The Strange, Unethical Saga of Junius Puke

Junius Puke

This week seems to mark the end of a perfect storm of ethical misconduct that almost drowned a young student in legal persecution for the non-crime of exercising his First Amendment rights. An insufferable and humorless bully with a professorship collided with an irresponsible prosecutor wielding an unconstitutional law, and it has taken eight years to undo the carnage.

A man named Junius Peake was an economics professor at the University of Northern Colorado,  who due to his parody-inviting name and undoubtedly also the character traits that he was soon to display so prominently, found himself being lampooned in a student satire blog called “The Howling Pig.”  The editor-in-chief of the blog was facetiously identified in the newsletter as the obviously fictional “Junius Puke,” who was portrayed with an outrageous photograph of Professor Peake altered to include sunglasses, a different nose,  a Hitler-esque mustache, and, on occasion, Kiss make-up and a Gene Simmons tongue.  Junius Puke, with tongue. “Junius Puke” wrote prose like this:

“This will be a regular bitch sheet that will speak truth to power, obscenities to clergy, and advice to all the stoners sitting around watching Scooby Doo. This will be a forum for the pissed off and disenfranchised in Northern Colorado, basically everybody. I made it to where I am through hard work, luck, and connections, all without a college degree. Dissatisfaction with a cushy do-nothing ornamental position led me to form this subversive little paper. I don’t normally care much about the question of daycare since my kids are grown and other people’s children give me the willies.” Continue reading