Some clowns from the Japan-America Society and the Black Ships Festival are totally butt hurt because I reported 100% true and factually accurate information.
So here’s the deal and a bit of the back story. Historically, the City of Newport has provided tax payer dollars to the Black Ships Festival. Last summer, Mayor Winthrop (my father) wanted an accounting of how those funds were being spent. The Black Ships people denied that request, so Mayor Winthrop denied their request for funds. (Chalk one up for government accountability!) In return, the Black Ships people sent my father a letter telling him that he wasn’t allowed to attend any Black Ships events even though some of those events they were being held on property owned by the City of Newport. (That letter is now framed and sits proudly on my father’s desk at City Hall)
Anyway these clowns totally upstanding gentlemen who were never picked last in gym class, decided that they’d move the Black Ships Festival to Bristol this year. So the City of Newport threw their own and it was awesome if anyone was wondering.
Oh wait. A little history on the Black Ships. In 1852, Commodore Matthew Perry (of Newport, RI) was assigned a mission by President Millard Fillmore to force the opening of Japanese ports to American trade, through the use of gunboat diplomacy if necessary. This led to Japan opening up trade with the United States and is viewed as a seminal moment in Japanese history in joining the world stage.
This is a photo of Spencer Viner. He is not at all a vindictive prick.
Sorry…I’m back. I just had to take a shower after looking at that photo for too long.
But I digress.
So here’s what happened. The City of Newport ran their own event that was named the Black Ships Celebration. Makes sense when you consider the historic ties Newport has with Shimoda, Japan. Who incidentally celebrate their own “Black Ships Festival” every year in April. Are they being sued? Nope!
The city posted about their event and I, in turn, posted an article about it as well. FOR FREE. Just as I have done for every Black Ships Festival in the past. For example, here’s a post of mine from 2015.
Did they get sued? Nope! But I did. Hmmm. I wonder why!
Oh wait. I’m in no way the only one getting sued. They are also suing the City of Newport, my father and Discover Newport.
Are you keeping up? Maybe take a break to digest this, have a cocktail and come back in five mins?
We good? Perfect.
So when the city posted about their event, this weasel gentleman got super butt hurt and started suing everybody. (Well not the Newport Daily News but you get my point)
The City of Newport then changed the name of their Black Ships Celebration to the “Newport-Shimoda Celebration” and I changed anything relating to the old name as well on both this website and on my social media. You know who didn’t? The Newport Daily News. Their still not getting sued. Seriously, why could that be?
There’s a lot of boring stuff in between. The process server couldn’t find me to serve me the lawsuit, bla bla bla, despite my home address being on this site and also the fact that I publish my location on Instagram Stories 20 times a day.
So here we are today. I’m being sued for posting a 100% factually accurate article. This is an attack on the free press and on the 1st Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America and I won’t stand for it.
Hey Spencer, I’m fighting back!
cue the music!
When you have more readers than every media outlet in Newport combined and you work on your couch, apparently this comes with the territory!
A previous version of this story indicated that David Rosenberg was involved in this suit. He is not. He is the registered agent for the entity that is suing me.