“That’s a Sack of S*** Lie!” – Stu Bykofsky is Suing Inga Saffron and the Inquirer

via Philly Mag / Victor Fiorillo

I’m sure you recall the absolute trainwreck of a farewell party that Philadelphia Inquirer staffers threw for Stu Bykofsky back in July.

If you don’t, a quick refresher:

Bykofsky spent 47 years writing for the Inky, then took a summer buyout as the company looked to trim down its budget for what seems like the 400th time in the past five years. At the farewell gathering, architecture critic Inga Saffron took a few pot shots before referencing a 2011 column Bykofsky wrote about a trip to Asia, bringing up, quote, “his taste for child prostitutes in Thailand.” That resulted in a super awkward exchange in which Bykofsky called Saffron’s comments a “total fucking lie” and “a sack of shit lie,” among other things.

Anyway, he’s now suing Saffron and the Inquirer for defamation, via Victor Fiorillo at Philly Mag (who broke the original story last year) – 

Bykofsky filed the lawsuit in Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court on Wednesday, accusing both Saffron and the Inquirer of defamation.

In the lawsuit, Bykofsky says that he specifically told management that he did not want any kind of send-off or party for his retirement. But once he saw that one had been assembled, he claims that he “reluctantly attended.”

The suit goes on to say that Saffron “went on a savage rant against Mr. Bykofsky, impugning his journalistic methods, making false claims of sexism, alleging felonious conduct, and citing supposed ‘gratuitous attacks leveled against women.’”

Awesome. What a fucking mess.

Here’s video of the exchange in question:

Seems like one of those things that you’d let slide as you head off into retirement, but if Stu felt like he was shit on and slandered, then it’s his prerogative to sue.

The 2011 column in question is still archived online, for what it’s worth. I read it twice and thought it came off as a maybe a little raw, but not exactly offensive. He’s basically talking about a trip to see a friend in Thailand, and he describes the sex worker scene there, but I didn’t get vibe that he “had a taste” for child prostitutes.

Stu Bykofsky – Thai hospitality, with a dark side

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20 Responses

  1. something tells me Inga (lol) was looking for her “me too” moment right here.

  2. I don’t know what it is about retirement parties that brings out the dumb in people. I saw a Regional Vice President of a company I used to work for lose his job for a semi-innocuous remark he made during a speech at his assistant’s retirement party. Just say thank you, give them the watch/paperweight/whatever and STFU.

    1. i enjoy this shit much more than his sports takes…kink is always better when he’s riffing

  3. I used to love reading Stu’s spies back in the day.
    The Matt “tiger” Geiger banging chicks and pulling out the phone book with the cab # circled was great

  4. I like Inga Saffron – she is one of the few Inky columnists with something to say. But this is pretty outrageous, invite the guy to a retirement party and then libel him like that in front of all his coworkers and friends. (Assuming he has friends – for some reason Stu reminded me a little bit of Morton Downey in Stu’s later years.) Anyway, I read the column and I don’t see where he says what she says he said. You would think a professional journalist would know better…

    1. Correcting myself, libel is written defamation, what Stu is suing for is slander, which is verbal defamation.

  5. just curious as I can’t watch the video, but does anyone think that maybe she thought she was “roasting” him for a few laughs, or was she serious?

    1. It sort of starts out as a roast (presumably why they invited her to speak in the first place – it’s not the usual practice to have a combination retirement party/struggle session) but at some point in her speech she crosses the line and it becomes a sharp fanged denunciation.

      I can’t say whether it crosses the line into slander (it probably does) but it is really not cool to do this to someone at their retirement party, even if you don’t like the person. If you are not capable of giving a good-natured speech, then decline the opportunity and don’t speak at all. It was no secret that there was no love lost between Inga and Stu but what management must have expected was a tongue in cheek ribbing, not a denunciation. They wanted Joan Rivers but they got Madame Mao instead.

      1. agreed…and thanks for clearing it up…..he’ll probably get some type of settlement since it did occur on company time and property!

  6. Who are these people? Why should we care? This story makes the crap about soccer seem interesting.

  7. Just to circle back from a previous post, The Inquirer did name a replacement conservative columnist to replace the one they got rid of right? Right?

  8. Seems like one of those things that you’d let slide as you head off into retirement, but if Stu felt like he was shit on and slandered, then it’s his prerogative to sue.

  9. Bykofsky isn’t the person you think he is. His motto ‘Reality determines my political positions, not vice versa’ sound good until you realize one’s take on reality can be screwed up based on their beliefs.

    His site’s a haven for a number of ultra conservative people whose view on things for example are Donald Trump never told lies, was a great president & had the election stolen from him. The same people feel the only way to move this country is by taking it back to the 1800s so far as the rights of many of its citizens are concerned. They also feel all republicans should march to the exact same ideals, no room for individual thoughts.

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