Wednesday, September 13, 2017

My assault, the Joplin Globe and the First Amendment

People have been left homeless and some have seen loved ones die as a result of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

The world is full of people who are at war, starving, or dealing with family members who have cancer or Alzheimer's.

Every day more people fall victim to the scourge of opioids and to the epidemic of violence that has plagued our society.

When you consider that, what happened to me Monday afternoon when someone who was upset with my writing assaulted me at my apartment pales in comparison. Sure, I am going to be sore for several days, I will be limping for a while, and my face, which was never much to begin with, is a mess, but I am back to work, my spirits are good and I have learned a valuable lesson about not opening my door to strangers.

I am going to be fine.

When I opened the door and the man asked, "Are you Mr. Turner?" and I said I was, bringing on the punch that floored me, it was not just an aging blogger who was attacked- it was the First Amendment.

The man waited until he had it confirmed that the person looking at him was the person who had written the post or posts that did not meet with his approval. (Note: Police do have a specific suspect.) Then he attacked.

I have read comments on local media outlets' Facebook pages and many have said words to the effect that "Turner got what's coming to him."

Naturally, I disagree, but thanks to the First Amendment, those misguided people have the right to express their opinions.

The reporters who talked with me yesterday all raised the point of the First Amendment implications of the attack and their stories reflected that.

Randy Turner being attacked is no big deal. Someone being attacked for reporting the facts is. And please, let's drop the negative commenters' self-serving claims that I am writing a bunch of lies. In posts like the ones that brought on the assault, every item in them comes directly from public records.

There is a reason why these records are public, even though sometimes they make us uncomfortable.

Judging from the way, the Joplin Globe reported on the story today, it is apparent that the Globe does not plan on maintaining any interest ... and that is the Globe's right. It, too, can choose how to exercise its First Amendment rights.

And it is not surprising. After all, the Globe has always been picky on when it thinks the First Amendment is important. If something affects the Globe's ability to write a story or to receive information to which it thinks it is entitled, suddenly the Globe's Editorial Board is shouting about "the public's right to know" and waving the First Amendment banner.

Only the record shows the newspaper is selective about when the First Amendment is important.

Ask Brennan Stebbins, the editor of the Chart during a portion of the Bruce Speck era at Missouri Southern State University.

Stebbins, now the sports editor at the Carthage Press, and the Chart staff, under the tutelage of T. R. Hanrahan, were breaking one big story after another and offering hard-hitting editorials about Speck's inept leadership.

Yet when Speck silenced the Chart and fired Hanrahan, the Joplin Globe stood silent.

Well, not completely silent. Globe Publisher Michael Beatty sent Speck an e-mail detailing how he was stopping reporter Greg Grisolano from making any Sunshine Law requests of the university, talking with Editor Carol Stark about nice, positive stories that could be written about the university, and Beatty offered Speck advice on how to control the media.

Some First Amendment advocate.

Thanks to that very amendment and Missouri's Sunshine Law, Beatty's e-mail to Speck became public knowledge. Stebbins received it after a Sunshine Law request. By that time, there was no way it could be placed in the Chart, so it was posted online where the Turner Report picked it up and brought it to the taxpayers' attention.

All thanks to the First Amendment.

And then there's the business of my firing from the Joplin R-8 School District.

A former Globe employee (not a reporter) told me of a conversation she had with the editor. She told the editor the charges against me were not true.

The response.

"Have you seen that book?" and then described what an affront my novel No Child Left Alive was to decency. Of course, at the time the Huff Administration was claiming I had assigned the book to my students. As Huff and others acknowledged at my hearing, that never happened and my students had never even heard of the book.

Globe reporter Wally Kennedy did an excellent job of covering my hearing, including printing from the board's final decision, which specified that I did nothing morally wrong.

And if I did nothing morally wrong, then I was fired because I had written a book that C. J. Huff did not like.

Yet there was never any followup, even though that decision clearly has had an impact on the direction of the R-8 School District over the past four years.

Especially since I used my First Amendment rights to inform the taxpayers about what was going on.

You might question why the Globe should lift a finger for a blogger who has criticized the newspaper frequently.

Why should the Globe care what happens to a competitor?

The First Amendment is not just for those who agree with the way you think. If the First Amendment is to work, it has to be for all of us and those of us whose livelihoods depend on it have an obligation to defend it at all cost.

When Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell sued Hustler Magazine for an atrocious "humor" cartoon it ran about him, it was organizations like the New York Times, the Washington Post, CBS, and Time Magazine that filed friends of the court briefs backing Hustler Publisher Larry Flynt. Flynt disgusted the traditional media, but they were not supporting him. They were supporting his First Amendment rights.

When American Nazis wanted to hold a rally in Skokie, Illinois, a city with a high percentage of Holocaust survivors, the American Civil Liberties Union, which hated everything the Nazis stood for, filed an action against Skokie city officials.

The ACLU lawyers hated the Nazis, but they revered the First Amendment.

I am not a Nazi nor am I a pornographer (despite what C. J. Huff claimed long after my hearing).

I am someone who has a deep love for the First Amendment.

As I discovered after my unfortunate incident Monday, most of you agree with me about our most cherished constitutional right, whether you agree with what I write or not.

I also discovered that many area news sources share that deep affection for the First Amendment, something which came as no surprise.

As for the Joplin Globe, the newspaper was not there for Brennan Stebbins and the Chart, it was not there for me four years ago and there will come a day when someone is trying to attack the Globe's First Amendment rights.

Brennan Stebbins will be there to defend the Globe's rights.

T. R. Hanrahan will fight for the public's right to know.

And I will stand up for the Joplin Globe and the First Amendment.

Sadly, the Globe, assuming that an important newspaper should naturally receive the benefit of the doubt, will never grasp the irony.

Thirty minutes ago, I was attacked

Sonic supervisor named in sexual harassment suit cited for sixth DWI

Explosive lawsuit claim: Pervasive sexual harassment at Rangeline Sonic leads to rape of two underage girls


14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ok get back to work and give it a break. You should have a blog about this high school girl who was shamed by her teacher. The teacher needs her walking papers handed to her. She just costs,the district a ton more money. The dress code for JHS written by a bunch of idiot school board memebers . But the girls,tennis team, the volley ball team in violation. I don't think there is any place for public schools any more. They are a money sucking disasters.

Anonymous said...

The information regarding those charges might be public record but it's important to remember that the individual was only charged, he wasn't convicted. He is to be considered innocent until proven guilty for many, many reasons. He deserves the benefit of the doubt. With the reporting you provided over a period of approximately 3 days you made multiple allegations that were extremely personal very, very public and then you accused him of assault even though you admitted you had no idea who hit you. This alone makes all of those articles irresponsible from a journalistic point of view whether you believe they contain facts or not.

Randy said...

I doubt seriously that you have a journalistic point of view. At no time ever did I say anything about having no idea of who hit me. As for the allegations, I made no allegations against anyone. The sexual harassment charges were made in a federal lawsuit,public information. A sixth arrest for driving while intoxicated is an allegation made both by the Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney's office and the Sarcoxie Police Department. The information about the details of that arrest were included in the probable cause statement, which is included in the court file, which is also public information. The details about his previous guilty pleas to DWI and drug charges is all documented. Every piece of information in those two posts was backed by public documents.I might add that the allegations have also been reported by KOAM and KZRG and perhaps other media outlets. This nonsense that journalists should not write about allegations until a man is proven guilty or not guilty in a court of law is ridiculous and if it were done that way, the pubilc would be the loser. The job of journalists is to follow these cases every step of the way. It is vital for people to iknow if their police departments and their prosecutors are living up their responsibilities, as well as detailing the crimes. It is not only a matter of public interest, but it is a matter of making sure taxpayers' money is well spent,

None of the articles were irresponsible. Innocent until proven guilty is a concept for the courts and law enforcement. Each defendant is afforded that consideration during the judicial process. I am not reporting on anyone's guilt. I am reporting about matters that should and do concern the public. These allegations have been made. Not referring to this present situation, but to any case, it is far more responsible to inform the public that the person who lives next door may be someone you need to watch carefully or avoid altogether.

Pastor Martin Luther Dzerzhinsky Lindstedt said...

Turner censors opinions that he doesn't like. Turner says that since it is his own blog isn't a "state actor" then censorship of articles ridiculing Turner isn't a First Amendment issue.

Turner is right about that.

But miraculously whenever an editor or school board or college chancellor fires Turner or others of his murky ilk then all of a sudden it is an assault on the First Amendment by paramilitary storm-troopers and Turner is on the verge of being put into a camp.

Does Turner claim that a member of the police hit Turner in the nose? No? Just another person who committed a private assault against a slanderer taking out a private justice that most of the population wishes that they could render if they dared? Then according to both law and Turner's admission then this isn't a First amendment issue either.

The purpose of hostile commentary to Turner's lying blog is for Turner to censor it and then to scan and usually censor every hostile comment for fear that it might be someone working for CJ Huff or myself summoning up an Aryan Internet troll wolfpack. This is how I and others put Turner into a camp of its own devising and so to isolate this social bacillus animating the zombie social order -- The System's Walking Dead.

So Turner's private assailant should, if he gets caught, should ask for a jury trial and claim, plausibily, that he was provoked, pay a small fine on the misdeameanor plus Turner's medical bills, if any. But otherwise, if found guilty, be a hero in our books for further ghettoizing Turner.

Turner is like Hillary, a psychopath unable to acknowledge any responsibility for provoking the inevitable backlash. Hillary had ghostwritten her hagiography entitled, not as a question, "What Happened". Turner also writes similar stupid and dishonest books with similar titles. Let me suggest more apt titles, like "Payback", "Backlash", and "I Got Found Out" as better explaining 'what happened'.

The jewplin Glob has no responsibility to write anything about this matter any more than Turner has any obligation to print this hostile comment.

The rest of the moral lepers of local journalism Turner mentions are of the same ilk as Turner. They censored hostile normie opinion so that normies stopped buying lie-papers and started getting their news off the Internet. They read much more Breibart and none of Huffington Post. Some, usually the younger Millennials, even read The Daily Stormer and 4-Chan and none of Gawker. Speaking of which, it is the large corporations like Google and Facebook which need to be broken up and regulated as a public utility.

This incident simply is a liberal psychopath who was found out writing a passle of lies with slant on its private blog which it censors like Pravda and the New York Times. Someone private took offense and rendered private justice. No First Amendment violations here, although these social parasites routinely abuse the Bill of Goods security blanket up until it cums time to claim that it is armor for their private protection from the consequences of their words.

I got a better solution: Let Turner censor to where it is in its own private self-made gulag and echo chamber. Let Turner only go out at night when most people are in their homes. Let Turner barricade the door scared of encountering the normies outside who it pissed off. Let Turner build its own private kampf.

And let most of us think, happily, that Turner got what he deserved, measured privately-administered corporal punishment that accurately reflects community standards.

Thank Heaven for CJ Huff! And I don't even like CJ Huff.

Hail Victory!!!

Pastor Martin Luther Dzerzhinsky Lindstedt
Church of Jesus Christ Christian / Aryan Nations of Missouri

Anonymous said...

You should have pulled the flush lever on the 427 pm turd.

Johnny Froddo said...

This guy who hit you, good or bad, only weighs about 100 pounds. Why are you crying? Your a pussy. You got punched for what you said, it happens. Deal.

T.R. Hanrahan said...

Johnny Froddo:
You said, "Your a pussy."
It should be "You're a pussy." The former is a possessive, the latter is a contraction for "you are."
You are illiterate. You got flamed for what you wrote like a fourth-grader in a school urinal.
Deal.

Anonymous said...

Wow! No racists comments in this post I see! �� 427 You are part of the problem, not the solution.

Anonymous said...

Haha!

Anonymous said...

Looks like 4:27 is off his meds again.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised someone with the name of "Dzerzhinsky Lindstedt" is allowed into the Aryan Nations. Since AN models itself after Nazi Germany, and Dzerzhinsky is a Slavic name, and the Nazis considered the Slavs to be an inferior race, then the Aryans must be getting desperate if they allow him in. But then again, Aryans and other racists were never known for their intelligence.

Anonymous said...

You could have made an intelligent argument against Turner perhaps, but instead you spewed hatred and bigotry. You managed to discredit yourself without any need for reply from Turner.

Anonymous said...

Turner has his share of followers just like him, especially in teaching positions. Which is why CJ Huff and every other superintendant since needs to keep aware of this and keep on purging rogue teachers like Turner who think that they get to make their own policy regarding contact with students without the knowledge and permission of parents and the school board.

Turner had his chance to answer his detractors then but didn't fare too well. But Turner is a hero on this, his free blog where his groupies defend him. The community is well served by this de facto insolation.

Anonymous said...

213..are you still bitter over Huff's departure,