Riordan, a BEAST loyalist who once acted as a double-agent
by posing as an ordinary Artvoice staffer in the summer of
2003, sheds some light on the Artvoice's annual Best of Buffalo
“poll.” He was unwilling to spill these beans publicly for
fear of retaliation, but we sat him under a bright white light
and employed White House-approved persuasion techniques on
him until he talked.
were you thinking, working for Artvoice in the first place?
that was back when Taibbi was the editor and he refused to
reimburse me for the 15 bucks I wasted trying to pay my parking
ticket in pennies for a story on civil disobedience. The Artvoice
was willing to financially compensate me for my pencil power.
It was nothing personal.
personal? What about your relationship with Jamie Moses?
about it? I like the guy, he's always been cool to me. That
shit in The BEAST about me saying he taught me how to fuck
dolphins was written by Gabe Armstrong and he signed my name
to it. I still want to beat his ass for that.
That was wack! If that leaves a handprint on my face I'm suing
you. All right, I don't wanna beat Gabe's ass but I still
think that was fucked up. Signing other people's names to
something you write is fraudulent.
back to the subject. You were talking about being an Artvoice
yeah... It was actually kind of cool. Matt Holota was a fun
guy to work with. One time he whispered to me that everything
about the Moses-versus-Taibbi feud was true, but he said it
so low that I could barely hear him above the drone of office
copiers. I like Matt and I like Jamie, seriously. There are
some cool people that work at the Artvoice.
Who didn't you like?
Newkirk Maynard. She told Mike Niman that I was a slug. And...
I'm not. I'm a human being with feelings, but I used to smoke
pot all the time. That doesn't make me a slug. Maybe a snail
or something, but not a slug. You ever see what happens to
a slug when you pour salt on it? I'm totally resistant to
up! Man, stop talking about yourself.
talk about something, asshole! Artvoice and the “Best of Buffalo”
sham. Tell us on tape what you said earlier or you get another
OK... While I was working there I was asked to do some of
the write-ups for the winners of the Best of Buffalo poll.
That was 2003. I only remember it because Lauren handed me
a list of some of the winners before the voting was over and
told me to get cracking.
What about your journalistic integrity?
it's on sale to the highest bidder. I personally had no problem
with what they were doing because I was getting a paycheck.
I thought it smelled a little fishy, but...
It smells like the beach after high tide! No, it smells like
a cow pasture. It's bullshit!
right, all right. Don't hit me again. It was bullshit.
I think one of the winners was Cafe 59 for "best internet
cafe." You gotta understand, Cafe 59 is right around
the corner from the old Artvoice office. Sometimes some of
the staff members got free coffee. It's hard staying awake
when you’re stoned and listening to photocopiers all day.
If you had to actually pay for all the caffeine it takes to
make it through a regular workday anywhere, you would go broke
before you clocked out. You gotta look at it from their perspective.
but we’re not flexible enough to put our heads in our asses.
snap! Good one! Listen, are we finished here? Because I really
have to pee.
you think it’s wrong to make a big deal out of this readers
poll, so everybody feels all interactive, and then just fudge
the answers to benefit advertisers?
don’t know man, you tell me. I mean, they’re making mad cash,
and we’re buying generic chip dip. I mean, integrity doesn’t
put rims on the Benz, you know? Now come on, seriously, I
have to pee, dude. Dude? Dude! Come on, man, I gave you what
you wanted! Don’t leave me tied to this chair! DUDE!