Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

29 February 2008

And the vultures swoop

There's some blog chatter in town today about somebody posting something on some sort of journalism website to the tune of:

Angry Ex-Journalist
By now you may have seen the site Angry Journalist -- Is that a hacked Wordpress install? Pretty clever if so! -- where anonymous journalists rant about why they hate journalism.

While things aren't exactly going all that smoothly in the industry right now, journalists have been complaining since Johan Gutenberg said, "Fluch! Bewegliche gedruckte Art ist ein Ausfall." (According to Babelfish, "Damn! Movable printed type is a failure." I translated that from English, so the German translation is no doubt wrong.)

Anyway, a co-worker of mine (thanks, Alli!) came across a possible recent anonymous post that really fits well with a certain former editor of a local alternative weekly.

I'm angry because I gave up my career in journalism for a career in politics and no one trusts me now.

Oh, now, come on, Hickey! I can't speak for everybody, but I never trusted you -- to soil our youth by mocking a man trying to show them the evils of 4:20... becoming Johnny Doc's campaign manager was really your only option.

Philebrity also picked it up. So, let me say it loud and say it proud:

I'm as happy working the Dougherty for Senate campaign as I have been in years, if not decades. I mean, sure, the line sounds as if it could've come from me, but methinks somebody's already trying to jam me up. I mean, I know I'm in the public eye now and all, but for shame, jammer upper. For shame.

As always, any campaign questions? Drop me a line at bhickey [at] doughertyforsenate [dot] com.

28 February 2008


Things have been hectic, but I had a little down time here between meetings and realized that, yo, the blog surpassed the 10,000 hits mark today. While I apologize for not posting all that much on here of late (I will, at times, but I'll also be blogging on the site), thank you for each and every hit.
According to Google Adsense, I've now earned, after 20 months, a life-altering 33 cents. Bravo, free market. Bra. Vo.

Again, thanks for reading. I promise, I'll find the time to keep you entertained.

25 February 2008

The New Job


For Immediate Release
Contact: Brian Hickey


PHILADELPHIA, PA (Feb. 22, 2008) -- Dougherty for Senate 2008, the campaign of labor and civic leader John Dougherty for Pennsylvania's 1st District Senate seat, has announced two key staff hires.

Former Philadelphia City Paper Managing Editor Brian Hickey has been hired as Campaign Manager. Prior to joining City Paper four and a half years ago, Hickey was an award-winning staff writer for Philadelphia Weekly. Hickey extensively covered politics and many other issues at both papers, including several stories and columns about Dougherty.

Former top Street Administration legislative affairs adviser Micah Mahjoubian has been hired as Senior Adviser and Operations Director. He is also a board member of Liberty City Democrats, a highly-regarded lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender advocacy organization.

Jen Davis has been hired as Director of Field Operations. She previously served as a national field director for numerous campaigns, is a highly-regarded civil rights activist in Washington, D.C., and most recently was a political consultant in Hudson County, NJ.

The Washington, D.C.-based media firm Envision Campaign has been retained to provide strategy and creative direction for Dougherty's TV and radio commercials. The agency devised the winning communications campaigns for Democratic U.S. Congressmen Jason Altmire and Heath Shuler.

The Dougherty for Senate 2008 campaign also announced the hiring of the national polling firm of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates and the Web design firm of Plus Three out of New York and Washington, D.C., which created Web sites for the John Edwards for President campaign, the NAACP and the Democratic Congressional Committee.

The campaign has also hired longtime 1st District resident Dr. James Moylan as Campaign Coordinator to facilitate inter-office communications and logistics.

"We are assembling a diverse, talented group of young professionals and seasoned campaigners," said John Dougherty. "We are set to launch a high-energy, positive campaign and will be taking our message of effective change to every neighborhood in the district."


21 February 2008


Well, I've already started a new job -- a press release will be issued about it later today, so I'll post details asap. What that means, though, is that my weekly column posting may lag for a bit until I get settled in, but I will be doing some posting just as soon as I get my new feet beneath me.

19 February 2008

Contact info

Since my old email address is no longer my current email address, please reach me at:

bphickey009 on AIM


UPDATE: You can read the Inky's piece about me here (Second item from bottom).

18 February 2008

Free to do, well, we'll have to see

Hey all, I'm no longer with City Paper so starting, like tomorrow, if you want to read some Philly Blunt action, or hear an ex-journalist's thoughts on all things Philly, head on back to this here spot. Nothing like a little free time on one's hands to get the creative juices flowing!

My plan, for the time being, is to provide a weekly column, just like I did in the paper, here, each Thursday. But then again, you'll probably be seeing a lot more now than you had in the past. Whether that's good or bad, your call.

Praise Jesus.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, the Insider's sweeps-month Anorexic Twins!

17 February 2008

Free Milton!

As promised, here's a link to this week's cover.

So yesterday, which was Ash Wednesday, Milton donned his court-appropriate best as 75 potential jurors filed into Courtroom 6-A at the federal courthouse at Sixth and Market streets. They were there to either submit to their duty of citizenship or pull the "extreme hardship" card to get out of a three- to four-week investment. More than half claimed they knew too much about the defendant already, a good number of whom also raised their hands to indicate they weren't sure they'd be able to render a fair verdict. They were saying they'd heard the Tale of Milton and already think he's a smooth criminal.

