Here’s a Hugh Haynie cartoon banned from local publication because of the bond between the Kennedy and Bingham families. Barry Bingham Sr. dictated the censorship (pink banner) to his Courier-Journal editor in 1969. The Hugh Haynie editorial cartoon collection is on display at the Frazier History Museum in Louisville.
Here is a WHAS Radio live performance from December 22, 1988 where a group of listeners delivered a live reading of “A Christmas Carol.”
Merry Christmas, everyone.
I wonder where all of those people are today.
email me with updates: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kentucky Wildcats basketball coach John Calipari speaks to the media following UK’s third loss in a season some expected to be flawless. North Carolina beat Kentucky 82-77 in the Wildcats’ first true road game.
Calipari said that UNC “deserved to win” and that his guys “need to get knocked in the teeth” in order to learn.
“Hopefully you’ll see progress,” Calipari wished out loud.
Although many fans thought that this magnificent #1 recruiting class would give UK a perfect “40 and oh” season, this loss to North Carolina on the heels of losses to Baylor and Michigan State have dampened spirits across the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
UK hosts archrival Louisville in two weeks. Suddenly, Cats fans are not as confident as they have been since Calipari assembled what many call “the greatest recruiting class ever.”
Meanwhile, the very popular radio sketch of UK fanatic The Beasman sets up like this:
BEASMAN coach cal is a spy For air Monday, Dec. 16, 2013
I CAIN’T HOLD IT IN NO LONGER. I’M SO SICK AN TARD OF MY WILDCATS LOSIN, I’M STARTIN TO THINK COACH CAL IS A DOUBLE NAUGHT SPY SENT HERE BY U OF SMELL TO SABBERTAGE THE GREAT KENTUCKY WILDCATS. DADGUMMIT, LARRY MINNER…DON’T YOU START SMIRKIN. I KNOW YOU AND SLICK RICK IS SMIRKIN RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THE MIGHTY KENTUCKY WILDCATS IS A-FLOUNDERIN. I TELL YOU WHAT…I AIN’T EVEN GOT THE STRENGTH TO SMACK TAWK NO MORE. WE WAS GONNA BE FARDY AND OH AND LOOK AT US NOW. WE GONNA BE LUCKY TO BE TWUNNY AND TWUNNY. SOME OF US GOOD CLASSY CAT FANS THINK COACH CAL MIGHT BE A SPY JUST LIKE BILLY CLYDE GILLESPER. ADMIT IT, LARRY. YOU AND SLICK RICK PLANTED COACH CAL HERE TO SECRETLY BLOW UP THE GREAT KENTUCKY TRADITION. I KNOW THEY WON IT ALL A FEW YEARS AGO BUT THAT WAS PROBLEE JUST TO THROW US OFF BY GITTIN OUR HOPES UP REAL HIGH THAT EVER SEASON WAS GONNA BE FARDY AND OH WITH U UH KAY DOMMERATIN LIKE THE HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS, JUST TOYING WITH THE OPPONENTS. BUT RIGHT AFTER THAT ONE FOOL’S GOLD CHAMPERCHIPS TO GIT US ALL TO PAY MORE FOR