If you don’t mind, I’d like to spin a little yarn about a fellow in Wisconsin who thought he was a tough guy until he was brought down, laid out on a metaphorical slab, and then cremated by a very brave woman.
Roy Innis of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin thought himself a tough guy. He enjoyed having his picture taken shooting guns or marching around in his American Legion uniform. As one of the founding member of two Facebook pages dedicated to interfering with the legal gathering of petitions in the recall of Gov. Scott Walker, Innis used his tough guy bluster to intimidate, threaten and bully people who disagreed with him.
Then, the mother of his child caught wind of what he was doing and exposed him to the world for the coward that he is.
I have no way of knowing if Roy Innis is the bully who contacted the Legal department at the Denver offices of the Philip Anschutz-owned Examiner.com. All I know is that despite promises from Kevin Staunton, director of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions for the Examiner that if legal questions should ever arise over my reporting again, he would check with me first before allowing the legal department to take action – I was unceremoniously dumped from the Examiner’s cadre of 60,000 or so independent contractors. Here is Staunton’s E-mail to me in that regard.
Bill, I am yet again, forced to discuss your column after you continued to (1) make your OBN articles personal, rather than talking about what such an organization is attempting to do and its potential implications, and (2) continued to reply in an antagonistic manner within the comments sections / Facebook.
Due to the continued disregard for projecting yourself in a professional manner, I am forced to suspend your access to our publishing platform again.
This was not how I hoped things would work out, but I’m no longer in a position to justify the amount of effort we as an organization have to put in to mitigate the complaints your work is constantly receiving. I wish you well on your blog.
Director, Northeast & Mid-Atlantic Regions
Now, please be reminded that I informed the Examiner when I first applied for an independent contractor position writing for them that I prefer the use of the “journalism verite” style of writing made popular by some of the great columnists of the early 20th century. The “reporter as camera” kind of writing that injects the writer’s personality without injecting the writer into the story. They were fine with that.
They loved it, in fact, when this “journalism verite” brought down Bill Looman – the North Georgia militia man who posted the “No Hiring Until Obama’s Gone” signs on his truck. With the help of brave readers who knew the REAL Bill Looman, we proved it wasn’t economics driving his decision – it was Islamophobia and racism.
But no sooner had I turned the camera on the workings of Operation Burn Notice… well, that was different. Now I was messing with Scott Walker. The bought and paid for governor of Wisconsin who was working closely with the Koch Brothers… AND PHILIP ANSCHUTZ… to bring down the unions, and thus, the Democratic Party in the Badger state.
Well, we couldn’t have THAT! So I was shown the door, disconnected from the platform, and left with nothing to do about it than just seek out a new platform.
I tried writing about it here and elsewhere, made the “recommended diaries” on Daily Kos a couple times. But my effort yesterday went virtually unnoticed.
So, I started a Hub Page account and commiserated with friends on my Facebook page.
Then, Roy Innis poked his head up out of the turd pile that is Operation Burn Notice and threatened me. He was going to sue me. He was going to take everything I owned. He had fought for this country and god damn if some low life journalist was going to besmirch his good name.
Of course he had not been libeled. Everything I wrote about him was true and verifiable and I suggested if he planned to sue me, he’d best pack a lunch. Then I published a story on my blog about the whole scenario, and invited him, I believe, to “BRING it.”
Then, I received a private message on Facebook. It was from a nice little lady, an attorney in Oshkosh.
re: roy Innis. Ask him what war he served in to qualify for the American legion membership…FYI He never completed boot camp, no veteran benefits etc..
You may want to know why I am telling you this. Roy and I have a son together and have raised him with lies. It is about time Roy face the truth as he puts it…Tired of his lies about military service.
Please refrain from mentioning me as a source…he can be unstable
I assured her I would not mention her if she didn’t want me to. But I also explained that without being able to source my information, Innis would just say I was a liar and round and round we’d go. This very brave woman responded.
Let me see if I can get verification somehow. According to the American Legion, you have to be an active member or have served in Granada or Panama. The dates so not match his info. He graduated from HS June 1984. Granada was 1982-July 1984…I met him Feb 1990 and he was at his job for two years…Panama ended Jan 1990. I really don’t care if you use my name or not…he will just say I am lying also…but so be it.
