Steamy, hot Tuesday goodness

Back in the USSR. Gorbachev comes to Kentucky to speak in Louisville tomorrow. Colin Powell will visit in April on his credibility restoration tour. [Hebert]

Freshly laundered money. The Associated Press picked up the campaign finance story written by Tom Loftus and dumbed it down so terribly that 99% of it disappeared. Way to go, AP, get rid of the meat. [AP via H-L]

Whistleblowing blows, man. Ernie’s whistleblower in the hiring scandal (Doug Doerting) is now helping Steve Beshear’s campaign. Ernie’s people are freaking out like there’s no tomorrow. [H-L, KY Politics]

Casino-free for one debate? Is that even possible? Billy Reed ponders whether or not it’s possible to have a gubernatorial debate without bringing up gambling. It’s certainly possible if guidelines are set. We’ve proved it here. [Billy Reed]

The facts. Make sure you have them when listening to McConnell spin about why he voted against children’s health care. [FactCheck]

Deep in the mines. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee holds a hearing today on mine safety. All kinds of witnesses are slated to appear. Very little in the mainstream press about the matter and we’re right in the middle of Mine Central, USA. [C-J]

WBKO’s Chris Allen Losing His Job?

From the Story That Won’t Die Dept

The Bowling Green Daily News reports on the ongoing saga of WBKO weatherman Chris Allen and the infamous breast milk video.

WBKO botched the situation by trying to cover things up, perpetuating the desire of millions to view the questionable video footage. It sent threats to people (us) who weren’t violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The station has acted from day one like this is the end of the broadcasting world. Station managers won’t even respond to our request for details relating to their outrageous cease & desist demands.

Instead of embracing the situation for what it is– a potential publicity dream come true– WBKO has continued to throw common sense to the wind and have embraced the role of media prude. (Hey, that role is reserved exclusively for US!)

Now we learn from WBKO General Manager and Vice President Rick McCue that Allen may be out of a job:

It is not clear when Allen will return on-air to AM Kentucky or other broadcasts on WBKO, McCue said.

McCue said he would not go into detail about Allen’s on-air return because it is a personnel matter.

How ridiculous is this? Via not-so-veiled language we can discern WBKO and some closed-minded media consultants are actually considering Allen’s termination. For what? Being human? What a sad shame. What a sad, cowardly shame.

Contact WBKO today to let them know you support Chris Allen and want to see him on-air.

Reminder: Media Ignoring Discrimination by Kentucky Farm Bureau

We remind you that only one major media outlet has paid attention to the story of Todd Eklof being fired by Kentucky Farm Bureau for supporting gay marriage.

One outlet. WHAS11.

Sam Moore, Kentucky Farm Bureau’s former president and current Board member admitted that Eklof was fired for supporting gay rights. KFB admitted it. And it falls to the wayside. Every media outlet in the state has turned a blind eye.

Why is the media afraid of this story? Does it have anything to do with the large amount of KFB advertising dollars? KFB’s 21 lobbyists, 8 of whom are active and key players in Frankfort? Maybe the $40,000 Hunter Bates was paid in 2004-2005 by KFB? Note to media: if WHAS11 can cover it? You, too, can cover it!

What is going on?

If you’re not talking about this with everyone you know– you’re complicit.

Statement from WBKO’s Chris Allen

“This video – which was never intended to be seen outside of the station – was part of a joke that was played on me during a lighter moment off the air several years ago. I regret that a former employee has decided it is something that everyone should see and took the liberty of posting it on the internet. I am embarrassed by the whole ordeal and humbly apologize for anyone offended by my actions.”

We won’t link to the open letter posted on WBKO’s website, lest they send a cease & desist letter. You’ll have to Google around.

Needless to say, it sucks that this video has seen public light by causing embarassment, sure. We’re a part of that suckiness. But it’s pop culture and is the current center of attention. What’s worse, the station was in denial mode and has taken the wrong initiative to quash the story. By threatening hundreds of people they’ve pushed it to the center of public attention like you’ll see on MSNBC’s Dan Abrams.

We’re sorry Allen has felt embarassment from his video snafu. We don’t think he should be ashamed and we definitely don’t think he should have been punished. If anything, it’s made him one popular television personality. Hopefully this is the end of the story.

