Blade Editorial Staff chastised for editorial - Clean House at TPS

I sent the following email to the Blade Editorial Staff today. I could have posted this under another thread, but I believe it is important for all to see.

The press plays a valuable role in reporting and helping to shape the opinions of individuals in our community and country. It is important that citizens openly question the press when they get it wrong. Certainly an editorial is just an opinion, but unlike the rest of us their opinions get printed and read by thousands with very little opportunity in most cases for the rest of us to correct the inaccuracies and bias found is such editorials. Fortunately, the internet has made it such that a larger audience can be reached and given another side of the equation.

I'm not likely to be considered kindly over at the Blade - not that I have been for some time now. Nonetheless, a citizen should not have to worry about retribution for exercising their constitutional rights...but then again.

_________________________

Blade Editorial Staff:

Your editorial, Clean house at TPS forgets a lot of history and begs the question: Do you know Jack!

The editorial in question was viewed by many in this community as a blatant endorsement of former Mayor Jack Ford. And this "endorsement" was done without thorough vetting of his ideas and just as important those of the other candidates. In last week

No votes yet

...a citizen should not have to worry about retribution for exercising their constitutional rights...but then again.

What, precisely, could a news outlet do to you?

I've heard that the "pen is mightier...," but your concerns seem to be just a TAD out of wack with reality, there, Mr. Flagg.

Wait!!! Oh nooooooooo... the newspaper got me!!! arrrrrggh!!

If the pen is mightier, then lots of ink can do a lot of damage when the facts are distorted, the messenger has his character assassinated and need I really go on. I'm sure a few that post here could tell you stories if they were a mind to do so.

Lots of good honest citizens have been the object of retribution in print. But let's focus on this little item, when it distracts from the message.

Folks read the message! Don't be distracted by the slight of hand. Besides, there is bias in them there words!

HEM, PAUL - News systems coordinator - 419-724-6189

Listed under editorial on the Blade contact web page - http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=CONTACT

People not in Power every day in Toledo,

I don't know what a newspaper can do to a citizen but here is how the Blade threatened me. At least I took it as a threat.

I wrote an e-mail to Ignazio Messina, educational editor, concerning what I felt was yellow journalism because of the picture that the newspaper was using of the new board member Darlene Fisher in February 2006.

Here is the letter that I received back from Mr. Messina's supervisor, Jim Wilhelm.

Twila -- Ignazio (please note the correct spelling of his first name, there is no "s" in there) Messina referred this message to me as he was not sure how to respond. After reading your note, I am not quite sure I know how to respond either, other than to tell you that I believe your remarks are beyond "unprofessional" and "reek" of slandering this newspaper and the reporter involved.

The purpose of today's story was simple: to serve the residents of the TPS system by letting them know that the board members of the area's largest school district still haven't acted on a vote from their meeting in January to get together with a mediator and work out their differences.

With regards to Darlene Fisher, we reported exactly what she had to say in an e-mail she wrote as the board's president and the reaction of another board member questioning the wording of that e-mail. We also report Ms. Bartnett's feeling that an announcement on the situation should be forthcoming tomorrow. It appears from your e-mail that you may be reacting in part to the half-column photo we had of Ms. Fisher, but I cannot be quite sure. If that is the case, I can only say that sometimes our half-column pictures may appear somewhat out of register depending on the presses.

Beyond that, however, I flat out deny your comments that this story in any way represents "yellow journalism." There is no sensationalism, propaganda, or lack of factual reporting involved. Do you know for a fact that Ms. Fisher's e-mail said something other than what we reported? Do you have reason to believe Mr. Sykes or Ms. Barnett said something other than what was reported? If you do, please come forward with that information. We take our accuracy seriously and I will look into allegations of factual error immediately if you can provide specifics.

But if this is just an e-mail in which you are acting as a "mouthpiece" for a friend, then you need to be careful about making any public allegations like the ones you sent here. We take our professional reputation and that of our reporters just as seriously -- just ask the former KISS-FM disc jockey who left town after his company paid a substantial settlement for slandering one of our reporters in public. (This email, by the way, is a personal and confidential communication with you in response to your email here questioning our story -- it is not for public airing, forwarding to anyone else, or publication without my express legal permission.)

To me, the irony here is that you are criticizing The Blade for fulfilling our responsibility to the "public trust." What would people say of us if we did not tell TPS residents that their elected board members apparently cannot get along with one another at a time when the district is facing such critical challenges as rapidly declining enrollment, the need to replace its superintendent, and ongoing budget troubles? I'll tell you what they would say: They would say the newspaper was asleep at the switch.

The public also has a right to know that Ms. Fisher would prefer to conduct some meetings about the district's business in private rather than out in the open public forum intended by Ohio's "Sunshine" law.

If you have any specifics about factual errors that need to be brought to my attention as Mr. Messina's supervisor, please feel free to do so. We thank you for reading The Blade. (End of e-mail)

This e-mail was very offensive and threatening to me.

Thanks for telling us about the dire consequences, other than that nasty paper cut that I got when I irreverently folded the newspaper - that hurt, too!

...facts are distorted...

That's a laugh! Steve Flagg, purnhrt, and Pete are the ones distorting facts here.

However, Steve, I'm still curious, what is it that you are imagining that the newspaper would specifically do to you in "retribution for exercising their constitutional rights?"

And, Pete, if the mentalblock.net (If that was the "publication" to which you were referring...) was anything other than lies, libel and defamation, then certainly someone would have stood up publicly and made a stand over the past 3 years. Instead, all I have seen are cowards who sneak in anonymously, do some some sniping, and then crawl back into their spider-hole.

And, by the way, anyone who doesn't know who I am, hasn't been reading SwampBubbles, so what's new, Steve?

I believe the Blade has lost the Voice of the Customer and is no longer believable, nor honorable. I much rather read my news from small town rags for local info and internet for everything else. The Blade always seems to have an agenda in their writing that just rubs me the wrong way.

I think the Blade is being very obvious in their slant and literally propping up old decrepit names from the past for their own odd reasons and is sad. In this case very obvious because they REFUSED to credit others who have obviously dealt with the issues and also not admitting the paradox of TPS being poor now, but not under Sanders. It makes no sense. If they said that major change was needed all along, I would give them much more respect, but we are talking night and day here. This only means it is political, because you don't make that shift for no reason.

We are not stupid and thank goodness for alternatives to get the real story out. It is quite obvious to see what is going on.

I am a concerned citizen who works for a local auto parts company. Probably to you I don't have a brain because you said only candidates or other local media would say what I said. We have minds too and can see the obvious.

whether I agreed or disagreed with Steve Flagg.

My problem is that he claims that there would be some kind of retribution from the newspaper. I asked him what he meant by that, and he has yet to answer. Instead he said, "I'm sure a few that post here could tell you stories if they were a mind to do so."

So, Mr. Flagg makes an accusation and then says, in essence, "Ask someone else."

The only smokescreen, Brian, is being used by Flagg.

Before he even gets into his spiel, he has to say, a citizen should not have to worry about retribution for exercising their constitutional rights.

Brian, you are the ONLY person who brought up your daughter, here. Also, you were the one who let us all know (on toledotalk) that you felt you had to leave Toledo because of police harassment. I had no idea, until you discussed this. I feel for you, and hope that you enjoy your car races. I especially hope and pray that you have a great relationship with your kid(s). BTW, I read your airplane-towed Union Jack comment. Do you know who was behind that? Was it the U.K. gov't?

Paul, I have no interest in discussing with you what I think the Blade will or will not do in this forum now or ever. Why would I give you or your employer any ideas? If you wish to call this a smokescreen, feel free to continue. We will let others reading this make up their own minds.

But it is you who is engaging in turning this discussion into a sidebar conversation by taking one comment and turning it to your purposes. I don't blame you for wanting to defend your employer, but what about the comments made about the editorial?

I made some straight up statements about the purpose and content of a Blade editorial and you want to deflect the attention to another matter.

So folks, what about the comments made about the Blade editorial? Let's not let Paul drive this conversation.

Does anyone else believe the editorial was a Blade endorsement of Ford?

Does anyone else believe the editorial morphed Ford's statements into blame of principals?

Does anyone else believe that principals have the authority to do their jobs?

Given the facts, does anyone else believe that in this system the first to lose their jobs should be principals?

Does anyone else believe that the editorial failed to give a proper historical perspective?

Does anyone else believe the Blade offered suggestions on how to proceed with this MOU impasse?

Anyone else want to ask or answer a question?

Paul,

I'll answer your question, at least to some extent since you asked in decent manner and explained your position at the Blade. And I see your point about how the comment was kicked off.

It was more a lament in knowing that I was being openly critical of a media organization with lots of ink. I was hoping that the comments would result in some introspection by the editorial staff, but I am not so naive to believe that anger could not be a reaction. Retribution does happen in this city.

I have watched how the Blade has treated people and I've heard and witnessed dozens of stories about how facts have been conveniently left out, put in another context, etc. Not to mention how adverbs and adjectives can be used to bias a story and undermine the credibility of those the paper disagrees with - which by the way has no purpose in a "news report". I have a few of my own stories including taking Blade reporters to task on stories where they did just that - including comments made to the ombudsman.

You don't need to stay away from the thread if you have comments you would like to make - but the issue at hand was not about retribution. So lets move on but if you want to talk more my email address is my profile and my phone number is known by many Blade reporters - someone can give it to you.

There is a lack of journalism ethics for a number of reasons. The blade, like other news organizations has used this to it's advantage in the past. Cases in point the character assassination of Ray Kest. Also Tom Noe, not an elected official, was on the front page for 6 months straight for his indiscretions while Bob McCloskey, an elected offical, only got headline coverage for a few days for soliciting bribes.

First off there is no absolute governing body that determines what's ethical and what is not. While the lawyers have the bar association there is not an organization for journalism that is large enough to have enough influence as a whole. So it's up to the journalists and the publishers themselves to determine what is ethical.

Secondly, gross violations of ethics occur every day but few times are held to task. Only when it becomes a legal issue does it face consequences. As anyone who has studied journalism ethics knows that just because something is legal doesn't mean it's ethical. I can print a whole story with quotes accurately quoted but leave out key details. While this is legal it's not ethical. For instance, reporting that October is the deadliest month in Iraq and questioning our military while omitting that October falls during the month of Ramadan so an increase in violence is expected and significant.

And finally there are ways to report accurately and fairly but still not be ethical. I again refer to the McCloskey situation. Just because something is reported fairly doesn't mean it can't be buried as "yesterday's news". Burying stories is a way of violating ethics without really violating them. Sure it was printed and it was damaging but putting it where it won't likely to be seen is as unethical as printing untruths.

MikeyA

MikeyA

Ignasio,

Am copying a description of the term "yellow journalism" from an on-line dictionary.

Yellow Journalism:
The term, as it commonly applies, refers to news organizations for whom sensationalism, profiteering, and in some cases propaganda and jingoism, take dominance over factual reporting. Most cases tend to be related to journalistic bias, and the endemic practices of particular organizations to operate as mouthpieces, for rather limited and particular allegiances, rather than for the public trust.

Your column, along with the picture of board president Darlene Fisher reeks of yellow journalism. We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words. Darlene is a courageous woman, who is not only beautiful and intelligent, in body and spirit, but who is also on the forefront of changes being made on the Toledo Board of Education. To depict her in the light that you and your newspaper have done is very unprofessional and serves not the children of Toledo.

Shame on you!

Twila Page

I did contact Mr. Lessenberry after contacting Mr. Royhab who never responded. Mr. Lessenberry was more concerned with the issue of yellow journalism than the conduct of Mr. Wilhelm and his e-mails. (I have not included all of them on this post.)Here is the e-mail from Mr. Lessenberry.

Dear Ms. Page --

I have now studied the photo, the story, and all your e-mails.

I think Mr. Wilhelm ought to have been less harsh and more polite to you, and will tell him so.

However, there was nothing of yellow journalism in Mr. Messina's story, or in the picture. It depicted what went on at that meeting, behavior best characterized by Roberta DeBoer's column the next day. The story, frankly, said to me that this was a school board who didn't really know what they are doing

The picture probably wasn't flattering -- but almost no one's is used in that size. I can assure you that no one had any idea of insulting Darlene Fisher with that picture; I certainly don't like my newspaper picture either.

Jack

This e-mail in no way addressed my original complaint (Mr. Wilhelm's e-mails) and I really felt like he was "playing" with me by saying he would "tell him so." Is he Mr. Wilhelm's supervisor? I don't know so his (Lessenberry) telling me that Wilhelm should have been more polite was not a proper response for me.

Due to a promise I made to research Jack Ford, I've spent some quality time at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library. In order to access the full database of Blade articles, I had to physically go to a library branch location, due to the licensing restriction allegedly put into place by the Blade (according to a librarian I spoke to).

I've spent a few sessions hunting for articles on the basis of a custom search verb that I arrived at once I learned how the Blade keyworded what I was looking for.

What I found has given me the willies. Literally I felt the need to **wash**, after reading:

1. What Ford said, or was reported to have said.
2. How much the Blade passed on what he said with essentially no critical analysis or follow-up whatsoever.

In my opinion, Jack Ford is running for the TPS Board as an extension of his service in looking after the economic interests of the TPS teachers and administration. His words on what's good for students are mealy-mouthed and not in keeping with his direct and alleged actions both in Columbus and Toledo.

I hasten to remind Jack Ford (and creatures like him) that the TPS teachers and administrators do NOT need an advocate on the Board. They already have the unions (TFT and TAAP) and those unions are their advocates. Emplacing a Board member who will specifically act on their economic behalf is obviously and morally WRONG.

So far, I've culled 32 articles on the keywords I was concentrating on. Anyone can therefore go to the TLCPL and read these themselves. As usual, I can repeat their titles and dates here in full authority under the "Fair Use" doctrine, in case any Blade reporter, worker or the owners think they can stop me from doing it:

Title: TOLEDO SCHOOLS PLACE 6.5-MILL LEVY ON NOVEMBER BALLOT
Date: August 22, 2000

Title: IS EXPERIENCE THE BEST TEACHER? TOLEDO PRINCIPALS HAVE NO SAY
Date: October 25, 2000

Title: SCHOOL LEVY DRIVE RAISES $87,000
Date: October 27, 2000

Title: FEDOR TARGETS OHIO CHARTER SCHOOL LAW NEW HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE
Date: December 3, 2000

Title: DEMOCRATS QUIZ FORD, KEST FOR MAYORAL CONTEST
Date: May 22, 2001

Title: DEMOCRATS PICK FORD OVER KEST AS MAYORAL CANDIDATE
Date: May 25, 2001

Title: DEMOCRAT SUPPORT OF JACK FORD RILES TEAMSTER OFFICIALS
Date: June 17, 2001

Title: MAYOR HOPEFULS SPEAK OUT 6 OUTLINE THEMES IN SOMETIMES LIVELY TV DEBATE
Date: August 23, 2001

Title: KEST IRKS MEMBERS OF SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE REITERATES
Date: August 24, 2001

Title: FINANCE REPORTS ILLUSTRATE ENORMITY OF MAYOR'S RACE - KEST,
Date: August 31, 2001

Title: ALIGNMENT OF LABOR BLURS RACE FOR MAYOR 20 UNIONS BACK KEST -
Date: October 3, 2001

Title: FORD CITES LABOR TIES, ACCEPTS UAW NOD HOPEFUL VOWS FIGHT FOR
Date: October 9, 2001

Title: CAMPAIGN FUND-RAISER NETS KEST $100,000
Date: October 13, 2001

Title: FORD SAYS HE WOULD STAND UP FOR SMALL BUSINESS AS MAYOR
Date: October 26, 2001

Title: KEST CAMPAIGN CASH FAR EXCEEDS FORD'S - EDGE IN AVAILABLE
Date: October 26, 2001

Title: GREENO NABS TOP DONATION: $6,500 FROM TEACHERS
Date: October 31, 2001

Title: MAYOR'S RACE THROWS LIGHT OF AMBIGUITY ON TOLEDO - POLITICAL
Date: November 4, 2001

Title: FORD SEEKS 'FRESH APPROACH' TO RUNNING CITY
Date: December 7, 2001

Title: 2001: SHADOW OF TERROR FALLS, 'SHOO-IN' LOSES MAYORAL RACE
Date: December 30, 2001

Title: OHIO TEAM GAVE TPS EVALUATION IN SUMMER - DOCUMENT IDENTIFIES
Date: January 9, 2002

Title: FORD NAMES 4 TO TOP POSITIONS
Date: January 30, 2002

Title: MAYOR PRESENTS HIS TOP STAFFERS - WOMAN FORD HAS APPOINTED AS
Date: January 31, 2002

Title: FIXING EDUCATION'S WOES WILL TAKE TIME
Date: February 16, 2002

Title: FORD NAMES 28 TO TOLEDO CITIZENS' COMMITTEE
Date: February 23, 2002

Title: EDUCATORS' PAY SOARS TO TOP OF AREA SCALE - RAISES MORE THAN
Date: October 6, 2002

Title: NOT ALL SEE EYE TO EYE WITH SUPPORTERS OF NEW DISTRICT BUILDINGS
Date: October 21, 2002

Title: MAYOR SAYS TO LOOK BENEATH SURFACE FOR .1ST-YEAR SUCCESSES -
Date: December 30, 2002

Title: Toledo mayoral hopefuls compete for funds, supporters
Date: August 1, 2005

Title: Mayor calls for leaders to steer TPS - Group wants to recruit
Date: May 17, 2007

Title: Mayor says Ford 'ideal' for vacancy on board - 5 candidates to
Date: June 1, 2007

Title: TPS board hopefuls differ in views on possible levy - But 4
Date: June 2, 2007

Title: Ford fills school board vacancy - Ex-mayor wants to resolve
Date: June 6, 2007

Let's take a look at a few of them.

Title: NOT ALL SEE EYE TO EYE WITH SUPPORTERS OF NEW DISTRICT BUILDINGS
Date: October 21, 2002

ARTICLE QUOTE: "[The new school buildings] will give our children the modern venue they need to compete with other children who have state-of-the-art buildings and classrooms. The kids are first," Mayor Ford said.

PROBLEM: Ford's recent statements about his focus as a prospective Board member has little to do with children. He's going to 'improve the school system's image, help address the budget, and talk about preparing for a levy campaign' (in the Blade's words; ref. Jun 06, 2007 article). Those 3 priorities sure make it sound like the children are distant 4th.

Title: Ford fills school board vacancy - Ex-mayor wants to resolve
Date: June 6, 2007

ARTICLE QUOTE: "I am going to work as hard here as I did as mayor," Mr. Ford said after taking the oath of office.

PROBLEM: Ford has a wide reputation for being a do-nothing mayor. The funny thing is, he probably didn't lie at all in his statement.

ARTICLE QUOTE: Mr. Ford said he would work to improve the school system's image, help address the budget, and talk about preparing for a levy campaign.

PROBLEM: The school system only has an "image" problem since there are deep-seated faults that cannot be fixed superficially. On top of that silliness, he defaults to a levy proposal. The budget for the TPS is what, about $340 million? Surely Ford can 'address' such a thing before going into this levy issue.

Title: OHIO TEAM GAVE TPS EVALUATION IN SUMMER - DOCUMENT IDENTIFIES DISTRICT WEAKNESSES
Date: January 9, 2002

ARTICLE QUOTE: The [2001 Local Report Card] drew criticism from Mayor Jack Ford, who said the public is impatient for the district to make progress on the state indicators, which cover proficiency test results and student attendance and graduation rates.

PROBLEM: If Ford was that aware of problems back in 2001, then Dr. Sanders must have really bamboozled him since we're essentially back in the SAME mess 6 years later. What does Ford have to say about the public's current impatience with the TPS falling back into Academic Watch? How about the public's impatience with certain TPS schools which have been in Academic Emergency for YEARS?

And, getting away from Ford a bit, let's see how the Blade contradicts itself and (in my opinion) expects us to either not remember or not care enough to realize it:

Title: IS EXPERIENCE THE BEST TEACHER? TOLEDO PRINCIPALS HAVE NO SAY OVER WHERE TEACHERS ARE ASSIGNED
Date: October 25, 2000

ARTICLE QUOTE: The Toledo Federation of Teachers, which recently served notice that it intends to hold onto its seniority rights, maintains seniority is at least as good a process as letting "incompetent" principals select teachers.

PROBLEM: OH. MY. GOD. Why do we Toledoans put up with a newspaper that passes along such blatant propaganda without critical investigation or follow-up? Why did the TFT get to brand the principals for free?

ARTICLE QUOTE: Either way, [Keith Scott, the principal at Pickett Elementary in Toledo's central city,] has little control over the policies and personnel in his building.

PROBLEM: Well, there you have it. The Blade knows the principals have little control. How then am I to square that admission with the Blade's recent opinion that the principals need to be fired? How about firing FRAN LAWRENCE instead?

Now, let's deal with the pure irony of the Paul Hem problem. I assume that the user "paulhem" is actually the Blade employee in question, so if he's not, then I'm being misled and can't be held for defamation.

1. We already know that Mr. Hem acted to take down the Mental Block site.

2. We also already know Mr. Hem acted to urge Jim Avolt (the owner of the Distillery) to deny my entrance to his establishment.

Insofar what Mr. Hem has already provided for us an an example, if you cross the Blade, a Blade employee might well TRY TO GET YOU. Why Mr. Hem never seems to realize this, is a bit of a mystery.

The Blade's unions are well aware that the Blade's owners are out to get them. The entire union fight was filled with the obscene vindictiveness of Allan and John Block.

Sure, the Blade has earned kudos for investigative reporting. They're not 100% biased 100% of the time. But if 10% of the effort to keep the focus on Tom Noe (a true crook, admittedly) was instead devoted to investigating McCloskey, we could have had that corrupt sonuvabitch out of office a lot earlier.

The Blade clearly showed its biased hand with McCloskey when it reported that -- once the FBI was obviously involved -- the councilman's East Toledo charity was not federally or state registered. The Blade could have checked on that anytime they wanted. The Blade burned Kest (admittedly, another fucking CROOK) for similar mishaps. So, why did the Blade wait for the FBI to develop a mature investigation before reporting that little tidbit? The only answer that seems to fit to me was that the Blade was protecting McCloskey. He was yet another of the Blade's preferred politicians and he was therefore untouchable.

This is not a matter of misallocation of resources. This is a matter of clear bias. The Blade has been acting like a news maker, not a news reporter, for years. Isn't it time for the people of Toledo to say enough is enough on that account?

Steven Flagg is entirely right about his concerns about the Blade. The Blade cannot claim it didn't know what the Urban Coalition has been advertising for years. The Blade also can't re-write recent history and assign hero status to Jack Ford. From the archived Blade articles that I've read, Ford was very supportive of Dr. Sanders, who was merely churning the TPS until he got his golden parachute. Hell, Sanders, several Barnetts, and Bruce Douglas (remember him?) are all donors to Ford's 2001 mayoral campaign! Ford is not a TPS hero and not an originator of fix-it ideas. The horrible truth is that Ford is a late-comer and coattail-rider.

