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About you living there for a week, it's interesting but since

no one else has brought it up as a disqualifying factor or

whatever, I don't think it's essential and will leave it out.

I think you're a reporter who had a lot more invested in this

particular story than your bosses did and who felt their stated

reasons for killing the story and firing you were not a true

reflection of what was going on. If you did anything "wrong,"

I guess it was insubordination by defying your bosses' orders

to stop talking about the Trucker's Motel. Seems like you

were inviting trouble with the bosses by pursuing it and

giving the story to the Point. Also your style was

apparently not the go-along-to-get-along style some

newsrooms and corporations like.

But you did

right by trying to write a true story that made a lot of

people uncomfortable, and continuing to point out the

hypocrisy of a state that seems to enforce its prostitution

laws selectively. Anyway I got to go to Easter service with my mom and

then get on a train and turn my notes into a narrative.

Don't worry about it, I'll walk you through it tomorrow.

Take care, Cynthia

--- tim bullard > wrote:


> hope ya don’t feel the need or space to add about me living there for

> a

> week....i appreciate it.


> am i a bad guy or semi good guy?



"Mark Kreuzwieser"


"tim bullard"


Re: Re: thanks


Sat, 14 Apr 2001 18:27:49 -0400

She's sendin you a fat check???

From: "Cotts, Cynthia"

To: 'tim bullard'

Subject: update

Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2001 15:43:26 -0400

Hi, Tim,

Well I'm back on the story today -- left my third message for Hugh Munn.

Found out that Sayles was at a conference end of last week and has been out
all week on account of a death in the family. Found out that Bill Kinney is
out of the office until Monday. So I'll come back to it Monday. One benefit
to your story not having a news peg is that I can take time to get it right.
Have not given up.




"Cotts, Cynthia"


'tim bullard'


RE: hope you're fine


Wed, 11 Apr 2001 11:18:58 -0400

Tim, Truly, I have not given up on your story yet. Usually I look into

things week to week and dispose of them , but because this one doesn't have a news peg, I have the luxury of letting it ripen (or rot) on the vine. I'll let you know what comes up this week. I'm cutting out of here on Friday to spend Easter in Maryland with my mom.

Best, Cynthia

I had to ask Mark what a news peg was, in jest. I had heard of this elusive creature, but
never had I encountered one in real life on terra firma. Sheila Noone sent me an e-mail
today asking me for my Social Security number, saying that the accountant for American
Cheerleader magazine had cut my check of $35 for the Vanna White story and picture but
that she’d send it when I gave her the number. Right away! Money in the mail!


"Mark Kreuzwieser"


"tim bullard"


Re: RE: update


Fri, 13 Apr 2001 12:37:38 -0400

Well, she says she hopes nothing will derail her this time, so I guess she's

planning on writing and turning something in.

You haven't summed up your feelings about all this for her??? I can't

believe that!
----- Original Message -----

From: "tim bullard"

Sent: Friday, April 13, 2001 2:51 AM

Subject: Fwd: RE: update

> just got this....what does it sound like to you....a go ahead or kill




> >From: "Cotts, Cynthia" > >To: 'tim bullard' > >Subject: RE: update

> >Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2001 16:55:43 -0400

> >

> >

> >Tim, I'm trying to wrap up my investigation, having decided that neither

> >Frank Sayles or Hugh Munn is going to respond. Talked to Bill Kinney


> >he was helpful. By the way, Kinney says that Buddy died. So I put in a


> >to the number listed for Joel Tiller in Hartsville. Also put in a call to

> >C.M. Patel, owner of the Bennettsville Motel.

> >

> >Here's a couple more questions:

> >Did you ever talk to the Scotland County sheriff?

> >Can you tell me exactly what you heard when you talked to Marlboro County

> >deputy sheriffs -- I think you had said they told you at a funeral that


> >place was still operating as a bordello.

> >Kinney says that he remembers you had written about an interstate network

> >of

> >prostitution. Is that right? Was that for the FMN?

> >

> >That's about it for now, except that I'd love it if you wrote me a couple

> >of

> >sentences that really sum up your feelings on the matter.

> >Sorry to have taken so long, and I hope nothing derails me this time.


> >a

> >tightrope act writing this column from week to week.