TICKETS AND SEAT LICENSES…WHAT HAPPENED? WE WENT STRAIGHT TO THE N.I.T. AND GOT BUGGERED BY LITTLE OL BOBBY MO. WE GOT PUNKED AND MOCKED AND RUN OUT OF NOBODYLAND BY LITTLE STINKIN’ BOBBY MO. WE SHOULDA FIRED COACH CAL THAT NIGHT FOR HUMILERATIN ALL THE GOOD CLASSY KENTUCKY FANS WHO HAD TO CRY THERSELFS TO SLEEP AND GIVE THEIR CHILDREN ADDERALL TO GIT THEIR MINDS OFF THE HORROR. BUT NAW, WE DINT FIRE COACH CAL…WE LET HIM START TAWKIN HIS FANCY EAST COAST TAWK AND WE PUT THE FISH HOOKS RIGHT BACK IN OUR WILDCAT MOUTHS. MATT JONES TODE US TO CALM DOWN AND TRUST IN COACH CAL, AND SINCE MATT JONES IS OUR MASTER, WE DONE WHAT WE WAS TODE. AND THEN COACH CAL STARTED ALL HIS BERNIE MADOFF CON MAN TAWKIN ABOUT “HEY Y’ALL, I GOT US ANOTHER BIG BLUE #1 RECRUTING CLASS AND WE’S GONNA GO FARDY AND OH.” AND SO WE HAD TO SET THROUGH WATCHING THEM LOSERVILLE CARDINAL DEMONS GO AND WIN IT ALL AFTER THEIR GUY KEVIN WARE BROKE HIS LEG AND BECAME AMERICA’S SWEETHEART. THAT WAS TOUGH TO SET THROUGH, COACH CAL, BUT ALL US GOOD CLASSY CAT FANS JUST KEPT SAYIN “HAVE YOUR FUN, LOSERVILLE, BECAUSE COACH CAL AND MATT JONES SAYS THE BEST TEAM EVER ASSEMBLED IS COMING TO LEXINUN.” AND WE BLEEVED ALL THEIR FAKE BIG BLUE LIES. “HERE COMES THE HARRISON TWINS. JAMES YOUNG. WE GOT BIG OL JULIUS RANDLE. MARCUS LEE. WILLIE CAULEY GOLDIBLOCKS IS BACK. AND JON HOOD IS MISTER KENTUCKY BASKETBAW. AINT NOBODY CAN STAY WITHIN 50 POINTS OF THESE HERE WILDCATS!” LOOK AT US NOW, LARRY MINNER. SICK, TIRED, THROWING UP IN BUCKETS, AND HALF-SKEERED WE’S GONNA LOSE TO OUR ARCH-ENEMAS WITH SLICK RICK DANCIN ALL OVER THE RUMP ARENER FLOOR. THIS HERE IS A CONSPIRACY, AINT IT? DID TOMMY TURTLENECK JURICH SECRETLY PAY OFF COACH CAL TO COME IN HERE AND RUIN KENTUCKY? THAT’S WHAT’S GOIN ON, AIN’T IT? DADGUMMIT, IF COACH CAL LOSES TO SLICK RICK RIGHT HERE ON THE RUMP ARENER FLOOR THEN WE ALL GONNA GO OVER AND THROW HIS FURNITURE ONTO A FLATBED AND LEAD HIM TO THE EDGE OF TOWN AND TELL HIM TO GO BACK TO MEMPHIS AND NEVER, EVER COME BACK HERE. THIS HERE IS SOME KIND OF SECRET PACT AMONG SLICK-HAIRED I-TALIAN CATHLICKS, AINT IT? WE IS DONE AT KENTUCKY HIRING COACHES WITH SLICK HAIR AND FANCY SUITS. DADGUMMIT, MITCH BARNHART, IF YOU AINT IN ON THE CONSPIRACY, GIT ON THE PHONE AND TELL TRAVIS FORD TO COME HOME TO KENTUCKY. IT’S TIME WE GIVE THE BIG BLUE PROGRUM BACK IN THE HANDS OF A KENTUCKIAN. ONCE I LEFT, THAT FERRENER EDDIE SUTTON DROVE U UH KAY IN A DITCH, AND WE BEEN POSSESSED EVER SINCE. COME HOME, TRAVIS FORD. MAKE US THE ARROGANT, CONDESCENDING, IN-YOUR-FACE, SMACK TAWKIN BIG BLUE NATION THAT WE USED TO BE BEFORE COACH CAL TURNS US INTO BOBBY MO’S PERMANENT BEE-OTCH. SAVE US, TRAVIS. SAVVVVVEEEEE USSSSSSSS!
