Monday, January 22, 2018

Daily Caller's shoddy journalism on Jessica Garrison's $3.5-million default judgment has its roots in reporter's racist and misogynistic background

Tucker Carlson
Thanks to The Washington Post's Erik Wemple, we know The Daily Caller's (DC) shoddy reporting on Jessica Medeiros Garrison's $3.5-million default judgment against me was not an accident; that's the kind of journalism you get when you hire "reporters" with training at a racist and misogynistic blog. We also know the DC and reporter Chuck Ross have connections to some dubious characters in the right-wing blogosphere.

All of this is timely because my wife, Carol, and I have two pending federal lawsuits -- "The Jail Case," involving my unlawful incarceration in Alabama, and "The House Case," involving the theft of our Birmingham home of 25 years via a wrongful foreclosure -- and Garrison is a defendant in both of them, as is her one-time boss and paramour, former U.S. Sen. Luther Strange.

Here is an update on the two lawsuits: Service is almost completed in district court (Birmingham) on "The Jail Case," and responsive pleadings are flowing in from defendants. Most will seek unlawful dismissal via the notorious "Twombly" and "Iqbal" heightened-pleading standards -- which do not even apply in the Eleventh Circuit, but defendants surely will lean on them anyway. "The House Case" is on appeal in circuit court (Atlanta), and it has been delayed by a technical mistake I made on our Notice of Appeal. I've filed a Petition for Panel Rehearing, and The Eleventh Circuit's affirmance should be overturned, followed by reversal of Judge R. David Proctor's dismissal (that's the Proctor who is super close to Trump AG Jeff Sessions). That, of course, depends on appellate judges in Atlanta acting with integrity and showing respect for black-letter law -- and that is a huge if. I soon will be writing about my mistake that caused a delay in "The House Case," although it should have no impact on the ultimate outcome of case.

As for Chuck Ross' wretched article on the Garrison judgment -- which flowed from her lawsuit about my reporting on her extramarital affair with Luther Strange, for whom she once served as campaign manager -- it's bad on more than a half dozen levels. Here is one indicator of biased reporting: Neither Ross nor the DC has attempted a follow-up on former Alabama Senate President Lowell Barron and his statements that Garrison and Strange, in fact, had an extramarital affair that had a profound impact on Strange's ability to function as Alabama attorney general.

Has Garrison filed a defamation lawsuit against Lowell Barron? The answer is no. Is that because she knows his statements and my reporting are accurate. The answer is, without question, yes.

What about the hatchet job Garrison concocted with the assistance of Marie Claire, a Hearst-owned fashion magazine? That exercise in defamation is one of the subjects in our lawsuits. Have Chuck Ross or the DC pursued any of these angles to the story? We've seen no sign of it. Is that because Jessica Garrison works for the DC? Probably. That's "fair and balanced" right-wing "journalism" for you.

What about other shortcomings in Ross' story on the Garrison judgment? We addressed them in a July 2015 post. First, we showed that Wyoming-based investment guru Foster Friess kicked in $3 million to help get The Daily Caller off the ground. According to online reports, DC founder Tucker Carlson also lined up sponsorships from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Mining Association (Drummond Company), and Southern Company (parent of Alabama Power). Garrison used to work at Alabama Power law firm Balch Bingham, until the Birmingham Superfund scandal started getting too close, so that might explain her ability to get her opinion pieces published at DC.

Ali Akbar's profile at Grindr
We also showed that Friess provided seed funding for the National Bloggers Club (NBC), a consortium of down-scale right-wing pundits, such as Robert Stacy McCain, Aaron Walker, John Hoge, and John Patrick Frey, along with Karl Rove's American Crossroads. It's not clear if the NBC still is functional, but it once was headed by a felon named Ali Akbar, who has a documented taste for criminality and trolling for gay sex. More on this scuzzy bunch in a moment. But first, from our earlier post, are just a few of the problems with Chuck Ross' piece on the Garrison judgment:

What kind of journalism does Foster Friess support? If The Daily Caller story is any indication, the journalism would have to improve to reach the level of shoddy. In fact, I'm not sure you can call it journalism at all, based on the following:

* The story does not mention that the $3.5 million was awarded in a DEFAULT judgment. That means it was not based on the merits of Garrison's claim; it was based on the fact I did not appear at key junctures in the case because I did not receive notice of depositions, hearings, etc.

* The story does not mention that I didn't receive notice because my wife and I were forced to move due to a legally questionable foreclosure on our home, right on the heels of my unconstitutional jail stay in the Riley case.

* The story mentions neither the foreclosure nor the wildly unlawful nature of my arrest, in violation of more than 200 years of First Amendment law. Is that because right-wing interests connected to The Daily Caller were involved in, or at least had advance knowledge of, both the foreclosure and the arrest?

* The story states that Garrison and Attorney General Luther Strange vehemently denied my reports of an extramarital affair. The story does not say that their denials came at a hearing where no opposition was present. It does not say that their denials came without any cross examination, with no depositions, production of documents, or any other form of discovery. It also does not say that Jessica Garrison's divorce file remains sealed in Tuscaloosa County, for no apparent lawful reason.

* The story refers to my reporting on Garrison and Strange as "flimsy accusations." Oh, but wait, Jessica Garrison works for the outfit that produced the story. Did Tucker Carlson's team reveal that to its readers? Nope. Can't get much more "fair and balanced" than that.

* Has The DC followed up with reports about my efforts to have the default judgment overturned? Has it reported on my Motion to Vacate, which cites numerous cases that show the judgment is due to be set aside? Has it reported that my motion drew no written response from Garrison attorney Bill Baxley? Has it reported that much of the Garrison default judgment is based on allegations regarding her son that I did not even report? Hah, are you kidding? The DC has ignored all of that. (After all, Jessica Garrison works for them.)

As for the National Bloggers Club, Foster Friess' other foray into right-wing "journalism," it apparently has collapsed from the weight of its own sleaze. And what a load of sleaze it was. (Note: The NBC's Web site says a relaunch is coming in July 2016, but it's not clear if said relaunch ever happened, and there appears to be no new content on the site.) From our earlier post:

President of the NBC, of course, is Ali A. Akbar, he of the multiple felony convictions and a tendency to troll for gay sex on the Grindr geosocial app. Akbar threatened a lawsuit against me for reporting on the contents of a letter that Alabama attorney and whistleblower Jill Simpson wrote to Robert Bauer, counsel for President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.

The Simpson letter included allegations that Rove and Akbar had engaged in a homosexual relationship. Simpson's investigation of the matter came after she received a copy of Akbar's Grindr ad, which said he was looking for sex with "men who are Republican, political, and love to discuss politics and philosophy." I don't know about the philosophy part, but Karl Rove certainly seems to qualify under the rest of that description.

Case law dating back roughly 45 years shows that Akbar had no valid defamation claim against me. But he enlisted Montgomery lawyer Baron Coleman to send me a threatening letter, dated October 26, 2013, which was three days after Alabama deputies beat me up inside my own home, doused me with pepper spray, and hauled me off to jail for a five-month stay.

For good measure, The Daily Caller also lists Ali Akbar as a contributor--and that brings us back to Tucker Carlson's little toy and the "journalism" it practices.

Speaking of Tucker Carlson, WaPo's Erik Wemple recently conducted a lengthy and contentious interview with the Fox News host. Much of that interview focused on Chuck Ross' background and other political/media topics. Carlson more or less closed the interview with this: "It’s great to talk to you! Call me any time, I’m always around."

If Wemple takes Carlson up on that, here are just a few of the follow-up questions that come to mind:

* Is Carlson aware that one of the DC's contributors, Ali Akbar, has a criminal record?

* Does the DC plan to write a story about Akbar's criminal record?

* What about Akbar's documented trolling for gay sex on Grindr?

* What ties did Daily Caller have to the National Bloggers Club?

* Does Daily Caller plan to report on Jessica Garrison's default judgment -- and the fact it is void, as a matter of law, and can be attacked as such at any time?

* Does Daily Caller plan to report on Garrison's exit from the Republican Attorneys General Association in the wake of a New York Times expose, plus her exit from Balch Bingham law firm amid reports of Luther Strange's ties to the Birmingham Superfund scandal?

* Will Daily Caller report that almost all of Garrison's default judgment is based on false assertions she made, under oath, that I reported Luther Strange was the biological father of her son -- when, in fact, I never reported any such information?

* Will Daily Caller attempt to have Jessica Garrison's divorce file unsealed and report on its contents?


Anonymous said...

Modern Republicans don't have much in the way of core principles, but racism and misogyny are two of them.

Anonymous said...

A big red flag: Daily Caller fails to mention this was a default judgment. Big difference between that and a finding on the merits.

Thomas S. Bean said...

It's all one big conspiracy to violate the free speach rights of an inveterate reporter who covers stories that the GOP owned media won't touch.

Wouldn't it be nice if The FBI took that tack and collected evidence showing collusion by all coconspirators dedicated to violating Title 18 USC sections 241, 242?

I've seen alot of chicanery and abuse of police state powers...but...false arrest, illegal detentions, biased judicial rulings to subvert due process to get a default judgement? GOP has most of the judges in their pocket: they can activate them to play their parts to reach their goal (punish free speach by stealing a home).

Funny how John Caylor (I know you're not on good terms with him) has a similar fact pattern involving the murder of his elderly mother, with the stealing of her home (that would have been John's home pursuant to the will). Caylor had to cross state lines to avoid more harassment where it caught up to him in Washington state where he did some long time (I think five months in jail on some bogus bs).

These GOP slimebags are entrenched with limitless resources across state lines?

I too had to move long distances several times to run smack into the next layer of goofball-Community stalking with cops-feds (I now call them "pigs") loitering in the background as the official unadmitted, hidden, shotcallers.

I always suspected in The Schnauzer's case that, there were feds running COINTELPRO in the background and leaving no evidence of such: unfortunately, this comes with intrusive SIGINT that invades the home and all communications with anybody in any way. Just recently I read that "NSA, despite a court order prohibiting distruction of records, had decided to erase-destroy all records and evidence of NSA wiretapping from 2001-2006"????!!!

