When the police first served me with a warrant on a felony libel charge and I skedaddled to the ACLU, I soon realized that the press is really keen on covering free speech issues. My mom kept a ziploc bag full of clips that relatives sent from newspapers all over the place. At one point on the old site, I had collected links all the way from the local daily to USA Today and the Rolling Stone. Since the settlement is hopefully the last newsworthy thing that will happen to me and The Howling Pig, here’s the coverage that I could find:
Apparently, there was a story on the AP wire so there is probably more floating around but it’s all copies of the same article. Also, several articles include a cropped photo that ran in the Greeley Tribune of me and my fiancee that was taken by my friend Soraya Soleimanpour. She’s a really good photographer, so I wanted to make sure she got credit for it.
The old alma mater’s student newspaper has a lengthy interview up.
Eight years of litigation and I’m still not used to the fact that journalism law courses bring up my case as an example of criminal libel statutes. I’m famous in a very limited and local sense of fame, sort of like if I grew a record-breaking giant pumpkin. As far as it has affected my life, the lawsuit has been a little bit of unpleasantness in the background. It’s as though I let loose a particularly lingering fart during a very long elevator ride. There’s a certain sense of accomplishment there. Some people catch a whiff and approve. But for the most part, it’s just always been there as a lurking presence.
It wasn’t all bad. The precedents set will be helpful for other people caught in the wringer of police state stupidity. I got a bit of money out of it as well as a few free drinks. I’ve managed to meet some really cool people. Mark Silverstein from the ACLU is a standup guy and he has some great stories that are worth listening to. Working with the cooperating attorneys from Holland & Hart was an eye-opening experience- lawyers who make $500 an hour know how to get shit done. I’m glad they were the ones who mostly had to deal with the opposing council. My one brush with the fine folks at Hall & Evans gave me chills. It was rather like the scene at the end of the first Harry Potter movie. I surreptitiously checked the back of the guy’s head to see if there was a malevolent face growing out. All in all, a long ordeal that was more blessing than curse.
Now it’s all over. At least, the fussing and the fighting’s over. Anyone with even a tiny amount of google-fu will be able to find out at a glance that I’m a dude with a “checkered past”. On the other hand, at least I didn’t manage to establish a reputation for flashing my tits in exchange for a Girls Gone Wild t-shirt. As soon as the check’s in my hand, I’ll figure out what comes next.
The lawsuit has ended and the check is on the way. The Howling Pig has been, if not exonerated exactly, at least paid off to wander away and quit being a nuisance. Susan Knox, the final holdout of the forces of darkness, decided to settle for $425,000 ($25k for me) and no admission of liability. Since she managed to fail upward from her position of Weld Assistant DA and end up in the US Attorney’s Office in Denver, it makes sense that she wanted make the lawsuit go away. A showcase of one’s inability to operate in a constitutional manner probably doesn’t open up very many career possibilities at that level.
There shall be more later, along with links as apparently journalists still dig on the Howling Pig story.