"Totally coup, yo."

Murphy’s Law XII

May

31

by

The Verdict

We bump into four of the six jurors in the lobby of the courthouse. “So why’d you do it?” asks Fallon.

“We just couldn’t get over how that one guy was ‘disgusted,’” says the young UB cog sci major.¹ They never considered the NOM rally a “religious service.” They didn’t believe Donna Donovan. They didn’t believe Roland Cercone. They didn’t believe the Mount Olive security guard. And they didn’t believe Swanson. But they did believe Josh Bunting.

“But you don’t know what that guy thought!” Fallon marbled. “Maybe he liked it — he wasn’t here!”

They shrug.

“You know,” I say. “They originally charged me with filming the police — and they changed it, three months later, to obscenity after they found the dildo-phone pic online.”

They shrug.

“And they erased my camera.”

A glimmer of understanding comes over the foreman — a Born Again Skeletor look-a-like — and then he says, “So, you work at CFI, huh? I work near there.” He scowls. Or smiles. There’s literally no way to know.

I’m speechless. For days they heard that I’m a journalist — opening, closing, and a dozen times in between. And this skull-looking motherfucker thinks I work at the Center for Inquiry. “Let’s go!” I yell. I want to choke him out. I need to leave before I explode, and they again find me guilty of exercising my First Amendment rights. It would have been truly offensive.

So we beat the misdemeanor. That’s good. And we beat three of four counts of disorderly conduct. Sentencing is in a few weeks. It could be 14 days in jail, a $250 fine, community service, or just time served. “Don’t ever do performance art again!” the judge may scold. “It’s blasphemy!” After that we appeal the decision in County Court. Regardless of that outcome, my impending civil case against the City of Buffalo is solid. Fuck you, Donna Donovan. Fuck you in your pig ass.

Unlike criminal trials, it’s no problem getting evidence submitted into the record during a civil case. And that record will clearly reflect that I was originally charged with “harassment” for videotaping the police. It will also reflect that between July 24 and October 6, some genius in the DA’s office figured out that that’s not illegal, so they hopped on the Internet, called in some favors and conspired to take me down with pure fiction. We’ll also be able to submit the bullshit police report from July 24 that says I was chasing cops around with the dildo, which has Donovan’s name on it — the report, not the dildo. That’s the report they showed the Buffalo News to smear me. On the stand, however, Donovan swore she never saw the dildo-phone. So things look good.

Then again, I’ve basically lost what little faith I had in the legal system, so we’ll have to wait and see.

So we won. Or we lost. I don’t know. I know we mostly won. But I feel like we mostly lost. Free expression lost. Justice lost. Art lost. Journalism — weird as it may be — lost. The First Amendment lost. Dildos lost.

The civil case is golden, and Donna Donovan might get what she deserves, but the fucking puritans won. Again. They founded this country and they’ve been busting balls ever since. Sex is bad. Religion is good. Art is scary. God will save you. It’s totally backward. And I’m angrier than ever.

Whatever. This whole thing’s been pretty stressful, and I just need to forget about it for a while. I have to pack, too. I’m going to Wisconsin for the June 5 recall election. It’s just the fate of Wisconsin, by extension the country, and my career that hangs in the balance. Not stressful at all.

Later,
Murphy

P.S. If you feel like reading this entire saga, here you go:
http://buffalobeast.com/?p=6961
http://buffalobeast.com/?p=7127
http://buffalobeast.com/?p=7438
http://buffalobeast.com/?p=7470
http://buffalobeast.com/?p=7901
http://buffalobeast.com/?p=8660
http://buffalobeast.com/?p=10645
http://buffalobeast.com/?p=13830
http://buffalobeast.com/?p=13937
http://buffalobeast.com/?p=14030
http://buffalobeast.com/?p=14139
http://buffalobeast.com/?p=14275
http://buffalobeast.com/?p=14321

