In July, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) placed Be and Westword on the "worst" section of its monthly Best and Worst of National News for a cartoon that used the term "Gear Fags" to describe camping enthusiasts who spend a lot of money on ridiculous gear. Be responds -- in hilarious fashion -- with this week's cover story, which points out that more than one celebrity who has received GLAAD Media Awards has also used the word the group apparently found so offensive. "If GLAAD claims that their mission is to 'prevent defamation' and to 'ensure accuracy and fairness for LGBT people in the media,' then why are they fawning over these fearless funny women, yet censoring me like some backwoods LGBT bigot?," he wonders. "Maybe if I had a vagina and a cable TV sitcom, I too would be a red-carpet-worthy GLAAD icon."

Continue ReadingCalled the ‘Worst’ by GLAAD, Westword Cartoonist Kenny Be Strikes Back

"Do you have a medical condition that necessitates marijuana? Do you have a way with words?," the Denver alt-weekly asked in a job posting earlier this week. "If so, Westword wants you to join the ranks as our freelance marijuana-dispensary reviewer." As the paper has reported, the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the area has exploded, so they're launching a weekly column called "Mile Highs and Lows" to review them. Westword editor Patricia Calhoun tells the Wall Street Journal the process of looking for a critic to review drugs isn't any different than looking for, say, a food critic -- they will post the ad and ask for a sample review. "Our restaurant critic, Jason Sheehan, won a James Beard award," she says. "We're hoping we'll have similar success, although there don't seem to be as many rewards for marijuana reviewers."

Continue ReadingWestword Seeks a Pot Critic

AAN News has just received a copy of Da Capo's Best Food Writing 2009, and it is chock full of alt-weekly talent. Included in the collection are stories from City Pages' Rachel Hutton ("Spam: It's Not Just for Inboxes Anymore"), New Times Broward-Palm Beach's John Linn ("Highway to Hog Heaven"), SF Weekly's Peter Jamison ("Out of the Wild"), The Stranger's Bethany Jean Clement ("The Beauty of the Beast"), Washington City Paper's Tim Carman ("How Not to Hire a Chef"), and Westword's Jason Sheehan ("The Last of the Great $10 Steaks"). The book also includes a selection from Houston Press food writer Robb Walsh's book on oysters, and is slated to be released this fall.

Continue ReadingHandful of Alt-Weekly Pieces End Up in ‘Best Food Writing 2009’

Tom Martino, a nationally syndicated talk radio host and Denver-area TV personality known as The Troubleshooter, recently went after Westword writer Jared Jacang Maher for a story Maher had written on him. Problem was, in his video attacking Maher as a "cowardly writer," Martino grabbed a picture off the internet of comedian and former Westword staffer Adam Cayton-Holland wearing Maher's name tag at an event and said it was Maher. Now Cayton-Holland has responded with a story and the video below.

Continue ReadingComedian Misidentified as Westword Writer Fights Back

Tom Martino, a nationally syndicated talk radio host and Denver-area TV personality known as The Troubleshooter, apparently had an associate call in a fake tip to reporter Jared Jacang Maher so he could confront Maher on camera about a recent Westword article linking Martino to a multi-level marketing company. Once Maher got to the parking lot where he was set to meet the purported tipster, Martino ran after Maher's car with a cameraman. "Why won't you answer some questions?," he shouted. "Are you a coward?" Maher drove away, and Martino headed to the Westword office, where he confronted managing editor Jonathan Shikes. Eventually, Martino put together a short video (see below) on the episode, in which he calls Maher a "cowardly writer" over footage of a picture taken off the internet. But while Martino tells his audience that picture is of Maher, it is actually of standup comedian and former Westword staffer Adam Cayton-Holland, a fact Michael Roberts says Martino should have easily known. For his efforts, The Troubleshooter has earned "Shmuck of the Week" honors from the Denver alt-weekly.

Continue ReadingStory Subject Attempts to Ambush Westword Writer in Parking Lot

Jason Sheehan's Cooking Dirty: A Story of Life, Sex, Love and Death in the Kitchen was released late last month by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Sheehan says the book is about "the often wonderful, sometimes terrible things that result from sticking four or five or ten poorly socialized men together for hours at a stretch in a small steel box filled with knives and fire." National Public Radio is just one of the media outlets to have sung the book's praises thus far, including it on its summer nonfiction reading list (and running a lengthy excerpt). "If chefs are the new rock stars, Jason Sheehan is like a grunge guitarist of the old school," John Freeman writes.

Continue ReadingWestword Food Writer’s Book is Released

The Denver alt-weekly debuted a new look this week, with a glossy cover and staples. Westword editor Patricia Calhoun tells Face the State that the new format pushes the paper's deadline back a day because it takes more production time, and that it costs a little more. But that added cost gets offset by the higher rates the paper can charge to run ads on the glossy stock. "It all evens out pretty quickly," Calhoun says.

Continue ReadingWestword Gets Minor Facelift

Westword's Adam Cayton-Holland finished first in Arts and Entertainment Writing, while fellow Westword scribe Jared Jacang Maher finished third in the same category. Phoenix New Times took a second place win for Environment and Natural Resources Reporting and a third place win for Growth and Development Reporting, while OC Weekly's (not the Orange County Register's, as the award announcement says) "Navel Gazing" blog finished second in the Blog Writing category. The annual contest is open to newspapers and news websites in 13 western states.

Continue ReadingAAN Members Fare Well in ‘Best of the West’ Awards

In 2001, the alt-weekly adopted a new policy eliminating "adult" ads. But after taking a glance at the Personals section of a recent issue of the Weekly, Westword's Michael Roberts thinks the paper has reversed course. Weekly publisher Stewart Sallo tells AAN News via email that Roberts is incorrect. "Boulder Weekly's policy on 'sex ads' has not changed," he says. "We discontinued our adult advertising section in 2001 and redrew the line to eliminate ads that contain images that explicitly objectify women."

Continue ReadingHas Boulder Weekly Changed its Policy on Adult Ads?