> >

> >Respond to me at both of the following email accounts, if you will:

> >Take care, Cynthia

> >
TO: Ms. Cotts:

i couldn't get in touch with the scotland county sheriff in laurinburg, n.c.

the marlboro county deputies told me at the funeral of a cop shot to death in the line of duty here

last year that it was still open. i asked them if the whorehouse was

still open, and they smiled, laughed and said yes.

kinney was talking about me telling him about the POINT story at the s.c.

press association winter meeting last year when i got a feature writing


and comments........

alternative publications are a drowning journalist's last gasp of oxygen in

the suffocating plastic bag of u.s. corporate media. libel suits stifle

the news, bottom line. journalists and editors sit on stories every

day in America, and maybe if somebody threatened all of them at one

time, then you'd see the big stories in print.
another bottom line is that if you are a reporter and do your job

correctly, you're going to get in a landslide of trouble, not the

ersatz type from bitter garden club retractions, hostile politicians

ill over a misquote created by an editor's mistake or incorrectly

spelled names in paid Sunday night obit typos on deadline.
the feeling you get when you step on a story is like the sickening

eruption of nausea before vomiting - constricting neck muscles,

watering of the mouth, burning in the stomach and acid bile spewing.

you can't look at yourself in the mirror when all you see is

a Hulk-Dorian Gray gargoyle. when you are forced to commit the sin

of censorship or First Amendment forfeiture, the gastric torture

and involuntary psychological reflex of guilt is identical.
i'm not sure if i would publish that story again or not. today i would

tomorrow is another story. i would hope that i would publish it. The article

crippled me financially, and i lost my hospitalization

insurance when a diverticulitis operation was necessary in 1995. i just

got the operation last year, and they found a grapefruit sized growth,

i knew there was a risk i would be fired. i've tried to come to terms

with it. journalists are not policemen, but community policing is a crock

and it's superb that Bush is cutting COP grants because with the

lame journalists in America capitulating to authority,

there's no hope for real journalism anymore. Respect the half-life

of a real story, if you want readers' respect. Blue Cross doesn't

cover lost trust. I'd trade my Eagle Boy Scout badge for the paychecks

I lost over getting fired.
except for alternatives like village voice. alternative publications

are the real newspapers of America. the village voice columns on

the media deserve a pulitzer prize. i respected the readers who are

addicted to the truth like crackheads. we work for the public.

There's a Doc Watson song about hiding your head in shame, and that's

how a journalist feels when he or she is forced to step on a story.

i appreciate PRESS CLIPS' value in american journalism, for uncovering

corruption, for popping the zits of journalism that columbia journalism

review, the national press and editor & publisher fail to cover.


Cynthia Cotts


tim bullard


Re: thanks


Sat, 14 Apr 2001 05:08:36 -0700 (PDT)

All right, well said. The ball's in my court. Let me know where to

reach you on Monday and expect to hear from me or a fact checker. The

paper closes Monday night.

It’s been a hassle pasting the raw HTML code on my web page to get a counter on. It’s
malfunctioning, so I’ll never really know how many hits I’ve been getting.
I’ve been playing Bruce Springsteen’s new live CD recorded in New York all week at
full blast, “Prove It All Night” and others as the weight of what I’ve done has been sinking
in. I find myself staring at clouds and the sky this week where usually time is tight, and I
don’t have enough seconds in a minute during an hour to notice how beautiful the day is,
how azure the sky looks and the smell of the ocean air.


"alex todorovic"



Re: yo yo yo


Thu, 19 Apr 2001 13:06:53

Hey Tim,

That whorehouse story just keeps on keepin on. You ever talk to the folks at POINT? I haven't been in touch with them in a long time.

I'm presently in Montenegro covering the elections/drive towards independence. The vote is on Saturday and is a barometer for attitudes about independence. Whoopee!

Otherwise, I'm alright, living in Belgrade, doing my thing, writing for British papers, travelling around - it ain't bad. Not married yet, no kids, etc...

What about you?



> I had written Alex:

>how are you? cynthia cotts of village voice is doing a story on the

>whorehouse story.....i think it's running maybe tuesday-wed.....


"Cortney Owings"



Re: thanks for the great job you and the staff do


Tue, 17 Apr 2001 16:08:52 -0400


Thanks for forwarding the link and info on the Village

Voice story. I appreciate it.

Best of luck,

I had written to the governor’s press spokesperson the day before the story ran.

>>> "tim bullard" > 04/16/01 09:30PM >>>

when a baseball player pops a ball up into the stands where the children are at, it is customary to hollar out something to the effect of "heads up!"

read the village voice tomorrow online around 3-6 p.m. at

and look for the "press clips" column by cynthia cotts.....i think you'll find it very interesting.....

thanks. take it easy, and good luck on the lottery stuff.

To: .


RE: here it is! check out cynthia cotts "press clips" column on t he whorehouse


Tue, 17 Apr 2001 18:30:11 -0400

Hey, that's my " crap hit the fan" quote.

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 6:24 PM

To: Meadows, Andrew F.

Subject: here it is! check out cynthia cotts "press clips" column on the



"mark kreuzwieser"






Tue, 17 Apr 2001 17:28:25 -0400

It's on my web page!

I am thrilled for you, old pal.


Well, some kooky lady wanting to save the animals at the North Myrtle Beach shelter
and the Myrtle Beach Grand Strand Humane Society which runs the shelter just beeped
me at 11 p.m. to tell me to cover a frigging event in the morning, Saturday, at 10 a.m.
Most likely. Not!
It’s getting worse and worse. Two Saturdays ago the chamber chick called, wanting
me to cover a Jon Benet Ramsey pageant where two-year-olds were in evening wear. It
never ends.
Former NCSU star Cozell McQueen laughed his head off when I showed him the
Voice story in the parking lot after I interviewed him this week. He’s from Marlboro
County. He tells me Valvano stories.
This morning started out as a Saturday around-the-clock, 75-mile run from Conway to
Loris where a group of nursing home residents were drooling at a March of Dimes
WalkAmerica thing. I shot some high school kids washing cars for the Beta Club en route
and drove to Little River at the beach for a Health Fair. After taking photos of the cops
fingerprinting the children, I bopped from clinic to clinic, getting my blood pressure,
cholesterol checked at 235 and my lung capacity checked by blowing into a tube, all free
of charge, until it got to Dr. Dover. By the third stab, blood was all over my arm as
the second nurse took a needle and probed my vein. This week I’ve felt like I could do no
wrong after the big story came out. I’ve been going the extra mile again, however, I’m not sure
how long that will exactly last. Today, just like a year ago, I shot out to Loris to Playcard
Environmental Center in the sticks, a swamp with a beaver dam, to take pictures of the Annual
Baby Animal Day where I took photographs of primary school pupils petting baby chicks,
holding turtles, petting a goat and some who rode a horse for the very first time in their life.
While my jaded perspective usually has whittled down my excitement of covering such a
mundane event, the verve was back as I realized this was a youngster’s first ride on a pony. I
asked the teacher if she remembered her first, and she did. It was on her parents’ farm.
“Whoa, boy!” the kid next door from my Grandmother Sanford’s home in East
Laurinburg yelled. I was knee-high to a grasshopper, and the tiny pony looked a mile
“Sure, I’ll try it.”
“Just put your foot in the stirrup, right there. Don’t be afraid. Are you a scardycat?”
I don’t like dares anymore than I liked monstrous beasts who could fart and blow me
away, step the wrong way and squoosh me.
The first try was a mishap waiting to happen. My small foot missed the hole, and the
pony surged forward. Nobody was watching. We both could have been killed, I figured.
Grandmamma was inside watching “As The World Turns” as the clunky window air
conditioner dripped. She always loved “The Lawrence Welk Show” on Saturday nights,
and I watch it religiously now at 45 on PBS, same night.
“Try again. Remember - when you get up, hold on tight and go with the flow.”
He placed my shoe in the hole, and as the pony moved, I was scared it would pull me across
the small fenced in field near the railroad tracks my mother had pulled me off of
when I tried to stop a train that time. I could hear the wasps buzzing in my ears again, and
the sweet smell of magnolias was guiding me on that horse. Contact! After sitting in the
saddle for a minute, the pony jumped, and I went sailing to the ground for my first horse
ride ever.
“You scared of riding that horse out there?” I asked a young black youth as he gazed
at my arm, a small crowd gathering, including his mom. His mom wanted me to take a
picture of him outside with the games.

