The following is part of an e-mail he sent to me on April 28. It came after he had admitted my reporting on his activities at Ashley Madison was accurate, and he had struggled for some time with sex addiction:
The embarrassment you're causing my wife is something I don't think you fully grasp, and the pain of not only opening these old wounds but opening it to the public for her ridicule is outrageous.
Regular readers of this blog know that my wife, Carol, and I have earned graduate degrees in "pain management," so I had a ready answer for Mr. Deusner:
I know all about pain, and so does my wife. I was thrown in jail for five months in Alabama for writing an accurate blog post that displeased Judge Bill Pryor and the Bob Riley gang. I've come to learn that Rob Riley is one of the most corrupt "humans" on the face of the earth.
We lost our home of 25 years in Birmingham to a wrongful foreclosure driven by associates of Bob Riley and Luther Strange and Jeff Sessions. We now live in Missouri, and cops here conducted an unlawful eviction and broke my wife's arm -- snapped the bone in two, just above the elbow. I saw the whole thing happen. They then turned around and brought bogus criminal charges against her. All of our possessions have been stolen; I have one pair of pants and one pair of shoes to my name.
All of that is neither here nor there regarding this post. But I'm just trying to let you know that I'm not a neophyte when it comes to pain. We live in a society where people literally can be beaten up inside their own home, kidnapped by cops without a warrant, and thrown in jail for practicing journalism.
I can't take down the post now; it's accurate, and I know of no journalist who would remove a story that is accurate. I've worked in the field for 35 years and have a degree in journalism. I would be glad to talk with you early next week, but I will leave that up to you. Just let me know your thoughts.
Deusner's reply was revealing on a number of fronts:
I am not contesting the accuracy, but accuracy is not the point. I am a private citizen, and you are posting outrageous, hurtful, scandalous information about me, with links to my wife's Facebook and photos of my children. You're causing undo pain and suffering - that's not journalism - and nothing about this is in the public's interest. I made mistakes and owned up to them, and paid the price and continue to pay the price. I will ask you to reconsider your position. I understand you are busy filing court papers right now, but please take time to reconsider. The last thing I need right now are legal fees - and I am sure its the last thing you need as well. I really hope we can resolve this without going that route.
Let's note a few peculiarities here:
(1) Deusner claims accuracy is not the point. But as a lawyer, Deusner should know accuracy is THE point in any journalistic endeavor; it's an absolute defense against claims of defamation. And Deusner admits he's not contesting the accuracy of my report. So, what's his beef? He doesn't have a legitimate one -- just sound and fury, driven perhaps by guilt over the mistakes that, to his credit, he admits to.
(3) Deusner concludes by really going off the deep end -- threatening legal action over an article he admits is accurate. Upon what grounds does he plan to base a possible lawsuit? I have no idea. But he should know there is a tort called abuse of process that can be a counterclaim to a lawsuit that has no basis in fact or law. Also, most jurisdictions have some sort of "litigation accountability act" that can have serious consequences to those who use the courts to file groundless claims.
Here is how I left things with Deusner:
I've said I would be glad to speak with you via phone, and I should be available early next week. If you want to get in touch with me then, that's fine. If not, that's fine, too.
Not sure how I could have been any more courteous, considering the ugly tone and pure garbage he was throwing at me. I've heard no further word from him.
Get ready for the comments that claim you are being "cruel" by writing about Mr. Deusner.
I'm sure those complaints will come. The only reason I did this followup is to show that a person with a law degree (and, I guess, a bar card) can be stupid enough to admit a report is accurate and then threaten to sue over it.
I don't think you can be cruel to a guy who is this big a prick. He sounded iffy on your first post, but his words in the second one are the sure sign of a world-class a-hole.
I will reserve judgment on whether Deusner is a prick or an a-hole, etc. My main concern at the moment is that he may know less about the law than he does about journalism.
