Monday, August 31, 2009

American Zombie Reveals Identity

Our society's Global War On the Messengers (GWOM) continues. Because it is always easier to go after someone talking about the problem than to actually fix the problem...

Local blogger identifies himself while facing libel litigation.

With the MSM concerned with entertaining rather than real reporting, the burden for keeping public officials honest falls to whoever has the wherewithal to do it. But if you choose to do so, watch out! There are many legal tools the status quo can use against you.

I'm sure there will be much more to this developing story.

Now all we need is a "Support Our Zombies" ribbon.



DADvocate said...

As you might expect, I have no problem with anonymity. It's important to remember that the Federalist Papers were written using pseudonyms. Because of the structure and rules of our legal system, a wealthy person could sue an average person into oblivion although the wealthy one lost every case.

Dante said...

I looked at the blog and the article but I'm still not exactly clear on the specifics of the libel litigation. I think until those specifics are clear, it is a bit unfair to jump on either side. What exactly did the blogger do that is considered libel? Maybe he was talking out his rear or made accusations without any sort of evidence. If what Zombie did really was libel, then I have no problem with him getting sued over it. His writings could potentially cost people their livelihoods. If he doesn't have a shred of evidence that some of his accusations are actually true, then yes he should go down for that. On the other hand, if this is merely an attempt to silence Zombie or tie him up in an expensive lawsuit without any real libel taking place, then I would gladly "support our Zombie." The problem is that I can't tell which is the case. And from what I gather, neither can you.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Unless merely asking for clarification of how public contracts are awarded and public money is spent now constitutes libel, I think he's gonna be OK.

Remember, New Orleans does not have the same safeguards against conflict-of-interest contracting that many cities do. And, yes, that means exactly what you think it means. The byzantine structure of doing things, the weak nature of administrative organization, and nascent safeguards here make Atlanta's process look like a bright September morning in comparison.

I fear that the threat of litigation here is an attempt to harass and intimidate a formerly anonymous blogger (who has a history of rooting out corruption) and, more importantly, his sources within the city and state governments.

But I also think the threat of litigation has backfired, as the questions of conflict-of-interest went from an insider read blog to the front page of the daily newspaper's website almost overnight.

patsbrother said...

If bloggers are to replace traditional media, then I don't see a problem with bloggers facing the same perils as newspapers.

If the blog really is a media outlet, and the content in question is political speech, and that content is not knowingly false or made with a malicious intent, I am confident the blogger will win, as (in that situation) he should.

While I agree it is a nuisance, newspapers have to deal with this as well. And although the individual has less resources than a newspaper, the newspaper is a much larger target.

I could go a lot of different places with this, but I think that scattershot will do for now.