A content warning appeared here not long after our November 17 report titled "Our posts about Judge Bill Pryor's ties to 1990s gay pornography have gone viral, thanks to Trump election -- and now, a second nude Pryor photo has surfaced." Our number of visitors skyrocketed as thousands of readers landed at Legal Schnauzer from Facebook, Reddit, Above the Law, and many other sites. Also the widely read fact-checking site Snopes.com weighed in on the Pryor gay-porn story.
About the same time, we ran a post stating that Trump's nomination of U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) as U.S. attorney general was like "picking Tiny Tim to lead the New York Philharmonic."
That, plus the Pryor posts in November, seemed to unleash a flood of nutty, nonsensical, and threatening comments -- many of which I deleted or sent to spam. Along with that, came what appeared to be a coordinated effort to complain about a nude photo of Pryor that ran at the gay-pornography site badpuppy.com in the 1990s. I had run the photo twice before, always including a warning that those who are squeamish about nudity should not scroll to the bottom of the post, where the picture was placed. So what happened? Naturally, certain readers ignored the warning, scrolled to the bottom to see the photo, got a case of the vapors, and whined to Google about it.
The origins of the complaints and wacky comments are not known for sure right now. But given that Sessions is Trump's AG pick -- and Pryor (because of his ties to Sessions) likely is near the top of Trump's list of possible nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court -- it seems a safe bet that Trump supporters launched the attack. I'm guessing they were particularly alarmed about our statements that a second nude photo of Pryor has surfaced, and we have information that could lead to explosive and revealing articles about Sessions.
Given Trump's clear lack of respect for the rule of law, no one should be surprised that his followers can't follow rules either. In fact, they violated Google policy in making their complaints about Legal Schnauzer.
What do I mean? The Blogger platform, which comes under the Google umbrella, has a "report inappropriate content" policy; it can be found at this link. A key part of the policy is this:
If an author’s contact information is listed on their blog, contact them directly to ask them to remove or change the content in question.
My e-mail address is available in the upper right-hand corner of the blog; it's hard to miss. But no one contacted me directly to complain about objectionable content. So in whining that I was violating Google policy, the whiners themselves violated Google policy.
I like to think we are providing a public service by giving a glimpse at what life likely will be like under a President Donald Trump. After all, it's quite clear that this "content warning" is about politics and not about nudity. In other words, the people responsible for it are dishonest, threatening, psychologically unhinged -- and they are too cowardly to contact me directly, as Google policy requires them to do.
Pryor is considered a prime candidate to be nominated to SCOTUS, and my accurate reporting on his foray into gay pornography is a possible threat to his ascent -- hence the complaints about objectionable content. I also have information that could be powerful enough to scuttle the Sessions nomination.
Any nude photos on this blog now have been pixilated, so nudity no longer is an issue. I proved that to Google, and also showed that whiners had violated policy by not contacting me directly first, and the content warning went away.
Is the content warning gone for good? I don't know; this is my first time dealing with the issue, so it's hard to say. At this point, I'm impressed by Google's response to my request to have the warning removed.
I soon will be running a second nude photograph of Pryor, and the plan is to pixilate that. But I'm guessing a new uproar will break out because Pryor supporters aren't concerned about nudity; they are concerned about my reporting, which shows that their homophobic judge is a world-class hypocrite for having dabbled in gay pornography while he was in college. Jeff Sessions also has a closet-full of skeletons, and we will be reporting on them.
That's why we landed in the cross hairs of unhinged Trump supporters; it had nothing to do with a nude photograph.