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Federal judge: Montana blogger is not journalist
ap ^ | 12/7/11 | JEFF BARNARD

Posted on 12/07/2011 6:47:34 PM PST by Nachum

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.

(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: blogger; bloggerlawsuit; federal; judge; montana

1 posted on 12/07/2011 6:47:37 PM PST by Nachum
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To: Nachum

A local journalist has be be what?


2 posted on 12/07/2011 6:49:35 PM PST by A CA Guy ( God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: A CA Guy

‘to’ be what?


3 posted on 12/07/2011 6:51:00 PM PST by A CA Guy ( God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: A CA Guy

‘to’ be what?


4 posted on 12/07/2011 6:51:00 PM PST by A CA Guy ( God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: A CA Guy

judges and lawyers are best friends.. it’s an inside game.. she needs to appeal


5 posted on 12/07/2011 6:51:23 PM PST by GreaterSwiss
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To: Nachum

How utterly idiotic. Freedom of speech and the press should mean exactly that, even beyond the limits of defamation and libel. You should not be able to sue someone just because they say naughty or untrue things about you. You have no right to your image.


6 posted on 12/07/2011 6:53:02 PM PST by arderkrag (Georgia is God's Country. LOOKING FOR ROLEPLAYERS. Check Profile.)
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To: A CA Guy

A local journalist has be be what?
_______________________________________________

Whatever the all-knowing powers-that-be regulate them to “be”.


7 posted on 12/07/2011 6:53:31 PM PST by RushIsMyTeddyBear (A MUST WATCH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KeOLurcQaqI)
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To: Nachum

So much for equal protection under the law. Media and govt. officials can ruin people’s lives using rumor and heresay without having to be held responsible.


8 posted on 12/07/2011 6:53:40 PM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Liberalism is a social disease.)
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To: GreaterSwiss
At the same time lawyers are "officers of the court" and should have to mount the same hurdles as other politicians in libel or slander cases.

Else, they can get honest employment somewhere ~ like the rest of us do.

9 posted on 12/07/2011 6:53:46 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: GreaterSwiss
Right. If it were a normal person rather than a "lawyer" bringing the suit the judge would have thrown it out. The idea of a judge defining "Who is a journalist?" is offensive to every American.
10 posted on 12/07/2011 6:54:13 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: Nachum

so only ‘journalists’ have freedom speech and of the press?

since when


11 posted on 12/07/2011 6:54:15 PM PST by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: Nachum
So the 1st has no weight for those without mainstream reporters credentials and news outlets credentials? Probably a series of a long line of similar decisions from our judiciary, where the 1st is not protected, if slander can be or is alleged. The writing is on the wall.
12 posted on 12/07/2011 6:54:34 PM PST by no-to-illegals (Please God, Protect and Bless Our Men and Women in Uniform with Victory. Amen.)
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To: Nachum
Lets all have a "I'm Spartacus" moment.

Kevin Padrick is a thug and a thief while handling bankruptcy proceedings by him and Obsidian Finance Group LLC.

Kevin Padrick is a thug and a thief while handling bankruptcy proceedings by him and Obsidian Finance Group LLC.

13 posted on 12/07/2011 6:58:22 PM PST by icwhatudo ("laws requiring compulsory abortion could be sustained under the constitution"-Obama official)
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To: Nachum
My favorite book of all time is from the late 70's which details documented cases of around fifty of the most corrupt federal and state judges in modern times.

The book was available for about three years and then "poof" it vanished from publication never to return.

14 posted on 12/07/2011 6:58:40 PM PST by blackdog (And justice for all.....(Offer not valid in all locations, and prices vary))
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To: arderkrag; writer33

Freedom of the press means the government does not decide who is the press.


15 posted on 12/07/2011 6:59:27 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: Nachum

This will be overturned.


16 posted on 12/07/2011 7:01:55 PM PST by NonValueAdded (At 4 AM, it is a test; at 2 PM, it is a demonstration)
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To: blackdog

Have witnessed similar. Reporter with credentials going after officers of the court for violations perceived, and ‘poof’ the reporter was never heard from again.


17 posted on 12/07/2011 7:02:27 PM PST by no-to-illegals (Please God, Protect and Bless Our Men and Women in Uniform with Victory. Amen.)
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To: Nachum
"My intensions are the highest and best," she said.

How ironic. In a story that the MSM AP, with their cadre of "professional" journalists, have been granted self importance over bloggers by this ruling, and they can't even be bothered to proofread or use spell check.

