Freeport, Illinois — July 14, 2017 — In light of the recent drama in the port, we thought we’d address a few things regarding the utter nonsense that has just been witnessed by far too many in Freeport with regards to an article we aired.
The other day Logan’s Bar & Grill agreed with the city of Freeport to have their liquor license revoked for one week.
As a result of a June 23rd event they had, someone allegedly saw some nudity or other inappropriate situations, and informed the police. Long story short, an undercover police officer visited Logan’s on the evening of June 23rd, 2017 and stated that he saw nudity.
We had actually heard a few things through the grape vine going back to June 24th about events at Logan’s, so we were already informed of some things but we didn’t have any concrete story to tell all of you.
On Thursday July 13th, the Journal Standard though broke a story about Logan’s alleged “nudity night” and their liquor license loss.
Prior though, Michelle from Logan’s had actually sent out a mass email to all those on her contact list. We received her email, as many others did too.
Taking that, and with another news outlet having broke the story first, we then wrote an article and included essentially all of what Michelle had sent out, so the public could see her response in greater detail. We did that so the entire story was more complete. (We had no intention however of describing specific allegations of all the juicy details of what went on in Logan’s on the evening of June 23, 2017). If you were looking for that, sorry, not us.
In the article, and for a specific reason, we also included an alleged incident that was said to have happened at Rt. 20. We also included an event called “prohibition” held at the Wagner House to make a simple reference of the “cat and mouse” game of drinking, bars, entertainment and the police.
Additionally, our article also included Eric White.
Our reference to Mr. White was that the Logan’s name was his sons name and we stated that Eric has bashed Logan’s publicly before, as we stated that Logan’s owner Michelle has done so about Eric White and Benchwamers, with our words “vice versa”.
So why did we include them.
The very simple point we were making is that everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has some “issue” with someone or something else. In the bar industry, “shit happens”. Also, to point out that Logan’s stripper night wasn’t some attempt, in our opinion, to thwart the police or any city ordinances, like say, prohibition.
In other words, Logan’s event didn’t insinuate “let’s hire strippers and see if we can beat the coppers”. Like alcohol, Logan’s ladies event was perfectly legal. Also like alcohol, with it you can also break a law.
Also, all of our restaurants and clubs offer great things to Freeport citizens. So, aside from personal differences between them we wanted to make the point in the article, through referencing who we did, that arguing and name calling and badgering one another (or even the events they hold themselves) doesn’t help anyone. “It comes with the territory”, we said to the point, let’s not be coy about bars.
In other words, Logan’s does (as do the other bars and clubs) a lot for Freeport, so don’t let this recent situation change that.
To give you the paragraph in context, this is what the article said;
“Logan’s is a female owned business.
While there is a co-owner, Blake King, he is said to not be a part of the day to day operations. He is also the ex husband of owner Michelle Magee.
While we hope that situation is going well, there’s a chance it isn’t. Most of us have heard stories or even have personal experience of the kind of damage an ex can inflict on their former spouses, and even children. To complete the Logan’s family unit, for those who don’t know ‘Logan’ is also the name of current Benchwamers owner, Eric White’s son. Altogether, a strange dynamic especially when you add in that Eric is often seen bashing Logan’s and vice versa.
Point is, nothing is perfect in this world.”
Again, our point was to show a) the structure of the company Logan’s and b) that even within a mixed dynamic of family and that even aside from personal differences that cause businesses to bash one another, nothing is perfect in this world. Michelle and Logan’s appear to have made a mistake. Don’t be so quick to judge and be hard on them. That was our point.
Because it doesn’t help Freeport, it doesn’t help the person and it doesn’t really ever solve anything. Everyone has their favorite businesses anyway, and all the bashing does is cause angst among the citizens. Yet Eric did just that and he did so on his personal Facebook page. To us, that was relative to our point but it wasn’t meant derogatory at all.
So what happens after our article? Eric White, (not Rt.20, not the Wagner House, just Eric White) goes on the attack.
First, he says we bashed him.
We didn’t bash him, we merely said “he” has bashed Logan’s. We didn’t personally attack Eric White, nor anyone else. We didn’t say anything slanderous about Mr. White either, nor did we say anything derogatory or inflammatory towards anyone else.
What proceeds from his social media attack from here though is nothing short of pure craziness.
“I will continue to take the high road” he says. Then says, “I have something special on him if he wants to keep playing games… Very special”, he adds. We’re not sure how you can say “high road” and then add a threat in the same sentence.
His supporters then lose their minds in rage, half of them don’t appear to have even read the article, and the Freeport drama train begins.
It bears to point out though, that no one made any fuss about the Rt.20 part. Not a single person that we found. In our opinion that was far harder to hear than hearing Eric has bashed Logan’s yet nope, not a peep.
That part said;
“Just look what happened at Rt. 20 recently. The owner of that establishment was said to have completely snapped in front of his customers, berating one of his employees. The way the incident was described and what was said to have happened, was insane. There was such an outrage against the owner, we thought town hangings were going to come back. We thought the guy was going to get strung up downtown at high noon.”
No one said a word about it.
To top it off, Eric’s Dad’s visitation was on this day also.
We shared the obituary from Burke Tubbs the day before on Today In The Port. A very tragic situation for anyone, and our hearts go out to Eric and his family (and we’ve said as much publicly). It’s tragic losing anyone, especially a parent and yes, we know how that feels. The article shouldn’t have caused an uproar to anyone though.
We in no way thought the mention of Eric in the article, within the context as it were and as it was meant, would in any way cause any problem for anyone. It wasn’t our point anyway and again, there’s the whole Rt.20 part.
Some people commented, ‘why was Eric even in the article’, yet no one asked that about anyone else. Just Eric, who out of all of them it just so happens, has the biggest tie to Logan’s.
It is also his “Eric White” Facebook page where he says all his comments. It’s not Benchwarmers. If it were the same scenario with the other establishments (where the owner’s personal page was where posts such as his were made), we most likely would have included their names as well, if that had been the case.
Alternatively, if it were the Benchwarmers page where these comments were made, we would have used that. It wasn’t though.
But this has happened before with Eric.
It first started with a notice we wrote that Benchwarmers was closing. They were having an insurance party and were closing to the public that day, or for most of the day. The article we wrote was actually a nice article but Eric flipped over the title. He didn’t write us, he didn’t send us a message, he just instantly took to his Facebook page and went on the attack.
Eric later apologized for his behavior saying that he “may have overreacted”.
The other time was when we saw that his building was for sale. We really didn’t think sharing the link would be such a mess. If we saw that you had your house for sale, or business for sale, or building for sale, well, we’d think you’d actually want to sell it too.
Apparently he didn’t.
Again, no message to us of hey, “I don’t want to sell the building”, or “I don’t want anyone to know”. As happened here, it was “conspiracy theory” mentality and then just an instant “take to Facebook rant” attacking Greg personally and attacking Today In The Port. He could have just sent us quick message and we would have changed it.
In addition to the above social media posts by Eric though, Greg also received 4 text messages from Eric. Eric’s father’s visitation started at 11:00 and went on until 1:00. Eric’s texts to Greg came in at 11:24 a.m.
It appears as though he was texting Greg and carrying on through social media publicly while we assume, he was sitting at his own Dad’s visitation. We’re sorry, but we can’t quite wrap our heads around that.
His next social media message is this:
We’ve written a lot of articles about Benchwarmers and Eric White. A lot of really good stories and a lot of really good attention to this mans business going all the way back to 2015.
We’ve also shot commercials, videos and other segments for Benchwarmers. We have never written an article to intentionally hurt Eric, or his business Benchwamers. Not once, ever.
However, after a day full of what appears to be hundreds and hundreds of messages, (of only 4-5 of them we even read) at around 10:15 p.m. in the evening, Greg receives a message from a friend of his.
The message asks ‘what is this?’ which is followed by a screenshot of yet another Facebook post by Eric White.
We don’t know how you take that message but we take it extremely threatening. Clearly so did those who responded to it, as you can read in the comments.
“Don’t do it Eric”
“Eric White please don’t do it.”
“I know with everything going on in your life you probaly want to tear into someone… think of all you can lose.”
Not only do we take this extremely threatening, this is a direct invitation for any one of his followers to cause physical harm or come to Greg’s personal home. Through this message he has directly enticed his followers to approach Greg and his personal home, property or physical person.