WBKO Freaks Out, Damage Control Galore

WBKO’s Business Manager sent us the following message:

From: Paula Phelps
Subject: Copyright Infringement

This e-mail serves as notification that the video in the
story Bowling Green Weatherman’s Mistake at the URL:
belongs to WBKO-TV and has not been authorized for use on your

Please remove it immediately. Please contact myself or Rick McCue,
Vice President and General Manager at 2727 Russellville Rd., Bowling
Green, KY 42101. 270-781-1313 or
I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials
described above was not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent
or the law. œI swear, under penalty of perjury, that the
information in the notification is accurate and that I am the
copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an
exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

/s/ Paula Phelps
Paula Phelps, Business Mgr, WBKO TV

Are they really trying to cover this up?

Page One isn’t hosting any of the copyrighted material ourselves. We would happily comply with removal if we did, in fact, host it. We merely provide links to the material. It’s hosted by hundreds of websites like YouTube, Google Video, TinyPic/TinyVideo, MySpace, Facebook, MetroMojo, the Oxygen network, the Oprah Winfrey Show (which actually called us in an attempt to obtain a copy of the video), TMZ, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN.

Matter of fact, a quick Google search returns more than 198,000 hits for “bowling green weatherman.” We’ve found more than 100 instances on YouTube alone.

Further, if the station meant to imply that they want us to remove hyperlinks– wouldn’t it be beneficial to say so in a letter? We’d oblige. Hopefully they’ll clear the matter up.

Surely Page One is not being singled out and WBKO has sent cease and desist letters to all outlets that actually host the alleged copyrighted material on their own servers.

KY Farm Bureau Admits Discrimination, Media Ignores It

Todd Eklof, minister of Clifton Unitarian Church in Louisville, spoke to his congregation in late 2004 about the importance of putting an end to discrimination. He vowed to stop performing marriage and commitment ceremonies for all couples until the anti-gay marriage amendment passed in 2004 is overturned.

Kentucky Farm Bureau (Todd’s employer) didn’t like this stance and fired Eklof shortly thereafter. KFB has claimed in court documents for nearly three years that he was fired for attendance and performance issues, though Eklof has consistently been able to prove (via court documents that are publicly available, No. 05-CI-09390, Jefferson Circuit Court Division 8 ) otherwise. (Read the full story here)

Rev. Eklof’s luck changed in May of this year when Sam Moore, president of KFB at the time of Eklof’s dismissal and a current member of its Board of Directors, admitted under oath that Kentucky Farm Bureau fired Todd Ekloff for being supportive of gay marriage.

Page 29 of the deposition, lines 19 and 20, Moore says in response to the question of why Eklof was terminated, “The marriages, I think. I think that was the main thing.” Click here for the complete deposition.

Sam Moore - KFB Deposition

On September 4, 2007, Eklof sent a press release detailing the admission to every major press outlet in Kentucky. No one covered the story. Not so much as a mention. Kentucky Farm Bureau has one of the largest lobbying entourages in Frankfort and claims to be the “Voice of Kentucky Agriculture” and no one covered the story of admitted discrimination and violation of the Fairness Ordinance.

Where is the mainstream media? Why aren’t the Courier-Journal or Herald-Leader covering this matter? Where are the major television news operations? Why is the story being ignored? Could it have something to do with Kentucky Farm Bureau being one of the largest advertising forces in the state? Are news organizations afraid of losing advertising dollars as a result of coverage? KFB has been known to throw its weight around in the past and it seems likely that the same thing could be happening here. We’ll never know unless the media wakes up.

Further, why is Kentucky Farm Bureau, an organization solely in place to further the interests of farmers and agriculture, advocating against gay marriage in its policies handbook?

KFB Handbook

Everything about this story stinks. We’ll wait to see if the press ever touches it.

Bowling Green Weatherman’s Mistake

From the Intrepid Reporter Dept of Strange Crap Happens

Chris Allen of WBKO-TV in Bowling Green does the weather. Among other things.

The below video of him is making the rounds on the internets these days. It’s footage taken between live shots and leaked by someone at the station.

Is this humor, sexism or sexual obscenity?

Have a look. But don’t get up in arms with us if you’re offended. We just thought it was bizarre and worth questioning.

Oh, the age of YouTube.

UPDATE 3:50 P.M.

WBKO claimed copyright and had the video removed from YouTube. (Note: we didn’t put it on YouTube) Ashamed of their on-camera behavior? Trying to hide something that got out?

Here’s a screen grab for good measure:

WBKO pulled the screenshot in fear and absolutely didn’t abide by copyright laws. In the meantime, here’s a link to the same footage on Google Video. If they yank it again, let us know.

Another update. Here it is for your viewing (dis?)pleasure: