There she is , the town whore (what the old timers call her referring the wayward youth from the trailer park days) , Ms. Presley herself sitting in the back of the courtroom as I'm accosted by the Sheriff. "Delete those pictures", barks the bailiff. . I slightly crap myself. He could throw me in jail for what I tried to do - document the Taney County Courthouse without KY3's express written permission.
Ms. Presley laughs, I can hear her to the back of me - back of the courthouse , all the alderman stand by and have taken turns watching the millions they've offered to an oblivious public.And I've watched them for three years - three years and 75 some odd published documents titled Coverdell Vs. Empire blocked by a partnership of politician and press.
Two Supreme Court Judges one for the city and one for Coverdell draining thousands of taxpayer dollars for every hour the team spends defending ownership of the Branson Landing - hidden from news report but at the cost of Branson residents. Mr. John Holstein one the most prestigious, glorious legal minds to ever set foot in the state of Missouri and to the right an equally larger than life Chip Roberston - Major League Litigation powerhouses.
All I really wanted was a photograph
Both men have stood at the highest position in the state - they have proved to be legal master in two things - Death & Taxes. Against each other Holstein VS. Robertson the uncertain awaits an epic battle of multi-billion dollar proportion. If I have erred, fallen short of journalistic integrity it'd be not how ridiculously irresponsible our Mayor is , but rather simplicity in figuring out the endgame in the largest land struggle in the nation with an estimate outcome of $10 billion to the City of Branson's youth. In the sideshow, $5 million downtown, $100 million on the strip, $28 million in the Presley Sports Complex and whatever strange notions a politician might give when they have no chance for re-election and redoubtably a future in politics.
The initial price was $25,000 x 2 . but partlayed to nearly $4,000,000 in taxpayer cost , but we can only estimate because our Mayor and Board of Alderman believe they can be asked what legal contracts exist in an open meeting and not produce. An oral Sunshine Request live at City Hall published by the City of Branson for good keeping - perhaps as a middle finger to tax payers. KY3 adds a special notice at the bottom "We are committed to open and honest government".
The only reason I could get arrested for taking a picture is because KY3's Gene Hartley has decided that he doesn't want to honor my credentials. In three years Hartley hasn't sent one reporter in Branson with could cost a large percentage of Branson's annual revenue.
Taney County doesn't like Mark Orr. Larry Luna, an associate judge, managed a prominent lawfirm in Forsyth the Taney County seat but worked his way into Christian County. As a member of the Taney County Press I am slighted. Behind closed doors Hartley argues that the Internet isn't a forum for news - meanwhile - back at Presley TV/KY3 Headquarters, Hartley, who I've never seen at the courthouse gets to determine what censorship Branson residents should tolerate.
I've seen the Branson Daily News, The Taney County Times and occasionally local radio, but never KY3 - oh - unless some kids get molested at a Christian Camp.
I understand why Judge Mark Orr doesn't like Taney County, because Taney County doesn't like him. Still, I have a First Amendment Right to cover the courts. In fact, better we don't like each other.. Good for all. Be afraid not to love justice or mercy - and know the dam will break.
Tides change and the Missouri Press Core which honors the digital master - the online media king - and the same man who tell the Circuit Judge that digital media doesn't matter. Hartley, Presley and Orr did one thing correctly - they helped ensure there wasn't a report - no picture.
As I walked out the door I warned Presley - I will file a complaint to the FCC and there are many more coming. And at 3:00 AM on the 2014 day your license comes up for renewal - the dam will be broken for sure.
I really wish I had that picture but I think the public is beginning to get the idea.