_______________________________

¹ That quote caused a rather unfortunate shit storm (see comments below). Short story: cog sci juror wrote, “Not quite what I said.” I defended my reporting, and Fallon chimed in to say that that’s what he heard him say, too. The juror conceded that he may have said what I reported, and that we probably didn’t hear what else he said because Fallon (and the other jurors) talked over him. The gist of what we didn’t hear: “Whether or not the guy reacted with disgust or embarrassment, I thought the act was obscene according to current community standards as defined in the law rather than my own opinion.” So as objectively poor as Josh Bunting’s testimony was, the guilty verdict wasn’t his fault. I was openly baffled & angered by Josh’s testimony, but I’ve already acknowledged that every shred of blame is owed to the cop who arrested me for videotaping her & the judge who played the role of hometown ref. Sadly, I can’t even be happy about this revelation. Upon cog sci juror’s initial comment, Bunting flatly accused me of fabricating the quote.

Mr. Bunting left me little choice but to end his relationship with The BEAST. It’s nothing personal. People fuck up. It happens. But as the editor-n-chief ’round these parts, I simply cannot tolerate being unfairly, and unrepentantly, accused of journalistic fraud by one of my writers in a public venue. I understand that he was likely mad at me for being critical of his testimony in this same public venue — even if I did stick strictly to the facts. And I understand his desire to vindicate himself. Regardless of his objectively poor testimony, and his irrational accusations against me, he has been vindicated. He’s not the reason I was found guilty of obscenity. However, it’s unacceptable to accuse one’s editor of committing serious journalistic sins, in a public venue, without any supporting evidence. I won’t tolerate that kind of unreasonable abuse. That said, if Mr. Bunting ever wants to regain his BEAST byline, he just needs to issue an unequivocal apology for unfairly accusing me of fabricating quotes. People fuck up. It happens.

I’m deeply saddened by this whole thing. Putting aside my justified offense, I like Mr. Bunting, and he’s done years of great work at The BEAST. I’d like nothing more than to accept Josh’s apology, and to put this behind us, for the sake of our readers. Unfortunately, Mr. Bunting seems quite incapable of assuming responsibility for his actions, so I don’t expect his return. But I hope he proves me wrong.

_______________________________

  • Kozmund

    Holy shit-boulders, I just can’t believe it. I also can’t believe that the testimony that got you fucked was Bunting’s.

    Good luck at sentencing, good luck with the civil suit.

  • Anthony

    In this fucked system I’d say you won. Have fun coming to Wisconsin. Tuesday’s going to be a drunk horror show, prepare your liver.

  • Frank VanderShoot

    Good luck suing the shit out of them. I think you’re right – your civil case has a good chance.

  • Brack

    Sue early, and often! If what you’ve posted here is even half true, there’s no fucking way you’ll lose! Fight the power Murph!

  • admin

    Dear Brack,
    I actually made all this up. I was never arrested. I never went to court. It was a novella. Still gonna sue, though.

  • Brack

    Well then, you’ve totally entertained the shit out of me for all this. So thanks! And now I have this image in my head of Justice Susan M. Eagan being a cunt. So perhaps she should sue you? Or maybe I should sue both of you? Fuck, who cares? Justice was 80% served, which is a win in this country now.

  • E. Scott Frogelman

    so are you and Bunting now mortal enemies? Is the Beast staff now comprised of you (editorial), and Hugar (sportz/positive reviews of shitty music)? Oh, and maybe a Dixon screed from time to time?

  • admin

    Dear Mr. Frogelman,
    Bunting & I have scheduled a midnight knife fight a la “Beat It,” but he can still post here all he wants. But, yeah, Hugar’s still on sports/good reviews of shitty music, Dixon might rant about something every three months or so, and Caigoy should be finishing his review of Atlas Shrugged any fucking day now. It would take me two years to read it, too.

  • $5,000 suit and tie

    spend at least a grand on a fancy suit and nobody will convict you.

    you can kill someone while driving drunk and get charged with a Dwi but not vehicular manslaughter.

    Ian your not only poor and wearing cheap clothes, but you are a journalist. People are predujidce against journalist and poor people.