Too bad he is hopelessly insane.

...assign hero status to Jack Ford...

To borrow Vader's words, we aren't stupid, GuestZero.

Your entire tirade is just a crazy rant - you need to see a shrink, there buddy.

Admin:

"...be held for defamation."

IS this what you allow your site to be used for? This guy just indicated that he KNOWS he is defaming me.

DO I NEED TO GO ON?

Fix this.

GZ actually makes a lot of sense. It looks like he did a lot of research that proves the points made in the response to the Blade editorial.

Actually Mr. Hem's comments about me could be extrapolated to be part of the Blade retribution I lamented about, albeit minor in nature. Since I don't know his motives, this is speculative on my part. I don't see anything that I would call defamation unless his facts can be proven to be false...and even then I doubt that there is any economic or other harm.

One could easily come to the conclusion that the Blade was engaged in revisionist history - and the evidence to support GZ's conclusion that Ford is running to protect the economic interests of the entrenched bureaucracy can be found in Ford's own words.

I've been the target of much more vicious attacks on this site - it goes with the territory. You offer an opinion; that opinion is subject to debate. I just hope people that take up the debate would keep the comments and thoughts in context!

I've never seen a group threaten lawsuits against individuals the way the Blade and some of its employees do at the drop of a hat. These guys seem to think they own the town and nobody had better sound off against them or their policies. This town badly needs another competing newspaper.

By someone ranting like a sick person, under the cloak of anonymity.

Mr. Flagg.

The ONLY thing GZ has done in almost every example that he has cited, are a repetition The Blade quoting a source. THEN, GZ demands that The Blade editorialize in the story to slant it in a way that conforms to GuestZero's agenda.

The statements that the individual calling himself or herself "GuestZero" has made about me here are false, misleading, libelous and defamatory. The admin. is aware that he is personally responsible, if he ignores my request to expunge those personal attacks against me.

It is plain to see that threats, retribution and misleading information etc. are part of the Toledo landscape, launched on people who dare to disagree with the status quo. Here is the e-mail that I sent to Ignazio Messina that launched the attack on me by Mr. Jim Wilhelm of the Toledo Blade.

---------------------------------------

Ignasio,

Am copying a description of the term "yellow journalism" from an on-line dictionary.

Yellow Journalism:
The term, as it commonly applies, refers to news organizations for whom sensationalism, profiteering, and in some cases propaganda and jingoism, take dominance over factual reporting. Most cases tend to be related to journalistic bias, and the endemic practices of particular organizations to operate as mouthpieces, for rather limited and particular allegiances, rather than for the public trust.

Your column, along with the picture of board president Darlene Fisher reeks of yellow journalism. We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words. Darlene is a courageous woman, who is not only beautiful and intelligent, in body and spirit, but who is also on the forefront of changes being made on the Toledo Board of Education. To depict her in the light that you and your newspaper have done is very unprofessional and serves not the children of Toledo.

Shame on you!

Twila Page

I deny making any false or misleading statements about you or anyone else.

Now, what I may have written about some anonymous Internet nickname before you identified yourself as Brian Maxston are not in any way about you, because that was prior to the time that you actually identified yourself. An anonymous Internet nickname can not be injured by defamation. Forgive me if I misspelled your last name

"GuestZero's" lie regarding the Distillery is typical of lies. Part-truth.

I posted a comment for all to see in order to sanction "GuestZero" for writing that it would be right for an Iraqi to put a bullet in my son's head because he was an invader. He said that after I mentioned that my son had to clean his friend's brains out of the Stryker.

For him to put that atrocious comment up about my son, serving his country in Iraq, was deserving of my attempt to sanction him. And, Brian you would have done the same or more if it were your child.

The lie is that GuestZero places my action in the context of my employment at The Blade. That is false, misleading and defamatory.

"Now, what I may have written about some anonymous Internet nickname before you identified yourself as Brian Maxston are not in any way about you, because that was prior to the time that you actually identified yourself"

If you truly believe what you wrote about me, those caustic digs and blatent lies, thinking I was someone else when posting on ToledoTalk about my child episode as someone else then SURPRISE I come out of nowhere to continue the story, you truly are a douchebag. There's nothing like watching a coward backpedal his way through an excuse. (edit: sentence removed per request, my apologies, Chris.)

What you're dealing with in GuestZero's case is personal and cannot supercede fact. As personal as me not giving a shit what he has said about your son after what you've posted about my situation. One can hope that soldier dosen't turn out as heartless and ignorant as you are. Forgive me if you missed the fact I didn't disrespect your child. Just the deserving.

Now, you want a definition of "retaliation", Paul? As a "victim" of retaliation, I've had a detective posted in Riverside Park directly across my house, five various days a week, sitting on that park bench, talking into his radio twice an hour. Or how about when you leave your home to say, go visit mommy, pull out on Galena Street 50 feet and get pulled over for a "mechanical infraction", or perhaps the dreaded "didn't see a turn signal back there at that corner", even when I did. Watching those bleached out Reliant K cars trading off when following me. Baby blue to bleached yellow and back to the blue. Big duh guys. Friends start avoiding me in fear of being drawn into Marti's drama.

Carty's not the police chief, he's the mayor, and can get away with retaliation. Because if you say there's no such thing, I'm going to call your bullshit.

Brain said:"If you truly believe what you wrote about me, those caustic digs and blatent (SIC) lies, thinking I was someone else when posting on ToledoTalk about my child episode as someone else then SURPRISE I come out of nowhere to continue the story, you truly are a douchebag."

Look, the nick name called Brian_whatever is the one who brought up the entire issue regarding the past police issues, not me, look back at the postings. I only knew what you or whoever was posting as the nick name was posting about the Toledo Police problem. Are you now saying that the police problems that you said caused you to leave Toledo are not true?

However, in the event that I ever, even unintentionally, posted something that offended you, then I apologize, and won't let it happen again.

Calling me names like "doucebag," or "coward" will get you into a real problem, and I demand that you stop it now, or I will pursue action against you, as well.

Is calling me names so important to you that you will risk a lawsuit?

I'm a paratrooper, and you know that from past exchanges, a court would look at that and find that calling me a coward was a lie, and defamatory.

Again, cease and desist your lies and defamation immediately.

Brian, are you or your family aware of the consequences of what you doing online?

I will participate here without being bullied. I will take action to defend my name. I will not be bullied into retreating from this forum by people who are deliberately trying to damage my reputation. If you Google my name, then this shows up. And no I will not retreat.

I have a right to express my opinion here without having anyone lie about me, defame me, or libel me. Therefore, I will take action.

I appreciated your letter to the editor Steve. It very well mirrored my own sentiment and disgust with the situation. History just repeats itself over and over in Toledo. I'm sure of that - what I don't know is just how much it costs to get that done?

GZ thank you very much for the research. It probably was very time consuming but it is surely an interesting read.

Why does any discussion about the Blade always boil down to discussion of lawsuits? It's comical at this point.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Toledo is like one of those ole sleepy southern towns, where everything looks serene, until you look under the veneer of the local people in charge. In this case the mayor (current or past), the Blade, the fire department, the police chief, school superintendent, school board members, county commissioners, court systems (both adult and juvenile) child protective services and Francine Lawrence.

When the outcasts start making noise like, the Steve Flaggs, the Guestzeros, the Perlean Griffins, the Gloria Sturdivants, the Darlene Fishers, the Chris Myers, the Maggie Thurbers then the locals in charge have to discredit these people because the noise may wake up a few more people. And that won't be good for the status quo.

The Blade sure brings out the emotions in people - and I seldom hear a good word spoken by anyone except a Blade employee. And the former Blade employees I know are not very complimentary.

