Archive for blogger

Free Speech at Risk: Judge rules against blogger because she was “not a journalist”

Posted in free speech with tags , , , , , , on December 8, 2011 by saynsumthn

Federal judge: Montana blogger is not journalist
By JEFF BARNARD
Associated Press

A federal judge in Oregon has ruled that a Montana woman sued for defamation was not a journalist when she posted online that an Oregon lawyer acted criminally during a bankruptcy case, a decision with implications for bloggers around the country.

Crystal L. Cox, a blogger from Eureka, Mont., was sued for defamation by attorney Kevin Padrick when she posted online that he was a thug and a thief during the handling of bankruptcy proceedings by him and Obsidian Finance Group LLC.

U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez found last week that as a blogger, Cox was not a journalist and cannot claim the protections afforded to mainstream reporters and news outlets.

Although media experts said Wednesday that the ruling would have little effect on the definition of journalism, it casts a shadow on those who work in nontraditional media since it highlights the lack of case law that could protect them and the fact that current state shield laws for journalists are not covering recent developments in online media.

“My advice to bloggers operating in the state of Oregon is lobby to get your shield law improved so bloggers are covered,” said Lucy Dalglish, executive director of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “But do not expect the shield law to provide you a defense in a libel case where you want to rely on an anonymous source for that information.”

The judge ruled that Cox was not protected by Oregon’s shield law from having to produce sources, saying even though Cox defines herself as media, she was not affiliated with any mainstream outlet. He added that the shield law does not apply to civil actions for defamation.

Hernandez said Cox was not a journalist because she offered no professional qualifications as a journalist or legitimate news outlet. She had no journalism education, credentials or affiliation with a recognized news outlet, proof of adhering to journalistic standards such as editing or checking her facts, evidence she produced an independent product or evidence she ever tried to get both sides of the story.

Cox said she considered herself a journalist, producing more than 400 blogs over the past five years, with a proprietary technique to get her postings on the top of search engines where they get the most notice.

“What could be more mainstream than the Internet and the top of the search engine?” she said.

Read Rest here

Broadband plan: Net effect – Info Control?

Posted in Czar, free speech, Mark Lloyd, Net Neutrality, Obama with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2009 by saynsumthn

Obama’s Media Control Strategy

By Cliff Kincaid
Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at cliff.kincaid@aim.org.

You may not have noticed that the Obama Administration, in addition to trying to seize control of the health care and energy sectors, is implementing a national “broadband plan” to redefine the media and transform America’s system of government. It’s designed, they say, to provide “open government and civic engagement.” But it looks increasingly like an excuse for the federal government to control the Internet and access to information and even tell us what is truth.

Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute recently explained at a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “National Broadband Plan Workshop” that it is necessary to have “a common space with shared facts.” Armed with $7.2 billion of “stimulus” money, the federal government is going to provide this. It looks like various progressive groups are lining up at the public trough for their share of the loot. They have in mind what the George Soros-funded Free Press calls “an alternative media infrastructure.”

If you think we already have that, with public TV and radio, think again. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which has received $8 billion in federal tax dollars since it was created in 1967, is not considered radical enough by these folks. The Free Press favors an additional $50 billion “Public Media Trust fund” financed by a tax on home electronic devices. It also wants the federally-funded AmeriCorps to finance jobs for journalists.

A new national broadband plan, combined with the just-announced FCC plan for “net neutrality,” or regulating access to the Internet, provides the opportunity for the federal government to define a “new public square” with a “common space with shared facts,” as Ornstein put it at the August 6 FCC event. He explained, “It’s something that was easier when we had three broadcast channels and virtually everybody in the society tuned into them.”

Those were the days, you may remember, when Walter Cronkite claimed “That’s the way it is,” and many people believed him. We know better now. But Ornstein seems to be pining for the “good old days” when Cronkite and other liberals dominated the dissemination of news and information.

These days we have conservative talk radio, Fox News, and alternatives to the “mainstream” media on the Internet. It is obvious that the Obama Administration and its progressive backers don’t appreciate this new state of affairs.

Ornstein contrasted what can be, under federal direction, to what we are witnessing “now on health reform,” when so many dissenting voices are being heard. He added, “It becomes much more difficult when you have a cacophonous system with fragmented areas of communication.” And that “cacophony and fragmentation” is most apparent on the Internet, he said.

In other words, those naughty conservatives are standing in the way of Obama’s health care reform plan.