  • Cog sci juror

    Not quite what I said. Basically I was just trying to point out that we(I) thought an “obscene gesture” was something objective. Whether or not the guy reacted with disgust or embarrassment, I thought the act was obscene according to current community standards as defined in the law rather than my own opinion. Nice article otherwise

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdA4k6NMVrg&feature=plcp Joe Dixon

    I’d write more often but despite being black, I just don’t get arrested that often. I was going to do some interviews but all the people I wanted flaked out on me. I may being doing a podcast with Bunting, though. I’ll ask him about his sexual hang ups if anyone is interested.

    Oh, sorry. This is about Ian! Dude, that sucks. Hopefully it’ll be a time served and that’s it.

  • http://www.buffalobeast.com/ Josh Bunting

    Not that I mind being an antagonist in this part of the story or anything, but maybe this should be corrected if comment 10 is accurate.

  • admin

    Dear cog sci juror,
    What you were trying to point out and what you said were two different things entirely. I don’t doubt your reasoning in comment 10 (as ridiculous as it may be), but you simply said nothing of the sort. Don’t expect to have your intentions quoted if they don’t align with your words. I may have gotten an insignificant word wrong or something, but that’s what you said, and I’d have to be fucking psychic to know that you were trying to say anything remotely similar to what you said in comment 10.

    Josh,
    You’re not an antagonist. You’re an unfortunate side note.

  • http://www.buffalobeast.com/ Josh Bunting

    Oh that’s cool.

  • matt

    could I suggest a recall? or maybe Fallon could challenge her in the primary? Apparently the judge is a democrat http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnQNdAH-azE

  • admin

    Matt,
    Democrat or not, she was appointed by the Mayor, so it’s her job to protect the police — from their own illegal actions. I doubt Fallon ever wants to run for public office again, but I’ll tell him your idea.

  • Cog sci

    Well I’m sure I said nothing like that as I don’t make a habit of saying things which directly contradict what I’m thinking. Thinking back, I said something that specifically referenced that law. And what ever happened to a responsible journalist reporting the “truth” and not just throwing in a quote with no context…”perbatim”?

  • http://www.buffalobeast.com/ Josh Bunting

    LOL @ comment 1 now: “I also can’t believe that the testimony that got you fucked was Bunting’s.”

    Yes, it’s totally unbelievable. Mostly because it’s not true.

  • admin

    Cog sci,
    You also seemed to be in the habit of meeping & peeping while the grown up jurors talked over you. Because if you said that additional bit I just didn’t hear it. “Thinking back…”? OK, so now the story’s different. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but you’re full of shit — whoever you are.

    Bunting,
    Yes, your incomplete & oath-breaking testimony is still hilarious.

    • http://www.buffalobeast.com/ Josh Bunting

      My testimony was accurate, as you know. Maybe you could’ve released the video in question and let the jurors make up their minds on their own. Or maybe it’s more likely that the juror you decided to misquote is lying now for no reason. And so am I, also for no reason. You’re the only one capable of telling the truth, because you’re so impartial.

  • Andrew McFeely

    Actually Fallon was the one that talked over me, and in the deliberating room I pretty much ran the show. If it wasn’t for me you’d likely have another charge in the guilty column. Not that you owe me anything for that, the facts are the facts, but if you can’t see past my small frame and young face, and judge me on my words instead, then I seriously hope I never get you in my jury pool. If I had done the same you may not have been so lucky.

  • admin

    McFeely,
    Jesus fucking Christ on toast. Sure, Fallon’s a loud guy, but everyone was trying to get their two cents in, and my ears aren’t fucking magic. I heard what I heard, I heard nothing more, and I reported what I heard. I’m truly sorry if you feel misquoted, but you said what you said, and I simply didn’t hear the rest. But, yes, thanks so much for finding me guilty of offensive comedy. You’re a true patriot with a keen understanding of free speech.

