“Blogger’s Incarceration Raises First Amendment Questions”

A weird story, from the NYT. And of course I read it fairly avidly, given that I blog.

But not like this guy, whose central purpose in blogging would seem to be insulting an awful lot of powerful people and civic entities. And now he’s in jail. For insulting an awful lot of people. Which, of course, breaches his First Amendment right to insult anybody he wants to:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — For over six years, Roger Shuler has hounded figures of the state legal and political establishment on his blog, Legal Schnauzer, a hothouse of furious but often fuzzily sourced allegations of deep corruption and wide-ranging conspiracy. Some of these allegations he has tested in court, having sued his neighbor, his neighbor’s lawyer, his former employer, the Police Department, the Sheriff’s Department, the Alabama State Bar and two county circuit judges, among others. Mostly, he has lost.

But even those who longed for his muzzling, and there are many, did not see it coming like this: with Mr. Shuler sitting in jail indefinitely, and now on the list of imprisoned journalists worldwide kept by the Committee to Protect Journalists. There, in the company of jailed reporters in China, Iran and Egypt, is Mr. Shuler, the only person on the list in the Western Hemisphere.

It’s a must read (by Times reporter Campbell Robertson), although it mostly caused me to contemplate not blogging but how some people are so nuts. (Paranoia would be my diagnosis.) And that includes the judge who jailed Roger Shuler. I mean, what was this jurist thinking?

And P.S. note the dateline: this story has a southern setting, as you all might have figured.

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