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The Embarrassed Republican: Not in 'Our Town'

Seen 'Our Town' magazine? Do you really want to advertise in that?

There is a “magazine” being offered for free in several local businesses, it’s called “Our Town”.  The latest version is called “Twilight’s Our town Zone.”  It is true to the principals of it’s editor and chief author, Robert Beierle, who implores us all to return to the wonderful days of yesteryear when men were men and women didn’t talk so much.

It is a thinly veiled personal propaganda circular containing  22 or so pages of basic stone-headed “everyone stinks but cool white guys like us” thinking.   Just leafing through it’s pages makes it very clear why people don’t tell jokes like the ones it contains anymore.  They’re offensive, the kind you wish your cousin would stop telling when he’s had a few too many at the picnic.  The kind that don’t get him invited back.

This edition is missing the usual stirring hate-filled front page editorial, instead it sports a story of a man and his family transported from an idyllic 1962 to the cruel government controlled present day.  He is beset immediately by police, who threaten to shoot his unlicensed dog, insult his family and truck and then arrest the entire family for not wearing seat belts and letting the kids ride in the truck bed of the family's broken down vehicle. Off to the "pokey" with them!

Once the family is incarcerated at the local police fortress they are grilled by a ruthless “government bureaucrat” who relentlessly demand permits and licenses for everything from having a bake sale to changing tires without a license.  His wife becomes despondent when her children are changed into zombies by a flat screen TV, but apparently she can’t do anything about that without talking to her husband first.  Eventually, after considerable incredulity on the sad state of the future, the man and his family escape the clutches of the “Government” police while they are busy suiting up in riot gear so they can persecute the innocent family some more.

Shots are fired, the family dog is rescued and they magically return to their own time where the local sheriff gladly repairs their flat tire.  Really.

Everyone is able to express their own opinion about everything, we even have an amendment to the constitution about it.  Unfortunately we left out the amendment where everyone else isn’t allowed to express their own opinion about what’s said. Cloaked in a grimy “community service” overcoat, “Our Town” is a hate-filled rag, from the nasty crude jokes to the ranting editorials.  It manages to be  anti-women, anti-hispanic, anti-government, homophobic, anti-jew, anti-muslim (and there about 20 other anti’s I’ve left out) all in one one package.  And yet, It purports itself to be “the most popular publication in Morris county”.  Really?  Did you take a look at the Daily Record’s distribution lately, or the New York Times? I just hope that’s as far from the truth as the rest of Mr. Beierle’s ranting.

This “magazine” has been called out by NJ’s Hall institute for public policy for “hate columns” and rampant intolerance and yet it still gets advertisers in Morris county to support it and stores to carry it.  They must not be reading it.  Just as the Chick-fil-a corporation divorced itself from it’s founder’s views almost immediately when it came to light that he was a major supporter of anti-gay organizations, businesses are usually very careful not to alienate customers.  It’s hard enough getting customers these days as it is without advertising in some hate-filled fish-wrapper. 

I’d never actually seen a copy until last week, but I’d heard about it from a friend who had it pulled out of Kings on South street by talking to the manager.  Good for her.  It’s important to speak out when you see something like this.  This is not a publication you want your children idly reading while you shop, or anywhere else for that matter.  Mr. Beierle, the seeming sole author except for jokes always “submitted by a faithful Our Town reader“  gets to have his own opinion,  but he doesn’t get to have it without consequences.  No one does.  It is impressive that he apparently sells franchises to distribute “Our Town”.  By that I mean impressive in a kind of frightening way.

Taking a look at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hate map” we see that NJ has the most organized hate groups of all the 50 states.  You will also notice that Morris county is pleasantly free of such groups although they cluster around our edges.  I’d like to keep it that way.  “Our Town” is an insidious insertion of hate and fear propaganda right into the heart of the county.  Pick one up to share and see if you agree.  If you do, talk to the store manager, or even better email the advertisers.  Freedom of speech works both ways.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Caroline Steinberg August 11, 2012 at 05:51 AM
Yes Prentiss! Great piece.
Prentiss Gray August 11, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Famished frog has dropped advertising in "our town"
Mary August 13, 2012 at 11:19 PM
I don't think it's degrading. I think it's funny. Everyone I know likes it. They have helped my church on several occasions to advertise events and fundraisers. I am not going to stop reading it and I use their advertisers and will keep doing so. Sorry you feel otherwise but everyone has their own opinion.
Dana Holmes August 14, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Businesses take note. If you advertise in Our Town. I won't be using your services. I don't believe that most Morris county residents would really support this if they actually read what this guy is publishing. Even strong republicans in this area aren't haters like this.
Prentiss Gray August 15, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I agree, everyone has a right to their own opinion. Offering very inexpensive or free advertising to community organizations is the key that "Our Town" exploits to maintain it's circulation. However paying advertisers don't seem to stay very long once they've read a few copies and gotten feed back from customers. Of the advertisers communicated with most had already dropped their ads.
Heidi Tonero August 20, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Wow...talk about ignorance and intolerance. I've been reading this "hate filled fish wrapper" for about 5 years and much like nearly everyone I know - LOVE IT. And for purposes of full disclosure – I love it so much I put my money where my mouth is and bought one of those franchises! I watched this “magazine” grow in Morris County like crazy. I’ve watched it dominate…market after market. There’s a reason those OUR TOWN stands empty out as fast as they fill them up – because this publication is LOVED by its faithful readers. So are they all haters? I've never read one word of hate in it. Not one. Where is the hate exactly, Prentiss? I’ve read plenty of great jokes and tear-jerker stories. I’ve read plenty of articles in support of a small government and the rights of the citizens. I loved the story you’re talking about. It was one of my favorites. And I’m a WOMAN (gasp!). If you don’t see that it was meant to illustrate how frightening our big government has become, then I don’t know what to say. If you simply like the big government and have a different opinion, that’s fine. It is hateful, for you to encourage people to hurt someone's livelihood simply because you have a different opinion.
Heidi Tonero August 20, 2012 at 10:19 PM
And while I'm on a roll...You don’t have to pick it up and read it if you don’t like it…but for you to try to hurt a family's small business (and for anyone to actually follow your direction) is frightening. That makes me sad for you. Why would you want to do that just because you don't agree with the content? I don't understand. That’s not only hate speech, it’s hate action. So because OUR TOWN is refreshingly NOT politically correct, and makes people laugh in a time when laughter is about the most affordable bit of joy out there, somehow that is hate speech? If you don't like ANY of the jokes, I don't know if there's help for you. It may be too late. I’ve had it with political correctness and based on the popularity of this “magazine”, I am not alone. I love a good Irish joke, and I'm a red-headed woman of Irish descent. We get countless calls and letters from readers who go out of their way to tell us how much they love what we are doing. I’d like to know the last time the Daily Record (or the Patch) had throngs of supporters taking time out of their busy day to thank them. What kind of mamby-pamby easily-offended tight-a** are you? Get over yourself, Prentiss and stop trying to hurt people. I love how the crowd who preaches tolerance practices none. Hypocrisy is your middle name. And by the way…thanks for all the free P.R., but I can’t imagine very many people stumble on your blog…let alone go out of their way to read it.
Prentiss Gray August 21, 2012 at 01:47 PM
I think it comes with the territory. When you franchise this kind of publication I think you should expect flak. People are not always going to stand by quietly, sometimes they are going to object. Your business is in the hands of one Pennsylvania man who is archly conservative and has drawn considerable fire over his anti-government rants and his offensive views. This isn't about "political correctness," it's about thinly veiled hate speech. If you agree with him that's fine, but don't expect everyone else to, or be quiet about it.
Lace 6697 September 09, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Mr. Gray, I've never heard of you and will promptly forget you after posting. Our Town shares the values of the "silent majority", those of us who love our country, family and friends. We want smaller government and less gov't intrusiveness in our lives. You seem to be so totally uninformed about the first amendment, it's almost scary (Lord, I sure hope you aren't in a public office!! See, it's AMERICA. That means.. do not read the magazine! Wow, what a concept! Listen to NPR instead and read the NY Times.. Continue to drink the Kool-aid and update your Obama bumper sticker! BTW.. Stay away from our freedom of speech!