One of the most downloaded 84WHAS Radio podcasts are my conversations with University of Kentucky fanatic The Beasman. These sketches air two times weekly, usually at 5:45 p.m. but occasionally earlier in the 4 p.m. hour.
BEASMAN cats lose again
(sniff) AINT NO HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS IN WILDCAT COUNTRY, LARRY MINNER. FORGIT SANTY CLAUS. TAKE DOWN THE TREE. ALL THESE POOR CAT FAN KIDS IS CRYING ABOUT NO FARDY AND OH, NO THURDY NINE AND ONE, MAYBE NOT EVEN NO THURDY EIGHT AND TWO. I BEEN WALKIN AROUND IN A DADGUM DAZE SINCE FRIDAY NIGHT. BAYLOR. WE WAS CALLING THEM GAY-LER. HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN TO THE GOOD AND CLASSY BIG BLUE NATION? HOW COME WE GIT ALL THE BEST RECRUITS IN THE WORLD AND THESE OTHER TEAMS HAVE THE NERVE TO SCORE MORE POINTS? WE IS THE CATS! IT AINT POSED TO BE LIKE THIS. ALL US GOOD CLASSY CAT FANS POSED TO BE WALKIN AROUND GITTIN IN YOUR FACE TAWKIN ABOUT HOW WE IS DUNK DYNASTY AND COACH CAL IS A GOD AND U UH KAY IS THE ONLY SCHOOL IN THIS STATE AND “THEY DON’T WANNA BEAT US – THEY WANT TO BE US!” WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL THAT? WE DON’T RECRUIT—WE JUST RELOAD. DADGUMMIT, AIN’T NOBODY POSED TO BEAT NO U UH KAY NEVER. SO I TURNT ON YOUR STOOPID RADIO SHOW TO LISTEN TO SEE IF YOU’RE SMIRKIN…BUT YOU AINT. I BEEN WAITIN FOR YOU TO KICK COACH CAL IN THE FACE BUT YOU AINT. WHY CAINT YOU U OF SMELLERS BE LOUDMOUTH HATERS LIKE US GOOD CLASSY WILDCAT FANS? COME ON, LARRY. JUST SAY WHAT YOU’S WANTIN TO SAY—THAT YOU IS LOVIN’ WATCHING COACH CAL FAIL. THAT YOU LIKE SEEING CAT FANS WALKIN AROUND LONGFACED. HOW COME YOU CAINT TAWK SMACK LIKE MATT JONES USED TO DO BEFORE U UH KAY DONE BECOME A FAILURE? COME ON…GIT IT OVER WITH. GO AHEAD AND MOCK ME, LARRY MINNER. MOCK MATT JONES FOR BEIN A GASBAG OBSESSIN ON U OF SMELL. I KNOW YOU WANT TO BECAUSE HE PUNKED ON YOU WHEN U OF SMELL LOST TO NARTH CARAMALINER. I’M SICK TO MY STOMACH CUZ MY CATS DONE LOSTED TO GAYLOR AND DROPPED IN THE PO; AND WE MIGHT LOSE SOME MORE. BUT I CAINT MAKE LARRY MINNER BITE ON MY BOBBER. COME ON—I WANT THAT BALD HEAD OF YOURS TO GIT ALL SWOLE UP THINKIN YOU’S GONNA BEAT THE CATS IN A COUPLE A WEEKS. I KNOW YOU IS ALL COCKY BECAUSE YOUR LOSERVILLE CARDINAL BIRDS THUMPED EM ANOTHER CUPCAKE BASKETBAW TEAM SAIRDEE, AND BACK ON THURSDEE THEY GOT LUCKY IN FOOTBAW AGAINST CINCINNAPLISS. AND NOW CHARLIE STRONG GOIN BOWLIN AGAIN WHILE U UH KAY STAYS HOME WITH COACH STOOPID. COME ON, LARRY, LEMME HAVE IT. IF THE SHOE WAS ON THE OTHER FOOT, ME AND MATT JONES WOULD BE IN YOUR FACE SCREAMIN “GOOOO BIG BLUE – YOU SUCK – YOU’RE GAY – Y’ALL IS LITTLE BROTHER – CATS IS AWESOME – BIG BLUE NATION.” WHEN YOU DON’T TAUNT US, WE GOT NOTHIN TO TAWK ABOUT BUCEPT THE WILDCAT HISTREE BOOKS. THAT’S WHAT US CAT FANS DO—TAWK ABOUT THE 1940S AND 50S, AND THEN COACH CAL WINNING IT TWO YEARS AGO, BUT NEVER TAWK ABOUT SLICK RICK OR TUBBY WINNING IT CUZ THEY SUCK. AND WE NEVER, EVER MENTION LOSIN IN THE FIRST ROUND OF THE N.I.T. TO BOBBY MO BECAUSE THAT WAS SOME KIND OF KARMA PAYBACK FOR HAVING THAT U OF SMELL GUY KENNY PAYNE ON OUR BENCH. I DON’T WANT CHRISTMAS TO GIT