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ISSUE #111
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Features

ArrowBig Baby Brown
Buffalo Mayor Tramples BEAST Publisher

ArrowThe Vilsack Buzz
As the nation looks to ‘08, excitement is high
Matt Taibbi

ArrowCut -N- Fun!
2 dimensional fathers better parents, say experts

Rich Herschlag

ArrowDialing for Santorum
My last-ditch heroic effort to save the GOP’s holiest hatchet man
Matt Taibbi

Local BEAST

ArrowAn Important Message from our Fearless Leader
Paul Fallon

ArrowBeast Product Review
Buffalo Rising Magazine

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Featureless Internet Kitsch

ArrowKino Korner: Movies
Casino Royale, Déjà Vu, Stranger Than Fiction, Bobby, Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny, Happy Feet

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
As divined by your ethereal guide

Arrow[sic] - Letters
[sic]entology, Xenuphobia, Russian Says Get Out, Kill!, Castrate! and more

Big Baby Brown

continued - page 2

Of course, the Brown/Chiarelli caper was inspired by the original Beast prank in our debut issue, in which Matt Taibbi convinced then-Mayor Anthony Masiello that he was going to star in an episode of the Sopranos (“Mayor to Star in Gangster Drama,” issue #1, available online). It’s a great prank, something to aspire to, and quite personally embarrassing to Masiello. But Brown could learn something from Masiello’s response—which was to do nothing. Doing nothing ends the battle. Fighting back prolongs it. Sure, Masiello would have loved to shut us down, but he knew better than to try it. Now Brown has revealed himself as a tyrant, a censor, a heavy handed enemy of free speech. This is a fight he can’t win, and shouldn’t want to. Does he really want to be known as the mayor who shut down a newspaper because he made fun of them? Judging from the responses we’ve seen in the media so far, the reaction is unanimous: these people have no sense of humor, and need to relax. Polular local blogger Buffalopundit, a lwyer himself, called the grievance “just plain silly” and said it “smacks of punitive 1st Amendment trampling by an embarrassed city pol.”

He’s right, but we’re not worried—we’re pissed. We played a joke on these guys—a pretty damn funny one, and quite frankly performed a public service for the people of Ottawa. Brown should have taken a cue from Masiello, been the bigger man and shrugged it off. Instead, he’s escalating. He’s declared war on us, and we are not known for backing down. There are indicators in our history: When Tom Cruise and his uber-lawyer Bertram Fields threatened to sue us, we got ourselves on TV and then published an entire issue devoted to mocking him. We never heard a peep out of them again. We won that battle, and we’ll win this one. We eat people like Byron Brown for breakfast.

Expect to see a lot more of Mayor Brown in these pages. On the cover, on the inside, photoshopped into various humiliating scenarios, hovering above derisive captions. Expect more reporting on the myriad manifestations of corruption and favor-trading that he and his associates are engaged in. Expect him to be interrupted and heckled whenever he appears in public. And expect more phone transcripts; lots more. He wants to get rough; we’re happy to oblige him.

Now, we’re not saying that you, the reader, should participate in this campaign. In fact, it might be illegal for us to encourage you, your friends, and any radio personalities that entertain their listeners with prank phone calls to get involved. Although it might be a hilarious turn of events to see city hall besieged with a multitude of daily prank calls from BEAST-friendly citizens throughout Western New York and beyond, impersonating various government officials, mid-level bureaucrats, lobbyists, business luminaries or their respective aides, to the point where it becomes nearly impossible for the mayor to do business, we’re certainly not suggesting that everyone within reach of this message join forces with us to ensure that Brown and his pit-bull profoundly regret bringing their petty grievance against our publisher. Really, the last thing you should do is call the Mayor at (716) 851-4841, or Corporation Counsel Alisa Lukasiewicz at (716) 851-4333, using a service like spoofcard.com to disguise your caller ID and record the call. Or downloading a free Voce Over Internet program like Skype and recording the call with a utility like PowerGramo. Really, that would just be wrong. However, if you do so and send the recordings to us at sic@buffalobeast.com with the subject line “mayor prank,” we may be forced to publish them due to their newsworthiness. Still, we’re not saying you should do that.

It would also be wrong to encourage everyone you know to participate in this hypothetical comic resistance campaign against our humorless mayor. It would be wrong to publicize it in any way you can, for instance on your favorite blog or message board on the Internet. It would be wrong to challenge your favorite radio pranksters to get in on the fun.

Just to be clear: We are not recommending this course of action. However cool it would be to completely jam a corrupt, obsolete, failed municipal government with just a few dozen committed pranksters, making phone calls, filing comical complaint reports at the “Mayor’s Call and Resolution Center” on the web (www.ci.buffalo.ny.us/Applications/ComplaintForm/default.aspx) and in various innovative ways we haven’t yet considered, these are not actions that we would publicly endorse. It is a free country, however. Theoretically.

 

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