|Found on Free Republic|
The incident took place during the Creston Classic Rodeo held on Saturday September 15th, 2012. It is now confirmed that it was rodeo clown Mike Hayhurst of Barstow who told the joke. The Tribune didn't even quote it directly, instead merely paraphrasing as follows:
...the joke as told by the announcer, went something like this: Playboy is offering Ann Romney $250,000 to pose in the magazine and the White House is upset about it because National Geographic only offered Michelle Obama $50 to pose for them.
Predictably, the local intelligentsia went into sackcloth-and-ashes mode. Speaking on behalf of the rodeo’s nine-member board, Mike Barrett said that the board is not responsible for the joke and will ask Hayhurst for a letter addressing the issue and a public apology. The board will discuss at its next meeting if it will fire Hayhurst. As for Hayhurst, he's been unavailable for comment because he was taken to a local hospital after Saturday's performance for head injuries. It has not been verified if the injuries resulted from a bull tossing Hayhurst into the air.
A spectator identified as Dona Wilson of Santa Margarita insisted that she and the people sitting around her were "really appalled". Awww, poor baby.
But here's where the Tribune really fumbled the story. Because both Mike Hayhurst and another rodeo official, announcer Ed Kutz, were on the microphones at the same time, some people got the impression that it was Kutz who told the joke. Three board members told The Tribune the announcer was Ed Kutz of Arroyo Grande, and based on the perceived strength of that report, the Tribune named Kutz as the culprit without corroboration. When the Tribune found out that Hayhurst was actually the culprit, they posted a correction at the top of their original story, but that was several hours later, and by then, the damage to Kutz' reputation was done. The Tribune took strong criticism in their comments section for jumping the gun, and so far, they haven't censored the comments:
DogsNotCats 33 minutes ago:
Nice job, Trib. Your FALSE story has now gone national.
Peter Tira, McClatchy Communications Director 916-321-1941 firstname.lastname@example.org
SLO Trib needs to VERIFY facts before dragging a good man's name through the mud.
Airborne869 7:15 A.M:
Mr. Kutz was libeled for sure. I’d like to know the names of those LIBERALS who got so excited and jumped the gun identifying the wrong person holding the microphone. Or was it just a Tribune reporter?
DogsNotCats Yesterday 08:57 PM:
The Rodeo was YESTERDAY [Saturday]. The Trib published the original article late YESTERDAY night. This wasn't a life-or-death matter that demanded immediate attention; they could've waited one day to speak with Mr. Kutz firsthand! Besides, how did the Trib try to contact him? By making one late night phone call to his home? And when they couldn't reach him, they just acted on hearsay and printed false allegations anyway! Epic fail on rodeo clown's part AND on the Trib's part.
What the Tribune's commenters failed to grasp is that it is permissible and even encouraged for the media to get it wrong on racial stories so long as Whitey's the target. Invariably, the media posts a retraction to cover their asses, but in the interim, the damage is done.