  • admin

    Bunting,
    You swore to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but. You simply did not do that. I frankly don’t care anymore. The only thing that bothers me slightly is that you won’t even admit it. For one, and this was just an error, you botched the content of the interview we did. Just completely got it wrong. You confused it with an earlier interview. Minor detail, I guess, and I don’t care. Then there’s the “whole” truth business. You didn’t talk about the guy laughing. All you said was he was “disgusted.” I could dispute that term, and I don’t think many people would have called it “disgusted” if they’d seen the video. After your incomplete and opinionated testimony, I regretted not showing the jury the video. At any rate, if Mr. McFeely’s to be believed (not that we have definitive proof that this guy is who he says he is), this is a moot point. And as you said, he has no reason to lie, but he’s also being completely unreasonable to think I could make out his reserved voice amid 5 other people talking. You’re also being completely unreasonable to immediate believe McFeely’s account, which I may add doesn’t actually contradict my own. What is my reason to “lie” about what he said? Because? I’m clearly not entirely impartial about this whole thing, but what earthly reason would I have for deliberately misquoting McFeely? Again, yes, your testimony was “accurate” — just as your opinion of the taste of chocolate ice cream is accurate (discounting the bits which were demonstrably inaccurate). But you simply didn’t tell the whole truth. I don’t understand why you can’t even admit that. Are you scared of going to jail? Because Fallon told me that during prep that that seemed to be all you were concerned about — you getting in trouble somehow. How? I have no fucking clue. People fuck up all the time. I didn’t hear what McFeely said. I don’t consider that a fuck up, but at least I can fucking admit that it’s possible. (And for what it’s worth, both Fallon and Double-Dawg took the same message away from what we did hear McFeely say. Fallon said, “Don’t tell Josh, he’ll never forgive himself.” Of course, now, we know that you’re incapable of admitting fault about anything, and that that was a laughable sentiment on Fallon’s part.) Instead, however, you have the fucking gall to accuse me of deliberately misquoting someone when I have no motivation to do so. I forgave you for not telling the whole truth. I even forgave you for being incapable of accepting the fact of that matter. But you can’t accuse me, in a public forum, with absolutely no evidence, that I deliberately misquoted someone in my report. Fuck you. You’ve put me in a real pickle here. An editor can’t accept that from one of his writers and just pretend it never happened. Doing so would be a tactic admission that the writer’s claims bear resemblance to reality. Your claims are an insulting load of bullshit, and I won’t stand for it. Sad that you’ve chosen to make such inaccurate and unsupported claims in public. It’s also sad because I like you personally. That said, you’re fired. I just cannot accept a contributor who’s accused me of fabricating portions of a report. Nothing personal, mate, but you’ve put me in a real bind here. By doing this you’re basically asking me to terminate your writing relationship with The BEAST. Not to belabor the point, but this isn’t personal. I was miffed over your incomplete testimony. I’m still a little confused why you can’t even admit it. But you’ve just accused me of lying in public. That’s just not cool. It’s not professional. It’s not even based in evidence. So, yeah, your past posts will remain, but you won’t be posting here again. Later, buddy. It’s been fun knowing you.

    • Raghubir Goyal

      Hey, I like reading everything you write man. Specifically, I enjoy the way you handle your relations – and this website. I just want to say I’m not surprised you were found guilty (of anything, or had it been everything); there is no justice in an unjust world.

  • Josh Bunting

    I did tell the truth. If you’re saying I didn’t, then post the video that I know you have recovered. I know it’s recovered because I’ve seen it.

    You didn’t say in your report that you didn’t hear what he said. You quoted him, which is the only evidence you’ve presented that what I said had anything to do with your guilty conviction. When the juror himself manages to correct you, you pretended he wasn’t who he said he was and backpedaled.

    So not only was what I said accurate but you’re also wrong to say that my slip-up – I’ll be generous and call it that – had anything to do with the jury’s decision.

    I still have the email where I said early on that maybe it wasn’t the best choice of words (although it was accurate, as you agreed). But that wasn’t good enough for you. You wanted grovelling, and that’s not something I’m gonna do.