This is more serious than many of your readers may realize. A lawyer is not supposed to threaten lawsuits that have no basis in fact or law. It's a violation of the conduct code, and it reflects very poorly on the profession. You probably have a valid bar complaint against this fellow
Thanks for your insights. I have little faith in the Alabama State Bar, but I will consider a bar complaint anyway. I've had more than my fill of being bullied by lawyers.
I had some sympathy for Deusner until I read this:
"The last thing I need right now are legal fees - and I am sure its the last thing you need as well. I really hope we can resolve this without going that route."
That's just being a thug. He needs to clean up his act.
You are all wrong on this.
Roger you try to parallel your pain and legal issues to what he is going through except for the one fact you are over looking. YOU are causing he and his family the pain you are trying to correlate.
In this case it is YOU that are committing the injustices, you are the one that without reason (I mean REAL reason, beyond your crusade to point out the fallibility of elites) and you are the wrong doer here.
His email tone is not aggressive...it is defensive and desperate. You alone have the power to minimize the publicity and spotlight that you have placed on him. He is a man trying to get his life right and may very well be...except for your actions.
You claim no responsibility in the unfair and awful twists and turns that have fallen on you and your family. I believe you and imagine that is true. However I imagine that somewhere along the timeline of injustices that have happened...there is a thing or two about your actions, decisions you made or paths you took that you wish you could have changed, done better or gotten right with hindsight.
This man may have made his own problems. You have the ability to help him.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could find someone that could help you? What would you want them to do?
Do the right thing Roger...give this man a pass.
If it makes you feel better to make me the wrong-doer, have at it. Makes no difference to me. But you have no moral or ethical ground to stand on. Mr. Deusner is the one who caused his family pain by seeking an extramarital affair and engaging with a company that did not protect his personal information. If you think there is no REAL reason to report on the Ashley Madison matter, there are dozens (hundreds?) of journalists around the world who disagree with you.
If you can point out something I should have done differently in our situation, feel free to express it. I've lived it, and I can't think of anything. We have tried to do the morally and legally correct thing in every instance -- and been cheated by corrupt lawyers and judges at every turn, including one lawyer who is related to me.
BTW, I'm not trying to correlate my pain with Mr. Deusner's. He raised the issue of my inability to grasp his wife's pain, and I just pointed out that I know a thing or two about pain -- that my wife and I have been through abuse that he and his family probably can't imagine. I've watched a cop snap my wife's arm in two just above the elbow, and I've seen cops charge HER with assault.
You say Mr. Deusner's tone is not aggressive. You must have missed the part where he threatened to sue me, with no basis in fact or law.
You sound like a rational guy, but I think you are way off target on this subject.
A final point: Mr. Deusner hasn't asked for my help, and I'm not qualified to help. I'm a journalist, not a therapist. I did offer to talk with him via phone, which is more than many journalists would have done. He declined that offer, so that's where we're at.
Deusner has no claim for defamation if he admits your allegations are true. But he may have other claims that do not depend on whether your reporting is true. This situation mirrors the type of problems law graduates have to resolve on the bar exam -- they give you a factual situation and you need to spot the torts. Defamation would be a wrong answer, but I can spot two others that may actually apply. Can you?
If he sues you, are you going to allow a default to enter? Or will you fight the charges?
It does seem odd that you provide a glimpse of the pain you and Mrs. Schnauzer have experienced and Mr. Deusner makes no reference to it at all. It's like it has zero impact on him. He seems to be an extraordinarily self-centered individual.
If you want to contact me directly (phone or email) and ID yourself, I would be glad to discuss. But I'm not going to address hypotheticals here, especially when I don't know who you are. Also, you say you spot two claims that "might" apply. That's pretty thin stuff. Unless you can ID claims that do apply and are willing to put your name behind it, I'm not interested in making any kind of substantive reply.
I will say that I've always fought civil charges brought against me, when I was given notice of hearings, lawfully served etc. If you've read the blog for any length of time, you should know that.
as usual with these types of personalities its "always about them". Its not about accuracy, its about him.
he might have thought about the impact this would have on his family prior to his actions, but it was just about him.
the guy doesn't want legal fees, its all about him. but hey he'll use it as a threat because you might not want them either, its still all about him or rather his financial well being.
That boy needs to go back to law school or at least read the American Constitution and a few cases.
As long as its true and accurate, not much he can do about it. Gee if Nixon had been able to use duffesses defence, he might have been able to do his full term.
using duffesses rationale, I'm sure the American Congress and DOJ will just drop all those investigations/hearings into Trump and his organization's dealings, right quick. I'm sure Trump can make an equal case for hurt feelings and those of his wife and children. OMG that is so funny, a lawyer arguing things need to be dropped because it might hurt someone's feelings. Didn't stop any of those white cops killing black boys/men.
if this guy truly was concerned about his family's feelings he would not have written to you in the matter he has. again, its all about him and the record that has been laid out by L.S. I wish that boy the best of luck.
Lots of interesting points. Here is another irony. At Bradley Arant, Deusner was a eDiscovery expert. That probably means that he specialized in looking up dirt on individuals who sued the firm's corporate clients, whether the discovery had anything to do with the case or not.
So here is a guy who made a nice living looking up dirt on people, and he's complaining that someone looked up dirt on him.
Roger and commentators,
We talk about context here and you all remark about how this guy should have grasped on the "pain" that Mr & Mrs Schnauzer have experienced. That he should have been more sensitive to that in his responses.
The context is this is a man living his life...flawed as it maybe in some peoples eyes. Lets imagine the context how the legal schnauzer has come into his life. He wakes up, has breakfast with his young children, maybe even drives them to school. He gets in to the office and begins his day. By 10am, his cell phone rings. Its his wife, he answers and she is screaming at him. Who is the legal Schnauzer and why does he have MY picture, our children's picture on his website and why is he writing about our relationship??? Why is he writing about what we have spent the last 2 years in counseling about? Why is he bringing ME into your mistakes? Why ARE MY CHILDREN involved in this? YOU BETTER FIX THIS YOU S.O.B....
Today's target...er...subject is now in FULL PANIC Mode. he has never heard of Legal Schnauzer...so he has to log on to his computer, figure out who you are, why you are writing about him and digest what it all means. The man is in a panic, he is trying to hold his family together and he is using all of his tools he can imagine to help stop the pain and embarrassment being directed to his family. He is a guy who has likely worked countless hours trying to make amends at home and they may have just turned a corner. She might not have forgiven him but for the family she is willing to continue working on their relationship and providing a stable, loving home and place for their kids.
This man is simply on the defensive, he is trying to balance all of his personal issues and need to try to fix this (your blog post) RIGHT NOW, in order to satisfy his family.
As married men, (all of us know that stress of messing up, disappointing your family and the willingness to try to do ANYTHING to fix it) if you can not understand this and have some empathy for this man...you are simply heartless. Of course he is coming at you the wrong way, of course his choice of language is wrong and his logic in how to handle this isn't correct.
You all point out what he does for a living...none of you have walked a mile in his shoes. None of you know what he does for a living or if he is any good at it ( I would add if he was such a great lawyer...why is he only living in a 200K house?). Ediscovery isnt about looking up dirt on line ala a private eye...its the equivalent of being a document accountant,reviewing corporate electronic files for discover able information in a case...boring, detailed and not very lucrative. This kind of work is often outsourced overseas to low cost countries like India and the Philippines.
I continue to contend that this man is not the establishment. He does not merit your spotlight of truth, as he is simply a flawed family guy who is trying to make right.
I dont know any of us who are prepared for this kind of public platform to focus its spotlight on us, broadcasting some very sensitive personal information. I know if I were in your cross hairs my reaction would probably be as clumsy, desperate and grasping for any way to make it stop.
Stop viewing him from your context...that the legal world is out to get you. This guy isn't and neither is his family.
You are just as wrong in this case as those people who have treated you unjustly have been with you.
You are reading an awful lot into this, and I must say your imagination is on hyperactive mode. Mr. Deusner worked for Bradley Arant in Bham, and you can't get more establishment than that. The bottom line: This is my blog, I'v written roughly 30 posts on Ashley Madison clients, and I will be writing many more, and I make the call whether each fits into the general mode of an elite who should know better. Most importantly, my post is accurate -- as have been all the other posts in the series -- so all the stuff you've conjured up in your imagination are not part of my work as a journalist. Then, you have Deusner threatening legal action when he essentially admits he has no bases in fact or law for such a case. That alone is a story and probably should cost him his bar card. Also, I'm not interested in your interpretation of what is just and what is moral. I don't think you have the market cornered on such notions. Start a blog of your own if you want to get "OwenWorld" out there.
"...and I will be writing many more, and I make the call whether each fits into the general mode of an elite who should know better."
Can you outline for us your criteria in deciding if an individual is an elite? Have there been cases where you have identified an individual, then decided, "this person is not 'elite' I'm going to move on."??
Also, the AM stuff is now 2 years old----you've done "30" exposes in those two years. Are you going to continue this slow drip for another two years? Why not do a story on the Mayan prophesy or Y2K? Both have as much relevancy in the summer of 2017.
Oh, but of course: you have the data on site traffic (you're a smart man---as you tell us in your blog 7 times a week, you have a journalism degree, after all), and embarrassing people under the thinly veiled excuse of "journalism" drives more traffic.
I've answered every question you've raised several times over, which you would know if you actually followed the blog and read about other people and other issues besides David Deusner. Your only interest, it seems, is Mr. Deusner -- and nothing else. You sound almost as self-centered as Deusner himself. If you want to know the answers to your questions, look them up. They are on the blog. BTW, your smart-aleck routine doesn't play well, and it, too, makes you sound like Deusner himself.
I like the idea of OWENWORLD....has a nice ring to it. :) Afraid it would get in the way of my real gig, though.
My conjured imagination was simply an exercise to have you see the ramifications of your story from his side. How it possibly went down from his point of view and to hopefully guide you to some basic human empathy. THIS man (along with your other 30 targets) has not done anything to YOU, other than possibly being successful or elite in your eyes.
I guess as this is your party, I have no choice but to agree to disagree.
Last point I will leave you with since we share a degree and alma matter, is what I think separates what you are doing to these people from real journalism.
It is your objectivity. You are not applying any. Your bias is splattered on every post and while your opinions and first hand stories fall under editorials, your "reporting" on these private individuals is quite simply poorly sourced, heavily biased and lacking objectivity.
Please take a moment to look at this and consider ...https://www.americanpressinstitute.org/journalism-essentials/bias-objectivity/tools-manage-bias/
My hope for you is that you find happiness and peace somewhere Roger and that you find it soon, before you inflict much more damage on private citizens under the cover journalism.
I am sorry I missed this in my final point. I would have incorporated my comment into that. My tone is intended to be polite, but pointed, not smart aleckie. Apologizes if it came out that way or disrespectful.
I am a regular reader of your work and have in fact read all of your posts. While I find all of your coverage of ashley madison users distasteful and beneath you,for the reasons explained in my previous comment, the work you are doing on Mr. Deusner is that of a bully and I felt compelled to speak up and defend him.
I dont believe I am self centered on this, I believe I am speaking for journalists and human beings everywhere who feel inclined to speak for those unable or incapable of speaking for themselves.
As a journalist, I am sure that you are certainly able to answer to some criticism, especially on a topic you have felt passionate enough to visit 30 times previously.
If we share a degree and an alma mater, you should know more about journalism than is reflected in your comments. Seems odd that you choose to "defend" David Deusner -- who tried to bully me by threatening a baseless lawsuit -- but never have chosen, to my knowledge, to defend real victims of injustice about whom I've reported. I'm talking about people who were wrongfully incarcerated, women who had their children wrongfully taken from them in divorce cases, women and children cheated out of support and alimony, people beaten by cops for no reason, the list goes on.
With all that and much more on this blog, you choose to "defend" David Deusner? Very odd.
