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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Are YouTube videos offensive or in good fun?

  • Rolla man takes offense to videos making fun of Ward 2 councilman
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  • At least one Rolla resident is upset by a set of videos posted on YouTube intending to make fun of Ward 2 Councilman Steven Leonard.
    When the Rolla Daily News contacted Leonard Monday, he said that while he was aware of the videos, he had nothing to do with the content, creation or uploading of the videos to YouTube.
    Leonard said the videos were created by his friends and co-workers at Keen Family Enterprises, St. Robert, as a joke to poke fun of him. He also said, because the videos were offending people, he would ask that the videos be removed from YouTube.
    "When co-workers uploaded them, they uploaded them to a private link," said Leonard. "You can't search YouTube and find them."
    Leonard said that up to this point, his position was just to look at and ignore it.
    "They were part of a joke on me," said Leonard, adding that videos on Comedy Central and skits on Saturday Night Live are far more offensive.
    The videos in question, titled "Illegal immigrants for Steven Leonard" and "Re-elect Steven Leonard or you will DIE!" appear under Louie Keen's YouTube account, but are both unlisted, meaning anyone wanting to watch the videos must have a direct link to them.
    "Illegal immigrants for Steven Leonard" begins with a note "Steven Leonard expects 69% of his votes will come from foreign exchange students and illegal immigrants. This commercial is aimed at them!"
    The video continues to show a naked man with what appeared to be a toilet seat covering his genitals asking viewers to vote for Leonard.
    The second video, "Re-elect Steven Leonard or you will DIE!" shows a man in a costume from the 'Scream' movies saying "Vote for Steven Leonard or I'll skin you."
    Robert Fleming brought the videos in question to the Rolla Daily News staff's attention after he said he found them posted on the Big Louie's Facebook page in December.
    "Why was I visiting the Big Louie's Facebook page?" Fleming wrote in an email. "I keep an eye on my enemies, of which of I have few... but Steven Leonard is one."
    "They are videos making fun of me," said Leonard. "There is nothing more to it. To a certain extent I hate seeing Robert Fleming win on this," said Leonard in a phone interview.
    At one point, Leonard and Fleming worked together, but have since parted ways.
    When asked about the content of the videos, Leonard replied that he is a public figure and, "This would be like asking President Obama what he thinks about the Saturday Night Live skits about him."
    Rolla Police Chief Mark Kearse said Fleming contacted him about the videos, he looked into it and determined it wasn't a police matter, and that he believed they were meant to be a joke.
    Page 2 of 2 - Fleming also recently took offense to the video of the Rolla Police Department video from its annual award banquet, which can be found in its entirety on www.therolladailynews.com. He has since withdrawn that complaint.
    Judge the videos for yourself
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBlbG1sQgOM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyqISG19wg0
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