Jun 5, 2017

Cancel my subscription to your issues "anon" and critics; your drama, your problem, not mine

Making threats of filing a lawsuit seems easy in the heat of the moment. Then going ahead and filing one just because you can is stupid.

Proving a claim in court requires an understanding of law. In cases of threats, harassment and verbal abuse and grandiose but delusional opinions, especially in the comment section of any media source requires an understanding of reporting and journalism.

Having a camera does not make you a photographer, having a note pad does not make you a reporter and surfing the internet does not make you a lawyer.

It is unfortunate that some people feel that they can sue or are "in the right" to chastise reporters because  they do not like the coverage. That is not how journalism or the First Amendment works. Reporting on court cases is not easy and it is even more difficult in a small town.

In the cases that people usually complain about my coverage, they misdirect anger at me. There is usually drama, strong emotions and frustration over situations they cannot control, including whoever they are involved fighting in court. It does not give anyone the right to slander me, threaten me, be verbally abusive or put pressure on me to change my coverage.

I have previously pointed out, numerous times, that most of the people criticizing me, do not take the same issue with other media who have released full names of minors or printed erroneous information.  Among these people are some who have no problem spreading lies or rumors about me.

Their issues could be misery, too much time, denial, insecurities, usually combined with a hatred based on my political, religious or economic views. That is discrimination and has nothing to do with my coverage.

It has escalated in the last month, with most of the comments being non -stop and anonymous. In some cases, the outrage is not even from the people covered, because I have talked to the people directly. For example, the Chief Mills' house for sale post. He doesn't have an issue; so get over it.

In the David Josiah Lawson case, I have documented extensively, the intimidation and harassment. People know and see the complaining is from those not directly related to Lawson.  These bellyachers have their own agenda and they have spoken to media, when convenient.

In the Chad Smith case, information about him, the alleged victim and her mother was readily available all over the internet via Facebook, court records, a go fund me page Chad Smith created. People know Chad Smith and his family. Those taking issue with my coverage and then trying to put pressure on me from other sources, once again, fail to see their own role and what information and connections people could make, with or without my coverage.

I first met Chad and his present wife in 2013 when I interviewed them for a business article. I have seen Chad interact with his wife, his employees, and others in the community.

Those of you kvetching have spent more time guessing why I chose to be specific about who the alleged victim is under the guise of expressing concern for the alleged victim yet you have no clue what else I chose not to include in my post. Nor do you have any idea or really care why I included what you think are "specifics" in this case.

You could be spending that time helping the alleged victim and her family in more productive ways.

Where were you for the alleged victim while the alleged abuse was going on? Not just for this case, for others as well. Instead of spending all this time emaling me and messaging me, have you ever thought of the church, the schools, the other potential victims that may be out there in the Chad Smith case? You are telling me with 8 alleged incidents, no one knew, including family? So spare me the faux outrage. It sickens me the many cases of rape, child abuse and molestation I have covered here because fools like you are too scared to warn the community the first time. This is years of your looking the other way, wanting to hush everything, Humboldt style, that is showing up in the courts now.

I report on a lot of cases, have been the voice for many survivors of domestic violence , rape, sexual assault and families losing loved ones to murder.  I give a lot of my time and support this community beyond just being court and while writing an article.

And, I have done it for decades, in Humboldt and other places.

Even some of my former local critics have changed their opinion and called my reporting fair and accurate. I have a lot of people who care, support and appreciate me and my reporting.

I have reported on cases other media did not; taking personal and financial risks. I did not cause the problems why anyone is in court. I did not cause the local culture that victimizes people. Targeting me and only targeting me shows your character, not mine.

Frivolous lawsuits waste time; mine, my attorney's, the courts.  Cowards venting misdirected anger at me does nothing to help the alleged victim. Deal with your drama on your own time, not mine.

The difference between some people and me is that I know what I can sue for in court and what I can prove. I also chose to spend my time informing the public. Cancel my subscription to your issues and get therapy; the time and cost you spend on that will be more beneficial.


  1. keep up the great work John!

  2. John - These days many like to complain, instead of giving even a single word of encouragement in both their personal and business interactions.

    Know that your efforts are appreciated by those of us that wish to see all sides of the local issues not carried in the other regional media outlets, and how the judicial system works here in our Local Superior Court.

    Keep up the good work!!