Editor’s Note: It’s common knowledge that local law enforcement has been monitoring telephone and e-mail correspondence in and out of CityBeat. What triggered the investigation — suspicion of our adult classified ads or our harsh criticism of Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis Jr. — is unknown.
A transcript of phone calls between Editor John Fox (whose real surname, the police have surprisingly discovered, is Foxojevich) and his assistant has been leaked to CityBeat. In the interest of full transparency, we reprint a portion of the conversations here. Warning: The transcript contains profanity.
John Foxojevich: The trick is how do you conduct indirectly a negotiation for this Editorial column. I’m like a sports agent shopping a potential free agent to various teams, saying, “How much are you offering, [Nonprofit Spokesperson 1]? What are you offering, [Government Official 2]?” I want to make a decision on guest editorials in good faith, but it is not coming for free. It’s got to be good stuff for the readers of CityBeat and good for me.
Jason Harris: You might be able to obtain a position in exchange for the Editorial space.
Foxojevich: I’ve got this column and it’s fucking golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for fuckin’ nothing. I’m not gonna do it. And, and I can always use it. I can parachute me there and keep writing it myself.
Harris: We want our ask to be reasonable rather than make it look like some sort of selfish grab for a quid pro quo.
Foxojevich: I need to consider my family, and I’m financially hurting. I want to make money.
Harris: Perhaps you’d be interested in taking a high-paying position with an organization called “Change Your Pants,” which is trying to get CityBeat to run a guest editorial on the importance of wearing clean clothes every day. In exchange, the President-elect could help “Change Your Pants” with its legislative agenda on a national level. A three-way deal that includes a guest editorial would give the President-elect a buffer so there is no obvious quid pro quo.
Foxojevich: I want to figure out a way to make money and build some financial security, while at the same time potentially participating in the media arena again. Since CityBeat helped get Obama elected, what if anything can he do to make that work for me and my wife?
You’re telling me that I have to suck it up for two years and do nothing and give this motherfucker [“Change Your Pants” executive] his guest editorial? Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him.
I know that the President-elect wants [“Change Your Pants” executive] for the column but they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. Fuck them.
Harris: Hey, is someone else on the line? [Phone call abruptly ends.]
CONTACT JOHN FOX: firstname.lastname@example.org