I was most disappointed in how this whole thread developed. I dislike the name calling and the threats. Why would you even consider filing a lawsuit? Even if you won, how would you say this harmed or damaged you?

Don't answer me, because I don't want an answer. The questions are rhetorical. But if you want to comment on why the Blade brings out the emotions and mostly negative I'd like to hear your opinions.

Nonetheless, let's stop this please. IMHO, we all get upset from time to time, but this is not the way to behave.

Purnhrt - I thank you for the compliment because I'm fairly certain that was the way it was meant!

Why are people so adamant about crushing debate by impugning the character of an individual? What is wrong with simply debating the issues and leave the personalities to the side? Unless of course the personality is the problem - such as our Mayor's treatment of seemingly everyone around him, most especially those that are not happy about his job performance.

Why do people want to label others as a critic? Because if they can get people to stop listening due to the labels they use, then they don't have to debate the issue! Besides, problem identification is the first step in solving the problem. I don't like to hear bad news any more than anyone else, but I don't put my head in the sand and proclaim the world safe around me - that is a fool's delusion.

People here know that I work for The Blade, so anyone with a grudge against the newspaper takes it out on me. That I can understand. I also understand that the "conversation" can get fairly heated.

However, that does not mean that someone can defame, libel, or lie about me. So, I am taking action to protect my good name.

I think that Mr. Brian Maxston has demonstrated that anyone who attempts to question some organization that he supports, Mr. Maxston replies with a defamatory, ad hominem attack. He and GuestZero follow me around to different threads and seem to be attempting to make me pay for my comments by deliberately and viciously attacking my reputation.

Part of the reason that I participate here has to do with my interest in how the Internet will fit into the overall picture of how people will obtain their news. So, there is an academic interest on my part, as well.

I think that everyone wants to interact with the news source. So, the question becomes: How? In what form?

Mr. Flagg writes, "Don't answer me, because I don't want an answer." He writes that after his astute observation of "former employees" being unhappy with their former employer - quite typical human reaction, Mr. Flagg, don't you agree? And of course, Mr. Flagg there are very few people who have been the subject, or supporters of subjects of media investigations, who will compliment the newspsper - so yeeesssss, Mr. Flagg, I expect that discussions of an editorial to become heated.

Again, sir, "Don't answer me, because I don't want an answer." Does that reflect the overall theme of your organization? Then you go on to assert, "The questions are rhetorical. But if you want to comment on why the Blade brings out the emotions and mostly negative I'd like to hear your opinions."

Are any of the people who have defamed me here associated with your organization in any way?

It took quite awhile into this thread for Mr. Flagg to actually concede that he was not accusing The Blade of retribution that - reading his statement - seemed to mean that his civil rights would be criminally violated.

Back to the academics. And I suppose it should have been obvious from the beginning.

The Internet has allowed people who are on the same side of an issue, support a candidate, board or whatever to congregate into separate little groups of those who agree with one another.

When someone, like me, enters the discussion, who doesn't agree, then my reputation is viciously attacked by the resident Sergeants-at-Arms of the likes of Mr. Maxston and GuestZero.

Honestly, I didn't know that Mr. Myers' was part of a group that purnhrt says, "...like, the Steve Flaggs, the Guestzeros, the Perlean Griffins, the Gloria Sturdivants, the Darlene Fishers, the Chris Myers, the Maggie Thurbers..."

First, I voted for Maggie, so can I participate and disagree without being defamed, now? If I could show my political support, for you, Mr. Myers, would I then be allowed to comment here without assaults from the "outcasts." cool name, "outcasts" BTW Purnhrt, you should copywrite, that...

Or do I have to present more impressive credentials like attacking The Blade - kind of like a gang initiation, right? Then will I be allowed to participate without being libeled and defamed?

What question of yours, Mr. Flagg, am I allowed to answer next? Please tell Mr. Maxston, so that he knows that it's OK for me to answer. I promise to try to conform. I promise.

I did not mean a group of people in an organization. The people I mentioned are not in any organization together that I know of. I could have added names like, Opal Covey, Gerri Jensen, Claudia Vercellotti, people who speak out in Toledo about wrong and have stepped up to make a right.

I don't know how you got what I wrote was about people in an organization. Must be that Blade influence. (Just Kidding!!!)

Paul, I'm sorry you took it the way you did. I did not think an answer to my rhetorical question was needed. You feel you want to take legal action. That is certainly your choice. I don't operate that way. And I too have been a target of attack. It is just part of this landscape.

Now you take me out of context and make it look like I don't want answers to questions or that I don't want to hear your opinions. But let me remind you that you warmed up the attack dogs by being first on the attack.

I have every right to fear retribution from the Blade. My lament does not mean that it does not concern me nor do I wish to tell you what I know about the Blade and how I have been treated or not treated - or others for that matter. You can ask, but I don't have to answer.

What does it say about the Blade when an employee is harassed on this forum because they are a Blade employee? There are some very strong feeling about the Blade and they are not positive.

But I don't agree you are guilty just through your association with the Blade. I would not want my associations to be used to make me look guilty of any action simply because of who I had dinner with last evening!

Please don't take my comments out of context!

However, you still seem to think that I somehow have some responsibility for the defamation that "attack dogs," as you called them did to me.

"...you warmed up the attack dogs by being first on the attack."

What "attack" did I make, Mr. Flagg? Are you rationalizing what occurred here with some trumped up "attack" charge?

Was the fact that I joked about the newspaper trying to "get me" and "paper cut," "warming up the attack dogs?" Was it that comment by me that you are referring to as an attack? Specifically, who are you referring to as "attack dogs?" Would it be the people here who I claim have defamed me? Are they in any way involved with your organization?

In terns of action, since you seemed to indicate that I will file suit... I have asked Mr. Myers to expunge the defamatory comments. I'm still waiting for him to act in accordance to the responsibilities incumbent upon an administrator of swampbubbles.com. I have sent an email to the character who calls himself, GuestZero demanding that he redact his comments about me. Mr. Maxston's comments are clearly defamation, and very deliberately designed to harm me. I expect, by now, Mr. Myers to aware that his site is being used to libel and defame me. He must also expunge, immediately the very obvious defamatory attacks against me by Mr. Brian Maxston.

How about Mr. Maxton's comment regarding what he will do in lieu of legal proceedings, "Paul, I have other things in mind. Feel free to be creative with that sentence, because I am."? And You are concerned about retribution from The Blade? What are you sanctioning here, Mr. Myers?!

And, again, you write, "I have every right to fear retribution from the Blade." The last time that I asked what you meant you gave me, a "partial answer." Are you now prepared to give us a full and complete answer?

>And I too have been a target of attack. It is just part of this landscape.

Mr. Flagg, you are a public figure - I am not.

That makes the defamation, and libel (among other personal attacks) hurdle much lower for people like me. Mr. Flagg, you are the leader of a public organization that seeks publicity, you expect defamatory public comments that a private individual does not have to endure, according to past judgments in libel and defamation cases. I am not a lawyer, I hang around journalists who study such topics, however.

In terms of taking you out of context...

Since any computer keyboards that I have used have a backspace key, why would you leave a question in your comments that you wouldn't want me to answer? Frankly, I didn't understand the meaning there. What is your point about The Blade. Why not just write your opinion?

Again, thank you for your empathy.

McCaskey:

http://www.eff.org/bloggers/lg/faq-defamation.php

Bloggers' FAQ - Online Defamation Law
The Bloggers' FAQ on Online Defamation Law provides an overview of defamation (libel) law, including a discussion of the constitutional and statutory privileges that may protect you.

