affected, if you haven't been paying attention to the comments, is one of my oldest and dearest friends -- which I read to say only laid off six people. So I, in my indignation, shoot an e-mail to Romenesko saying this pub got it all wrong and that there were certainly more. Well, he being the consumate reporter, politely asked if it was more than six in the newsroom or the whole operation, which prompted me to go back and really read the article. Yup, all the information was there -- I just didn't catch it the first time around.

Yeah, nothing like making a jerk of myself. At least I told him to not publish my e-mail.
Posted by Broad8:21 PM • (0) Trackbacks
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Not a good way to pick up dudes
Do you suppose it's a bad thing that a story I wrote on a sex offender program has now been posted on a sex offender bulletin board!?!?! WITH MY E-MAIL ATTACHED!?!?!?

Just curious.
Posted by Broad8:12 PM • (0) Trackbacks
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
PreSUMING …!?!?!?!
Pal, lemme tell you something: I understand that you're upset and you need to take care of your deal. But insulting my capabilities is neither going to help your situation, nor is it going to gain you an ally in me. Jackass.*

That is all.

*This is what I wish I could've said in response to something about which I can't be more specific out here in the internetwebnetwork. Those who know, know.
Posted by Broad9:45 PM • (0) Trackbacks
Thursday, January 06, 2005
Assburger Syndrome, indeed
No, you big pervs, that's not what it looks like. It is, however, an example of what happens when a reporter decides to rely on phonetic spelling and the desk doesn't question it. (Legend has it that editors are supposed to be able to look at a hed or sentence, and if they can get a double entendre out of it -- even if the hed's, like, "The dog is dead" -- it must change. Don't laugh; that's an important talent to have.) No, that reporter was NOT me, thankyouverymuch (and God); I may not know nothin' about no assburger syndrome, but I'm quite familiar with APSBERGER syndrome; it mimicks autism, but not really. Anyhoo, I can't believe Tara FORGOT TO TELL ME THAT ONE, because I would DIE if I were the reporter who fucked that one up. Literally curl up and die. Fer real. I feel for ya, pal.
Posted by Broad1:24 AM • (0) Trackbacks
Friday, October 15, 2004
Dude got DOOCED
Here's some bullshit for y'all -- I have a friend who worked at our Competition. I say "worked" because today? He got fired. Would you like to know why he got fired? I tell you why: He spoke his opinion about his workplace on a bbs, and some smacked ass at his place of work ratted him out, that's why. In other words, the practice of doocing? Alive and well in NWI.

Now, I know y'all are going to say that if he were going to air his opinions about his workplace, he should've never put 'em in writing or, worse, on the Innernet, and I can appreciate that. That being said, unless an employee signs some sort of Oprah agreement that says "You ain't talking about here," I don't believe a company has a right to fire you for shooting your mouth off -- you know, because of that pesky little thing called the First Amendment and all. The competition evidently knows that, too, because you know what reason they gave for firing him? "Oh, well, your rant on the bbs was factually incorrect, so how do we know your stories/columns aren't incorrect as well!?!?" What, because you (the competition) don't like hearing that you run a shithole environment!?!?! Yeah, I call "bullshit" too. We're reporters -- that's what we do, or have you forgotten your mission while you're trying to rake in the dough that your employees will never see!?!?

Well, the competition's loss is someone else's gain, because I have no doubt he'll be picked up by someone or, even better, he'll be syndicated, and the competition will have to eat it. In the meantime, I hope Romenesko and Miner get a hold of it, and put some shame into those assholes.
Posted by Broad11:22 PM • (0) Trackbacks
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Getting closer …
Remember that one story I was doing a pee pee dance of joy about? No not the one, the other one? A hint can be found below (and no telling, TIMMY!):
Posted by Broad12:13 PM • (0) Trackbacks
Page 2 of 3 pages  <  1 2 3 >
It is the job of a good person to be honest. To be self-aware. To deliberately explore the fault lines of your character and try desperately to not inflict suffering in this strange, ghost-ridden world of worked and fabricated objects. Sometimes the jobs of writer and good person coincide. But more often they don’t. There are way more writers in the world than there are good people.

100 things
Info meme #1
Typelogic says I'm an INFP.
Check my weekly astrological groove here.

Give it to me, baby.

Pssst ... My birthday's Feb. 3, and I want this, and this, and this ...

The Make-Believe Oral Cancer Foundation (M-BOCF) is now accepting donations on my behalf. Won't you please help those of us who jump to hideous conclusions regarding our oral health and help me get a root canal or two!??:

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Broad said: Like I said, my feelings are complicated on the matter, so ... I’m interested, however, in Her Highness’ thoughts on… ...[go].

Caterina said: ARGH!!! Not to deny you your goddess-given right of reflections and wishing what might-have-beens, but this guy was straight up… ...[go].

Wholovesya? said: By the by, guess who was most nasty about the charitable giving?  The frigging church.  My church and my mom’s… ...[go].

Wholovesya? said: By the by, I’m not the only one I know.  I have friends who work at soup kitchens because they’re… ...[go].

Wholovesya? said: As you know, I was a voyeur to the beginning of this, and I was loving your comment!  I have… ...[go].

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Tagline by Ben F'in Mollin, talking about those times you wake up still drunk from the night before.


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