Outspoken Minnesota professor emeritus James Fetzer’s legal travails continue to mount as a judge in the defamation case he lost against a Sandy Hook parent last June found him in contempt of court. Fetzer admitted to sharing a videotaped deposition of the plaintiff that the judge ruled confidential. The retired professor has been directed to pay the plaintiff $7,000 in legal costs and “if you don’t, bring your toothbrush because you’ll be going to the Dane County Jail,” the judge said.
Chris Rickert of the Wisconsin State Journalreports:
A longtime conspiracy theorist and retired professor from Dane County who thinks the Sandy Hook massacre was a government hoax was found in contempt of court Friday in a defamation case brought against him by one of the Sandy Hook parents.
James Fetzer, an Oregon resident and University Minnesota-Duluth professor emeritus of philosophy, admitted to violating an order to keep a May 28 videotaped deposition of plaintiff Leonard Pozner confidential. Instead, he shared it or allowed it to be shared sometime between June and August with what he called fellow “researchers” of the 2012 murder of 27 people in Newtown, Connecticut.
FAU Professor James Tracy has occupied a unique position from which to critique dishonest, lazily-produced, and thinly-veiled propaganda presented as “news.” He has been a prime target of national news media for his controversial views and analyses of public events. More recent coverage has been addressed at some length on this site (e.g. here, here and here).
Now the Palm Beach Post has upped the ante, actually classifying Tracy’s civil rights battle against FAU as “crime.”
In August 2018, Tracy filed an appeal of the lower court’s TracyvFAU with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which will be heard before a panel of judges on September 19, 2019. The final appeal brief was filed the following November.
While South Florida news media provided florid, wall-to-wall coverage of the TracyvFAU trial taking place in West Palm Beach in late 2017, there has been scant reporting of the important appeal in the same media. The Palm Beach Post has carried one story upon the federal appeal filing, while the South Florida Sun-Sentinel hasn’t even mentioned the action, with its presumably final story noted that the pro forma appeal for a retrial in the lower court was denied.
In a recent review of the Post‘s single story, it’s notable that the paper’s editors classify the important civil rights appeal as a “crime.” That’s right, the staff actually filed the report in the news outlet’s online crime section.
According to the newspaper’s editors, a professor questioning FAU’s unconstitutionally vague “Outside Employment/Activities Policy” is a criminal. The Post‘s Crime News page is the same blue collar crime department that carries reports of murders, rapes, and car-jackings, accompanied by police mugshots of the alleged perpetrators.
This is likely no mistake. The Palm Beach Post now believes it’s a crime for any individual to question the news media’s often confusing reportage of complex events–particularly a college professor who might be given some measure of public credibility.
By failing to accept the court’s conclusions in TracyvFAU, and having the temerity to ask for a higher court’s review, James Tracy, in the judgement of South Florida’s corporate news media, has committed a “crime.”
Further, the Post‘s story title, “Fired FAU Professor Declares It’s His Right to Call Sandy Hook a Hoax,” is clearly misleading and inflammatory, as is the sloppy reporting itself.
For example, Court reporter Jane Musgrave writes,
University administrators and others might not like his views that the school shooting and other tragedies, such as the Oklahoma City and Boston Marathon bombings, were staged by the government to promote gun control. But Tracy has a constitutional right to express them, [his attorney] said.
Any observer of the proceedings by now knows Tracy never made any claims or inferences that the Oklahoma City and Boston Marathon bombings were “staged by the government to promote gun control.” In fact, he’s even been consistently careful not to affirm the notion that “nobody died at Sandy Hook.” Perhaps this is a reason Vice interviewed him for several hours in early 2018, but then failed to air even a few seconds of the interview.
In fact, none of the appeal briefs even mention the Oklahoma City or Boston Marathon bombings. But as far as Musgrave and Post editors are concerned, anything goes when seeking to further defame Tracy and “his ongoing quest to get his job back.”
This form of hype and flagrant inaccuracy suggests the newspaper management’s contempt not only Tracy’s “quest,” but also for its readership’s intelligence and discernment.
In the end these escapades shouldn’t be surprising. One can certainly make the argument that the Post‘s coverage isn’t even intended to satisfy the informational needs of its readership. As the end of the day its publisher and staff are keenly aware of the powerful area interests they must placate. Its reportage thus plays to the very select “gallery” of Palm Beach County’s most powerful and affluent individuals.
With the aid of South Florida “journalists” these parties and their ilk will apparently do anything to deprive a “conspiracy theorist” of his tenured public university post.
Moves to Forestall Property Seizures As Freshman Class Arrives
Editor’s Note: Small Ohio-based Oberlin College is being hit with a substantial monetary judgement that its attorneys argue may put it out of business. The lawsuit was the response to a smear campaign Oberlin administrators waged against a locally-owned bakery over a shoplifting incident where three black Oberlin students attacked the store’s shopkeeper. The students pled guilty to the assault and subsequently acknowledged that race played no role in the event.
MHB readers may recall how in 2016 Oberlin College suspended and eventually terminated Assistant Professor Joy Karega after a US-Israeli organization initiated its own smear campaign targeting Karega for her social media commentary and memes critical of Israel’s foreign policy and links to ISIS.
Oberlin College ordered to post $36 million bond to delay Gibson’s Bakery collection of Judgment
William A. Jacobson Legal Insurrection
(July 24, 2019)
The compensatory and punitive damages of $25 million (after reduction for tort reform caps), plus the over $6.5 million in attorney’s fees and costs, put Oberlin College almost $32 million in debt to Gibson’s Bakery and its owners.
Absent some judicial action, the next step would have been for the Gibsons to execute on the judgment, meaning start collecting the money through post-judgment remedies, such as seizing bank accounts and physical property.
Oberlin College, which intends to appeal once post-trial motions are over, obviously doesn’t want its bank accounts, computer equipment, and er, Dean of Students’ office furniture, seized just as the freshman class was arriving. So Oberlin College filed a motion for a stay of execution of the judgment until such time as it can appeal and obtain an appeal bond.
[Editor’s Note: The author concedes that the New York Times typically does not publish pieces in direct in response to, or complaining about, reports which appear in the paper. Still, a perspective defending school safety expert Wolfgang Halbig’s credibility has yet to appear in the Times, or for that matter any other news outlet reporting on the legal actions brought by Sandy Hook parents. Nor have such outlets honestly covered any of the ensuing controversy leading up to these most recent activities. Such one-sidedness more than suggests the increasingly propaganda-like nature of such news media’s “reportage” and commentary.]
The “Florida man” is Wolfgang Halbig, a 71-year-old school security expert and former state trooper. Mr. Halbig has been dogged—and uncompromisingly ethical—in his search for the truth about the so-called Sandy Hook shooting, a search prompted initially by horror, giving way to astonishment and disbelief at glaring inconsistencies and falsehoods in the reportage.
At no time has Halbig “harassed,” “hounded,” “pursued,” or “tormented” Sandy Hook families. He has focused, instead, on obtaining public records from state, federal, and local agencies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency; Newtown Police Department; Newtown Public Schools; and Connecticut State Police. Most of these agencies provided no records whatsoeverin response to Wolf’s Freedom of Information requests, despite legal mandates.
For example, Wolf has tried, in vain, to obtain the log created pursuant to a sign that said “Everyone Must Check In” which shows up in photos of the fire station taken Dec. 14, 2012, as well as the transmission log of “Trooper 1,” the state police helicopter in the air that day, purporting to track a suspect in the woods. Halbig has been denied these indisputably public records. He subpoenaed witnesses who had presumptive knowledge of conditions at the school for his FOIA hearings, but Newtown’s attorney Monte Frank improperly told them to ignore the subpoenas, and Wolf was provided no relief for this misconduct. The police at last gave Wolf “dash cam videos” he had requested, which are not, in fact, dash cam videos, since they do not show the hood of the car. They also show different scenes putatively taken from the same location at the same time, so were clearly faked.
A judge in Connecticut has granted the families’ discovery requests, allowing them access to, among other things, Infowars’ internal marketing and financial documents.
The judge has scheduled a hearing next week to decide whether to allow the plaintiffs’ attorneys to depose Jones.
The plaintiffs include the parents of five children who went to the school as well as family members of first-grade teacher Victoria Leigh Soto and Principal Dawn Hochsprung, according to a statement from the plaintiff’s attorneys.
According to the statement, the plaintiffs allege a “years-long campaign of abusive and outrageous false statements in which Jones and the other defendants have developed, amplified and perpetuated claims that the Sandy Hook massacre was staged and that the 26 families who lost loved ones that day are paid actors who faked their relative’s deaths.”
Leonard Pozner is the alleged father of alleged Sandy Hook child-victim Noah Pozner whose image, mysteriously, was among the posters of those who were killed by the Taliban in the Army Public School shooting massacre in Peshawar, Pakistan, on December 16, 2014, two years after Sandy Hook.
Leonard Pozner has harassed bloggers and YouTubers with DMCA copyright-infringement take-down demands, and is successful at it. He has also sued Wolfgang Halbig and Alex Jones on Sandy Hook. Curiously, in his last lawsuit against Halbig, Lenny dropped the lawsuit when it came time for him to be deposed, under oath, which reinforces the skepticism by some who wonder if “Leonard Pozner” is a real person. For more on this, see “Sandy Hook’s Leonard Pozner sues Professor James Fetzer and publisher“.
On November 27, 2018, Leonard Pozner filed a defamation lawsuit against Professor James Fetzer and his publisher, Moon Rock Books, claiming that he, Leonard Pozner:
A Crestview man who publishes controversial books for the edification and entertainment of conspiracy theorists has been named in a lawsuit brought by the father of a child killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
David Gahary is the principle officer of Wrongs without Wremedies LLC, which publishes as Moon Rock Books. The company currently markets 12 books, each bearing a provocative title along the lines of; “JFK Who How and Why,” “The Parkland Puzzle: How the Pieces Fit Together,” and “America Nuked on 911.”
Wrongs without Wremedies is named in the lawsuit along with two men, Jim Fetzer and Mike Palecek. They, Gahary said, edit the work of various contributing authors and build books from those authors’ writings.
Moon Rock Books sells to customers around the world, Gahary said.
“These are people who don’t really believe the mainstream media, or as they say now, the fake news media,” he said. “They don’t believe what the government and mainstream media are telling them.”