What is defamation?
Generally, defamation is a false and unprivileged statement of fact that is harmful to someone's reputation, and published "with fault," meaning as a result of negligence or malice. State laws often define defamation in specific ways. Libel is a written defamation; slander is a spoken defamation.
What are the elements of a defamation claim?
The elements that must be proved to establish defamation are:
a publication to one other than the person defamed;
a false statement of fact;
that is understood as
a. being of and concerning the plaintiff; and
b. tending to harm the reputation of plaintiff.
If the plaintiff is a public figure, he or she must also prove actual malice.
Is truth a defense to defamation claims?
Yes. Truth is an absolute defense to a defamation claim. But keep in mind that the truth may be difficult and expensive to prove.
Can my opinion be defamatory?
No

I am totally dumbfounded concerning Paulhem. The venom displayed from him is astonishing. Reading the last remarks, after everybody says, "we give" leaves me to believe people who work for the Blade are just mean spirited. The e-mails that I exchanged with Jim Wilhelm were horrible coming from a person who is employed by the only daily newspaper in this city and no one at the Blade who received copies of the e-mails saw anything wrong with the tone. Now I see why. It's a Blade thang we just don't understand!"

Venom? Do you have any examples?

I'm not looking for "we give." I don't think that anyone said that. Where did you see it?

If the perpetrators want to do the right thing and edit out their defamation, then I would think we'd be getting somewhere.

I am demanding that Mr. Myers remove the defamation from his site.

call it a day and sleep it off.

The operative word was "daily." The other newspapers The Truth?, The Journal,The City Paper, The Free Press and others are "weekly" newspapers.

The all offer a different perspective and also print stories, opinions and information that the "daily" newspaper does not.

It is kind of hard to compete once a week with someone who plays every day.

While it may not be the prime source or single source of information, it is a daily newspaper that every day that helps to shape the minds and thinking of a lot of people.

People in these positions of power should not as a matter of principal get as angry, venomous, and vindictive as they do. My opinion only, with my experiences with the Blade.

However, I was answering McCaskey's specific question. I don't know what the end result of the court action was, or if there will EVER be an end to it.

I believe that defamation suits over Internet speech will increase and cause major problems for this medium. As a matter of fact, I have noticed that many law firms are specializing in this type of law. They see it too.

It's not a matter of "thicker skin."

Have you been reading about the fact that prospective employers are "Googleing" the names of those who they will hire? I think that definitely points to a change. I can also see loan officers and others with whom a person wants to do business also Googleing each other.

Now we're back to why do I post with my real name, then? I believe that it is a right for a person to be able to use a real name in public without fear of the kind of retribution that I received here, during this discussion. It is also a right to post anonymously, and anonymity brings its own positives to the discussions, so I am not against anonymous nick names, at all. HOWEVER, THERE IS NO REAL ANONYMITY WHILE USING THE INTERNET! Your ISP, in combination with the logs that sites like this have to maintain, make it possible to determine who you are on swampbubbles.com - for example. Even those using proxy servers and/or TOR (tor.eff.org) are traceable, it just depends whether it is worth the trouble to find you, that's all. DNS servers are also tattle-tales.

If you noticed both "Pete" and Mr. Brian Maxston (aka BrianInVeroFL) deliberately placed their defamation in a context that would be easy for a search engine bot to pick up. That is malicious, and I believe it is actionable.

Just because I identify myself and where I work is not an excuse for the type of abuse that I have received here.

And, yes, I agree with your previous statement, "it's just a newspaper." That's why I joked about Mr. Flagg's "a citizen should not have to worry about retribution for exercising their constitutional rights...but then again." And somehow that was interpreted as an "attack."

I still think Mr. Flagg's retribution concern is humorous - no attack intended. Maybe that's a little disrespectful on my part, but it certainly isn't an attack of the magnitude that I endured here from the "attack dogs," as Mr. Flagg has called them.

So, it depends upon what you want, I guess. I believe that this medium is much less useful than it could be. I have friends who think I'm crazy for posting my opinion under my real name. They tell me that they stay away from "chat blogs" because "you're just asking for trouble" by visiting them.

I think that Rosa Parks' refusal to sit in the back of the bus was commendable. I'm sure that her family and friends told her that she was crazy, and what difference does it make? And, why make waves? etc... etc... I am not comparing myself with her. I just believe that having a medium that everyone can use, without the kind of malicious retribution that I faced here is worth fighting for.

...but I do seek a certain amount of anonymity because there are those out there who are not rational. I don't mean those who respond here (although it seems rather crazy at times), but some nut who takes exceptions to the ideas we display. I would rather not have to deal with some nut showing up at my front door with a gun. They seem common enough as it is.

We have a fellow who just moved into our block that seems a little eccentric. The fellow who rented the apartment to him told me before he moved in that he showed up on a bike to rent the place, and wanted to move in without a security deposit. The owner thought that over, and decided against it. His lights are on all the time, he never appears outside his house, and when the letter carrier brought a registered piece of mail to his house he grabbed her, and used the word "surveillance" about 20 times in the next few sentences. His manner scared her.

Our carrier checked with his former carrier, and was told he has an imaginary friend who will help him "deal" with his enemies. He told her he would "deal" with her, and she went to the Postal Inspectors with that. Whether that is enough for them to deal with him is open to question. Sometimes an action has to occur before any law enforcement can take place.

Old South End Broadway

Cited above. The defendant was not present at the trial and offered no defense:

"In 2003, Scheff sued Bock for defamation. Bock hired a lawyer, but he left the case when she no longer could afford to pay him.

When Katrina hit in August 2005, Bock's house was flooded and she moved temporarily to Texas before returning to Louisiana last June. Court papers that Scheff and her attorney David H. Pollack mailed to Bock were returned to Pollack's office in Miami.

After Bock didn't offer a defense, a Broward Circuit Court judge found in favor of Scheff. A jury then heard Scheff's arguments about damages. Pollack did not seek a specific amount for the harm he says Scheff's business suffered.

"Even with no opposing counsel and no defendant there, $11 million is a huge amount," says Pollack, adding that Scheff is considering whether to try to collect any money from Bock.". (e.a.)

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Either way Paul will have to show damage for any lawsuit to be successful.

With libel, defamation, and slander you must show that in some way the comments affected your professional or personal life. (Just being mad doesn't count as affecting personal life)

That being said I doubt Paul will have a case unless his wife were to leave him or he were to be fired. I doubt either would happen but he'd also have to prove that it was due to the comments on this board.

Now if due to GZ's comments Paul's son became depressed and had his career affected then GZ could possibly be liable for damages. Likewise if Brian's "threat" caused the Blade to fire Paul again there would be damages.

However since libel, slander, and defamation are some of the hardest cases to prove it's doubtful even those cases would be successful.

MikeyA

MikeyA

"It's your decision. However, I have done everything that I can to mitigate potential damages to my reputation. And, if I can quantify damages to me that occur as a result of this thread, then I will be forced to name everyone who has been involved, up to this point."

I just thought it was important to have the discussion. Was I "mad" now and then, yes. However, it seemed to be an opportunity to discuss ths defamation issue.

Even if I could sue, I wouldn't, unless I was hurt.

MikeyA, you pointed out how potential damages could occur - another great addition to the discussion.

Thanks,

Paul

Yes, I would interpret that as threatening, like maybe a lawsuit. It's happened before, and, yes, they have driven people out of town. They've also closed down other publications that opposed them. (Note to Paul Hem.)

Your smokescreen is interfering with the facts again.

Look at you character assasinate those that expose your ignorance.

And considering the very passionate and loving relationship the Blade has with Jack Ford, you have to be as ignorant as...well, you, to continue to prop up this loser that applied, well, you know the pathetic story about Jack's application to the TPS Board, right? Well, you folks put the good word in for a man that can't fill out an application.

Deny that too for your cred, come on!

How the Blade can continue to "play the music" as the ship is sinking around you amuses me, for I think you folks at the Blade think you're still in the early 2000's.

You're going to find that things will be different this election.