NO WORSER. I DINT THINK I’D EVER SAY THIS, BUT GO WESTERN KENTUCKY HILLTOPPERS. BEAT THEM LOSERVILLES TO SHUT EM UP. I TELL YOU WHAT, IF COACH CAL LOSES TO NARTH CARAMALINER AND THEN TO LOSERVILLE ON DECEMBER 28, HE BETTER JUST PACK HIS BAGS AND MOVE ON. WE’LL GO GIT US TRAVIS FARD TO COME BACK TO U UH KAY TO LEAD US BACK TO THE PROMISED LAND. THEN BIG BLUE NATION WILL SOUND LIKE TAYLOR SWIFT AND SING WE AINT NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER GONNA HIRE NO MORE SLICK TAWKIN I-TALIAN COACHES. WE IS STICKING TO KENTUCKY BOYS!
>>>>>>>>>>After the University of Kentucky’s magnificent basketball team lost its first game of the season — a classic battle ending with a 4 point loss to Michigan State — the silly “Forty & Oh” chant was erased.
But now those shirts are being scooped up by UK’s opponents to mock the Big Blue.
Every time Coach John Calipari says to his loyal UK fan base, “You people are crazy!” I just point to Cal and blurt — “What he said!”
That aside, don’t be surprised if this Kentucky team goes 39-1 and collects a 9th NCAA Championship. They’re that good.
One of Kentucky’s favorite country bands is Artie Dean Harris & Bourbontown, a collection of great players from various area bands.
Here’s their appearance on WHAS-TV’s Great Day Live on November 8, 2013
Many thanks to dozens of police officers and other law enforcement personnel who have given me advice and support following an unnecessary encounter with one particular police officer.
Apparently, even fellow officers routinely felt the sting of Sam Cromity’s relentless pursuit of drivers he deemed lawbreakers. Cromity once chased another unmarked LMPD car down I-65, ignoring the pursued officer’s police lights signaling that they’re on the same team. Upon reaching the police parking lot, the pursued homicide detective screamed obscenities at the unmoved Cromity, who still wanted to write a ticket. The matter was handled internally with Cromity losing the argument.
The ailing mother of an LMPD sergeant was detained by Cromity even though she was driving herself to Audubon Hospital’s emergency room. As she suffered from chest pains, the police officer made her wait while he wrote her ticket. The female sergeant later sought out Cromity and allegedly threatened to reveal embarrassing personal information to his superiors. The matter was handled internally.
Another woman told me that Cromity threatened to arrest her after she misunderstood his order to pull into another lane while trying to park near Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. She said that the episode upset her so badly that she cried in her bed for three days.
A United States Drug Enforcement Agency officer told me that he had “never been treated so disrespectfully by a fellow law enforcement” colleague after Cromity detained him in July 2011 while he was working surveillance on a suspected felon. Cromity pulled the agent over just as I-64 switches from 65 to 55 mph. Showing his credentials as a federal agent and informing the police officer that he was in the process of surveilling a bad guy, Cromity’s curt reply: “That don’t mean nothing to me.”