And, while we're here ... Oscar de la Hoya, crossdresser? Discuss.

(Photo of Oscar's good-Christian stripper from

13 February 2008

Long time, no blog

Sorry for neglecting you, dear blog readers. Been tied up on a cover story that'll be out tomorrow. Here's a hint as to what it's about.

03 February 2008

Public Enemy #1

(My review of Thursday night's Public Enemy show at the Trocodero. More photos from CP photog Michael T. Regan can be found here)

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I mean, sure, it was closing in on 1 a.m., and everybody who hit the Troc for Thursday night’s Artists for Heat show had already been on site for a good four, five hours.

Having watched Stanley Clarke (my man kills the bass), Everlast (Whitey Ford’s still pimp; come April, you’ll hear him work out a new version of Folsom Prison Blues), and The Roots (the legendary crew was on fire, and Black Thought may well be the tightest emcee mine eyes have seen and mine ears have ever heard), it truly was a long night. But a long night for a good cause. And a long night that held the promise of seeing the band that changed this South Jersey white boy’s life back in the day.

So why the hell was the room three-quarters empty by the time Chuck D, Flava Flav, Professor Griff, two S1Ws, a live band (a Roots-born strategy that served them well this night) and DJ Lord finally got around to the anthem that means as much today as it did when Spike Lee was doing his thing right? The simple answer would be that even though the power must still be fought, Flav has totally, entirely lost his mind. Mid-set, he held court while introducing everybody on stage. At least, that’s what I think he was doing. And this is only because Griff had to remind him that the one guy Flav said was from Alabama was actually from Memphis, and the other one he said was from New York was from New Mexico. But let’s not get ahead of myself.

Public Enemy is still the baddest band on earth. They always have been. They always will be. Never ones to shy away from controversy — as if I needed to say that — Chuck and Flav led a couple finger-in-the-air chants of, “Fuck George Bush. Fuck Dick Cheney. Fuck Condoleeza.” (Added note: Chuck also made sure to send "peace to Hugo Chavez.) They also tore up the letter Chuck got from the government the other day. The one that said they were suckers, the one he didn’t give a damn about. When they did, I was half expecting the National Guard to bust in the joint and face the pain at the end of the S1W’s swords. But that never happened.
Instead, this is what did:

Night of the Living Baseheads.
Welcome to the Terrordome.
Bring the Noise.
Shut ‘Em Down.
Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos.
Prophets of Rage.
A new track (I think it’s Just Like That)
Can’t Truss It.
911’s a Joke. (Especially in this town.)
Public Enemy #1.
Don’t Believe the Hype.
Fight the Power (with Clarke on stage).
And, the Isley’s Fight the Power I and II.
There was more. Seriously. So much more, in fact, that I bought my first concert shirt since around 87, when I snagged an INXS counterfeit outside the Spectrum at my first concert.

Holding true to the activism vibe, Chuck and Flav continually pointed out why we were here: The 3Kingdom’s jawn to help people get the money to heat their homes. It was a tailormade event for PE, really. And both men shouted out Philly as having been a big part of their careers and lives.

For his part, Flav brought Lady B up on stage, recalling the time in 87 or 88 when the band travelled south and got their first substantial non-NYC airplay/love. He recalls it as being the first time he’d ever been outside of New York.

Then, Chuck did what Chuck does: Make the serious points and inspire you to want to take injustice by the neck and smack it across the face till it does the right thing. And this night, it was about the murder rate. He said hearing that we were leading the homicide world back broke his “fuckin’” heart. “I always counted on Philly to keep New York and Baltimore in check,” said Chuck, who still sounds like Chuck of old and can still put the energy out there. When he stormed the stage, it was like the revolution was starting with a quickness. Calling us out on an inferiority complex, he said we, “need to get that New York shit out of our souls.” That’s when they went into "Can’t Truss It."

Make no mistake about it: Time has taken some of the edge off. There were a few long breaks during the set, during which Flav made sure to let us know when "Flavor of Love III" would be debuting. (At least that’s what he was doing when he wasn’t throwing his mic in the air and trying to catch it.) But, fear not: “I don’t care how much TV I do. I will always be Public Enemy,” he said. While he kept talking, though, he heard a couple scattered boos in the audience. “You’re fucking with Flava Flav? Go fuck yourself.”

Well let me say this: I’d never fuck with Flava Flav. Because even if the times have changed, and the kids these days just don’t understand the historical significance of the men on stage last night, I haven’t.

That’s why I stuck around even after the roadies started packing up the stage, even while Flav kept on talking to the 100-some people still there at 1:03 a.m. Dude just can’t help but bask in the adoration and love. He was back in his element, and thank God for that. (Or maybe thank Red Bull, since that what he was handed at night’s end). My point? Seeing PE in full effect boyyeeeeee, man, it’s a dream come true. And I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that now more than ever, even when they first barged onto the scene and made America hear about things they’d long ignored, we need them.

Word to Herb, you can truss that.

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