If I have a hero today, her name is Kathleen Fagin Diedrich. A respected attorney in Oshkosh (b’gosh!) Wisconsin.
I know I am NOT wrong. His sister mentioned it last year when my son joined (he quit and did not complete boot camp…lasted longer than roy) I asked if she knew he had served in Panama and Granada as he told his son…she looked incredulous…”he didn’t even last 30 days in boot camp.” ..by the way I AM a Member of the Bar Assoc of Wisconsin
So, ratted out by his own sister to the mother of his son. The son he bragged about being a Veteran. (And let us not look unfavorably at the son. He bought into his father’s lies. He tried to finish boot camp but could not complete the run in the proper time and chose not to repeat boot camp. And he’s not the one going around pretending to be a war hero like his daddy.)
Ms. Fagin-Dedrich wanted to make sure my readers understood she was NOT Innis’s “ex-wife.”
“I wasn’t stupid enough to marry him,” she wrote.
Mother of his son…He made my life miserable and warped his son…but the only benefit I had from knowing him was the son I raised who has significant issue because of roys lies about me to him..gloves are off…
After I wrote my initial story about Roy Innis, the veteran who was not, Ms. Fagin-Deidrich sent me this note.
I have never made an issue of all of roy’s lies because it was never worth my son’s aggravation. No one wants to challenge him because he is so vindictive but for me this particular lie is outrageous when he blusters about honesty and integrity…
Now once the story was published on my Hub, the first comment was a veiled threat. So was the second one.
15 hours ago
You are going down a path you may Knot what to travel on!
I did the thing that got me in trouble with the Examiner. I replied.
Mister Tattletale Hub Author
15 hours ago
Why Knot? If the information is true, it is true. If the information is “knot,” then all you have to do is prove the mother of his son is a liar and I will print a retraction. Harry. Come on, Roy. Use your real name!
(You will recall, the use of the word “knot” is code among these Operation Burn Notice miscreants. They were trolls on a legitimate Facebook page called “Not My Wisconsin.” When they were kicked out, they formed their own Facebook page called “Knot My Wisconsin.” This later branched off into the Operation Burn Notice page. A few of the users of those pages, Innis in particular, use the word “knot” instead of “not.” Idiotic? Of course. But very telling.)
Harry Richards (Hairy Dicks? What a grown up!) responded.
15 hours ago
LMFAO, Roy? You really are a dipshit! Knot Roy and what you posted is knot even close to being the truth. BillyBob does your ex-wife like you and say nice things about you? You enjoy the time you have left and please don’t burn the place down. That would really make OBN look bad. :p
I reminded him that Ms. Fagin-Diedrich was not Roy’s ex-wife, just the mother of his son.
This was followed by four comments with names of participants in the OBN group, seeming to claim solidarity with me. One came from a USCOURTS.GOV ISP (reported!) the other three with the same IP from Stevens Point, Wisconsin.
After that, the story caught on. Fourteen tweets, 189 Facebook “likes,” 2,601 hits as of this moment, and 42 comments… mostly from actual vets describing their disgust over someone pretending to be a veteran, someone who has admitted in other posts (see the Hub Page for screencaps) that he has killed men in combat. One was from a representative of “Soldiers for the Cause” who offered any help his organization could provide to get the story out, an offer I gratefully accepted.
As for Roy, I don’t think he’ll be suing anybody. He has torn down his Facebook presence. He doesn’t exist anymore. Neither do several of the gibbering, giggling, 4th grade locker room characters I believe Roy used as aliases on the Operation Burn Notice page. Last night, a single Admin posting under the name “Operation Burn Notice” was schooled by a 17-year old who he thought, at first, was on his side until it was clear that the young man was toying with him in a Facebook conversation that went on a couple page scrolls before the idiot at OBN just got frustrated and banned the youngster from further comment.
They’re down for the night, like they usually are. But last night, you could hear the crickets, and the echoes of crickets, on the Operation Burn Notice page.
Oh… and there have been arrests, as duly reported elsewhere.
Roy Innis – Gone.
Operation Burn Notice – feeble and toothless.
Not a bad day for democracy in my one-time adopted and still beloved Badger State. Not a bad day at all.
And the morale is: Don’t be a flustery, blustery, bombastic bully of an asshole, when there’s a woman out there on the Internet who knows the REAL you and is brave enough to share the information with someone who will tell the truth.