Tomorrow is a key day in MSSU public relations history

June 20, 2013

This thing could go either way.

This could be a Board of Governors triumph or it could be a sign that nothing was learned from the presidential fiasco that was Bruce Speck. So how should they handle it?

Here is our take.

Read the rest of this entry »


Globe Editors. Hypocrites.

June 19, 2013

[Watch note: Showing that there is a process to this site, we have edited this post. The original called out Globe editor Carol Stark personally and kind of showed what the paragraph in The Globe’s editorial today was talking about. We regret that writer’s judgment. The editorial was not bearing a byline. So although we still feel the paper as a whole is taking a hypocritical stance, it is unfair to single out one person. We apologize to Stark personally, but still don’t care for the paper she heads.]


We will slink away when we are good and ready.

We will also remain anonymous beyond the explanations and descriptions we have offered. We have seen what happens to those who voice a dissenting voice. Gilbert. Oakes. Hanrahan. Surber. Fogerty. Agee. So fuck off. Because we never pretended to be a mainstream media and news outlet. You have pretended to be, though.

Of course we want MSSU to thrive and grow with a revitalized Joplin and its surrounding communities. We criticize things like hiring an embezzler to teach accounting, treating faculty and the community with disrespect, fun raising ineptitude and other things that The Joplin Globe has long ignored.

For the better part of the last five years, The Joplin Globe has ignored growing turmoil on campus and left only the former incarnation of The Chart and The Turner Report to ask questions and hold Speck accountable. Turner and former Chart editors Alexandra Nicolas (who now works for you) and Brennan Stebbins called bullshit alone with us over here just providing a perspective.

And if you had been paying attention in school, you would know that anonymous journalism has sometimes had great impact. Deep Throat asked for anonymity for a reason. True, the reporters published under their names. So let’s go back to a seminal American moment. How about The Federalist Papers?

It is comical that a couple of stories by Emily Younker suddenly make you the watchdog and the cheerleader all at once. And it is hypocritical to criticize those who criticize when you sent Greg Grisolano into the wilderness for requesting documents from the Speck administration during his famous “media blackout” period.

You people are a joke.

And there is one solution to the problem of our suggested cowardice. Don’t read us. We dare you. But we get page views and we ask questions. And when things are looking up at the corner of Newman and Duquesne, we will go away.

So ignore us or fuck off. We don’t really care. But don’t close your eyes to the bullshit of the last five years and then act like you have any credibility.

Just us chickenshits here

June 19, 2013

A commenter, Beetlejuice, hit us with the following:

You all might do an “OK” thing here and there, but you’re still nothing more than faceless cowards. You can pat yourselves on your pretentious little backs all you want, but the fact remains – You are cowards.

Normally, we would say something smartass or ignore it. But Beetlejuice is not alone and he actually has a point we have to acknowledge.

We are cowards. When Speck was in charge, some who feed us information were scared of their jobs. Now that things are up in the air on his successor, they are scared too. That’s how it goes with whistleblowers and bullshit callers. And if that is our brand, we will wear our yellow-backed stripe for life. Because, Beetlejuice, we did one thing. When The Chart was defanged and The Globe disappeared, we asked questions. We kept debate alive. And we pissed you off. Which is fine.

We were like a good old colonial broadside that was partisan, crazy and well-read. And, yes, we too wanted a revolution. And like the colonialists of old, we risked a lot and met in secret. And like the American revolutionaries, we saw good people die along the way. And if keeping anonymous pisses you off, then fuck you.

chicken-shitSee? We still don’t listen to grownups.

Seriously, do you want us to give a complete list of everyone who voluntarily or accidentally contributed? And put them at risk? It is that extensive a network.

And don’t look to the Faculty Senate, either.

You see? If any of them were involved, we would have hurt them. And we didn’t want to do that.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” We didn’t want to sin by silence. And the university might be better by our extreme actions.

We hope so.

Cowards for anonymity? We can live with that.

The courageous stood up for shared governance, got a vote of no confidence, stood up when the administration tried to stifle free speech and dissent, and sometimes said “Not everything is wrong, but this isn’t right.”

We just gave them a place to go to vent. And they are the ones we pat on the back and not ourselves.

We were who you thought we were. And we weren’t.

June 18, 2013

Randy Turner might have promised you names. Or hoped for them. But we aren’t giving up any of our people.

But we are going to give you something.

During the course of every incarnation of Southernwatch, there have been about half a dozen people whose ideas, words and reporting fed this site. They were faculty, staff and students. They were older people and young ones, too.

And they rotated in and out over the years. They got in and took an oath to not give the other up to Speck’s crew. We posted from restaurants and bars, apartments, houses  and on out-of-town trips. Sometimes one person would write a post, another would edit it and a third person would post it.