"It's a dismal tide. It's not just one thing." (quote from movie "No Country For Old Men").

legalschnauzer said...

@8:48 --

Yep, and they fail to mention it was a default judgment where the opposing party (me) was not noticed on the default application or its hearing. That means the judgment is void, as a matter of law, and can be attacked as such at any time.

Jessica Garrison's big ole whopper of a judgment isn't worth a pot to pee in. That's the kind of journalism that Tucker Carlson is selling the fools who actually watch Fox News.

Anonymous said...

So why don't you attack it as such, instead of just yapping about it?

legalschnauzer said...

TSB --

I had a pretty positive view of John Caylor and have written several favorable posts about him. But while I was in jail, he saw fit to write an attack piece against me on Facebook, and I've never figured what that was about. He favors brutality and arrests against journalists? Or he favors them, unless they are used against him?

I understand he has family ties to Bill Baxley, and BB (in my view) has become a GOP lap dog in his later years -- defending Mike Hubbard, jumping in bed with Rob Riley, filing bogus defamation claims for Jessica Medeiros Garrison.

legalschnauzer said...

@12:13 --

I've known for a long time you aren't very bright -- I have your digital footprint, after all -- and now you can't even fake having a few brain cells:

(1) Notice the phrase "can be attacked at any time." That means exactly what it says; there is no deadline, no statute of limitations. In other words, there is no rush. I've got bigger fish to fry at the moment, and JMG's bogus judgment isn't causing me one bit of pain. It's not even a minor annoyance. She and her drunk lawyer (Bill Baxley) know it's void, so I kind of enjoy letting them stew in their juices.

(2) You clearly have reading comprehension problems, but even you should understand I live in Missouri at the moment, not Alabama. I would have to appear in Alabama court, and it's not worth my time and resources at the moment. I have much more important legal issues in Alabama.

(3) If you don't like "squawking" and "yapping" -- your words, not mine-- why do you keep coming here? The blog obviously is written way over your pay level, so feel free to exit any time, without letting the door hit you on the way out. You won't be missed, I promise.

Anonymous said...

Ali Akbar, what a class act, a slimy little skeez.

Anonymous said...

Here's the question I really want to have answered:

Does Daily Caller plan to report on Garrison's exit from the Republican Attorneys General Association in the wake of a New York Times expose, plus her exit from Balch Bingham law firm amid reports of Luther Strange's ties to the Birmingham Superfund scandal?

Anonymous said...

I wonder what happened to Judge Proctor's son, who worked for Luther Strange -- and to Kevin Turner, who (according to APR and Bill Britt) parlayed his knowledge of the Luther/Jessica affair, as Luther's driver, into a cozy chief of staff position in DC. Neither of those jobs lasted even a year, so Little Proctor and wormy Kevin will have to actually earn a job now. That might not go so well.

Sure they were planning to ride the Luther gravy train for years until Roy Moore put an end to that. And Jessica, of course, was planning on Luther making it to the White House. Hah, what a joke!

legalschnauzer said...

Memo to 2:12 --

Care to make a citation to law to support your claim? Of course not. You're not smart enough to do it, too lazy to try. But your word carries a lot of weight here -- only in your own personal echo chamber.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone with a functioning brain actually get their "news" from Tucker Carlson or Sean Hannity?

legalschnauzer said...

Memo to 5:07 --

Hey fool, why does the execution itself contain the language that the writ is invalid without a county seal? Someone just put that language there for fun? Who do you think you are conning.

BTW, how do you ever manage to send comments here when your lips are permanently pressed against Arnott' hairy ass.

Anonymous said...

Mr Apologist still is arguing the county seal business? This guy has no shame. He must be scared shitless about something.

Thomas S. Bean said...

Not sure about attacking a default judgement but...I'm pretty sure there is a timeline or statute of limitations to nullify the default judgement (on the grounds you were not served with actual and explicit notice while in jail). You might check that out. Be aware of "Laches" doctrine and laws (the idea that action is required within certain time frames much like a statute of limitations).

They (The greasy slick GOP police state-contract surveillance machine) will stoop to any low level to manipulate, harass, and cause duress like the cost of litigation. No matter how deficient their courtroom tactics are...they seem to have the money and time to piss away. I think, revenge is a common obsession for Republicans. Like bullies, they push until someone makes them back down. They always win because they steal your enjoyment of life. Of course, judges have discretion to order losing parties who operate in bad faith, to pay opposing legal fees (that helps but is no guarantee).

Don't know about Caylor...his FB post seems out of character (wonder if he even knows about it, since he was jailed on some bogus BS). Both of you, have similar experiences that hopely transcends any disagreements. Both of you probabely have PTSD, which can manifest itself with truculence and heightened vigilance. I would think Caylor should have recognized your plight and situation since it parallels his more aggravating past experiences as a private-independent-online journalist that got targeted to the point of fleeing one's hometown.

There's damn few of us who actually stick their neck out to expose the hypocrisy and corruption. We're just made that a barking Schnauzer bugling the alarm.