  • http://youtu.be/YdA4k6NMVrg Joe Dixon

    Good lord, Ian. You accused Josh of fucking you over in a public forum. I understand you’re upset about the conviction on the one count but lashing out isn’t going to help anything. Instead of this posting and email bullshit give the guy a call when you get back from Wisconsin and meet. Hash out this thing in person. It’s easy to act like this when everyone is just letters on a computer screen. Go meditate. Take a hot bath. Drink some Mad Dog 20/20 or smoke a joint but do whatever you have to do to calm the fuck down. All your coming off as is really angry. Stop and take a fucking break dude, seriously.

  • http://buffalobeast.com Paul Fallon

    It’s 11:20 and I’m tired and drunk. I’ve just read this comment stream, except the last admin #23 comment which I am putting off until I get this comment on on the record.
    If Mr. McFeely believes that he was inaccurately quoted he has a right to ask us to print a quote the he will supply us that he believes is accurate. I was present at our post trial talk with four of the jurors. The quote Mr. Murphy put in his story, “We just couldn’t get over how that one guy was ‘disgusted,’ was what I believe I heard. Maybe it was something else but that is what I got from what was said. Maybe I misunderstood. That happens.
    I also recall that after talking to the jurors Mr. Murphy, Double Dawg and I discussed the unfortunate use of the word “disgusted.” We did no do so to cast blame. We were merely ruminating about the word “disgusted” being mentioned by one of the jurors as sticking out.
    If I have anything to ad after reading comment #23 I will do so but maybe not until later. Cheers all!

  • Kozmund

    Uhm. So I’m a Buffalo Beast reader who’s stuck by the publication through all of its various editors and has tremendous respect for both Mr. Murphy and Mr. Bunting. I realize that none of those things give what I say one fucking iota of weight, and I shall be preemptively going and fucking myself immediately after submitting this comment. I just wanted to clarify that my interest in this whole thing is as a reader, a consumer of your fine media product. I don’t know either of you.

    I entirely realize how counter-productive asking people to “calm down,” or “reconsider,” or “sleep on it,” is, so I won’t. That said, it sounds like Fallon might have told you two different things, which seems to have started a rapid escalation of one party feeling wronged and feeling misrepresented in an article, and the other party increasingly angry about issues of acceptance, admission, and accountability. That sucks, and I’m sad to see it happen. I sincerely hope you guys can work it out. Otherwise, I’ll miss my weekly Crackpottery, but will obviously still be reading.

    Best of luck to everyone involved that wasn’t part of the jury, the prosecution, or the judge. Now, off to attempt to remove my head from my ass, followed by a rigorous self-fucking.

  • admin

    Josh,
    You told some of the truth. I never said you didn’t. You saw the video. You know you didn’t. I never claimed you did anything nefarious. Your testimony was merely incompetent. That said, I do apologize for stating previously that your testimony was “oath-breaking.” Not telling the whole truth is OK, legally, if you’re just incompetent. Like Reagan!

    Wow. Why would I put something about not hearing a guy in my report if I didn’t hear him? I didn’t fucking hear him! When’s the last time you reported on something you didn’t hear? Your “reasoning” here is truly pathetic.

    And what you call “backpedaling” was more my sudden realization (duh, I know) that I don’t have definitive proof that this guy is who he says he is. OK. He might be. He even probably is. But knowing a name and an email address is not proof. I emailed the address left on the back-end to verify his identity, and I haven’t received a reply. And, frankly, he’s said nothing in these comments for me to know that he is who he says he is. That’s all. Facts: I like them. For all I know, at this point, this guy is Roland Cercone. Email me back from the email address provided, and I’ll believe you 100%, McFeely.

    And, you know what? As soon as his identity is verified, I will redact this line: “But they did believe Josh Bunting.” That’s the only thing in this entire 35,000 word saga that puts one iota of real blame on you — outside of my personal fears. But, again, you weren’t there. And you’re arguing against two people who were, and siding with a guy who admits he was being talked over. And, again, I just didn’t hear the guy.