“I’m scared. I’m scared right now of this nurse her. By the way, my name is Vlad the

In the examining room I’m waiting for Dr. Dover (Ben) , and as he enters, his latex powdered
glove snaps as I drop my pants and white cotton jockey briefs to the floor and bend over
against the table.
“I hear they used to bust it at election time,” he said. Even this doctor has heard of the
whorehouse as his thick digital probe makes me wince and my hemmies react.
“They never bust it at all.”
“Do you eat enough fiber?”

“Yeah, I had a diverticulitis operation this time last year.” I got some free advice, and

with a fanny full of Vaseline, I attempted to slide out the door to shoot the kid at the
horsie ride. A cowboy has the pony by a rope, and at first, when the horse jumps, the
boy’s legs send him in the air, backwards a foot, but his mom boosts him into the saddle,
and by the time my F-stop reaches 8, the dial on 250 with 200 ASA color Family Dollar
brand in, I click off the film’s capture of the broadest, fastest smile he registered with
pride, overcoming his anxiety as his mother’s arm assures him. It is his first pony ride ever,
and I’m as happy as I can be for him. Ride on Lone Ranger. And away.
Here’s the part I have dreaded to tell you about because it is still very painful to think about.
I’ve always respected readers, feeding them the truth, so open up wide. The last time I had any alcohol was May 23 two years ago, and today is Dec. 6, 2007. I was in a North Myrtle Beach
Planning Commission meeting. Suddenly I got a wild hair and went off drinking. I think I went
to a bar, and I definitely went to a liquor store, buying a half-pint of Jim Beam. My modus
operandi was the same, buying a six-pack of Bud, tossing every empty out the window so there
wouldn’t be an empty can in the car, which would mean another charge. I found myself heading
up U.S. 9. I called the Marlboro County Sheriff’s Department several times after getting their
number from information on my cell phone. By this time the alcohol was triggering a response
from my medications, blood pressure meds and a Valium I took the day before.

“I’ve got an emergency,” I mumble to Mark long distance. He claims he taped it and saved it,

all the incoherent words. I suppose I expected him to talk me out of it. This is after we adopted
our new 10-year-old son.
When I finally reached the sheriff’s department again, I said something like, “Well tell the
sheriff to meet me out there. I’m going to show you all how to close that place down.”
The next thing I recall is being pulled over by two Dillon County Sheriff’s Department deputies,
and me pouring out of the car on wobbly rubber legs as they caught me, standing me up against
the car while they called a S.C. Highway Patrol officer. My cousin is a motorcycle patrolman
reaching retirement, and he picked me up thumbing in the rain once in Marlboro County.
The next 12 hours were a blur being booked. I remember smiling. Why do people do that? I was
trying to recall if I killed anyone on the highway. From 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. I was plunging my fist
into bulletproof unbreakable glass in a holding cell as different prisoners drifted in and out
throughout that stupid night.
“I’m not going to fight George Bush’s war no more,” said an African American soldier
caught for AWOL. Later he disappeared. I think I slept a little. One mean guy came in. My knuckles were sore, swollen, my hand hurting for months later.
My publisher at the newspaper, Polly Lowman, was so kind to work with me through the
period in which I had to thumb and take a bus. Finally I got a license, but I had to go through the
hardest test of my life, the outpatient night therapy offered by a company contracted by the S.C.
You see, I pleaded guilty. I refused to blow that night. Nothing seems like a smart thing to do
after you drink and drive and get caught. I have been extremely remorseful. My wife thinks my
bi-polar side needs addressing. I got back on Deprakote and Paxil, and my lows seem higher and
my highs lower, to lower manic shifts. I seldom cry anymore. I find I seldom smile, so I miss out
on a lot of positive feelings. I do smile when folks ask me if I work for the daily paper because
I’m usually at the smaller weekly community paper. They usually walk off like I’m a zero. You
ought to see folks stir when the TV cameras arrive, preening like ostriches, shooting cuffs,
adjusting ties. Meetings seldom start until TV arrives. That makes me smile.
Oh yeah. Two weeks after I got the DUI, the whorehouse got busted again, netting charges
against a bunch of people, including the ex-coroner of Marlboro County for running it and
others. They seized money and coke. It was on TV, some hookers almost naked, some johns
extremely surprised.
By the way, the whorehouse is not still open.


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