Magazine article Editor & Publisher

New Orleans Paper Satirizes Local Leaders

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

New Orleans Paper Satirizes Local Leaders

Article excerpt

Mayor Ray Nagin announces a plan to rebuild the city with Legos. And the Army Corps of Engineers is thinking of a new slogan: ``YOU try building things with government screwdrivers.''

Those are some of the parody news stories in the New Orleans Levee, a wickedly satirical newspaper about this woeful city.

The free monthly makes fun of the slow pace of recovery from Hurricane Katrina and mocks the politicians in charge, including Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and President Bush.

And there seems to be no shortage of material.

``The thing is, they keep bringing this on themselves. This is not me making fun of them; this is them doing it to themselves,'' said editor and publisher Rudy Vorkapic, a freelance journalist and Chicago native who married a local woman and moved to New Orleans two years ago. ``Let's face it, you can do this daily, down in this town. Every day there's another day of ridiculousness trying to be passed on us as progress.''

The paper - whose motto is ``We don't hold anything back'' (i.e., just like New Orleans' levees) - has circulated around New Orleans for the past five months. Vorkapic prints 25,000 copies.

``It's sort of helping people get through the drama with a little levity, a little comedy,'' said Otis Fennell, who runs a bookstore in Faubourg Marigny, a neighborhood next to the French Quarter. ``It's a good rag.''

The newspaper isn't making Vorkapic rich. So far, advertising has barely covered production costs, he said. …

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