    I don’t want you to grovel. That’s ridiculous. What I want, and it’s quite too late for this, is to not be accused of committing journalistic fraud — which is exactly what you did, in public, to your editor. Find me one editor in print or on the web that would put up with being libeled by one of their contributors. You won’t find one. And there’s a pretty good reason for that.

  • admin

    Joe,
    I accused Josh of nothing. I reported on his incompetent testimony. That’s it. If you want an argument about what I heard or didn’t, read the comments above — both by me and Fallon.

    I am calm. I’m surprisingly calm for an editor who was just libeled as a journalistic fraud by one of his writers. I mean, I didn’t choke anyone, or anything. All I did was fire the guy, which was absolutely justified. Maybe you don’t understand how serious that is since you’re a stand up comic. That’s the only explanation I can muster.

  • admin

    Fallon,
    Yeah. What you said — you know, a guy who was there.

  • admin

    And P.S. Yes, comments are now being moderated. Not something I want to do, but I’m running around Wisconsin for a few more days (without constant internet access), and I don’t like being libeled by disgruntled former writers when I can’t immediately demolish their baseless accusations. You understand. Or not. But you will deal. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  • Josh Bunting

    Libel would be if I said that you deliberately misquoted him *knowing that you didn’t.* So for example if I had emailed you saying something like “Yeah, I know you didn’t commit perjury / libelled someone, but I said you did anyway,” that would be libel. Being mistaken is not libel.

    So I’m sorry for having rushed to accusing you of knowingly misquoting McFeely. But it did look bad with you quoting him directly in the OP one minute and then saying you didn’t hear him when he shows up to correct you the next. If you didn’t hear him, you could have mentioned that originally. Or you could have paraphrased what you thought you heard.

    Obviously we’re not going to agree on whether my testimony was “competent.” It would probably be best to just post that video of it and let people decide on their own, or at least acknowledge that it exists and that you’re not releasing it, but that’s your call.

  • Andrew McFeely

    I got your e-mail, but it won’t let me reply. It says I can’t because it doesn’t allow relaying. Anyway it said “Well, all I want to know is if this is actually you commenting at The BEAST. Because frankly nearly anyone with a bit of knowledge of the case could just be using your email address.”

  • Andrew McFeely

    And I wasn’t trying to cause any trouble by the way, I just felt like I really didn’t say that.  Maybe I’m nuts and I did but that wasn’t what we based our decision on.  If I did in fact say that then I’m sorry I mislead you, and if I didn’t then I do believe you simply misheard and were not trying to intentionally misquote me

  • http://buffalobeast.com Paul Fallon

    @ Kozmund

    What are you talking about with, “it sounds like Fallon might have told you two different things”?

  • Agnes Morehead

    I think the real problem here is the general reaction to the term “disgusted”, as if it were a bad thing. It comes up all the time when my hubby and I discuss our wedding night. I do not think the word means what she thinks it means!
    Yours,
    in Christ,
    Agnes Morehead

  • admin

    McFeely,
    Weird about the email, but thank you for verifying. I mean, I presumed it was you, but as a journalist, I set the bar relatively high fact-wise. The BEAST is all fun and games, but I do take that kind of thing very seriously. I realize you weren’t trying to cause trouble, but I appreciate the sentiment. Basically, I’m certain that you said what I quoted you as saying, and then I just didn’t hear what else you said — which, apparently, was the reason you lot found me guilty of obscenity. And I really do appreciate knowing that, and I really do wish I’d heard that bit. It would have saved us some drama here at The BEAST.

    Josh has it in his head that I’m out to get him or something, but I’m relieved I can update this story (maybe not right away because I am incredibly busy). I felt like shit being mad at Josh. I mean, his testimony was still terrible, and I still don’t agree with your decision, but this is all good news.

    I’m not sweating this as much as some people may presume. We have a rock-solid civil case. And since you actually found me guilty of the charge they made up months later to replace the original, and totally legal, charge of “harassment for videotaping cops,” it’s vindicating — or will be when I get paid by the City of Buffalo. So, in a way, I do owe you some thanks. Seriously.