Can you point to anything in my Deusner coverage, or any other stories, that lacks objectivity? You paint with a broad brush, but I see no specific citations to anything where my objectivity is lacking. You certainly haven't pointed to anything that suggests accuracy is lacking, and you probably know that the three rules of journalism are "accuracy, accuracy, and accuracy."
Thanks for the mostly respectful dialogue.
My reply to your questions of objectivity;
Sourcing: The basis of your stories is material that was hacked, dumped by anonymous and unidentified sources. The material you cite in your stories has never been verified or corroborated as authentic. You do not know the source, you have not communicated with the source and you have no basis for a claim of accuracy. Additionally, You have claimed in other stories and comments that you do not possess this data and you have not seen it raw, but you rely on others to provide it to you in "deep dives"..so your stories are relying on unauthenticated data, provided to you by third hand anonymous sources. While we all may "know" the data is real...how do you really "know" to the level of journalistic objectivity that allows you to write stories about private citizens that are so damaging to them?
Objectivity: As you know you need to have truthfulness, neutrality, and detachment to offer an objective story. Even in your comment to me about your targets work to "defend real victims" is not relevant nor has it been accurately reported by you. How would you know these things? You didn't ask and no response to a unasked question is not a denial. Further...if he had done those things you lament like defending the poor, are you suggesting that you would not have blog blasted him? You are not angry with the establishment, you have identified these people as the establishment and you are writing to shame them.
Bias: Roger every story you write has bias. You attack these people for appearing on a unsourced, stolen posting on the internet as fact. You use language like "Why would a man who has enjoyed so much success in business fool around on..." or "...puts his wife and children on display--when he isn't seeking extramarital activity" all because they are elite or successful. The very people you claim over and over are the type of people who have harmed you and your bride.
Accuracy: Looking through most of your stories there is a very common refrain...you claim to reach out and they have no response or reply. My quick review of your stories puts about 85% of them with that no reply or response...hardly meeting the standard of "accuracy, accuracy, accuracy".
Regarding defending Deusner...I am really not defending HIM. I am taking exception to your coverage and writing about all these people. Your publishing home addresses, pictures of wives and children coupled with your complete lack of humanity is what I am objecting to in my defense of Deusner. I had hoped, since he engaged with you, shared his very real and very human answer to you, that his humanity would inspire yours. You claim he threatened you...Roger, please be real and just once pretend he is not a hated lawyer or or some elite...but simply a man. He is trying to protect his family that you threatened by posting his kids and wife on line in the manner that you have. Hell...you took to blogging when you were threatened by people. Its turned out to be quite a weapon to inflict pain.
Finally, and I imagine this is where I will lose your courtesy...I am taking exception that you are doing this under the guise of a journalist...when you are in fact using a standard lower than a gossip columnist.
Leave these people alone. Aspire to right wrongs, report on problems and issues in the world...not on your speculation that someone appeared on a unsubstantiated, stolen list several years ago. You are hurting people. Maybe you dont care, because you have been hurt...but if thats the case, drop the whole notion that you are a reporter and embrace the fact you simply trying to get even....
No one seems to worry about the women who were abused by a sex addict. It seems that people who have abused others for sex should have consequences as Bill Cosby.
###concerned about people
Abusing women for self please seems like an objective
Sister Mary Alice --
I think you raise an interesting point. Deusner has admitted to trying to use women, as sex objects, and yet he actually has a few people, mostly this Owen character defending him.
I expected a weak response, and I got it. I've consulted multiple IT experts, researchers and fellow journalists to confirm that the material I've used is authentic. It contains credit card info, even GPS positioning (where the customer was located when he signed up), and that has been traced directly to homes. Not one of the 30-so customers I've reported on has claimed my information was inauthentic or incorrect. Thousands of pieces of journalism have been written based on leaked information, perhaps most famously the Pentagon Papers. Such reporting is 100 percent lawful, and it says nothing about a reporter's objectivity.
I've never said I don't have the data, and I've never said the people I've worked with are anonymous, third-hand etc. to me. I know all about their credentials.