We had a faculty adviser who told us mostly that we shouldn’t say “fuck” so much. We told them to fuck off. And it isn’t who you think. They are still with us. Dumb fucker.

This probably should have been up front, but we know we are not the New York Times. We are not The Joplin Globe. We aren’t even The Chart. But some of us have journalism training, if not experience. Here is the fun part. We know we aren’t “serious” and we never intended to be. It is funny that early on that a Watcher said we “need to be more Daily Show and less daily news.” The other guys are going to — or should — give it to you straight. We wanted to be fun. The guilty pleasure that said what everyone was thinking but wouldn’t say.

The beauty of Southernwatch was the goddamn democratic — sorry — shared governance of the motherfucker. Sometimes we would go quiet and you would ask us to come back. So we did. People contributed who didn’t know they were contributing. We were kinda like an NSA with a cause. We were everywhere.

We never claimed to be journalists, but we believe we did practice journalism. We were over the top and we had a point of view and an agenda. No argument here. But, like Fox News and the folks on the other side, we had a place. We started conversations and arguments and advanced debate. And, occasionally, we broke a story ourselves.

So who is Southernwatch and what will happen now?

Southernwatch was and is all of you. It is a product of the new social media phenomenon. All of you have provided leads and posts and things that led to posts. The major players would not surprise you, but likely aren’t your first suspects. And, because we aren’t going dark but just slowing down, we aren’t giving Mr. Turner his names.

During the American Revolution, the colonial army was able to successfully engage the British by employing guerilla tactics and using the land to its advantage. During this revolution, we have done the same. And patriots met in secret, oftentimes.

We aren’t going dark. At least not yet. Let’s see what the Bored does and who is taking the wheel. And keep guessing about us. You are probably wrong.

An old teacher would tell us we are burying the lead, but think about this. We have a member of President’s Council among us.


This post is brought to you by the letters F, O, I, and A

June 18, 2013

maxwell_foiaAfter the dismissal of the Rich Tenor Voice, the question remains: What was the thing that did it?

Was it the international mission statute fiasco? Was it finances and fund raising? Was it a culmination of all the problems over the last five years?

No one seems to want to talk about it. So we hope The Joplin Globe, or God willing, The Chart, start asking some questions about the what next. And the media should start asking for emails from all President’s Council members for the last couple of months. Board members, too.

In addition, they should start looking at all contracts of the President’s Council. A source told The Watch a while back that the Marble deal wasn’t all kosher. Before we could get more, the Globe showed that the Foundation board never agreed to subsidize his salary. The Globe is doing decent work right now.

But the deafening silence in  the press release, the sequestering of Speck and the university’s hoping things go away begs for some digging.

The Chart is on top of things

June 18, 2013

In response to the biggest story of these young journalists’ careers, they run… wait for it. Wait for it.

The press release from the University. Word. For. Word.

When this is your response to a president being fired, you should be.

When this is your response to a president being fired, you should be.

They went that extra mile though. They put “Breaking News:” in front of the exact headline on the release.

No student reaction. No quotes from faculty. Despite two weeks of knowing this could be coming, no retrospective on Speck. Randy Turner had better coverage.

A former faculty member told us this happened twice before:

“Once, when then-President Donald Darnton was dismissed right after commencement, a student editor who had graduated came back to cover the story with no compensation. He produced a special edition of the paper that looked back on the former president and profiled his interim successor, Julio Leon.

That student was Chad Stebbins.

When Leon, 25 years later, was shown the door, The Chart staff got wind of it and turned around a special edition in a day. And that was the weekend before classes started.”

Is Speck’s house listed? Has Alan Marble signed a contract? Has anyone asked? We bet Emily Younker has. She at least got a bylined story out last night. And the fact that the campus newspaper didn’t is a continuing example of how Speck made things worse.

Meet Cassie Mathes. She won’t get much rest.

June 18, 2013

s-smith_12408bCassie Mathes is the miller’s daughter.

This woman is going to have to spin more fucking straw into gold in a shorter time than anyone since the brothers Grimm came up with Rumpleminz. Er, Rumplestiltskin.

Sorry, sir. We have been making a bit merry. Oops. Now we have mixed literary allusions. We digress. And we are drunk.

Cassie is going to be igniting the midnight petroleum for a while. You see, she has to take this room full of straw that is the collected body of work that is Bruce W. Speck and spin it into gold. It’s her job, so be easy on her. As we have demonstrated, the man did nothing of note. Most initiatives went nowhere or were colossal failures.

Look for Mathes to be forward-looking. Trouble is, it is the summer. Not much going on. So everyone is going to focus on this instead of ballgames and concerts and the Lion statue and other things that might make her wheel spin a little faster. She will have to make the introduction of the interim and the search process flawless because Southern fucked up the last one so much.

Don’t sell your soul to imps, Cassie. Just tell truth to power and remind them how ignoring good advice about handling the media ended up before.