|John Fisher Jr.|
That is one of the nuggets we learned yesterday as the story of Tuscaloosa attorney John Fisher Jr. made national, even international, headlines -- including commentary from one of America's best-known legal analysts.
The New York Daily News portrayed Fisher, who was arrested with Christopher Shane Rushing, as a colossal right-wing hypocrite. The Daily News focused on comments Fisher had made at the Facebook page for his radio show. Writes reporter Alfred Ng:
Fisher has publicly spoken out against illegal drug use in the past on his radio show’s page.
In one post defending gun owners, he called himself a “law abiding citizen” and criticized the government for not spending more resources on taking drugs off the streets.
“Illegal drug use is a MUCH more expensive drain on society in terms of healthcare and work issues,” he wrote in his rant.
Fisher is a "law abiding" guy -- at least if you don't count meth trafficking? Geez, this guy takes conservative hypocrisy to galactic levels. And like many conservatives, he doesn't seem to show the slightest concern for the misfortunes of others -- in fact, he mocks them. Fisher went out of his way to knock an Alabama family that had wrestled with substance abuse. Writes Ng:
In 2013, he also called out Alabama’s then-secretary of law enforcement Spencer Collier after his son Christopher Collier was arrested for selling Oxycodone pills.
The UK Daily Mail took the Fisher story to international levels. Reporter Ariel Zilbert shines light on Fisher and Rushing's behavior:
The two men were alleged to have been in possession of 'one-pot' meth labs.
One-pot labs are methods by which individuals can manufacture the drug with chemicals and a plastic bottle, thereby making it harder for authorities to track down offenders who eschew the large, traditional drug laboratories.
The men apparently were well versed in techniques for avoiding the attention of authorities. Sounds like somebody was a veteran at this game. But Zilbert describes how they came to draw attention anyway:
Law enforcement officials zeroed in on the suspects after receiving a tip indicating that Rushing was dropping off a backpack containing drug-making paraphernalia at an unspecified location.
According to The Tuscaloosa News, Fisher took the backpack and drove it back to his office nearby. The West Alabama Narcotics Task Force followed Fisher to his office. Soon after, Rushing was seen walking into the location and then walked out with the backpack. That was when authorities arrested both men.
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley -- the veteran of numerous appearances on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, and other public-affairs TV programs -- addressed the Fisher case on his blog. The piece included a photo of Fisher, under a headline reading "Can You Guess What This Person Was Charged With?" In other words, Fisher doesn't look much like the guy you would expect to be charged with meth trafficking. Writes Turley:
The police followed a tip and tracked what they believed as a backpack containing items believed to be components of a methamphetamine lab to an unreleased location. The backpack was then picked up by a second man. That man then went to an office located in the 1600 block of Greensboro Avenue in Tuscaloosa. Fisher’s law office is located at 1609 Greensboro Avenue. They then saw the first man arrive at the office and walk out with the same backpack. They arrested both Fisher and Rushing. Later they found what police described as an active “one-pot” meth lab in one of their cars.
Turley then looked at the case with the eye of a big-time lawyer, the kind we rarely write about here:
We have not heard Fisher’s side of this arrest. Fisher may claim that Rushing is a client and that this was evidence, but it is not clear whose car contained the meth pot. Moreover, absent an effort to turn over evidence to police or prosecutors, the holding of criminal components is not something that is likely to convince a court. Conversely, it may be argued that he was working with Rushing to shutdown his operation. However, again, the possession of such material is problematic for a lawyer. As a conservative radio host, Fisher promised “Plain Talk, Easily Understood with NO Political Correctness.” This may be his greatest challenge yet.
Perhaps Fisher will need an attitude adjustment to work his way out of this mess. Some people likely have worked up a certain level of sympathy for Fisher, but I'm having a hard time doing that. To me, he comes across as a world-class, right-wing hypocrite and . . . well, an a-hole. Consider his own words from Facebook:
America has become a country of people who believe as a whole that no one has any personal responsibility for their reckless, careless, ignorant, callous, incorrect choices in life. You will never legislate personal responsibility into anyone. This must be instilled in each person through family, and societal values and education. Unfortunately America has moved away from instilling such values in our citizens and now favor a blame someone or something else mentality.
Will Fisher take "personal responsibility" for his actions or will he look to blame someone or something else? That might be the biggest question at the heart of a case that raises many questions.