Wednesday, September 30, 2009

VIDEO: Kelsee Brown is not -- repeat, is not -- a right-wing extremist

MANCHESTER, Ky. -- Having a late dinner Tuesday with Manchester Enterprise news director Morgan Bowling at the Huddle House here, our interview was interrupted by the cook.

"Are you a reporter?" she asked, and when I replied that I was, she said: "Hi, I'm Kelsee, the Huddle House Killer."

Her jocular introduction was answered with a joke of my own, but the young lady -- Kelsee Brown, 19, from Corbin, Ky. -- then told us an amazing story, explaining how she was misrepresented by another reporter covering the Bill Sparkman story. Here is how that Sept. 24 article portrayed Miss Brown:
Kelsee Brown, a waitress at Huddle House, a 24-hour chain restaurant in Manchester, when asked about the death, said she thinks the government sometimes has the wrong priorities.
"Sometimes I think the government should stick their nose out of people's business and stick their nose in their business at the same time. They care too much about the wrong things," she said.
In a brief interview Tuesday night, Miss Brown said that her words were misquoted and her sentiments misconstrued. She said what she was actually trying to tell the reporter -- who had asked her what she thought about the Sparkman killing -- was something entirely different.

Miss Brown said she told the reporter that all she knew about the apparent homicide of the 51-year-old Census worker in the vicinity of Big Creek, about 12 miles east of Manchester, was what she learned from media accounts. Therefore, she was hesitant to pass judgment on the case. Miss Brown says she didn't mention government, and instead was saying that the news media should not "stick their noses in people's business."

However, her words -- which she insists were misquoted and misinterpreted -- were subsequently cited on an Internet discussion board under the headline, "Ignorant red state morons defend lynching of census worker."

Miss Brown says she is not a Republican, but is a registered Democrat and, during her 2008 senior year at Corbin High School, was actually a leader of students supporting Barack Obama for the presidency.

Miss Brown then recounted her story for my camera. Here is the world-exclusive video:

Miss Brown emphasized that she does not speak for her employer and that management of Huddle House share her deep sympathy for Sparkman's friends and family. Having spoken at some length to Miss Brown, I can testify that she is very friendly and cheerful, with a keen mind and a warm smile. Anyone wishing to learn more about this interview should contact Morgan Bowling (e-mail) at the Manchester Enterprise, (606) 598-2319.

-- Robert Stacy McCain

UPDATE: Check out this article from Monday's London (Ky.) Sentinel-Echo about the "pure speculation" and "misinformation" in the national media.

UPDATE 10:15 a.m.: Linked by Jimmie Bise Jr. at Sundries Shack, Moe Lane at Red State, and Dan Riehl at Riehl World View, and at Memeorandum.


  1. My advice to anyone who a reporter asks for an interview: Insist that you get a copy of the raw interview recording, (or make one of your own) which you promise not to release until after the interview is published or a certain amount of time passes, whichever comes first. If they won't agree, tell them you have no interest in making comments that will be misquoted, quoted out of context (Ransom Note Method) and otherwise have their plain meaning twisted.

    For all his many faults, at least Jon Stewart puts the unedited version of every interview up on the Web so people can see if/when his people make any dishonest edits.

  2. Ah, someone misquoted on Usenet. The memories. Anarchy at its finest. If you talk to Miss Brown again, tell her not to sweat it.

    RWG (some people still use CB radios too)

  3. We had a bit of a scandal in our town and a Spokane reporter tracked me down by phone. My best choice was to make a statement. I told her it was being recorded, made her read back what I had said to make sure it was correct, and then.........told her I would be listening and if that wasn't exactly what I heard on the evening news, I would hunt her down and do great bodily damage.

    Guess what was on the news? Exactly what I said. heh

  4. One wonders if the incident will make her wonder, at all, about the man she wanted to see get elected considering how his left stream media worked with her, personally. And, yeah, that is typical when what is said or done does not reflect the lsm's views or agendas.

    Doubtful, she is busy cooking and all, but who knows. The one good thing was that they attacked one of their own. Of course, with your help, at least she gets a chance to set it straight.

    'Shot in the foot, and it's too late, you give reporting... a bad name' (a redirect from an old song to the reporter who butchered the assignment you are fixing, and most reporters).

  5. Hey, anybody can make a mistake. Due to exhaustion, I originally wrote that this interview took place Wednesday night -- rather than Tuesday. Simply got confused about the day of the week because (a) I'm dog tired, and (b) the edition of the weekly Manchester Enterprise that Bowling finished that night was dated Thursday, which through me off.

    Simple errors like that are one thing. Twisting facts to make a story fit your own preconceived notions? That's something altogether different.

  6. I love it! News hounds scooping and rebuking "professional" journalists.

    It's the Pamphlet War all over again. Did I say I love it?

