I had been online friends with Matt for a while, generally sharing his liberal views and keeping up with his writings at various Web sites -- mostly Osborne Ink and Breitbart Unmasked. I saw him as an important Web-based voice -- a talented, intelligent guy, who was pugnacious enough to do battle with underhanded conservatives, such as the felon poser, and gay-sex troller Ali (Akbar) Alexander and his nutty National Bloggers Club.
For about four years, Carol and I have assumed Osborne came to our home in good faith, from a genuine intention to help at a time of crisis. But I started to have doubts about that when Osborne contacted me in October 2017 -- about six weeks before the Doug Jones-Roy Moore U.S. Senate special election -- and informed me he was connected to the Jones campaign in some capacity, suggesting I should retract a post about a Russian-bot attack on the Moore campaign's Twitter account.
Why did Osborne's ties to Doug Jones alarm me? Well, I've known since spring 2008 that Doug Jones is a shady, ethically challenged guy -- mainly because of his lawyer-tribe ties to despicable Republican thug Rob Riley, the oily son of former Gov. Bob Riley. In fact, I was cheated out of my job at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), where I had worked for almost 20 years, after I reported on the dubious reasons Rob Riley joined Jones in a lawsuit against HealthSouth -- a story that originated with Sam Stein, of Huffington Post.
For the record, I don't think it's a coincidence that UAB concocted a bogus scheme to fire me -- falsely claiming I was blogging at work, contrary to the words of their own IT expert (Sean Maher) who had examined my work computer activity -- not long after my report on Jones, Riley, and the HealthSouth case. My blogging likely was seen as a threat to Jones and Riley's share of what would become $51 million in legal fees from the HealthSouth case, money that probably helped fund Jones' U.S. Senate campaign in 2017.
I also learned that Jones is a world-class backstabber, with a string of victims that include former Gov. Don Siegelman, late VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor, and Dothan developer Ronnie Gilley. Also, it became clear that Jones was prone to look the other way at the crimes of moneyed elites, such as University of Alabama honcho Paul Bryant Jr., whose company was tied to a massive insurance-fraud case in Pennsylvania.
In short, Doug Jones is a "bastard-coated bastard with bastard filling," and I've come to believe anyone affiliated with him has a shaky moral compass, poor judgment, a strong case of naivete -- or a combination of the three.
What about specifics that might lead us to have qualms about Matt Osborne? Let's consider:
The "RogerS" scam
Evidence suggests my arrest, at least in part, was driven by a narrative involving a mysterious character called "RogerS." Here's how we explained it in a post dated July 13, 2015:
Members of a right-wing bloggers' club concocted the notion that I was encouraging a federal lawsuit against them, and other conservative figures, and they wrote about it obsessively in the days leading to, and following, my October 2013 arrest.
At the heart of the matter is a commenter at a progressive Web site who goes by the handle "RogerS" and appears to have a fair amount of knowledge about legal matters--in fact, he was encouraging liberal activist Brett Kimberlin to file a federal RICO lawsuit against members of the bloggers club and other individuals on the right. When Kimberlin did, in fact, file a RICO suit, I wound up in jail roughly one week later. Coincidence? That's hard to say, but let's look at what we do know.
In certain corners of the blogosphere, it became popular to suggest that "RogerS" and Roger Shuler (me) were one and the same--even though I had nothing to do with the comments in question, I was not aware of any possible federal lawsuit, and I have no clue about the identity of "RogerS." Still, evidence suggests I might have paid a high price--loss of my freedom for five months and eventual loss of our home-- for something that did not involve me.
As for the National Bloggers Club, it operates under a media umbrella created by the late right-wing publisher and provocateur Andrew Breitbart--and its president, Ali A Akbar, has a criminal history and admitted connections to former Bush White House adviser Karl Rove. Akbar also has a history of trolling for gay sex on adult Web sites.
Where did RogerS originate? We've explained that, too:
"RogerS" apparently made his first appearance in a September 18, 2013, post at the progressive blog Breitbart Unmasked (BU). Interestingly, that was one day after I broke the Bill Pryor gay-porn story. "RogerS" commented about a possible lawsuit that Kimberlin was planning against a number of individuals connected to the Breitbart Network.
Another commenter on the same post replied: "RogerS is one of two very cool people in Alabama . . . Everyone should read his latest: A very "stiff" portrayal of a federal judge." That's the first sign I can find of connections forming between "RogerS," Roger Shuler, and the Bill Pryor story--and it came from a commenter at a liberal Web site.
So, RogerS grew from Breitbart Unmasked, and BU's editor at the time was . . . Matt Osborne. Let's consider a few of the questions that poses:
|Ali Akbar on Grindr gay-sex app
(2) Was RogerS created to antagonize Ali (Akbar) Alexander and his right-wing blogging loons and scare them into having me falsely arrested -- probably with the assistance of the Alabama State Bar?
Matt Osborne's in-home visit while I was in jail
Was Osborne's visit to our house, while I was locked up, an act of good faith, or one with ulterior motives?
Well, we know my arrest, on the surface, was driven by a bogus defamation lawsuit that Rob Riley and his lobbyist "gal pal" Liberty Duke filed against me. We know Rob Riley and Doug Jones have been aligned in the legal tribe for more than 10 years. And we know Matt Osborne has been aligned with Doug Jones at least since 2017.
Could Osborne's alliance with Jones date back to 2013 and beyond? Could Jones, or someone tied to him, have directed Osborne to go to our house as a ruse, designed to assist Rob Riley's arrest scheme -- and perhaps stand up for Bill Pryor's "honor"?
Why would someone want to have access to our house just days after my arrest? I can think of all kinds of reasons, most of them dark and disturbing. I like to think that Matt Osborne would not go along with such a scheme, but we now know he engaged in deceptive election practices on Doug Jones' behalf, so what would keep Osborne from entering our home under false pretenses -- designed to assist Doug Jones and his lawyer pal, Rob Riley, perhaps in their shared desire to abuse the reporter who outed Bill Pryor as a closeted gay? By the way, Jones long has professed his undying respect for Pryor.
Matt Osborne has proven he engaged in dishonest activities that deceived Alabama voters -- a false-flag scheme to benefit Doug Jones. I see no reason why he would not engage in a false flag directed at Carol and me.