Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Letter City View Doesn't Want You to See

A couple of weeks ago Des Moines' fluff newspaper (which deems itself "alternative") CityView mentioned me and the Bigfoot Diaries on it's Soundnotes page.

It was written in a manner that seemed to diminish my credibility and lessen my integrity. In a nutshell, they took an article I had written describing an encounter I had with Henry Rollins and without ever contacting me for a comment, took his word that it was all a big lie and that I was a coward and a liar. I'm not sure why Chad Taylor wrote it, nor am I sure why his editors allowed him to run with it.

Even more surprising, it wasn't a slow news day. Des Moines had a a couple of it's local musicians being inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame the following weekend (Which Taylor never mentioned) and there was a bunch of other musical-related stuff going on that seemingly would have been more interesting than taking something I had already published, and essentially making a mockery and a lie of it. But that's Chad Taylor for you. He doesn't have the skills it takes to write about real news nor does he have the pertinent contacts in the local scene to gather new information, so he makes it up as he goes, all the while pretending to be Des Moines' version of Lester Bangs.

I sent the following letter to CityView's editor a couple of days after they ran Taylor's article. It wasn't printed in last week's edition, and figuring I was late on the timeline, I looked for it to be printed in this week's. It wasn't.

It's not too difficult to see who the REAL liars and cowards are.

The following is the letter I wrote to the editor of CityView sent on October 12, 2012:

I am a bit curious as to why the editing staff at CityView decided to run with an article I wrote exclusively for the Bigfoot Diaries about an experience I had with Henry Rollins. The article in CV quoted parts of my blog post, and then took it further by publishing a rebuttal from Rollins himself. The way it was written made it look like I was lying about the entire episode. It's all very bizarre.

As I told author Chad Taylor in an email, I find it funny (and expected) that Mr. Rollins disputed my story. That's his shtick. It's what he does. I do wish I did have a recording of it, because while I did paraphrase the conversation based off memory, my take is EXTREMELY close to how the conversation went down. I'm not sure exactly what Henry is implying... If he is suggesting that our conversation was warm and fuzzy then he is way off base. It was quite tense and very uncomfortable. For you to run with it without alerting me that you were doing so, or to not inquire an opinion from me about Henry's take on the situation seems a bit unprofessional on your part. After all, it is my integrity that is on the line.

Just putting the word "Alternative" on your cover page doesn't necessarily make you so. I remember when CV actually was a respectable newspaper that had a 60 Minutes style quality to it. It was gritty and underground. It was investigative and scandal-breaking. When the folks from CV came around, it was time to batten down the hatches because something ugly was about to be exposed. Now you're all fluff. You serve us ridiculous stories about how easy it is to steal a bicycle or most recently, what it takes to run a Pawn Shop. Maybe sometime soon you can let Chad Taylor spend a week in a dog grooming service so we can read about the inner workings of German Shepherd cleansing... I find it hilarious that you deem this "alternative" journalism.

Since Taylor has become your music reporter most of the music CV covers has been boring, daft, and even juvenile. Last year he reviewed Justin Bieber's Christmas album. Do you even know who your reader base is? Locally, he acts like he's this great music insider, but a lot of the time the drivel he writes about is old news that has been passed around the scene for weeks. That's what separates blogs like ours from what you are doing there at CV. We don't pretend to be experts on things we don't know about or try to be something that we are not. We offer variety from several different points of view from people and music from all over the world. And, unlike CV, you never know what you are going to get when you click on The Bigfoot Diaries. You might get the incredible story of Scot Halpin, the man from Davenport, Iowa who for one night played drums for The Who after Keith Moon passed out onstage, or the life story of CW McCall, another Iowan who went from being a advertising agent in Omaha to writing one of the biggest radio hits of the '70s. You might read about the Sons of Bob, a "local" band out of the Boston area that on one night opened for the Rolling Stones in a surprise gig in a small bar.

Your newspaper on the other hand, seems to revolve through the same bands over and over, while rehashing the same trendy events. We get the same tired stories of everything irrelevant, wrapped up around last month's news. And when there isn't anything newsworthy to write about, you create your own stories, as you did when you ran with my blog post. It would have been nice to have seen a tribute to the Des Moines natives that are being inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame. I guess you decided that destroying my credibility was more relevant to your Soundnotes section.

I appreciate that you read the Bigfoot Diaries, but please in the future if you find something on my blog that you want to elaborate on, or offer an opinion, please at least have the integrity to address me first before you print it.

Troy Church
Editor - Bigfoot Diaries

CityView has absolutely no backbone, and it certainly isn't an "alternative" newspaper. It's a joke. For obvious reasons I won't mention names, but so many bands from within the Des Moines scene have thanked me for what we do here at the Bigfoot Diaries, and have lashed out criticism at CityView for their lack of coverage of what is really going on locally. While we (The Bigfoot Diaries) certainly don't cater to everybody, we definitely are comfortable in our shoes, and don't attempt to be something that we are not. CityView can't say that.

Would love your thoughts, even if they are anonymous (if you are in a local band) or pro-CityView.


Pertinent Links:

My original piece upon meeting with Henry Rollins

The CityView piece that prompted this letter




Anonymous said...

Chad Taylor is the biggest piece of trash in the Des Moines music scene.

"I want to try out for Superchief, but make no mention of Brian from Final Mix going into the HOF in Iowa."

What a fucking joke.

No offence to HNF, but keep writing stories about HNF Chad. Chad Taylor is the Nickleback of music literature in Des Moines. A hack.

Tami W said...

I applaud you T-roy, we know the real truth.. You Rock!

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe CV ran/quoted part of your article without asking your permission first. I also, however, cannot believe you "quoted" Rollins from memory. Both are very unethical.

T.Church said...

In hindsight, I should have mentioned that I was paraphrasing. I'll take responsibility for that.

Rich said...

Such classic bs fluff this instead of all the good news they could have covered. And what a way, towards a Real Alternative, Underground Source? They're obviously not on that team.

And if Rollins Did contact cv, & state that he didn't F bomb, I think Rollins is a fibber...Maybe he'd say that to be more "clean" to the public, which I get. Another thing Rollins might not have known (again, assuming its true that he contacted cv...), is Bigfoot's friendly humor. It was just a story.

Is Cityview scared, noticing too much creativity here, fearing the loss of their "thunder"? Sounds like Bigfoot's squashing them Haha - thanks for the promo.

Anonymous said...

I think your letter needed a good editor. You should have focused on the point you wanted to make instead of rambling on and on in a peeved rant against Chad Taylor and CV's credentials as an alternative newspaper. Try a rewrite -- this time speaking as a thoughtful adult instead of a pissed-off teen -- and resubmit. You may have a better chance of getting your rebuttal heard.


T.Church said...

Thanks for reading JD Hayes. Your input is welcome, as always.