While the Internet is apparently confusing people with too much information, Ornstein said that the Internet also offers “multiple opportunities” to “develop a public square.” He made these remarks at an event presided over by Obama’s FCC chairman Julius Genachowski. The assumption of the exercise was that the federal government, under the cover of a national broadband plan, should not only regulate the Internet but provide new media for the public.

Assisting Genachowski is Mark Lloyd, Associate General Counsel and chief diversity officer at the agency. Lloyd used to work at the Benton Foundation, which is assisting this effort and previously issued a report recommending that the Obama Administration “s\should adopt policies to ensure that all Americans” have the ability to:

· “Know when you need information to help resolve a problem;

· “Know from whom, when, where, and how to seek that needed information;

· “Know how to differentiate between authentic and unauthentic information;

· “Know how to organize information and interpret it correctly once retrieved; and

· “Know how to use the information to solve the problem or make the decision.”

The idea of the federal government telling people how to “differentiate between authentic and inauthentic information” is frightening. But this is part of Benton’s “Action Plan for America.”

Not surprisingly, the Benton home page features a tribute to the late Walter Cronkite from President Obama. Like Ornstein, it longs for the days when the liberal media dominated the news business.

Once Mark Lloyd left the Benton Foundation for the Center for American Progress, the two organizations collaborated on a letter demanding that the FCC require that broadcasters meet “public interest” obligations, provide access to the media by various groups, and “enhance political discourse.” All of these measures are designed to give left-wing “progressives” more access to the media.

Now Lloyd is in a position to bring this about through federal regulation.

What we really need in this country,” Lloyd says, “is… a competitive alternative to commercial broadcasting” that would be supported by the public and “fully financed.”

It sounds suspiciously like the “new public square” is the “public option” for the media. But so far there seems to be little debate or even discussion over what they have in store for us, and how they have already obtained $7.2 billion for this extreme makeover not only of our media but our system of government.

Lawyer: FBI Paid Right-Wing Blogger Charged With Threats

Posted in Abortion, Constitution, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 1, 2009 by saynsumthn

A notorious New Jersey hate blogger charged in June with threatening to kill judges and lawmakers was secretly an FBI “agent provocateur” paid to disseminate right-wing rhetoric, his attorney said Wednesday.

HalTurnerHal Turner, the blogger and radio personality, remains jailed pending charges over his recent online rants, which prosecutors claim amounted to an invitation for someone to kill Connecticut lawmakers and Chicago federal appeals court judges.

But behind the scenes the reformed white supremacist was holding clandestine meetings with FBI agents who taught him how to spew hate “without crossing the line,” according to his lawyer, Michael Orozco.

“Almost everything was at the behest of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Orozco said in a 45-minute telephone interview from New Jersey. “Their job was to pick up information on the responses of what he was saying and see where that led them. It was an interesting dynamic on what he was being asked to do.”

“He’s a devoted American,” added the lawyer, who claims Turner was paid “tens of thousands of dollars” for his service.

Bill Carter, an FBI spokesman, said in a telephone interview the bureau’s policy is “to neither confirm nor deny whether an individual has an association with the FBI.”

Turner’s alleged 5-year-long bureau stint ended sometime in 2007, Orozco said, the year the mischievous online group, Anonymous, briefly shuttered his site — turnerradionetwork.blogspot.com — with a denial of service attack. At the time, hackers also posted what appeared to be private e-mails between Turner and the FBI.

The e-mails are legitimate, said Orozco. The FBI approached Turner, now 47, in 2002, and he spewed rhetoric about politics, white supremacy, immigration, abortion and other hot-button issues for years in exchange for government cash.

Turner was arrested in June at his apartment in suburban New Jersey.

According to court documents, (.pdf) after a three-judge panel of the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit of Appeals upheld a Chicago handgun ban, he blogged that the judges should be “killed.”

“Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges deserve to be killed. Their blood will replenish the tree of liberty. A small price to pay to assure freedom for millions,” he wrote.

A day later he posted addresses, photos, maps and other identifying information about Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer, the authorities said. State charges are also pending in Hartford, Connecticut, where Turner is accused of inciting readers to “take up arms” against state lawmakers.

Though the alleged threats came after his FBI service ended, Orozco said Turner’s relationship with the FBI is relevant to his defense.

“It is not trivial that the very government that trained an individual where the line was is prosecuting him when he has not stepped over the line,” Orozco said.

In addition, he is banking (.pdf) on the First Amendment to save his client’s skin.

“It’s a protected political statement. He opined,” Orozco said. “He said they deserved to be killed. He did not say grab a gun and go out and do what is necessary.”

Original Story Here