Monday, April 7, 2014

New York Times Falsely Claims That Legal Schnauzer Blog Has Generated "Many Defamation Lawsuits"

The New York Times building
A photo caption in a New York Times article about my incarceration states that the Legal Schnauzer blog has "prompted many defamation lawsuits." The statement is false and comes on top of other inaccuracies that we have previously noted in the story.

The January 12 article, by reporter Campbell Robertson, inaccurately states that I was "unwilling to hire a lawyer" and that I planned to "bring federal criminal charges" against the judge in the defamation case that led to my incarceration.

But the newspaper stepped way out of bounds by hinting on multiple occasions that I have long been the target of defamation lawsuits. The record, however, shows that I had been a professional journalist for 35 years without ever being sued for defamation--until two Republican political figures filed similar lawsuits within roughly one month of each other in August/September 2013.

In short, my experience as the target of defamation lawsuits involves two cases in the span of roughly one month during a 35-year career. That constitutes "many defamation lawsuits"?

Robertson writes as follows in the body of the story:

Mr. Shuler is no stranger to defamation suits, as one might surmise from reading his blog.

That's off the mark, but it's fairly general in nature. The newspaper, however, goes way off track with its photo caption. (Note: Reporters usually do not write photo captions; that duty tends to fall to someone on a newspaper's copy desk.) I only became aware of the caption after being able to check the Web following my release from jail on March 26. Here is how the caption reads:

Posts on Roger Shuler’s blog, Legal Schnauzer, have prompted many defamation suits. His refusal to cooperate in one recent case has led to his being jailed since October and has drawn international attention.

Court records are public records that anyone can check, and they show that Legal Schnauzer has not prompted "many defamation lawsuits." (The part about my "refusal to cooperate" isn't true either. When faced with the lawsuit in question, I filed a motion to quash service after being handed court papers during an unconstitutional traffic stop. That was the first key issue to raise, but I was arrested before I received an order on that issue--or before I was able to raise any other defenses. It's hard, of course, to "cooperate" with the process when you are thrown in jail without access to a computer or even with a real pen to use.)

Natasha Lennard, of Salon, raised questions about inaccuracies in the Times story in an article dated January 14, 2014. From the Salon article:

A New York Times report on Shuler may have underplayed some chilling factors relating to the blogger’s situation. The Times story gave the strong impression that Shuler has regularly engaged in salacious and defamatory writing about Alabama lawmakers and policymakers. Carol Shuler, Roger’s wife, spoke to Salon and claimed this was an erroneous characterization. She noted that her husband had never been sued for defamation, until two suits were filed against him at the same time.

We now know that the Times, in its photo caption, did more than give a strong impression that I had regularly engaged in writing that sparked defamation lawsuits; the newspaper made a flat-out statement to that effect.

The public record shows that the assertion is untrue.


Anonymous said...

Clearly Campbell the little social writer cum sometimes serious reporter must have been a. paid and or b. instructed either by the Times and or some political asswipe in Alabama to print the story that way. There is no way he did the due diligence of background, history, and fact finding that a true reporter knows to do. Campbell hails from a little town near Montevallo Al which as we all know is in "Shelby County".....does anyone see a connection here? Someone should know write an article about his problems in becoming a writer or reporter for the new york times.

Larry Smith Asheville said...

NYT is now known as a rag. It has struggled to stay afloat for years.
I went to their website and tried to send the following email regarding the article published about you:

"You purport to be the nation's flagship newspaper and you published a despicably culpable article about Roger Shuler.. You act more like a rag.

"Could you not have consulted with a First Amendment lawyer who would have told you the manifest weight of legal authority is that equity will NOT enjoin a libel and that the imprisonment of Roger Shuler was illegal? Then you went on to libel Roger Shuler. Shame shame shame!"
Once I got through the CAPCHA, which is designed as a barrier to both man and machine, I got the following message under the NYT logo:

"Thank you for contacting us.

We could not process your request, please try again later. Sorry for inconvenience."

Anonymous said...

Why is it so difficult for NEWSPAPERS/media to provide truths and facts; rather than just accurate honest news reporting?

No wonder the public discussed with media, as they are with politicians sitting together in same boat; justifying average citizen really never knowing when, if ever, either if worthy of being trusted.

Recently Greg Wren was caused to resign from his Alabama legislative seat, his resigning right or wrong is not the point here; but because of far more moral and ethical Alabama laws having been, are being violated by
others without concern for recall or public accountabilities well defines double standards, bias, prejudice, and discrimination.

Greg Wren could join the few Alabamians who have been raising their voices openly.

Remember this; Greg Wren right/wrong amounts to squat when compared to what being covered up from Alabamians. Ask for copies of criminal records from attorney general's criminal investigation division, and governor's legal department these two administrations.

For Murph.

Anonymous said...

These sort of untruths taken on by and reported over and over by numerous newspapers and other forms of media news outlets generally assault conservatives....odd how when a liberal is hit with the same type of assault the squealing is loud and ongoing !!! Terrific !!!! And--have a nice day !

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 3:25: You are CRAZY. and have a nice Day......or not. Bet you're one of those who also say "have a blessed day" whatever the heck that means...
to me it means a day without having encountered or spoken to a faux news watching, talk radio listening religious republican..

Anonymous said...

Yo'-Anonymous @ 4:45 !! Looks like you have your Jockey's in a Bunch !!! (And--I Never say "Have a Blessed Day" !) Go Get Em' 4:45 !!

Anonymous said...

Have to watch the mainstream media with any approach they make for a story. They're working for money, and their purpose is to make more money. They will sensationalize the positions their bosses desire, and their industries control the recording of history–– whether it's accurate or not.

Bloggers do it for love. Thank HEAVEN for bloggers!