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Music Journalist SMACKDOWN!

Woodpile in New Times
There was a little e-mail scuffle between an L.A. Times writer named Chris Lee and myself recently, when I wrote a column refuting his assertion that local white rapper trio Woodpile are white supremacists (he wrote that in a front page story for the beleaguered newspaper). After he demanded a correction, then took it back after I showed him where in his own article he called the band a "white power group," New Times printed an excerpt of our exchange in this last issue's letters section. Then Lee got especially nasty. The level of douchebaggery was off the chain, so I thought I'd share his entertaining little missives with y'all (excuse the punctuation and capitalization slips, but I thought I'd print it verbatim).

>>> "Lee, Chris" 11/2/2006 11:02 AM >>> feeling good big boy? my letter still shits on you and your weekly listings brochure in five different ways. white power! CL

From: Brendan Kelley: you're fucking hilarious man. at least you've got a career waiting at College Times out here when LAT cans your ass. i think they pay $50 or so for those "features", which is well above market value for such drivel. read the media news every once in a while, your pride in who you work for might drop considerably - but better yet, keep deluding yourself. break a story, like one better than 'white dudes with shaved heads who rap must be skinheads' or 'rappers like skateboarding, and rap about it!!!' (read that in college times big guy, nice clip).

Brendan Joel Kelley

>>> "Lee, Chris" 11/02/06 6:45 PM >>> don't hate the player, hate the game, brendan. in addition to weak prose, your habit of single-sourcing stories probably won't get them taught in journalism schools anytime soon. where'd you learn to write, DeVry? And your "beat" involves a bunch of bands nobody gives a shit about or ever hears from again (aside from their myspace friends and moms -- kind of like your core readership). holler at me when you can even get in the room with someone of any consequence. hate it or love it, my shit's getting syndicated from here to hong kong; case in point that quickie skate-rap story i wrote in an hour turned up in the south china daily. but it's nice to I have a fan in beautiful AZ who doesn't operate a meth lab. you seem to be a student of my work. very flattering.

From: Brendan Kelley: i'm just a student of college times, it's huge here at devry. (just to give you a better dissing angle, i didn't go to college, i've been writing for $$ since i was 14). and single-sourcing? count the sources in the woodpile story. you were your own source as far as your white power/supremacy assumption went, nobody else said that about the band. nevermind talking to an organization like the southern poverty law center, which comprehensively catalogues hate groups, bands, record labels, etc. hey, they had shaved heads (like myself), must be skinheads! i think thats zero-sourcing. and west coast mafia told me how LAT came across the story anyway, they baited you, you bit. i didn't feel the need to put any inside-baseball sausage-making shit in the story, but they threw you a pseudo-provocative angle and you went for it A1 style. and they laughed at you and sold records because of it. too bad you're so into shittalking wars, i like other music journos as a rule, even daily-bitches. and i hit you up personally for the story i wrote, you had every chance to reiterate what you meant. and then you forgot what you'd written and wrote that silly little correction request. don't be so sensitive.

i'm sure you make more money than me, and i'm sure you're huge in south china, but i don't care, and despite your condescension i do what i'm supposed to do well, covering local bands (for eleven years now) and i like it. i don't need hong kong syndication to validate my worth. or college times, for that matter. disseminating your seed as widely as possible doesn't make it virile.

i don't know you, so you're part of my 'hating the game,' player. 'keep it real,' don't defend yrself by burying your fuckups underneath petty insults. i don't need a j-school degree to know lowest-common-denominator sensationalism when i see it, hence our getting to know each other and having this lovely dialogue. shit, its been so fun i might need to put it on my blog.

Brendan Joel Kelley