No Chubbies? Fat Chance

The Anti-Gym's Michael Karolchyk says he wants you to hate him, and the media's eating up every word — even the little white lies.

Karolchyk thinks he already knows who tipped Channel 7 to Higgins's identity: Walt DeHaven. He says he heard from two sources — Channel 7 local sales manager Missy Evenson and Channel 31 news director Brad Remington — that DeHaven circulated either an e-mail or a letter warning his broadcast peers to give Karolchyk and the Anti-Gym a wide berth due to the incident. But Evenson declines to comment on the subject, and Remington says he heard about the hinky report from an unnamed newspaper reporter. And DeHaven? In his words, "It never happened in a million years."

Of course, raising objections about the way Karolchyk operates seems like common sense considering his admission about the bogus protest — and a profile in the January edition of 5280 magazine won't make many folks reconsider their negative opinions. The piece, by staffer Robert Sanchez, blew holes through many of the stories Karolchyk told about his past, and climaxed with his own mother declaring, "My son has become a liar."

Predictably, Karolchyk excoriates Sanchez, branding him a "bastard" for allegedly taking comments out of context, quizzing his mom despite a declaration that family was off-limits, and stating in print that Mr. K. had dodged a formal interview despite a string of e-mails in which he expressed an eagerness to chat. Sanchez, for his part, stands by the accuracy of his reporting and emphasizes that he never agreed to steer clear of kin — and he says Karolchyk didn't overcome his allergy to a sit-down until very late in the process, when he figured out that the feature wouldn't be a valentine. "He kept saying, 'I want to rebut my critics,'" Sanchez recalls. "But there weren't really any critics in the article. It was about his life. He would have essentially been rebutting himself."

Media manipulation has been a piece of cake for Michael Karolchyk.
Anthony Camera
Media manipulation has been a piece of cake for Michael Karolchyk.

Karolchyk will probably get around to doing just that eventually. Until then, he refuses to apologize for his methodology or his message — and given the rapidity with which he's landed a coast-to-coast platform, why should he?

"If everybody likes me, I don't make any money," he says. "So we have to be edgy — and being edgy offends a ton of people. But I don't care. I don't care if I piss off a million people, because when I do, they write nasty blogs about me and we grow our brand virally. When I tell the truth, I get way more marketing, way more media. So bring it on."

Chew on that, Santa.

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