So we are saying this publicly so it’s out there. There’s the threat.
If anything happens to any person here, ie; slashed tires, property damage, physical harm to our owner or any member of his family, here’s a strong indication of who, or what might have been behind it. There were numerous other comments of concern made as well.
Our article’s primary focus was on the events that took place at Logan’s Bar & Grill. It was not an article about Eric White. However, Eric turned the article into something entirely about him within the community. He then incited his audience to attack, all over six words.
“Eric is often seen bashing Logan’s”. While other people may have had other issues, Eric’s issue was that.
Of the 1.236 words in the article, this entire fiasco as indicated by Eric’s own words, is over that line. For that comment alone, an all day drama filled hate fest took place on Eric White’s Facebook page. A hate fest that ended with a threat from Eric White, stating he wanted to know where Greg lives.
We have asked ourselves how we would feel if the tables were reversed too. If Eric had said in an article that Greg “bash’s a certain someone or business” and to be quite frank, that would not have bothered us at all. It especially wouldn’t have bothered us on a parent’s funeral visitation day.
We absolutely would not have gone on a public campaign while spending our time with family, berating someone, filling up our own personal Facebook wall inciting pure public hate and anger during our parents visitation. Certainly not over someone saying something as small and simple as, we bashed someone, (especially when we have).
At 6:20 a..m. the next morning however, we see that Greg is yet again tagged (named) in a post from Eric White. We of course don’t even read it but he got the notification that Eric’s up early and “here we go again”.
So six words result in a 24 hour public circus show and the ring leader has been Mr. Eric White inciting his followers. We have never done such a spiteful attack personally against another person in anything we have ever published such as what we just witnessed.
While we welcome any comment about any article or video segment we ever air, voicing your opinion is one thing. We don’t expect you to agree or love everything we do, but we will never tolerate anyone threatening our staff, (or anyone else for that matter). We don’t care who you are.
We also expect that if you do choose to comment, that you formulate an opinion without sounding like a vulgar 12 year old, (unless you are a 12 year old of course). In our opinion, Eric White’s responses and behavior were deplorable.
We care that we as a media reported things factually as we saw with our own eyes, as others saw them and reported to us, and as told to us by direct sources. That can not be disputed. We also stand firm that we did not in any way, intend to harm anyone with our article and we’re not even sure how anyone would have ever taken it that way. We have done (and said) an awful lot of good about Eric and his Benchwarmers business.
If anyone wishes to continue to support this type of behavior and approves of it — or has plans on continuing the drama over this topic or any other topic, please feel free to unlike Today In The Port right now. We’ll even repeat that. If you can’t hold an intelligent peaceful conversation, please feel free to unlike Today In The Port. We’ll even give you the link. (https://www.facebook.com/todayintheport)
We take this pretty seriously and if you believe that hate, attacking, belittling, rage and that threatening vulgar behavior is how you respond to things, we don’t want you to be a viewer of ours.
We will take the high road though, and say that we apologize to Eric White that he took the article the way he did. We also think because we are a news media that we owe the public an apology that one of our articles was a part of such a public stir. Of course we wanted people to read it, but it wasn’t meant bad at all and again, we’re really not sure how it would have been taken that way.
Like a Trump / Clinton campaign, half of you were completely fine with the article and got it, and the other half of you were not. Also like a Trump / Clinton campaign, some of you acted peacefully and some of you went completely nuts.
We do think too that Eric White owes Greg Chambers and Today In The Port an apology. There is no excuse to call someone the names Eric and his followers have called us, or Greg personally over our article. We could have called the police on Eric because of his “give me Greg’s address” post, given the current volatile circumstances. There is no reasonable connection to our article warranting that type of verbal attack.
Finally, let’s address a few other things.
To those that say we’re nothing more than the national enquirer, or we’re “gossip news”, or of course the infamous “fake news” that gets thrown out when people don’t like what you say, we are not at all. You are all the gossipers. Don’t you see that? You’re the gossipers in all the news, not just our news. You’re the public. Just because we publish something doesn’t mean you all have to go nuts over it. Likewise, just because a presidential candidate says this, or some abortion doctor says that, doesn’t mean YOU have to freak out. Thats your own doing for one.