Waiting for Cromity to write the ticket, the federal agent called his office and it was suggested that he drive away to continue his surveillance work. The DEA would retrieve his driver’s license at a later time. The agent emerged to inform Cromity that he had to pursue his suspect but Cromity only screamed “GET BACK IN YOUR VEHICLE.”
Former LMPD chief Robert White had to handle the aftermath of that embarrassing brouhaha between the local and federal law enforcement agencies.
Sam Cromity isn’t always a “by the book” officer. He once went to a brother officer (now a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy) to ask if he could “fix” a ticket given to Cromity’s son. Unaware of Cromity’s penchant for writing tickets to other officers, this officer agreed to miss court, allowing the case to be dismissed.
Fixing tickets in Jefferson County is not an acceptable practice.
Several Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies were chastised by Cromity as he allegedly attempted to escort several women around the security checkpoint by leading them through a 7th Street entrance for attorneys.
Former officer Walt Oster said he was written up by Cromity while working a funeral procession for a fallen soldier. He said he was treated disrespectfully and that Cromity was “a bad representative” for LMPD.
At the top of Zorn Avenue, Cromity wrote a speeding ticket in the “25 mph school zone.” The driver pointed out that it was a national holiday and no children were in school. Cromity reportedly said that he saw children in the area moments earlier and that “they must have run off.”
In June 2011, Cromity reportedly removed a case file to make a ticket disappear for a female employee of the police credit union.
He’s written tickets to state troopers in Kentucky and Indiana, and uniformed officers from various area departments on their way to and from work.
I never stood a chance against this guy on the road. I knew I wasn’t speeding and that I was not going to let him lie about me and stick me with a $200 ticket for something I hadn’t done.
This week, Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Mary Shaw dismissed a civil lawsuit against Clear Channel Media, WHAS Radio, and me filed by former Louisville Metro police officer Sam Cromity. Judge Shaw ruled that my radio comments about the officer were “a matter of public interest and are non actionable expressions of opinion.”
The suit was filed in March 2012, exactly one year after Cromity pulled over another driver for allegedly speeding, and, as I approached from behind, Cromity used an arm signal to force me to the side of the road.
Cromity issued citations to each of us and stated the same line at each driver’s window, “You’re running 75 in a 55.”
I challenged the allegation and took it to trial in Jefferson District Court before Judge Jennifer Wilcox. A crash reconstruction expert used the police car’s dashboard video to illustrate how the other driver was traveling between 63 and 65 mph. Cromity erroneously charged both drivers with going 20 mph over the speed limit, a higher penalty threshold. That other driver testified in court that he did not think he was going anywhere near 75 mph. Nonetheless, he had already paid his fine and took a 6 point penalty on his driver’s license.
On the day the tickets were issued, I talked about Cromity’s erroneous allegation against me and called him a liar multiple times on my afternoon radio show.
A few days later, Mr. Cromity appeared at Clear Channel studios on the personal business of asking for recordings of the March 18, 2011 radio show. He was wearing his police uniform complete with a service revolver and taser. I interpreted that as an attempt to harass, intimidate, and embarrass me in front of my co-workers.
Later that day on the radio I referred to Cromity as Black Car Barney and Black Barney, a mashup of Mayberry deputy Barney Fife, the black car, and America’s most notorious stagecoach robber Black Bart. I noted that Black Bart was famous for “robbing people (who are) just passing through.”
Cromity hired attorney Andrew Horne on a contingency basis, meaning that the attorney receives a percentage of anything they collect from the parties named in the lawsuit. Four months before my speeding ticket case was heard in court, Horne sent this proposal for a $30,000 settlement and an on-air retraction to “resolve all claims to all parties.”
My attorney, Steve Pence, ignored Cromity’s attorney’s request for money and continued preparing to challenge the speeding ticket in court.