18 posted on 12/07/2011 7:03:12 PM PST by cport (How can political capital be spent on a bunch of ingrates)
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To: Nachum
I guess anyone posting OPINION or SATIRE on internet forums or comments sections of any web sites need to register themselves as an LLC these days.  And you know.. that ain't a bad idea.

 

19 posted on 12/07/2011 7:03:21 PM PST by CaptainKrunch
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To: Nachum

Seems to me that this wouldn’t make it such a stretch any more to set qualifications for voting.


20 posted on 12/07/2011 7:03:42 PM PST by VeniVidiVici ("Si, se gimme!")
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To: blackdog

Can you remember the name or author of the book?


21 posted on 12/07/2011 7:10:34 PM PST by Auntie Mame (Fear not tomorrow. God is already there.)
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To: no-to-illegals

Best Judges Money Can Buy
Illinois Has the Best Judges Money Can Buy

February 4, 2001

Shakedown racketeering in our courts has made a mockery of the judicial system. It is time to demand complete personal financial disclosure of judges and candidates. Judges at all levels have blocked any personal financial disclosure that would show personal profiting from court shakedowns. The extent of “campaign fund” bribes to fix cases and grant favorable judgments is suppressed. Agencies which are supposed to record judge and candidate “campaign fund” bribes admit that everyone has ways to circumvent financial disclosure like giving in multiple small amounts, giving gifts and travel or simply ignoring disclosure laws altogether.The IRS admits that many people (including judges and politicians) have multiple social security numbers to launder money.

There is no law in Illinois courts - circuit, appeal or federal. Judges freely discuss cases with lawyers and use their clout to make untold profits with favoritism and one-sided judgments for the side that paid them off. Accused defendants joke about how “I got friends in the court house and they let me off” in DUI cases. In divorces and probate one side can pay off the judge and get a one-sided judgment in their favor. Judicial foreclosure and court ordered sales drive the real estate market in rigged sales of property.

Judges, lawyers and the incumbents acquire properties at low prices and use land trusts to conceal ownership. In front of witnesses a DuPage probate judge was told by a lawyer, “There’s nothing left in the estate but some property on Marco Island. Do you want it your honor?” Businesses pay judicial bribes to ruin the competition.

Any court watcher can see racial profiling in the difference in sentencing and bail between white court buddies and minorities. Case comparison and investigation by computer could be easily done but is blocked. Any court watcher can see that being a judge is a part-time job at best. Court rooms are closed and cases sent to another judge to drive up costs and get those endless costly continuances. There needs to be industry-style cost-efficiency studies of courts and states attorneys.

The recent TRIBUNE coverage of the sale of judgeships is a step in the right direction.Who gets the money in bribes for judgeships is another issue. Why doesn’t anyone investigate judicial racketeering in DuPage County? We need more investigation of the organized crime activity in our courts.

To become a judge, a candidate must be favored by the lawyer political machine and have proven ability to accept bribes, suppress truth, twist laws and manufacture or conceal evidence. A judge must have shown that he will fix cases to make profits for lawyers by driving up costs of litigation as much as possible. A judge must demonstrate he will work in the financial interest of the bar association, favored businesses and their buddies.

The selection process excludes public input, tests on the law, personal finances, appeal record or any facts about the judge. A potential judge has to have shown to the bar association that he will accept bribes and knows (and will use) the legal tricks to generate money by extortion and shakedown of litigants.

In the Chicago Tribune, the price of a judgeship in Chicago was stated to be $30,000 for a Democrat and $50,000 for a Republican. If the judge is seeking election, the ballots are fixed so that voters have few choices but the approved candidates. The voting process is strictly framed to keep honest judges and especially minority judges off the bench.

In the election, police, realtors, city and county patronage workers tear down signs of honest candidates and allow only the mob-fixed incumbent candidates to have publicity — great numbers of signs are put illegally in the public parkways. Media endorse and publish only lucrative mob-

approved candidate publicity.

Huge numbers of patronage workers vote and crusade for the approved candidates fixing the election. The judge who convicted Cruz-who was under indictment at election time, received about the same votes as the judge who absolved Cruz. Time studies would show judge is really a part-time job.

Campaigns are financed by corrupt lawyers and firms who give “campaign contribution” bribes to get their buddies into office to fix cases. As soon as a judge is even appointed, he starts a “campaign fund” to launder bribes from corrupt lawyers. Even though that judge may never run in an election, he has the ability to collect and launder kickbacks and use the money freely as he wants.