And feel free to retailiate by making another stupid comment about my daughter, I dare you.

Jack Lessenberry about the alleged yellow journalism?

LESSENBERRY, JACK omblade@aol.com Ombudsman 419-724-6200

http://toledoohioneighborhoodconcerns.com/blog

(This email, by the way, is a personal and confidential communication with you in response to your email here questioning our story -- it is not for public airing, forwarding to anyone else, or publication without my express legal permission.)

Looks like maybe by posting this here you're asking for a bit of trouble from them eh? I mean I would think posting it on a forum liks this would be a publication of sorts.

When is a accusation of "retribution," a "sidebar?"

I am a computer guy at The Blade. It is only when the paper is delivered, that I know what is in it. Which means that there are a large number of people here who know what's in The Blade before I do. Granted, I have been consulted by writers regarding military and computer issues, but even that has been only a couple of times in the past 12 years.

So, I'm not in on the "inside" regarding anything there, except cell phone, computers, networking security, Internet, etc.

However, I did understand the retribution comment, and I want to know what you meant by that, Steve. You even mentioned your constitutional rights. For someone who took an oath to "support and defend," that's a big deal.

I'll stay away from your thread, now. I think that my concerns have been aired regarding this topic.

Notice that Twila's point isn't that the blade acted illegally but unethically.

To say that someone acted unethically is not slander it's a point of view. To assert they broke the law would possibly be slander (doubtful it would stick in a court of law).

This supports my previous claims.

Also I'm not contending that the Blade is the only organization that has acted unethically. These problems are representative of journalism as a whole. I'm just conceding the fact that the Blade bends the line when it works to their advantage.

MikeyA

MikeyA

Just couldn't do it.

You have a tendency to pop off about my daughter issue when you're cornered with fact, whether it be here or ToledoTalk. It's clear who starts it, Paul.

This time I head you off at the pass and you take this direction. I'm not surprised. Thanks for not being caustic. Sarcastic I can live with, I married the Queen of it.

Only one child, Paul, fyi. Gauging from the conversations I've had with her thus far, it won't be long.

I'm very certain, with the people in the RV park I was in, it was a combined investment of the neighborhood.

UK folk don't watch cars goin' in circles. They beat the crap out of each other over a 8 pound ball.

you've personally have made statements that are false and misleading about me yet don't see me whining about threatening a lawsuit. And did you try to get GuestZero "banned" from entering the Distillery, ever?

Explains the attempted "discrediting" of the esteemed author.

I feel like crap about having typed "I apologize" to you now.

I see that it's clear where the facts lie.

you ARE a douchebag and a coward. So get your platoons of high priced Blade lawyers out and sue me!
Pete

at this point in time :-)

Funny thing is EVERYBODY thinks it's a great idea. Time'll tell.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

grow up, you worthless and ill-informed coward.

Douchebag. Coward. Liar. Paul Hem.

All factual statements by me based upon experience, not by delusions conjured in my head.

Bullied? By calling you an idiot I am bullying you.

I'm not leading you to post the immature comments and verbal garbage you used against Mr Flagg. You've made those decisions, and as a member of this site, I'm entitled to call you out on your crap.

You do crack me up with your ignorance, Paul.

There are hundreds of thousands of military people that have risked themselves to protect our Constitution, including members of my family. I've chosen to despise one of ya. Get over it. Besides, it'd be a stretch to see you try to use that "I was a paratrooper, so I am offended at 'coward'" as a line of defense. For you to even imply your service as an "advantage" in a court of law is an insult to the judicial system, dolt.

Hold your breath for an apology from me.

Has anyone successfully brought a libel and/or defamation case against another party dealing with inflammatory online 'speech'?

If we were all sitting around a table and the same words were exchanged verbally as stated in this forum, could you press charges in that situation as well? I'd think not.

As far as Guestzero goes, my recollection of the thread on TT where he said what he did concerning your son was basically that your son was part of an occupying force in Iraq and could be expected to be shot at because the nature of his duties (as all others serving there) put him in harm's way.

I don't remember him expessing a wish or a hope or a desire that your son be injured or otherwise harmed. If you dig out the quote and it states otherwise, post it for us to see.

How about Mr. Maxton's comment regarding what he will do in lieu of legal proceedings, "Paul, I have other things in mind. Feel free to be creative with that sentence, because I am."?

On the other hand, it may not ever hold up in court, but yes, this sure sounds like a threat to me. Of course, it's purposefully vague, but I have to say I could understand how one would take that very personally.

Some might challenge that comment about being a "public figure" but we all need to have thicker skins.

I did not start this thread to go here. I went along, but it has become difficult to discern what has gone on with all of you - I mean no offense, but there is some bad karma here.

Paul, I don't think we are going to get any further in this conversation. So let's just go away and say, "we agree to disagree" or "we don't understand each other's opinion" or whatever. So don't be offended if I don't respond any longer...it's just time to move along...Cheers

Boo-hoo, poor Paul Hem. I'm gonna cry. If you can't take the arrows slung at you, then don't start attacking everyone who disagrees with your pathetic and hidebound positions. And you have also made some pretty nasty and outrageous statements about people here and on ToledoTalk over the years. They are all a matter of public record. What do you expect when you act like a jerk?

Actually, there are the Toledo Free Press, the City Paper, the Sojourner Truth, and others that claim they are "newspapers". And my respect for the Toledo Free Press has increased since I've been posting here. I don't consider the Blade as bad as many people do here. I guess I am ignorant of all the many wrongs the paper has indulged in, but there are competing venues. Heck, I get most of my news off the Internet now. I still read the Blade in the morning, but I don't consider it the single (or even prime) source of information about this city.

Old South End Broadway

Paul, first you are continuing the items that you wanted removed. Don't ask for stuff to be removed if you are only going to copy them and put them in your own posts. I am disappointed in you.

Since you are educating everyone on libel, I will educate you on my responsibility.

"US courts removed liability for third-party providers of message boards and forums:

Congress made a policy choice, however, not to deter harmful online speech through the separate route of imposing tort liability on companies that serve as intermediaries for other parties' potentially injurious messages.

Congress, however, has chosen for policy reasons to immunize from liability for defamatory or obscene speech "providers and users of interactive computer services" when the defamatory or obscene material is "provided" by someone else.

However, Zeran speaks only to an instant case where the forum provider was not actively involved in the defamatory publications.

Read the whole case at:
http://legal.web.aol.com/decisions/dldefam/zerandia.html "

http://www.dba-oracle.com/internet_laws_message_boards_forums_blogs_pers...

"The appellate court rejected the plaintiff's argument and found no liability on the part of Matchmaker. The court found that Matchmaker is not an "information content provider," but rather an "interactive computer service" which allows the public to post information on its Web site. Under the Communications Decency Act, "interactive computer services" do not incur liability because humans create the actual content."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carafano_v._Metrosplash.com%2C_Inc.

1996 Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), which states in part that "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider". Note that this portion of the CDA was not struck down and remains law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_service_provider_law

So you can try to make me liable but you will be flushing money down the drain. Take your problem to the user, not me.

Well the blade employee who wrote this should know that the minute he/she sent it it became the property of Twila and henceforth she may do with it what she will regardless if it was for "public airing" or not.

Furthermore they accuse her of slander in a private correspondence. The fact that the correspondence was private the legal reading of slander is immediately nullified. They should know that.

Also for her to actually be slandering them they should know that their has to be both malicious intent and also must show damage that was done. Without seeing the wording of the original message I can't say if it was malicious but being it was private correspondence it wouldn't have any damage unless if it were threatening but again that does not qualify it as slander as a threat is not slander.

MikeyA

MikeyA

The reason I torqued off on you is because you fail, somehow, to provide any insight other than to rip into or defame comments.

I feel had you addressed these issues in a more ethical and civilized way, your comments wouldn't seem so spiteful and threatening.

