I'll Drink to That

The morning did not end well for Steve Horner.

After Horner had spent several hours sorting through piles of paper and piling on the circuitous arguments to prove that he had been grievously injured by ladies' nights ads in Westword, had been "humiliated over not being invited to the party and very, very angry," Judge Brian Campbell ruled in favor of Westword's motion for a directed verdict, agreeing that Horner had no legal standing to bring a civil rights complaint against the newspaper for running ladies' night ads.

"I have footing!" Horner said in response to the argument. And then said it again, and again. "I have all the footing in the world."

But he did not have all the time in the world, as Campbell ultimately made clear. But before the judge cut him off, Horner managed to compare his crusade to those of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, and also compare ladies' nights (and feminism, naturally) to the KKK and to terrorism.

We've heard it before, and we'll hear it again, since Horner still has numerous cases pending in county court, and also says he may well appeal this decision. But he won't be able to argue that Campbell didn't take him seriously, because the judge let Horner go on at length, leading to exchanges like this one:

“Can I interject?” Horner asked.

“You didn’t let me interject," the judge responded.

“I’m just a human being," Horner replied. "It was certainly not malicious or intentional. But as a person in advertising, I know that your interpretation is totally incorrect.”

After the judge finally managed to make it through his ruling and left the courtroom, Horner claimed that Campbell was prejudiced, and had "found a way to weasel out" by using the legal standing issue.

It certainly was an effective way to give the case the boot. For now. -- Patricia Calhoun

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun