Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Did Legal Schnauzer reporting on his nude photos at the gay-pornography Web site cost Alabama's Bill Pryor a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court?

Bill Pryor, with and without a robe
Alabama federal judge Bill Pryor came in no better than third last night in the race to become Donald Trump's first (and, hopefully, only) nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. That was quite a fall for a candidate who widely was considered the front-runner just a few weeks ago. And that raises this question: Did our reporting here at Legal Schnauzer about Pryor's ties to 1990s gay pornography cost him a lifetime appointment on the nation's highest court?

I don't know the answer to that question, and I admit that even raising it sounds like I'm tooting my own horn. (Perhaps that's because I am tooting my own horn.) But a number of intelligent people I like and admire -- a doctor, a retired lawyer, my wife -- have told me in recent days they thought Pryor's fading prospects were directly related to our reports about his nudie photos that appeared at in the 1990s. The hypocrisy, my friends and loved ones said, of an ardently anti-gay rights judge appearing at a gay-porn Web site (in photos taken during his college days in the 1980s), would be too much for the Trump administration to stomach.

So why did the nod go to Neil Gorsuch, from Colorado and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, and not Pryor, who sits on the Eleventh Circuit (based in Atlanta), holds a duty station at the Hugo Black Courthouse in downtown Birmingham, and lives in the suburb of Vestavia Hills (at 2474 Tyler Road, to be precise)?

Before we address that question, let's set this straight: I like the idea of having cost Bill Pryor a SCOTUS seat -- I really, really like that idea. Check that -- I love the idea, I relish it. Why? Bill Pryor might be the single most over-rated individual in U.S. public life. He also might be the most evil, although Donald Trump threatens to swipe that "honor" and run away with it. George W. Bush appointed Pryor to the Eleventh Circuit because, it's been widely reported, Karl Rove wanted to reward Pryor for launching (while Alabama attorney general) a bogus investigation that led to two innocent men -- former Alabama governor Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy -- winding up in federal prison.

It is widely known in the Alabama legal community that Pryor was a mediocre lawyer, at best, and he's done nothing to distinguish himself as a judge -- unless you consider voicing antipathy toward gay rights to be a distinguishing characteristic. That's ironic, not only because of Pryor's gay-porn photos, but also because of our recent report that Alabama law enforcement conducted surveillance on Pryor's residence in the 1990s (prompted by the photos and the likelihood of blackmail) that caught U.S. Senator and Trump attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions frequently coming and going at curiously late hours.

Sessions has championed Pryor's cause at seemingly every opportunity, and it now appears that might have its genesis in something other than Pryor's professional qualifications, which are thinner than thin.

Besides that, Bill Pryor simply is an awful human being. He helped send two innocent people to prison -- one of them, Siegelman, still is there -- and we've heard no reports that Pryor has any problems sleeping at night. It takes a special kind of warped individual to do that. Also, it has been reported at several media outlets (including this one) that Pryor's gay-porn past actually has helped his career. It has, in fact, made him vulnerable to blackmail, and GOP corporate interests have used that to make sure Pryor nudges certain cases to turn out in certain ways.

Does it sound like I have a personal animus toward Bill Pryor? If so, that's good -- because I do. For one, I know Don Siegelman, and I've written more about his case than anyone on the planet, and I despise Pryor for what he has done to an imperfect, but good, man. I also know Richard Scrushy, and I despise Pryor for what he has done to him. Whatever his faults may be, Scrushy did a whole lot to create jobs and build prestige for Birmingham. Pryor has done nothing in Birmingham, except feather his own filthy nest.

Two, I'm convinced Pryor has engineered multiple cheat jobs against my wife and me in federal court. We've seen signs that he is doing it now and might plan to do it in the future. Pryor apparently is arrogant enough to think he can get away with such criminality. But he might want to think twice about that. Karma has a way of biting right through your robes and leaving serious scars on your ass.

How badly did Pryor slide in the race to fill the late Antonin Scalia's seat on the Supreme Court? This is from a report at The New York Times:

There had been some speculation that Mr. Trump would choose someone with a less elite background for the court. The other finalist for the post, Judge Thomas M. Hardiman, was the first person in his family to graduate from college, and helped pay for his education by driving a taxi.

The White House stoked suspense over Mr. Trump’s court choice in the hours before announcing it. A senior Trump administration official said both Judge Gorsuch and Judge Hardiman were summoned to Washington for the nomination ceremony. But only Judge Gorsuch appeared at the White House gathering shortly after 8 p.m.

Translation: Pryor was expected, until recently, to be the life of the party, but he wound up not even being invited. Ouch!

The conventional wisdom holds that Pryor's star fell because Team Trump was concerned his controversial statements about abortion rights, gay rights, privacy, and other hot-button cultural issues would make it difficult to get him confirmed. That might be the case, but such a scenario suggests reasonable, rational, and deliberate thought -- and we've seen no sign that exists in the Trump White House.

So, did Legal Schnauzer cause Pryor's downfall? (Hah! Sorry, couldn't contain myself.) Well, my friends and loved ones say they've seen signs that our reports about Pryor's BadPuppy days have made their way into conservative circles. And that, they say, spelled doom for Pryor, especially in the homophobic environment of the modern GOP.

We've seen some evidence to support that. Consider a discussion today at The Unz Review, a Webzine started by Ron Unz, a businessman, activist, and Republican politician. This is the introduction to a forum discussion yesterday on Trump's impending SCOTUS announcement:

Trump's Supreme Court Nominee

What do you think?

Contenders are said to include Neil Gorsuch, Thomas M. Hardiman, and William H. Pryor. Jr.

All three are healthy-looking white guys between their late 40s and middle 50s, so expect a lot of vapors over the prospect of one of them being on the court until about the middle of the 21st Century.

This is from a commenter in the thread who goes by the handle "snorlax":

Democrats were hoping for Pryor because there’s been a ready-made nomination-derailing scandal around for years (he posed nude for a gay porno mag as a college student in the 80′s). It’s weird that he still appears on GOP shortlists, but I guess we can chalk that up to being the Stupid Party.

Even ignoring that, he’s at 54 the oldest of the 3 finalists, he’s not the brightest bulb by SC standards (especially as a replacement for the brilliant Scalia), and he’s controversial enough that the RINOs might not agree to go nuclear for him. Bad choice.

I certainly hope "snorlax" is right, especially since he was kind enough to include a link to my blog. Plus, his line about "the brilliant Scalia" made me laugh out loud. Conservatives fall for horse feces so easily.

Here's an interesting thought: Pryor could get back in the running for a future vacancy, but what if this proves to be Trump's one and only nomination to the Supreme Court? What if Trump is impeached or indicted (or both) before he gets a chance to make a second nomination? What if Bill Pryor had one chance to snatch his dream job, and Legal Schnauzer caused it to blow up in his face?

Gee, wouldn't that be a shame?

If anyone wants to give me credit for keeping Bill Pryor off the Supreme Court, I am more than happy to accept it. I will consider it a true service to our country, perhaps saving us from the latest in a string of phony religious whack jobs who have enriched and empowered themselves while chipping away at the foundations of our democracy.

Update: Early this morning "snorlax" added this in a separate comment:

As for Pryor, I heard about it (when he started getting GOP shortlist buzz, before Trump entered the race in 2015) from a friend who’s very clued in to the top echelons of the national Democratic Party (she doesn’t know I’m a Deplorable).

According to her the photo is 100% legit, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg with the amount of material they have on him.

Considering that Snopes is a very partisan Democrat outfit, I’d be very wary of a (far from definitive) “debunking” that superficially appears to benefit the GOP; smells an awful lot like a trap, especially given it really is a trap if what I was told is true. (Note: Snopes did not "debunk" the Pryor story; it labeled it "unproven," using some seriously flawed analysis.)

I think the model and Pryor look a lot more similar than different. Your nose gets bigger as you age. The ears, hair and stubble pattern look the same, and more importantly note how they’re both slightly cross-eyed.

If you look at the oldest clear picture of Pryor I could find, he has a less prominent nose, a weaker jaw and is even more obviously cross-eyed than in current photos.

The anecdotal evidence is pretty strong too: The model is named “Bill Pryor,” is the same age, and bears a very strong resemblance (many people’s appearances change a lot more from their late teens/early 20′s to their 50′s). And the site that originally posted the photo (in 1997, when he was running for Alabama AG) took it down after only one day.

Anyway, probably moot point now. He’ll be on the old side next time there’s a vacancy.


Anonymous said...

Did Legal Schnauzer reporting on his nude photos at the gay-pornography Web site cost Alabama's Bill Pryor a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court?

Answer: Nope.

Anonymous said...

Did Legal Schnauzer reporting on his nude photos at the gay-pornography Web site cost Alabama's Bill Pryor a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court?

Answer: Yep.

Anonymous said...

Schnauzer, if you helped cost Pryor a SCOTUS seat, even a little bit, you deserve a Congressional Medal of Honor.

Anonymous said...

The Trump crowd is big on use of social media. Trump himself is the "Twitter president." So, I don't think there is any doubt they knew about the Pryor-porn stories, knew how widely they had spread, they had even made it to Snopes, and they could be a major problem.

That being said, I have no doubt the reporting here contributed, to some degree, to Pryor's flop.

Anonymous said...

You can take this to the bank: If Pryor had been the choice, some commenters would have responded with a chorus of, "See, Legal Schnauzer had no impact."

But since Pryor wasn't the choice, the response seems to be either crickets or "LS had nothing to do with it."

Can't have it both ways, boys. This blog's reporting did have an impact, and you know it.

Anonymous said...

What a slap in the face for Pryor. Even with Jeff Sessions in Trump's ear, begging for his Alabama boy, Pryor didn't get it. He's now damaged goods.

legalschnauzer said...

Here is APR story, with Alabama GOPers praising the Gorsuch pick. Looks like Pryor didn't even have the support of his own people:

Anonymous said...

Pryor isn't even mentioned in the APR story, is he?

legalschnauzer said...

Nope, not that I can see. It's like he fell of the earth.

Anonymous said...

Pryor is like the guy who was the leader for Heisman Trophy at midseason, and then did not even get invited to the ceremony in New York. Hah!

Anonymous said...

I don't think Pryor will get another chance. If Trump rejected Jeff Sessions' boy now, I see no reason to think it will be any better in the future. Research on Pryor must have turned up some bad stuff.

Anonymous said...

As I recall, you sought an interview with Pryor and gave him every opportunity to take questions and refute the story. He refused to do that, didn't he?

legalschnauzer said...

Yes, that is correct. In fact, I requested interviews multiple times. All he had to do was grant the interview, meet with me, and show me photos from his college years that did not look like the badpuppy guy. If he could do that, no story.

Of course, the story is true, so that wasn't an option for him.

Anonymous said...

My God, doesn't mention Pryor in its story about Gorsuch appointment!

Are they trying to spare Jeffy's boy the public embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

@12:23 pm: Jeff Sessions has yet to be confirmed.

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for the update. Very strange coverage in Alabama press on Pryor's implosion. APR, which leans to the right, did not mention Pryor., last time I checked, had no mention of Pryor. There were a ton of comments on the SCOTUS story, and I scrolled down quite a ways and didn't even see mention of Pryor there.

Anonymous said...

Strange dreams skin to a bad acid flashback or a bad 1980s porno...

On the jet way more than a mile high Governor Bent and Becky Homewrecky are watching John and Bill with the warming lube...or is it John and Bill with the warming lube watching Becky Homewrecky and Governor Bent???


Anonymous said...

Pryor did not get the nomination because of his statement on Roe v. Wade.

legalschnauzer said...

@4:01 and 4:04 --

No, I hadn't seen that one. That makes three in the collection. Thanks for sharing. Looks like all were taken in the same photo session, or at least in the same collection. Is that how it looks to you?

Anonymous said...

It might surprise you to know that I actually remember these pictures and used to have the magazine that they appeared in. I remember them because you have to admit that the kid is quite cute.

I lost all of my skin magazines years ago but I definitely remember these pictures.

This was the only time that I recall seeing him. These pictures definitely look like they were taken at the same time.

Notice the eyes in both this one and the previous one that I referred to you, where he's looking sideways, as well as the first one.

Somebody somewhere has to have the magazine stuck away in a closet or attic, if only we could locate the person or persons.

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for your insights. I've heard different numbers of photos were in the collection -- in the 8 to 12 range. Is that what you remember?

I had one person say there was one of him wearing a "soft motorcycle helmet" (and nothing else) and another of him in a band outfit (fully exposed), which would make sense since he was on a band scholarship, I think, at UL Monroe. Do those ring a bell to you?

One oddity to me, from a "technical" standpoint. He seems more well endowed in the "flaccid position" than in the one I've seen where he has an erection. Is that a "shower v. grower" syndrome? What do you think?

Yes, the eyes absolutely are the same. The hair part seems to have moved to a different side, which (as I understand it) can easily be achieved. I have a limited photography background and know that negatives can be reversed, making things on left become right and vice versa. I wonder if that's been done on these photos.

Any idea about that object he's holding in this one? Looks like a gourd or something.

I have no doubt the magazine is in various hands around Alabama. I had one well-known business figure say he had it, but then he acted like he had forgotten where it went. Not sure I believe him on that.

I assume the magazine you had was published somewhere in the early to mid 80s or so?

Anonymous said...

8-12 sounds about right. It wasn't a large collection.

I do think I remember the helmet and band uniform, but I could be remembering somebody else.

I think the size is a matter of the angle. The erection is pointing straight out so it's hard to judge the length.

The pictures could have easily been reversed when they were uploaded to the diverse websites.

The object does look like a gourd. IT looks like a face could have been drawn or painted on it since it appears to be wearing a toupee, two spots for eyes, and the stem for a mouth. Somebody could have found it and thought it would make a good joke. Is that too weird to be possible?

I have no doubt that the magazine is in lots of hands all over the country.

The early 80s sounds about right, not sure.

legalschnauzer said...

Again, thanks for sharing your insights and the photo. Need to take a closer look at the gourd(?) Maybe someone did draw a face on it. I can only assume Pryor never dreamed he would be a federal judge someday. I'm sure he never dreamed of something like the Internet coming along and providing these photos a place to live forever. Please feel free to stay in touch.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the 3 pictures were taken in the same setting at the same time.

The background is a plain flat wall and all of the pictures show a shadow, which is not good photographic technique.

Anonymous said...

If the pictures are not of him why did somebody have them taken down the next day? Why should he care about pictures that aren't of him?

Anonymous said...

I meant to say that maybe the gourd is supposed to be seen as a likeness of himself. The toupee could look like Pryor's hairdo. Maybe the gourd is just something that somebody found and thought it would make a good joke.

legalschnauzer said...

Interesting points. When I contacted Pryor before publishing the first story and photo, I thought he might say, "Why don't you come on down to the office, and I will show you photos of me from that time period, and you will see it's not me."

But he didn't do that -- maybe because he knows it is him and figured I had multiple sources saying it was him (which I did.)

With him, I don't think it's just a matter of the photos. You might have read my posts about Jeff Sessions' late-night visits to Pryor's residence. I've heard Pryor has a very close relationship with a lawyer at Bradley Arant. Haven't been able to nail that one down yet.

My research indicates he's a self-loathing, closeted gay, who strikes out at the LGBT community, probably out of spite. That part of the story is pretty sad.

legalschnauzer said...

@5:51 --

Thanks for sharing. Not sure that's the same guy. I see similarities, but this guy looks significantly more muscular, like he works out, etc. Face looks different, but can't explain why -- mainly the eyes, and mouth, I think. The background, photo style, and time frame look the same. Very interesting, for sure. Thoughts?