Lawyers and corrupt business have numerous accounts and ways to hide kickback gifts and bribes for judges by bribing in amounts less than $150 from numerous accounts. Lawyers often simply ignore the vague disclosure laws and give bribes and gifts in kind to judges. Frequently lawyers receive letters from judicial “campaign funds” asking for donation bribes to fix the case or the judge’s own appointees demand bribes.

One can see favored lawyers and their judges freely discussing and fixing cases right in hallways. A few more discrete lawyers and judges go into chambers or call or FAX messages to fix a case, profitably delay a case, manufacture or alter evidence and drive up costs. Due process under law and presentation of truth is cost effective and lawyers and judges deny due process and suppress truth for bucks.

In 1999, the Myron Minuskin case (where a litigant was promised sole custody in a DuPage divorce for a $10,000 bribe to a DuPage judge) was quickly and quietly hushed up. Lawyer Myron Minuskin pled guilty, was sent to Wisconsin federal prison and the litigant and judge concealed.

A New York group attempted to get financial records of federal judges. Judges want to conceal their money laundering and expensive life style based on bribes, racketeering, foreclosure of properties and illegal activity. DuPage Supreme Court candidates received millions in kickbacks to be elected to a job that pays so much less.

Where did all of their money & property come from? Did it come from campaign kickbacks from lawyer buddies for fixing cases, court appointments and property foreclosures?

READER’S DIGEST called Heiple one of the nation’s most corrupt judges. Several candidates broke Heiple’s kickback record. On the internet, see how Judge Darrah received big contributions from Heil and Heil cases “randomly assigned” to Darrah resulted in huge judgments in Heil’s favor. The Tollway was twice refused change of venue.

We thank Dr. Richard Hass of Illinois J.A.I.L. for sending us this first in a series of fine reports on the corruption of the judiciary.


22 posted on 12/07/2011 7:11:10 PM PST by blackdog (And justice for all.....(Offer not valid in all locations, and prices vary))
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To: Nachum

“A local journalist has to be what?”. Good point, but the later discussion is one-sided. Put yourself on the other side for a moment.

Is there a reason to distinguish between journalists and people who comment occasionally in public? I take it the courts say “yes” and make that distinction. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. That seems to be what a lot of the later discussion is about.

Maybe a distinction is a bad idea, but if the distinction is accepted, then the question is whether the woman is a journalist. I haven’t read the case, but it seems to me that this is a factual question. Someone who knows might help by posting some info on how the judge reached the conclusion that the woman is not a journalist. That could be a subject of useful debate that’s absent in the threads so far.

I’m comfortable defending journalists in the abstract. Ordinarily, if someone accused me of being a journalist, I’d take it as a probable attack on my honesty and integrity.


23 posted on 12/07/2011 7:13:19 PM PST by arfingcat
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To: Nachum
Yes Virginia, the system is rigged. It has always been rigged and will always be rigged. Many talk show hosts these days are attorneys. The majority of D.C. representatives, of the people, are attorneys. How long has it been since the President or his wife did not hold law degrees and were attorneys? It is the system. The system works within the system for the system. A scratch my back and I scratch yours approach. The Joe, on the street, who pays their salary. Joe is a chump to the system. Wish it weren't so, but the system is the system and Joe, on the street, cannot fight the system unless Joe holds a law degree. The system makes fighting the system impossible without that degree.
24 posted on 12/07/2011 7:15:40 PM PST by no-to-illegals (Please God, Protect and Bless Our Men and Women in Uniform with Victory. Amen.)
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To: Auntie Mame
The IRS admits that many people (including judges and politicians) have multiple social security numbers to launder money. excerpt from above.

Now you know why the Obama thing won't get looked into.

I'll do some unpacking of boxes and see if I can find it. Many of the judges were from New York and Chicago. All in the book were still alive and most were still sitting on the bench. A few were already impeached by the time the first copy went to print.

25 posted on 12/07/2011 7:16:03 PM PST by blackdog (And justice for all.....(Offer not valid in all locations, and prices vary))
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To: arderkrag

You are quite wrong. If I published an article saying that you had a meth lab in your kitchen and in your spare time you were a burglar and rapist, you could certainly sue me for libel.


26 posted on 12/07/2011 7:16:46 PM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: blackdog
Thanks for the post .. btw.
27 posted on 12/07/2011 7:21:01 PM PST by no-to-illegals (Please God, Protect and Bless Our Men and Women in Uniform with Victory. Amen.)
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To: Nachum

Why should mainstream reporters and news outlets have more protection that ordinary citizens?

It would seem to me that they should have the exact same protection or lack thereof as anyone else.


