Golden Forks 2014-2015

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Years ago — or so the legend goes — an embittered Kernel editor came back to the office upset, hurt, insulted. A prominent campus figure had unfairly harangued the young reporter for an offense that he did not commit. It was at that point, in the heat and sweat of tension, that the young editor vowed revenge. From those feelings of hate, the Golden Forks were born. As a testament to that young reporter we take it upon ourselves to strike back with venomous pleasure at those who have wronged the mighty “Fourth Estate.”

Editor’s note: OK, OK that’s a lie. We’re a bunch of sarcastic, immature college students who feel like venting their frustrations at the end of the year. It’s unfortunate that some of you must bear the brunt of that. But take comfort in the fact that in about a month the summer Kernel begins, and then comes the fall, under the direction of Will Wright. You are encouraged to make the life of this fine man a living hell. Until then, if you’re upset, feel free to send in letters to the editor, as always. But this is last issue, so they won’t get printed. We’ll read them though. Have a good summer. This blurb was adapted from the April 28, 1989, edition of the Golden Forks Awards.

The Exercising Your Rights award goes to associate journalism professor Buck Ryan for refusing to demonstrate freedom of speech during a Constitution Day celebration he and his class organized. After a pro-white Senate candidate who was invited to speak used the event to promote his “With Jews We Lose” platform, his microphone was cut and he was refused further opportunity to speak. After this hypocritical display of censorship, the tenured associate professor and member of the First Amendment Center hid behind UK public relations and refused to exercise his own right to speak about the day’s events.

The Voice of the People award goes to now former student body president Jake Ingram for apparently single-handedly securing snow days during this year’s February freeze. Ingram asked UK students to weigh in via social media to help him make a case for class cancellation. Ingram then announced the first cancellation ahead of the university’s Twitter account. In the days after, we noticed that Mr. Ingram found out about the cancellations along with the rest of campus. It was a noble effort, but perhaps the university pays less attention to the number of favorites and retweets than we initially thought?

The Youth Role Model award goes to Turner Network Television for having former Kentucky basketball player Rex Chapman handle the “TeamStream” live broadcast of UK’s Final Four game against Wisconsin. Chapman was arrested but not charged for suspicion of organized retail theft and trafficking stolen property valued at $14,000. Apparently TNT just couldn’t find anyone else to represent our college on a national level. With decades of basketball alumni to choose from, was no one else willing to step in? What does that say about our athletics program?

The Check Yourself award goes to the national media for misrepresenting UK students on State Street as violent rioters. We found that 10 percent of the arrests made were students. That means that 90 percent of them were not; something other media outlets didn’t admit. Whether they used attention-grabbing headlines to characterize the post-game events as riots or recaptioned our photos to indicate that students were fighting police, news outlets failed at basic fact checking and tarnished UK’s reputation unfairly.

The Waste of Hard-earned Money award goes to student government and the LiveSafe app for providing students with an instrument to alert the authorities after they’ve already been mugged and/or beaten. Apparently some students can’t grasp that whole concept of 9-1-1. The Kernel is currently developing a SpendSafe app to help SGA in any future ventures. “Get your student government hands off my data!”

The Ruining Daddy’s Day award goes to William Paul for being cited with a DUI while his dad, Rand Paul, began his presidential campaign. The citation probably led to a serious father-son sit-down talk, and we feel bad that William has received so much attention when other UK students could’ve flown under the radar, but it’s just too amusing to not talk about.

The Consistently Trying To Be The Most Relevant Organization award goes to the United Students Against Sweatshops for their failure to get UK to cut ties with the VF Corporation, but success in killing off entire forests as the Kernel spent numerous papers printing stories about their protests.

The Couldn’t Have Made It Any Easier award goes to the construction workers who violated safety policies right outside of the Kernel’s window. The only way they could have made the story any easier is by digging the trench right in the middle of our newsroom.

The Making Us Feel Safe award goes to American police for consistently making the news for using excessive force against unarmed citizens. Police across the country have been living up the motto “to protect and serve,” as they have vehemently protected their own image by defending their violent actions, and have served plenty of writing material for the Kernel’s editorial staff. We’re talking about all police except the Lexington and UK police departments. You guys are awesome.

The Most-Likely to Give Mark Stoops a Heart Attack award goes to Drew Barker, Dorian Baker and Tymere Dubose for putting campus in a panic by shooting BB guns on campus. They followed that heart-rattling performance with a bar fight with an Eastern Kentucky University player. They apparently didn’t start the fight, but they made our day, and probably ruined Stoops’ week, when the news broke that the same three players were involved in both front-page stories.