My apologies to you.

Now, I do feel the Blade has failed in many aspects concerning TPS. It's clear that The Blade continues to maintain a political standpoint endorsing certain board members, instead of informing the obvious needs the TPS Board needs to address. As a "responsible" media outlet", it isn't fair to give the credit to Jack Ford for things that was addressed and failed to "pass" because the board at the time was filled with Larry Sykes vindictive and threatening behaviour, but now it's ok because Jack Ford says it?

Sorry Paul, there's no free pass on this issue. It's clear that Darlene Fischer has made many attempts to bring about "open government" within the TPS Board and not much was reported on it, and if it was, the story was diluted with propaganda about Sykes.

Speaking of Sykes, whatever happened to Katie Boyd?

I should have continued reading before I posted.

LOL

GUYS, GUYS, GUYS!!

Check out http://www.flayme.com/flame/02-strategy.shtml

You might find #251 entertaining.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-10-10-internet-defamation-case_...

By Laura Parker, USA TODAY
A Florida woman has been awarded $11.3 million in a defamation lawsuit against a Louisiana woman who posted messages on the Internet accusing her of being a "crook," a "con artist" and a "fraud."
Legal analysts say the Sept. 19 award by a jury in Broward County, Fla.

Your behavior has been nothing short of despicable in every venue that I have observed your pathetic attempts to put together an intelligent sentence.

You call me a coward?

You are the one here calling names while hiding behind your anonymous nick name.

I've made pdf's of your comments for legal purposes, and I know a little about preserving the evidence in such a manner to be admissible.

Use your scroll and see that I have already put your "attack accusations" to beddie bye.

How do you feel being referred to as an "attack dog" by Mr. Flagg? Looks like you can't even obtain the respect of someone that was on the same side as yours in this issue.

No wonder you're crying? Don't waste too many tears on the fact that Mr. Flagg considers you to be a doggy, because when you lose your little dog house to me, you'll be crying again.

"I don't remember him expessing a wish or a hope or a desire that your son be injured or otherwise harmed. If you dig out the quote and it states otherwise, post it for us to see."

You're quibbling.

The point is that he claimed that I attempted to sanction him as a function of my employment at The Blade. As you are aware, McCaskey, that was a lie intended to defame me.

I have observed you redacting statements against others, here. Additionally, you terminated a discussion that you felt was off track and getting "too personal." I consider the statements that I have been diligently bringing to your attention to be even more than just "personal." Whay didn't you immediately terminate this thread when I first complained? Obviously, what I complained about was "personal, was it not?."

Therefore, I expected equal treatment from you.

What is the difference here?

How about educating me regarding court cases where the administrator of the site is aware of the issue and ignores the person attempting to mitigate damages by requesting that this administrator redact the comments? I think courts look at knowingly allowing the defamation take place, and then refusing to redact the defamatory remarks is different from what you are talking about. Your comment here is proof that you are aware of the problem, and then are unwilling to mitigate it because you think that you have immunity. We'll see, I guess.

Is your comment, above, a way of asking that I remove references to the defamation in my replies? In return, are you going to remove the defamation directed against me? Is this what you are suggesting?

Also, I can't seem to get an "edit" option to remove my reference to the BrianInVeroFL threat that he has now removed.

I especially loved this:

"Flaming is the chess of the net; a long game of skill, planning a campaign and being prepared for all that your opponent can throw at you. By the end of the War, all involved can have little doubt of the outcome.

If you were defeated, or merely a Firefighter on the periphery, then you know your place - you may be so humiliated that you may have to leave that group. But if you defeated a Damp Squib who dared to oppose you, you may be the Flame Master - but you have been seen to be a bully, and who wants to risk a few rounds with you? You can stay in the group - but how welcome are you?

There are No Winners."

...about the laws in Florida, but here, if you don't show up for a trial in a civil suit, you'll very likely get a default judgement. Is that what happened here?

...or did the person sued continue the process with an appeal. I certainly would before I paid $11.3 million (which I don't have). Just because a judgement is secured doesn't mean that a damn cent is paid. Look at how successful the judgement against O.J. Simpson has been to pay Nicole's parents for their loss.

In many cases the only winners in civil suites are the lawyers. Growing a thicker skin might be less costly in terms of time and money (and psychic damage) than bringing a suite.

Old South End Broadway

Paul, read the case and you will find what the courts have said. The situation where the courts ruled was a much worse situation than what you are complaining about.

Also, Brian could have wanted to send you a chocolate bunny, meaning something that is hollow and melts. Don't put words into people's mouth about a threat. I asked Brian to clarify or remove the statement because this forum is not about discussing who will get chocolate bunnies.

I told you what the procedures were, which I tell everyone when they complain about something, so you know what to do.

If I removed comments and threads people complain about, then probably 25% of the stuff here would be removed. Don't expect special treatment. I have done nothing different to this thread than done in the past, which is nothing unless something outrageous has been said or hinted at.

man, and to think this link could have saved me so much headache.....

Tanks Billy!

I read the case and it is interesting. I don't think that it has much to do with this situation. However, I'll be glad to have my attorney look at it.

Are you refusing to comply with my request?

You are involved. I have notified you.

The important issue here, is that you have intervened previously in other threads, and now you seem reluctant to give me equal treatment. I think that your previous intervention makes the current issue concerning me relatively unique. Is it that fact that I work for a company that you may not like?

Regarding "Chocolate bunnies..." I don't believe that anyone reading the comment, in context, would believe that he was talking about "chocolate bunnies." If it were "chocolate bunnies," that he was referring to, then why did you take action? You wrote, "I asked Brian to clarify or remove the statement because this forum is not about discussing who will get chocolate bunnies." Is this forum about discussing me? It would seem that "GuestZero." "Pete," and "BrianinVeroFL," were discussing me, and proclaiming defamation regarding me. Why doesn't that make the defamation that I was subject to be what this "forum is not about discussing."
And, therefore make you redact the defamation?

Again, since you are aware of this issue, and have already become involved requesting that a user delete offending comments, then why are delaying to act on my attempt to mitigate potential damages?

I should not have to wait until a prospective employer or someone else that I would like to do business with either refuses me, or cases me incur extra expense because of these defamatory comments.

It's your decision. However, I have done everything that I can to mitigate potential damages to my reputation. And, if I can quantify damages to me that occur as a result of this thread, then I will be forced to name everyone who has been involved, up to this point.

Would it not be better for everyone for you to take the next step? You have already caused the threatening comment to be deleted, why not the defamation?

My statement, under clarification, would have said that I would have rode you on every post you made until I was banned from the site, no matter what you posted. You aren't worth "going to jail for", period.

Threatening statement? It's all in perspective.

Chris emailed me a couple of days ago, but it took me a day to get to my mail for personal reasons, but after reading it, instead of creating a bigger drama, I decided to remove it, and apologized for the statement being misconstrued as a physical act of violence.

Ain't none of ya, including Shane, as much ill will as I do wish upon him, are worth being a part of the Toledo Judicial System, peeeeriod. Even I'm stupid enough to know better.

But to threaten me with a lawsuit because I called you a douchebag? Dude, you can bid on Chris Redfern's testicular fortitude on ebay, auction ends Tuesday.

..over a simple comment, I think I was successful in my "clairification".

Wanna know something else ironic? You made yourself look this bad on your own, just by your interpretation of one comment. All that research and phone calls, over me calling you out for your character assaination of Mr. Flagg and others.

And to think I would have done this to you on everything you posted. Just call you a name and punk on your "credibility" (edit: because you MAY or MAY NOT be the actual PAUL HEM the human being employed at the Blade, as much as being a "14 year old punk" looking to get his kicks). Much more effective than a battery charge.

Nonetheless, I won't pick on your ignorance anymore.

I'm sorry for hurting your feelings.

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