28 posted on 12/07/2011 7:24:07 PM PST by yarddog
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To: yarddog
Why should mainstream reporters and news outlets have more protection that ordinary citizens?

If one goes to the brass tacks, reporters do not have protection, in most cases, unless a law degree is in their possession. Reporters, in many cases, are the Joe(s) on the street. Reporters normally come and go. The thus named journalists have the law degrees, normally, and those who have the title, journalists, work within the system, normally for the system, and utilize the scratch for scratch method.

29 posted on 12/07/2011 7:31:40 PM PST by no-to-illegals (Please God, Protect and Bless Our Men and Women in Uniform with Victory. Amen.)
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To: yarddog

one more thing ... step outside the system, even with a degree and become marked within the trade. At least that is the way I see it.


30 posted on 12/07/2011 7:34:16 PM PST by no-to-illegals (Please God, Protect and Bless Our Men and Women in Uniform with Victory. Amen.)
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To: no-to-illegals
You also now know why Obama picked Chicago as a place to grow his garden. The justice system there is most like that in the world of Islam. Everything up to and including murder is mediated based on standing within that group doing the mediating. A deal can be reached on just about anything, no matter how wrong or illegal.

BTW, has anyone found out yet why Michelle had to surrender her law license yet?

I'm really hoping the blowback from the Bladgoyovicz (sp) thing has some Obama origin.

31 posted on 12/07/2011 7:42:17 PM PST by blackdog (And justice for all.....(Offer not valid in all locations, and prices vary))
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To: A CA Guy

A local journalist has be be what?

A UNION MEMBER.


32 posted on 12/07/2011 7:45:23 PM PST by MrBambaLaMamba (This Message Contains Privileged Attorney-Client Communications)
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To: blackdog

Don’t have the answers to your questions. Not enough research on my part. Have become too old to worry too much, though I do recognize what you are saying to me. Much appreciation. Will do all I can.


33 posted on 12/07/2011 7:50:15 PM PST by no-to-illegals (Please God, Protect and Bless Our Men and Women in Uniform with Victory. Amen.)
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To: Nachum
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.

I can find nothing in the Constitution that requires such "credentials" to be a member of the press.

If I make photocopies of my stories and hand them out to people, I'm operating the exact equivalent of "the press" the 1st Amendment was intended to protect.

Same thing if those stories are distributed electronically rather than on paper.

For most of American history, very few members of the press would have met the judge' standards.

34 posted on 12/07/2011 8:07:48 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Nachum

Kevin Padrick is a thug and a thief while handling bankruptcy proceedings by him and Obsidian Finance Group LLC.

LMAO :)


35 posted on 12/07/2011 8:10:03 PM PST by CyberSpartacus
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To: kabumpo
If I published an article saying that you had a meth lab in your kitchen and in your spare time you were a burglar and rapist, you could certainly sue me for libel.

The NY Times could also be sued for libel if they (inaccurately) published such a story.

As I understand it, truth is an absolute defense against libel or defamation charges. Doesn't matter if you're a member of the press or not. Untruths are not, in theory, protected against suit just because they're printed by "the press."

BTW, having a judge decide who is and is not "a member of the press" seems to me remarkably like a judge deciding what qualifies as a religion.

36 posted on 12/07/2011 8:13:02 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: CyberSpartacus

You guys, this case is far more complicated than you think. That blogger actually posted the defamatory statements, google bombed her posts so they turned up in search results, and then tried to get the company to hire her to clean up their online reputation. It sounds more like extortion than a citizen journalist trying to cover herself.

Furthermore, this case had a jury trial and the jury was unanimous that she was guilty of defamation.

So really this case shouldn’t have any kinds of national implications at all, that part just seems to be a way for the media to sensationalize the case.


37 posted on 12/07/2011 8:17:06 PM PST by Der_Hirnfšnger
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To: blackdog

I tried to Google it and found some interesting items. Strangely, the first five or six hits I clicked on were about the corrupt Pennsylvania judiciary—think Sandusky.

Also read about the ordeal of attorney Richard Fine out in California who was held in Los Angeles County Jail for about 18 months with NO CHARGES FILED AGAINST HIM. He was also disbarred while incarcerated with the California Bar citing 16 acts of moral turpitude which apparently they later recanted but left enough charges to disbar him. Moral turpitude is usually defined as a form of depravity, but they changed the definition for Mr. Fine to mean they didn’t like his legal actions against the judiciary.

If you run across the book I’d really like to know the title, but no pressure.