  7. Do you plan on mentioning that Clay County is on the most poor counties the entire country?

    4th poorest by median household income
    18th poorest by per capita income

    Oh, and I was born and live in Warren county so I know first hand the horrible condition that Kentucky is in.

  8. The sad thing is when this girl is "googled" the AP stuff will come up.

  9. The speculation has been cynical and irresponsible. And Dan Riehl's suggestion that Sparkman was a "child predator" is the absolute worst of all the speculation on this story. It's a shame you even linked to it.

  10. Anonymous wrote: Dan Riehl's suggestion that Sparkman was a "child predator" is the absolute worst of all the speculation on this story

    1. Dan is a friend of mine, with whom I sometimes very strongly disagree, and vice-versa. A link is not an endorsement of the content of the linked post. A few days ago, I linked Andrew Sullivan's "Southern populist terrorism" post about the Sparkman death, a post with which I quite strongly disagree.

    2. Dan Riehl is not the only one who thinks that Sparkman's death may have had a sexual motivation of some sort. In fact, some people in Clay County have been discussing rumors that Sparkman was gay. Exactly how such a *possibility* might have been related to his death . . . Well, that's a sort of third-degree of speculation. But trust me when I say that you don't have to be a blogger to have a speculative theory about this case. Lots of folks in Kentucky can theorize with the best of them.

    3. By far the greatest likelihood is that Sparkman's death had something to do with drug activity in this area. There are lots of Kentucky State Police and federal drug agents in Clay County this time of year, trying to bust the annual marijuana harvest.

    4. The FBI has evidently taken the lead in the Sparkman investigation, which means that all law enforcement involved in the case is under very strict orders not to say anything unauthorized to reporters. (This do-not-talk policy includes park rangers at the Daniel Boone National Forest, BTW.) In the absence of new information, and given the (reported) heinousness of the crime, it's perfectly understandable that people will speculate.

    Go back and read Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, and you'll discover that a quite similar atmosphere of suspicion and speculation surrounded that once-notorious murder. Human nature is human nature.

  11. OT, and feel free to not let this one through...

    Chuckles is ripping on Palin for working with Lynn Vincent, who co-wrote a book with raaaaacist RS McCain.

    This "Sixty Degrees of Adolf Hitler" thing is taking McCarthyism to a new level. We may have to rename guilt by recursive association "Johnsonism".

  12. What's her exact quote in claiming that she meant the media, not the government, when she said some people shouldn't stick their noses out of people's business?

    In the video, she doesn't explicitly say this. She says the misrepresentation was the she's now a "killer," which really doesn't make much sense.

  13. The Monster wrote: Chuckles is ripping on Palin for working with Lynn Vincent, who co-wrote a book with raaaaacist RS McCain.

    That's to be expected. Charles Johnson doesn't know me, he doesn't know Lynn Vincent, and he doesn't know Sarah Palin. CJ is an expert on the opinions of people he's never met.

    BTW, in this part of Kentucky, Kelsee Brown's hometown of Corbin has a reputation as being raaaaacist, which sort of compounds the irony of her being prsented to the world as a typical "Red State" right-wing extremist. Does Corbin deserve its reputation? I don't know. But it's the easiest thing in the world to allow such prejudices and stereotypes -- i.e., the media-generated belief that Kentucky highlanders are all a bunch of backwoods bigots -- to substitute for actual facts.

  14. One of the first things law enforcement would have done was search his house and computer looking for any material or links to sex sites - legal and illegal. They have to rule it out and they would be negligent in their duties if they did not. Not sure why stating the obvious is taboo.

  15. I'm curious about this tree. Could you tell by ground disturbance which tree it was? From the official statement issued, the rope was tied to a tree, makes me think it may have been the trunk and not a branch.

  16. This would be worthy of an Onion headline if our present media weren't so screwy: "Local Diner Employee Not a Racist or Right-Wing Radical."

    Unfortunately that isn't a "dog bites man" story in the 21st Century.

  17. I'm hoping to make it to Louisville next year for Lebowski-fest and some worship at any available shrines to Hunter S. Thompson.

    I've also wanted for some time to visit Knoxville, as a number of my ancestors migrated westward from there, having been West Virginia/eastern Tennessee coal miners when they first arrived from Ireland and Germany.

    If I do those things in one trip, I see that Manchester is a short detour from route, and Huddle House sounds like a great place to stop for a meal cooked by the charming Miss Brown.

  18. Interesting how a reporter can hear "the media" and turn it into "the government" in his mind. What does it tell us about the pretensions of the liberal elite press.

  19. "Interesting how a reporter can hear "the media" and turn it into "the government" in his mind."

    Maybe the journalist is just anticipating the government buying out the newspapers?