    And I also thank you for being reasonable about this. Josh decided on his own that he was going to go all in on what fundamentally amounts to a miscommunication — both at the original lobby run-in, and in the comments flame war — and accuse me of deliberately misquoting you. As I mentioned, I take that kind of thing very seriously, and I’m disappointed at Josh for not holding himself to a higher standard. It reflects poorly on him, me, and The BEAST. But don’t fault yourself for a second about the fallout from that. In reality, it has very little to do with you.

    And I do apologize for saying you “meeped & peeped.” You have to admit you — you come across as a pretty reserved guy. But, truly, if our roles were reversed, I’d never have presumed anything about your character or guilt based on your appearance or demeanor.

    Sorry to ramble on here, but I’m happy this matter has been put to rest. When I can get around to it, I’ll change the article to reflect what’s transpired here in the comments section. Unfortunately, it won’t be as simple as ditching: “But they did believe Josh Bunting.” Because I think you did probably believe him. It’s just that his opinion that they guy was “disgusted” wasn’t the reason for my guilt. And, you know, if I’m going to accurately reflect this ugly internet flame war, Bunting will come out looking truly nefarious, rather than merely incompetent. Or just hugely incompetent. Not sure yet. Again, though, this has very little to do with you.

    Best,
    Ian

    P.S. If I do have the opportunity to get my book published, I would very much like to interview you in more depth. Shit, maybe even buy you a beer! I don’t know what’s up with your email, but you have my address, so if you’re willing to do that, just shoot me a note. Somehow. Awesome. Later. Although, really, the book deal dies entirely if Walker wins the recall. So watch the news, dammit!

  • Agnes Morehead

    The little minx also frequently employs the term “Incompetent” when discussing our honeymoon!
    Troubling? Perhaps…

  • admin

    Bunting,
    I’m sorry, President Reagan. Your incomplete testimony and wild accusations weren’t evil plots; you are just massively incompetent. Got it.

    Sorry to keep hammering you with the unfortunate facts, but you told half of the story of that interview, and the half you did tell was factually inaccurate. You recalled the wrong interview. That’s pretty durn incompetent in my book (pending publication). And that’s not counting your opinion the guy was “disgusted.” You’re entitled to your opinion. And that’s also not counting a slew of other mind-boggling errors you made regarding other events of that day. But while I’m thinking about it, here’s one incredible example of your incompetence: Fallon played the video of Donovan smacking the camera down from your face. You then said that I was “about from [you] to the judge away” from you when that happened. You can actually see my folded arms in that clip. I was literally standing close enough to hip check you. We could have been wearing one large pair of pants. That’s how close I was to you. You were about 10 to 12 feet away from the judge. You were there when it happened, you reviewed the video with Fallon during trial preparations, and you watched it again in court. There I am, clear as day, about 6 inches away from you. And yet you say I was 10 feet away from you. How is that even possible? As it turns out, your utter incompetence didn’t matter, but to even claim that your utter incompetence was anything but utter incompetence is a shocking display of yet more utter incompetence.

    Well, your backhanded “apology” is cute, but I didn’t misquote anyone — intentionally or accidentally. I didn’t hear what the guy said after the part I did hear. There’s nothing inconsistent there. At all. And, again, your line of “reasoning” is ridiculous. It’s not that I couldn’t make out what he said. I did not hear what he said. I didn’t even know he said anything after what I quoted because everyone started talking, and he’s a relatively quite guy. Or polite. Or whatever. What you’re saying would be like me asking you why you didn’t quote me when you wrote your last article. I was likely talking at the time you were writing. Granted, I was miles away, but why didn’t you say that you couldn’t hear me? Why would you misquote me like that? Why didn’t you at least paraphrase the things I said which you didn’t hear? Are you getting this? I don’t understand how you couldn’t — but I guess I’m still operating under the presumption that you don’t completely have your head up your own ass.