38 posted on 12/07/2011 8:33:42 PM PST by Auntie Mame (Fear not tomorrow. God is already there.)
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To: Der_Hirnfänger
and that my FRiends is the rest of the story. (sometimes) and then sometimes, sometimes never come. There is never the likelihood there was ever one angle. Most times there are as many as three angles in case the first two fail. Give me three options for vacating or methods to exclude is the mind of an attorney.
39 posted on 12/07/2011 8:34:44 PM PST by no-to-illegals (Please God, Protect and Bless Our Men and Women in Uniform with Victory. Amen.)
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To: Der_Hirnfänger
I think you're probably right, but I'm not sure why her lack of journalist's credentials would even be an issue.

Let's suppose the court accepted as fact that she was a journalist. How would that have helped her case?

40 posted on 12/07/2011 8:42:19 PM PST by Ken H (Austerity is the irresistible force. Entitlements are the immovable object.)
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To: Sherman Logan

THis isn’t about “freedom of the press”. It is about the implementation of the 1st amendment in civil actions. The courts have determined that people who are doing legitimate “news” work should be afforded more leeway in order to give full weight to the 1st amendment protections. It is similar to how the courts judged statements against public figures differently than statements against private figures — you won’t find that in the constitution either, but it’s how they balance a person’s right NOT to be slandered with the rights granted in the 1st amendment.

And I don’t have a problem with a blogger not being considered a journalist. If you don’t “do journalism”, you shouldn’t be given the extra protection. If you show that you try to fact-check, screwing up won’t be held against you as much as if you never bothered to check your facts, or acted in wanton disregard of the truth.


41 posted on 12/07/2011 8:47:31 PM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Auntie Mame

Here ya go..........

www.tulanelink.com/tulaThe Finest Judges Money Can Buy
AND OTHER FORMS OF JUDICIAL POLLUTION


Published in 1973, this book by Charles R. Ashman documents 74 cases of judges who took bribes, kickbacks and payoffs, and who appointed relatives and political cronies to lucrative positions as receivers and executors who in turn bled the resources of near-bankrupt corporations and estates for personal gain. Reprinted below are the prologue and introductory statements to the first eight chapters of the book, which should be consulted for details of individual cases.


nelink/finestjudges_03a.htm


42 posted on 12/07/2011 8:53:07 PM PST by blackdog (And justice for all.....(Offer not valid in all locations, and prices vary))
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To: Nachum

This whole myth that “journalists” get special constitutional privileges must end.

There is nothing in the constitution to suggest that a “journalist” with knowledge of a felony does not have to reveal his sources, for example. if you knew such information it would be illegal for you to conceal it.


43 posted on 12/07/2011 9:00:44 PM PST by DBrow
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To: arfingcat

“Is there a reason to distinguish between journalists and people who comment occasionally in public? I take it the courts say “yes” and make that distinction. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.”

I agree, journalists are citizens like the rest of us, with no special powers.


44 posted on 12/07/2011 9:05:11 PM PST by DBrow
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To: blackdog

Thank you. Found it on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_seeall_1?rh=k%3Afinest+judges+money%2Ci%3Astripbooks&keywords=finest+judges+money&ie=UTF8&qid=1323320520

Quite a few copies for 1 cent.


45 posted on 12/07/2011 9:15:42 PM PST by Auntie Mame (Fear not tomorrow. God is already there.)
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To: blackdog

Oh my, I just found it online at OpenLibrary.org where you can check it out and read it on your computer. I never knew there was such a place. If you’re interested, here’s the link for this book.

http://openlibrary.org/books/OL5435425M/The_finest_judges_money_can_buy_and_other_forms_of_judicial_pollution/borrow

I’m going back there and look for more stuff. Thanks again.


46 posted on 12/07/2011 9:21:19 PM PST by Auntie Mame (Fear not tomorrow. God is already there.)
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To: kabumpo

I could, but that doesn’t make it right.


47 posted on 12/07/2011 11:22:17 PM PST by arderkrag (Georgia is God's Country. LOOKING FOR ROLEPLAYERS. Check Profile.)
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To: icwhatudo

I’m in....


Lets all have a “I’m Spartacus” moment.

Kevin Padrick is a thug and a thief while handling bankruptcy proceedings by him and Obsidian Finance Group LLC.

Kevin Padrick is a thug and a thief while handling bankruptcy proceedings by him and Obsidian Finance Group LLC.


48 posted on 12/08/2011 12:20:26 AM PST by patriot preacher
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To: Nachum

Since when do you need to be a “journalist” to express an opinion??


49 posted on 12/08/2011 12:38:55 AM PST by WKUHilltopper (And yet...we continue to tolerate this crap...)
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