I haven’t written much on the Kimberlin wars lately but there are two posts up that are worthy of note.
Stacy has a very long and detailed post concerning Bill Schmelfeidt while it speaks for itself in Stacy’s classic style there is one part that I find significant:
The advice my editors gave me long ago was simple: “If someone calls you to complain about a story, you should be polite, but the minute they mention ‘libel’ or otherwise threaten legal action, the conversation is over. Give them the name of our lawyers and tell them not to contact the newsroom again, as this is now a legal matter.”
Now, if the person is serious and the lawyers say “correct” or “retract,” you follow their legal advice — that’s what lawyers are for — but in nearly all cases, a threat of a lawsuit is merely that, a threat
Long before the days of WordPress, Blogger or twitter Stacy McCain was a reporter who reported for a living. So when he talks about legal standards on reporting he knows what he is talking about.
I also know that when Stacy smells a story he is a combination of Lt Data who remembers and files every detail for later use and a starving dog with a bone.
In other words if there are facts out there he is going to find them. If the facts favor Mr. Schmelfeidt I suspect Stacy will find that, if not he will find that too.
I’m sure Mr. Schmelfeidt will make his argument and readers can look at the words and evidence presented and come to conclusions.
Let’s be clear, Stacy McCain is a close friend, I flatter myself that Lee Stranahan is a friend, and the list of people who are currently clashing with Mr. Schmelfeidt are all associates of mine to some degree I’m on friendly terms most of them, have met personally many of them and have no reason to mistrust any of what they say.
Now it might surprise a few people that I’ve recently had contact with Mr. Schmelfeidt. At the request of a friend I made a request concerning some work of mine used in a photoshop of a vulgar nature and after a short but cordial exchange of e-mails Bill Schmelfeidt kindly acquiesced to my request.
He had no incentive to agree to my request, my associates and friends are his foes, so in my opinion it was proper to publicly thank him. That shocked a few people.
What does this mean in terms of the veracity of all that has been written concerning him in the past by all those people I know and trust? Absolutely nothing, it means I made a polite request of Bill Schmelfeidt and he politely agreed. If it means anything it’s an argument for civil discourse in general and the rewards of same. I’m a big fan of that.
Politics isn’t beanbag, a lot is at stake. Sharp elbows are likely to be thrown and on occasion lines are crossed, that’s to be expected. Some of these lines are of decorum and proper behavior, some are of legality and copyright and some are of personal safety.
With the instantaneous nature of the internet it is quite easy to cross such lines in anger, and the public nature of the net makes it harder to walk back without with embarrassment or a perception of weakness.
My response to the crossing of said lines varies:
My advice to anyone who crosses lines of proprietary or decorum in such a situation is pretty much the same, walk back and avoid doing so in the future. Remember in terms of morality there is no sin that Christ will not forgive if one asks for forgiveness and repents. As for men the instructions given to Christians are rather explicit about forgiveness.
Personal or family safety lines? I’m an American of Sicilian ancestry, my advice, walk back REALLY fast and apologize, see the Christ entry above.
As for the lines of legality, those lines are brighter and there are specific procedures and remedies for such things. If someone believes they have been injured they may follow said procedures and let the law handle it.
And that brings us to the second post I saw today. It isn’t as long or as well written as Stacy’s post but it is infinitely more newsworthy.
After a lot of old-fashioned detective work using techniques including some modern signal processing methods, a member of the Vast Hogewash Research Organization has found images of Brett Kimberlin among the stills and videos taken at and around BlogBash in March of this year. There sure are a lot of surveillance cameras in that neighborhood.
Given the threats he is supposed to have made to the venue and other possible threats from a member of Team Kimberlin to individual bloggers who attend BlogBash, the photographs showing he was present at the event will probably be of interest to law enforcement agencies investigating the matter.
It’s one thing to have disputes on copyright, or images or insults and take down orders. It’s another thing after implied threats to a venue involving a convicted bomber where significant people in the political world were in attendance that might involve law enforcement.
Stacy’s long post and any reply by Bill Schmelfeidt might be more interesting reading and the twitter exchanges that will follow may certainly be more entertaining for the average reader.
But if you are looking for a story that actually has the potential to eventually break into the MSM. I’d bookmark Mr. Hoge’s post for future reference.
The wheels of the law turn slowly but they turn.
Last week for the first time I remember I made my paycheck EXACTLY.
That’s an interesting factoid but exact or not the fact that I made it is a cause of thanks.
But a new week and on Thursday a new month with a new mortgage begins and my quest for the $305 paycheck continues.
Care to be part of it, hit DaTipJar below