Prentiss Gray September 11, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Everyone loves their country, family and friends so welcome to the club. As I mentioned, freedom of speech works both ways. When I see something offensive I call it out, just as you did here. The "ignore it and it'll go away" approach never seems to work. I haven't heard the phrase "the Silent majority" in years, what a blast from the past. But as in that time, everyone seems to assume that the term is referring to them. That's comforting but rarely true. However you've given a great idea for this week's piece. Thanks and please always call me out when you think I'm full of it.
Dominic Osma September 12, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Lace 6697 wrote: "Our Town shares the values of the 'silent majority', those of us who love our country, family and friends". One wonders if Lace 6697 means to imply that folks who have a different political opinion do NOT love our country, family and friends. Bob Beierle's ideas do not represent any such 'silent majority'. He is a far right-wing demagogue. Most intelligent conservatives I know are very alarmed at the rise of the reactionary far right-wing. Many mainstream Republicans are embarrassed by demagogues such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. One of Ronald Reagan's conservative economic advisors Bruce Bartlett has commented about the radical right-wing's influence on the Republican Party saying, "Frankly one of our political parties is insane, and we all know which one it is. They have descended from the realm of reasonableness that was the mark of conservatism. They dream of anarchy, of ending government." Clearly, Bob Beierle and Our Town do not represent a 'silent majority’; they represent an irrational minority easily swayed by opportunistic demagogues.
Dominic Osma September 12, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Lace 6697 wrote: "Stay away from our freedom of speech!" Precisely how are your free speech rights are being infringed? Is it because someone has publicly disagreed with Bob Beierle? Doesn't anyone have a right to publish their own response to what they read in 'Our Town'? Does not anyone in the community have the right to inform Our Town's advertisers if they feel reluctant to indirectly support the repellent opinions expressed in that "magazine" by patronizing those businesses? If a business owner chooses to associate their establishment with the shrill, reactionary rhetoric of Bob Beierle by advertising in 'Our Town' publications, then there is always the risk that they may alienate many potential customers. There is simply no First Amendment principle that comes into play here. It is the free marketplace of ideas at work here--a wonderfully American ideal! Lace 6697, you should be celebrating this opportunity to express and defend your political philosophy, not resorting to straw man arguments and phony claims of the infringement of your right to free speech. If your business model depends on getting businesses and consumers to subsidize the promotion of shrill political ideas that appeal to only a small minority and are objectionable to many mainstream folks of both parties, then that is a risk you have to take into consideration when planning your marketing strategy.
Dominic Osma September 12, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Lace 6697 wrote: "See, it's AMERICA. That means.. do not read the magazine! Wow, what a concept!" Let's be clear: we are not talking about entertainment here, a music style or movie genre that you can just not engage in if you don't like it. We're talking about politics and community values and public policies that can impact everyone in the society. Everyone has the right--some would say duty--to be informed and to speak out and weigh in on the issues of the day. I find it very odd that Bob Beierle and Lace 6697 take it on themselves to publish their opinions regarding social and political issues facing the nation, but then they ask anyone who might have a different opinion to "not read the magazine" and therefore, by implication, not express any opinion about what they have published in their magazine (which, remember, is actually subsidized by the purchases of the consumers in the community). Now whose First Amendment rights are being infringed? Lace 6697 and Bob Beierle do not want a dialog about the issues facing the community, they want a one-sided monologue--everyone else's opinions are obviously not welcome (even though everyone else in the community is actually subsidizing his publication via purchases made at their advertisers). Let's call that what it is: hypocrisy.
Meg September 15, 2012 at 09:30 PM
I happen to love "Our Town" and I am a woman. I love the short stories and Bob's cover stories always make me think, whether I agree or disagree. I think that is their purpose. Some of the jokes are very funny, some, eh, not so funny, so what? Everyone has their preferences. We as a "politically correct" society have tried to deny cultural differences, but they do exist and "making funnies" about them is a way for us all to laugh at ourselves and each other.
Reponsetotheidiots November 08, 2012 at 05:37 PM
This is Free speech... if you dont like it, stop reading it. They are not hurting for advertisers
Dominic Osma November 10, 2012 at 07:25 PM
