Joubert’s ‘offended’ 

Joubert's ‘offended'

I am responding to your recent review of my establishment, Joubert's Tavern. As a longtime reader and supporter of the Arkansas Times, I regret to write this letter. Typically, I have appreciated the attention the Times has generated for my bar, but I find this most recent assessment nothing but a battery of misinformation and slanderous generalizations.

First, Joubert's does not permit gambling on its premises. Although you did not directly state that my bar was hosting illicit activities, you quoted patrons who were speaking about bets on a college football game. The average reader is apt to assume gambling occurs at my establishment. This defames my name as a business owner.

Second, I am tremendously offended by the quote from a patron, “This is a good sports bar if you like idiots.” Not only did you fail to recognize the sarcasm in this line, you used this off-handed remark to define the entirety of my business.

I am also curious as to why you were unable to articulate how my bar classified as a neighborhood bar. Had you visited my bar more than once, you would have easily ascertained the camaraderie present in the majority blue collar crowd. Had you contacted me or spoken with any of my regular patrons, you would have learned that I remain an integral part of this bar. I am present five nights or more a week. I ensure that every customer, regular or not, feels welcome and respected. And, yes, I do know everyone's name. And their children.

Your article only briefly discusses why neighborhood bars have such permanence. The affinity my regulars have for this bar has allowed me to survive four recessions over 28 years of business. To me, that defines a neighborhood bar.

Do your research and treat your subjects equally. I found it insulting that you dismissed the noise of “fratty wedding party members” at the Fountain, but twice emphasized the apparently distracting noise of sports fans at my bar. After all, who goes to a sports bar and views a championship football game and does not expect a little cheering? I understand it's unfair to hold you to high standards of journalism. However, you should do at least a minimum of background research and fact-checking before you publish. Doctors bury their mistakes and journalists publish theirs.

Gerard Joubert

Little Rock

The Chamber's subsidy

In his article about the taxpayer-subsidized Chamber of Commerce, which has been using funds provided by taxpayers as it fights health care reform and extension of rights to workers, Max Brantley writes,

“But voters should be outraged that taxpayer money is allowed to be spent in secret. And that it may be spent in ways detrimental to the public interest — if you happen to believe better working conditions, universal health care and workers rights are in the public interest.”

Please count me as a voter who is outraged that my tax dollars are being used by the Chamber of Commerce for these political ends. And that the Chamber refuses to adhere to FOI regulations and provide detailed accounts of how it uses my tax dollars.

If the Arkansas Times or any other organization or publication can tell me how to make my voice heard in protest, I'm ready and willing to protest. I will strongly assist any movement that tries to call the Chamber of Commerce to accountability for its overt partisan political activities in the health care debate and in other political debates.

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