For two, what you view as gossip and “national enquirer” news are some of our more viral topics, which have been about God signs, suicides, Rockefeller’s grave, ghosts in Shannon, Illinois and Freeport’s Infamous 4-corner stop. We air things that you won’t get in the normal news. We ask questions that won’t get asked in the normal news. We talk about bad roads, we’ve taken pictures of toilets on street corners, we’ve covered stories about Bobcats and Hawks and the UNIQUES food trailer. There are probably 5,000 comments just in those few examples and we all know how the God topic goes.
We have never covered, “Jenny Is Having An Affair With Jimmy” or “This Cat Has 9 Penis’s” or “Eric White Admits He’s Gay”. Those are national enquirer headlines and stories.
Besides, YOU control your own actions and words, not us. You can’t blame us if we cover that the city is putting up “God Signs” and you all freak out over it. They send us the press release. We air it. That’s how it works.
Our headlines however, yes, they are to try and draw you in. Not many media companies or marketing companies will just come right out and tell you that, but we will. Yes, we want you to read our articles and yes, with titles we have been known to push the edge. This wasn’t one of them though. Not everything we’ve done is perfect everyone. We’re not afraid to admit that. (Hence, the entire point again to the article about strippers and everyone else we were trying to make.)
While we’re on the topic, we’d also like to put an end to these ridiculous comments as well.
1. “All your news is are opinion pieces”.
Truth: We rarely ever write articles. 95% of the articles we publish are press releases or come directly from the business. They are not opinion pieces. We do write opinion pieces however, as every single news outlet on the planet does. So what.
2. Today In The Port just wants clicks. It’s click bait so they can make money.
Truth: We don’t get “paid for clicks” on our website or social media pages. We probably easily could we’re sure, but we don’t. No matter how few or how many people “click” a page or visit a page, we don’t get paid. That’s just completely not true. Sorry.
3. You call yourself a journalist? Well, *&#&%&$
Truth: We’ve never claimed not to be news, but we have claimed that we are not journalists. In other words, we’re not trying to pretend we’re perfect journalists or writers. We say that so when we do write certain pieces, we don’t get responses such as all this nonsense about journalism. We are not journalists and we don’t claim to be. Our open admission of that is a request for some leniency in grammar, punctuation and what you might “normally” view as news. We are not that and frankly, we don’t want to be and we’re proud not to be.
4. Your article blamed Mr. King, Mr. Eric White and even Mr. White’s son for the reason the police were called.
Truth: Someone got the impression that we insinuated that Mr. King, Mr. Eric White, or even Mr. White’s son were part of the reason the police were called to Logan’s. That is just wrong and horribly incorrect. We didn’t say that, suggest that, imply that or even hint to that at all, which we’ve explained anyway.
5. You brought Eric’s family into this. You talked about his son.
Truth: We didn’t talk about Eric’s family at all and the only thing we said about Eric’s son was that it is his name (Logan) that is the name behind Logan’s Bar & Grill. That’s all we said.
6. It was Today In The Port who made the Rt.20 post “a social media nightmare, plotting people against that business”
Truth: Someone accused us of being the ones who made the Rt.20 post “a social media nightmare, plotting people against that business”, in their words. Truth is, we actually didn’t even cover that story at all. It was never on Today In The Port, it was never shared by us socially and we never authored anything on social media about the situation at all. We encourage you to search Today In The Port and look for yourself. We even invite you to find anyone else on the planet that can substantiate that accusation. It just didn’t happen.
We know drama and fighting is what you’re looking for, but “nothing is perfect in this world” was actually a defense of Eric’s public statements about Logan’s, as it was the Rt.20 incident, as it was “prohibition” and beating the law, as it was you, me, strippers, Logan’s, Michelle and everyone else.
People make mistakes, shit happens in bars, let it go. Do you see the connection to Logan’s stripper night now from a more well rounded public perspective?
Eric has a long history in Freeport. We can obviously go on a back and forth campaign against him such as he’s done us. That wouldn’t be too hard. We have that option, or we have the option of realizing we are both public entities and that we have a responsibility to the Freeport public. High ground hasn’t happened. Can it?
We guess we’ll see.