This is free speech, too: publishing an opinion in response to another published opinion. Deal with it, Reponsetotheidiots. Don't read these responses if you cannot deal maturely with a reasonable challenge to your fragile belief system; stay in the protective cocoon of the reactionary far right-wing echo chamber. People who have political beliefs that can be defended with a rational discussion of facts are happy to engage in public discourse, but those with weak, baseless opinions that cannot be defended must tell everyone else to shut up and to stop commenting on the pathetic ramblings of their favorite demagogues. Now that the wacko far right-wing has cost the Republicans a major election, sensible conservatives are questioning the wisdom of having invited the wackos into their party in the first place. With any luck the GOP will finally push the reactionary right-wing back out into the fringes where they can whine and shriek all by themselves and leave the adults of both parties to have a responsible conversation about how to conduct the affairs of government and society. Republican commentator David Frum has said it best "The GOP Has 'Been Fleeced, Exploited, And Lied To By A Conservative Entertainment Complex.'" http://goo.gl/w3ube 'Our Town' magazine is a tiny part of that now fully discredited "Conservative Entertainment Complex". The sooner the ideas of the likes of Robert Beierle are discarded, the better off will be the GOP and the country.
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Morris Newsman January 29, 2013 at 10:40 PM
Talk about intolerance, this line says it all: "...a friend who had it pulled out of Kings on South street by talking to the manager.' This is so typical of the intolerant left - free speech is only allowed if I agree with you. Otherwise it must be confiscated, hidden, banned, burned, whatever - so that no one else can ever hear it! What are you so afraid of? A simple difference of opinion? No one is forcing you to pick up the magazine and read it. No one is forcing you to agree to any of it's writing. Yet these are the same people that call folks like Mr. Beierle intolerant, hateful, racist, bigot, and more. Take a good look in the mirror and see who the intolerant one is. The world is full of different opinions. I sure do not agree with them all, but i sure agree with folk's right to have them. Maybe Ms. Gray you should grow up and learn how too! While I agree with Me. Beierle and enjoy the publication, and I disagree with your post, I support your right to have your opinion and to have it published. How about you showing the same tolerance to others?
Prentiss Gray January 30, 2013 at 03:35 PM
I'm not sure you understand what "free speech" actually means. In our case it means that the GOVERNMENT can't interfere with your right to express yourself. It does not mean that everyone else has to listen quietly while you do it. In this particular case the customer expressed herself to the store manager and he removed the publication. Does the manager have to keep the publication if he doesn't want to? Again I fully support Mr. Beierle's right to think, print and publish whatever he wants, but I'm not going to be quiet about it. If that's intolerance or just me expressing my opinion to anyone who will listen is a deeper question. By the way, It's Mr. gray.
David Samuels, Jr. February 04, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Yes, this idiot's delight has popped up in a few locations in Bucks County too. I sometimes enjoy reading it because it's so ridiculously off the wall, tone-deaf and deranged that it's actually enteraining. Mr Bierle is a horrible writer, taking 3000 words to say what could be said in 300. His latest screed is "Obama is a dictator and he's using the Newtown CT. incident to take our guns." Not one word of sympathy or empathy for the people of Newtown, just a seemingly endless, inaccurate, repititious paranoid rant. Like I said- entertaining. I support Mr. Beierle's right of free rant. After all, that's how we know who to avoid. However, I think it's risky for a business to associate itself with any political point of view, because by doing so, that business is saying "I don't want your patronage" to people who don't share that point of view. I suspect some of the people who advertise in "Our Town" are getting cheap rates to advertise, and that's their main concern. They may not even read it other than to look ath their ad. I think you are doing them a favor pointing out the contents. What they do after that is up to them.
Mike March 09, 2013 at 09:43 PM
I laughed so hard when Obama won a second term. This rag is spewing so much hate against women, non-whites, non-Christians it must it orders directly from the white power groups. Even after years of the same "scare tatic" talking points attempting to influence voters NJ still votes for Obama. What a failure this guy is. Hahaha.
Trix15 April 05, 2013 at 03:53 PM
Wow!! What is wrong with everyone today? Can no one read something containing a little truth without bashing on the author? I came upon this site because I WANTED to find out MORE about Mr. Beierle. My husband and I enjoy reading his articles and find them refreshing. He almost always refers to this country’s history, our founding fathers, and the love he has for this country. How horrid!! He actually loves his country!!! Please people!! Go bash those that don’t care about this country, that hide the truths, and that disrespect the Constitution. Mr. Beierle does not discriminate against anyone but, rather, reminds people of what we were and what we have become. Oh, and yes, he refers to God because this country wouldn’t be a country without the strong Christian beliefs it had. Sorry, non-Christians, that’s just the truth. We love “Our Town”. We love the articles, the jokes and enjoy perusing the neighboring events and advertisements. I suggest that if you don’t like it, don’t read it, but there are many of us who do enjoy reading an honest, fun and God-loving magazine.

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