Whatever comments I make here are not acts of journalism. They are part of audience interaction that is common on blogs and Web sites.
Your lack of knowledge about journalism is exhibited by your frequent use of the "private citizen" excuse. Newspapers are filled every day with stories about private citizens. In Deusner's case, he has worked for a law firm that makes use of taxpayer-supported court facilities His career has been built on facilities that the public funds.
Then, you claim, if someone does not respond to my queries, that somehow reflects on accuracy. That doesn't make sense, which tells me you are getting into "desperation" mode.
The rest of your comment, indeed, reflects that you are in desperation mode and have gone over the edge. You are a massive phony. You claim to care about "humanity" and such, but all you care about is David Deusner. I wouldn't trust your version of the law, journalism, humanity, psychology, theology, or any other topic you've brought up.
You haven't even come close to answering my question about objectivity and wind up in the "insults aisle," hurling invective like a mad man.
I've allowed you to say your piece, and you simply have no case to make. My reporting is accurate, timely, cutting edge, and touches on important issues in the law, technology, male-female relationships, families, and much more. You've tried to attack it, but you can't because it has covered the journalistic bases that it needs to cover, and my reporting is air tight. I'd suggest you give up.
Owen here is a news flash. people cheat within their marriages thinking they can get away with it. Most think they are smarter than their spouse. Then the shit hits the fan and the domestic unit finds out. not only do they find out, they're angrier than hell because they went into counselling with the cad. Been there, seen it, done it, etc. No one ever learns.
It isn't what he is doing for a living per se. He's a lawyer and he still can afford a $200K house and in many parts of American that is still something, a site more than those living on the streets, in unsuitable rentals, etc.
The guy got outed and now he has to live with it. It is simply another e.g. of "lack of judgement" and there seem to be a lot of lawyers who lack it or what they lack is any understand of other people. Its always about them.
I'm with Sister Mary Alice.
In the man's lack of judgement he never stopped to think about any of the women he was using and abusing. Its all about sex and power. His chickens have come home to roost. Its time his wife throws him to the curb because he isn't going to change. Start her life over. Make sure he sees the kids regularly and does things with them, but this guy would remarry and do it all over again because its always all about them, sex, and power.
Very well stated. You Canadians have a way of cutting to the chase.
Owen, that was a smart, well-reasoned take-down of Roger. Certainly not the "weak" response he'd like his lemmings to believe.
For those that think (like Roger---chortle) that AM is still in the news and is still an important story, here is the google trend data of "Ashley Madison" for the past three years. This isn't my opinion. This is hard data. Sorry, Roger. The only reason you're still doing this two years later is to embarrass people. Just admit that and we can all move on.
You seriously think a journalist is going to make reporting decisions based on "Google trends," especially those served up by an anon commenter? You realize how ridiculous that sounds (chortle)? You and Owen have no clue, about journalism, the law, or any other issue connected to the AM story. You have my contact info, so get to me directly and I'd be happy to discuss. Oh, I know you can't do that because I'm an old meanie who might say something bad about you.
You and Owen are purveyors of the weak excuse, hiding behind fake names and anon walls. True profiles in courage. (chortle)
A. 1:26 p.m. you must be one smart cookie, being able to read Roger's mind. How very nice for you. Perhaps you've made a killing on the stock exchange also. Can you predict the next hockey game out comes also. There is a lot of money in it.
You're a tad out there pontificating on why L.S. does what he does. No one really knows why anyone does what they do, except the person doing it.
My sense has always been L.S. writes because it is the only way he can make sense of what the world around him is doing and he feels he needs to let people know what is going on around them. It is my opinion that is why most bloggers write. They have a deep need to alert those around them of what is going on in the world, be that world, their town, their street, their province/state, etc.
I've yet to find a serious blogger who goes at it year after year doing it for self serving purposes or to "embarrass" others. There is a tremendous amount of work involved in writing this type of blog, both in Canada and the U.S.A.. It also can be quite expensive to be a serious blogger, especially when needing to access government records.
Always try to remember the first clause of the American constitution. Guns are no. 2.
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