In November 2011, the speeding ticket case went to a jury trial. A city of Louisville equipment procurement employee testified that Cromity’s police car did not have a connecting cable between the radar detector and the dashboard video system. No record was kept of any driver’s speed, nor is there proof that a radar unit is even turned on.
Mr. Cromity testified that he usually does not cite drivers unless they are at least 15 mph over the speed limit. The crash reconstruction expert had already testified that the police video showed the first driver traveling at 8 to 10 mph over the limit.
The police officer also admitted that he was chatting with his girlfriend on his cell phone while he was pulling over two cars in the fast lane of the Watterson Expressway. Mr. Cromity repeatedly clarified for the court record that she was now his “ex-girlfriend.”
Although Mr. Cromity originally declared to prosecutor Matt Welch that he had “just gotten on the phone” at the time of the traffic stops, cell phone records showed that he had been on the phone for six minutes.
Mr. Cromity’s dashboard video contradicted some of his court testimony regarding the positioning of his police car and of the two cars he stopped.
At the end of the trial, a 6 person jury took only a few minutes to declare that I was NOT GUILTY.
I immediately shook the hand of my attorney, the prosecutor, and attempted to shake the hand of Mr. Cromity, just as we’d done that morning prior to the start of the trial. The police officer rebuffed my extended hand, saying, “Kiss my black ass” as he turned toward the crowded gallery.
The Courier-Journal reported that Mr. Cromity then said that if I wanted to call him a liar, I should do it to his face.
I never heard that comment. Mr. Cromity paced outside the courtroom, chatting on his phone and occasionally staring at me as I talked with a reporter and my attorney.
We have not spoken since that day.
When exactly one year had passed from the date of the speeding ticket, Mr. Cromity’s attorney Andrew Horne filed his civil lawsuit against my employer Clear Channel and me for defamation.
Steve Pence responded to the lawsuit with a motion stating that I host a “radio talk show given to robust, freewheeling and often intemperate discussions” based on “nondefamatory facts fully disclosed to the listening audience.”
After Judge Shaw dismissed the lawsuit this week, Horne said he would file an appeal.
Mr. Cromity is now retired from the Louisville Metro Police Department. His notoriety for voluminous ticket writing was publicized in media stories on irregular overtime accruals and inordinate amounts of court pay.
Police officers do the toughest jobs in society, but only a scant few are able to give themselves a pay raise and pump up their pensions by arbitrarily assessing fines on fellow citizens. 99% of police officers are out there busting their humps doing police work and they do not get to share in the “tip jar” of court pay.
Perhaps all court fees should go into a fund spread evenly among all working officers at year’s end.
Some have warned me to be careful driving because his brother officers would be out to get me. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I remain a strong supporter of law enforcement and know that the actions of one renegade do not diminish the terrific work of the Louisville Metro Police.
Several years ago, I recorded public service announcements for the police department’s 574-LMPD tip line. I have spoken to law enforcement groups about my media career. I am a financial supporter of the Louisville Police Foundation. I have many friends on the force.
I take my gun training lessons from Officer Jim Sherrard at the TG&G Range near my office.
None of those relationships have changed because of my puzzling drive to work on March 18, 2011.
A week after Judge Shaw’s dismissal of Mr. Cromity’s lawsuit, WDRB-TV ran a profile of Clarence Beauford, another LMPD officer known for voluminous ticket writing. Officer Beauford is also one of the highest paid officers on the force because of his extraordinary court pay (about $50,000 extra from 2004-2008).
Driving his unmarked silver Mustang, Officer Beauford notes in the WDRB story that in 24 years he has never written a ticket to a fellow officer.
Mr. Cromity is welcome to submit a response to this blog post and I will print it in its entirety.
Again, I can’t say thanks enough to the numerous police officers who have provided me guidance and information to assist my handling of this incident with this particular officer. I got a great education from it and feel like I helped every driver in this community by standing up for myself.