If you believe the reporting, you might think Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon was seeking to deny Hawaii-based Bad Ass Coffee the opportunity to open a franchise in his hometown.
That's not the case, according to Kennon.
During an interview with Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show" on Tuesday, Kennon, who was also the subject of an attack by AL.com cartoonist J.D. Crowe, denied the existence of a controversy.
He said the media, including Crowe, misinterpreted his personal views of the brand name as an effort by the city of Orange Beach to object to Bad Ass Coffee's new location.
"First off, J.D. used to be a very clever cartoonist," Kennon said. "Now he's just become a political hack. He is demeaning in everything he does. He didn't show me the courtesy of picking up the phone to make sure he had the facts correct before he depicted me as some type of bigoted – or whatever he was trying to accomplish. You know, that's pretty cowardly, in my opinion. But at the same time, I wear it as a badge of honor because if J.D. Crowe doesn't like what I'm doing, I must be doing something right."
Kennon also called into question reporting by Mobile NBC affiliate WPMI, who he blamed for the manufactured controversy.
"Unfortunately, the media took this and created a controversy that never existed," Kennon explained. "We never had a conversation with Bad Ass Coffee. We don't even know who the owner is. They're not local. We never had a discussion. We were in a council meeting the other night, and a question came in through Facebook because we Facebook Live our meetings and asked why are we letting this sign come into town. The response was they have a right to be here. Legally, we have no foundation, no right to sue them, and have no intentions of pursuing a lawsuit. We have no intentions of denying them a business license. They have the right."
"A few of us made known our personal opinions known," he continued. "We don't appreciate the sign. It doesn't fit in with our brand. Our brand is family-friendly. So we won't be buying coffee there. If you don't like the sign, don't buy the coffee. But they will be here. That was the end of the story. It was no big deal, but unfortunately, WPMI put out some headlines to make it sound like we were in a war with Bad Ass Coffee – that we were trying to keep them from coming into town, which is just absolutely false."
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