    But you keep demonstrating, over and over again, that you do, in fact, have your head up your own ass. Case in point, the idea that posting the video will somehow vindicate you is ludicrous. It would give people a chance to see whether or not they agree with your opinion that the man was “disgusted,” but that’s not even why your testimony was utterly incompetent. It was your opinion. We can’t test to see whether you were “right.” And we don’t need to show the video for people to know that 1) you completely botched the content of that interview, and 2) you only told the first half of a 30 second story. Unless you dispute that too. You haven’t so far — because that’s what happened. But it would no longer surprise me if you started to lie — I mean, be utterly incompetent about that as well. You don’t seem to be experiencing objective reality at this point. And anyone who’s read this thread closely can see that.

    Aside from insulting me both personally and professionally, you’ve cast enormous doubt over your ability to be objective and actually use your brain. The utter incompetence you’ve demonstrated in this comment thread makes your utterly incompetent trial testimony seem impeccably competent. And that’s a feat.

    Also, aside from wildly accusing me (your editor) of committing the highest journalistic sin, your evident idiocy through this thread is generally troubling. I would no longer even trust you to feed my cat while I travel, for fear that upon returning home I’d discover that you’ve fed my cat to a dog, per my request. And the idea that you should continue writing here about skepticism, emotional reasoning, and other bad thought processes is fucking laughable.

    So, yeah. We done here?

  • admin

    Fallon,
    Ha. YES! It’s your fault! You bastard! You’re fired, too! Oh, wait. I can’t do that, nor am I serious. Yeah, whatchu talkin’ ’bout, Kozmund?!

  • Kozmund

    When I wrote that, I was recalling something about immediate post-testimony and Mr. Fallon reassuring Mr. Bunting that the word choice wasn’t going to screw things up, etc. Looking back very briefly on previous installments, I don’t see that now. I must have conflated the bit about Mr. Fallon saying “Don’t tell Josh, he’ll never forgive himself” to assume there was some sort of post-testimony conversation where Mr. Bunting feelings were spared. I sincerely apologize, as I can’t find the thing, so must assume it doesn’t exist and that my brain invented it from whole cloth.

    I doubly apologize for not being more precise in how I worded that, even in a delusional state regarding the facts. On rereading, it was a clumsy effort. I surely could have done a better job at attempting to make a point about escalation and empathy.

    I was obviously in some sort of fugue state to weigh in on the issue in the first place. I must not be much sounder of mind to be posting a follow-up explaining myself.

  • Josh Bunting

    tl;dr

    I don’t know how to reed.

  • Beast_Fan

    Wow I really missed the shit hit the fan here. I won’t take sides on the dispute but I will say I’m sorry to see Bunting go–I enjoyed the Crackpottery updates.

  • C

    At least it wasn’t my testimony that fucked shit up. lol

  • admin

    In light of the ensuing comment thread, this story’s been appropriately updated with a footnote.
    -IM

  • downlau

    I’m just a lay reader, but I hope you guys work things out. That creep Donna Donavan is probably reading this and laughing. So, if for any reason… And to think this all started with a dildo flapping around. .

  • http://twitter.com/JafafaHots Jafafa Hots

    I was at an anti-Cheney protest back in 2004 and when another person there asked a Buffalo cop for his badge number after some verbal interaction I didn’t hear, the cop said “you want my badge number? HERE’S my badge number,” putting his middle finger up over his badge and giving that citizen the bird.

    I laughed and said “hey, do that again, lemme get it on tape!” reaching for my camera.
    The red-faced cop grabbed my shirt collar and yanked me to his face and growled “you want to get arrested?”

    I laughed in his face and said “what for?” The presence of so many others and the inhibition-eliminating antidepressants my doctor had prescribed gave me a sense of confidence I suppose.

    His supervisor called him off.

    I thought that was a marked improvement from 1984 when two Buffalo uniformed cops arrested me and lied blatantly on the arrest report because I’d told a donut joke in front of an undercover cop a week earlier… something they admitted to me in the ride to the holding center.

    So I moved to the SF Bay Area. Here the cops pretty much ignore you unless they just shoot you in the back. Or pepper-spray you. Or lob flash-bang grenades and crack your skull.

    Definitely would never be arrested for a dildo-mic though.

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