Opinion | Exposing Spanky and the gang

January 5, 2018

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

When my wife, Veronica, publicly told about the brutal spanking she endured from former Anniston Star Publisher H. Brandt Ayers in the Star newsroom in 1975, I didn’t realize how the story would spread nationally and internationally.

I knew it would be big in Alabama; I just didn’t realize how far and wide this story would be told.

I’ve known our whole married life (38 years) about the assault. I’ve known how it has affected my wife and stayed with her. But I never would have written about it unless Veronica said she was ready to tell her story.

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Former Anniston Star reporters say paper’s former publisher and current chairman sexually assaulted them

January 1, 2018

By Eddie Burkhalter
Special to the Alabama Political Reporter

As news articles broke throughout 2017 of men and women coming forward, sometimes decades afterward, to say they’d been sexually assaulted and harassed, former Anniston Star reporters took notice.

Some of these former female Star reporters say H. Brandt Ayers, the paper’s former publisher and current chairman of the board of Consolidated Publishing, which owns The Star and five other newspapers, assaulted them decades ago.

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Journalist Eddie Burkhalter’s principles are intact; the Anniston Star’s, not so much

January 1, 2018

By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter

Journalist Eddie Burkhalter did what few in our business will ever do.

Burkhalter quit his job on at The Anniston Star in November on principle because the newspaper wouldn’t allow him to pursue a story about allegations that former Star Publisher H. Brandt Ayers spanked some of his women employees over the years.

As a former Star reporter myself, I know these are more than allegations. My wife, Veronica, was actually a victim of such an assault.

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