Videoblogger jailed

A guy I know, Josh Wolf, was just thrown in jail for refusing to hand over some videotapes he made of a July 2005 demonstration in San Francisco. The San Francisco Chronicle has the details.

The government has scary powers and is using them. Interesting to watch this case evolve and see how Josh is using his blog to get word out to his friends. Josh, on his blog, writes that he is planning to appeal this case all the way. That’ll cost $10,000 to $15,000 in legal fees. Whew.

Comments

  1. Isn’t he withholding evidence of a federal crime? Isn’t that also a crime? How is the government using “scary powers“?

    If someone videotaped you getting beaten by a mob, wouldn’t you want the tape to go to the authorities to be presented as evidence?

    What would it hurt for this guy, to give a copy of his tape to the court?

    A better question is: what is this guy hiding, that he is willing to spend time in jail for?

  2. Isn’t he withholding evidence of a federal crime? Isn’t that also a crime? How is the government using “scary powers“?

    If someone videotaped you getting beaten by a mob, wouldn’t you want the tape to go to the authorities to be presented as evidence?

    What would it hurt for this guy, to give a copy of his tape to the court?

    A better question is: what is this guy hiding, that he is willing to spend time in jail for?

  3. Brent: Josh is fighting for his right as a journalist to protect his unpublished footage and sources. In California, there is a shield law that allows journalists to do this. The feds (which has no such sheild law) have decided to to make it a federal case because a city police car was allegedly burned and they claim since San Francisco gets some federal funding, that they have jurisdiction. Following that logic, just about anything can be a federal case!

    If journalists have to turn over their sources, then that has a chilling effect on newsgathering as people will be much less likely to provide journalists with critical information (remember Watergate!).

  4. Brent: Josh is fighting for his right as a journalist to protect his unpublished footage and sources. In California, there is a shield law that allows journalists to do this. The feds (which has no such sheild law) have decided to to make it a federal case because a city police car was allegedly burned and they claim since San Francisco gets some federal funding, that they have jurisdiction. Following that logic, just about anything can be a federal case!

    If journalists have to turn over their sources, then that has a chilling effect on newsgathering as people will be much less likely to provide journalists with critical information (remember Watergate!).

  5. Brent: there’s a big difference between someone getting beaten and a cop car getting burned. There’s also a big difference between me voluntarily giving up my stuff and the government forcing it out of my hands.

  6. Brent: there’s a big difference between someone getting beaten and a cop car getting burned. There’s also a big difference between me voluntarily giving up my stuff and the government forcing it out of my hands.

  7. Isn’t that fighting for the sole principle? Cause honestly, what else does he have to win in keeping these videos from the feds?

    Or rather, what does he have to lose?

  8. Isn’t that fighting for the sole principle? Cause honestly, what else does he have to win in keeping these videos from the feds?

    Or rather, what does he have to lose?

  9. It’s hard to see a justification for withholding the video. In fact I would suggest that Josh Wolf is clearly working against the common good. A reasonable person would have handed to video over without being asked. There is no source to “protect” only criminals. Shame on you for taking his side.

  10. It’s hard to see a justification for withholding the video. In fact I would suggest that Josh Wolf is clearly working against the common good. A reasonable person would have handed to video over without being asked. There is no source to “protect” only criminals. Shame on you for taking his side.

  11. Great! Now we have Scoble being pretend attorney. I’m having a hard time understanding what Josh is really protecting. What does he risk losing by providing this evidence? A source? His ability to gather news in the future? Can you explain this beyond standing on princple. Seems pretty silly. He has a lot to gain (namely not getting thrown in jail and fined) and very little to lose, unless I’m missing something obvious beyond “making a statement”

  12. Great! Now we have Scoble being pretend attorney. I’m having a hard time understanding what Josh is really protecting. What does he risk losing by providing this evidence? A source? His ability to gather news in the future? Can you explain this beyond standing on princple. Seems pretty silly. He has a lot to gain (namely not getting thrown in jail and fined) and very little to lose, unless I’m missing something obvious beyond “making a statement”

  13. All I’m asking is why is it such a big deal to not show the court this video?

    Perhaps they could offer him a reward.

    And he is a freelance journalist, correct? What are the boundaries of the law, considering this?

    And Robert, I understand the difference between beatings and burnings. Okay, bad example then.

    Let’s say someone videotapes somebody burning your car. Would you not want the evidence available in court? Or would you just decide not to prosecute, because they were anarchists, and you happen to sympathize with them? The insurance will pay for it so screw it! Just curious.

    And Eddie, I knew that one of you would mention Watergate! Thank you for proving that my instincts prove to be correct (about 90% of the time). Congratulations for being “that guy“!

    We’re talking about a video here right? What does this have to do with “protecting sources“?

    And where is the boundary between protecting a source, and protecting a criminal?

    When it comes to crimes, I sure wish that the man that got away with murdering my Aunt, wasn’t protected.

  14. All I’m asking is why is it such a big deal to not show the court this video?

    Perhaps they could offer him a reward.

    And he is a freelance journalist, correct? What are the boundaries of the law, considering this?

    And Robert, I understand the difference between beatings and burnings. Okay, bad example then.

    Let’s say someone videotapes somebody burning your car. Would you not want the evidence available in court? Or would you just decide not to prosecute, because they were anarchists, and you happen to sympathize with them? The insurance will pay for it so screw it! Just curious.

    And Eddie, I knew that one of you would mention Watergate! Thank you for proving that my instincts prove to be correct (about 90% of the time). Congratulations for being “that guy“!

    We’re talking about a video here right? What does this have to do with “protecting sources“?

    And where is the boundary between protecting a source, and protecting a criminal?

    When it comes to crimes, I sure wish that the man that got away with murdering my Aunt, wasn’t protected.

  15. There is two interesting issues at stake here — first, what can we as individuals ever expect to do in public that will remain private? Why would people allegedly engaged in torching a police car ever expect that their actions were protected in any way? If there were witnesses to their actions (human or machine, as in the case of a camera), why wouldn’t the arsonists expect that these witnesses would give the government this evidence? So folks that think that the government should have the right to see this evidence, since it was in a public place, are making a reasonable point.

    However, this misses the sticky issue of how the evidence was collected. If a recording of an event is being made and the person doing the recording is representing him or herself in the crowd as a journalist, he or she might be left alone by the perpetrators — but if we come to expect that any recording (or observation for that matter) by a journalist is an open record for the government to peruse, will this prevent journalists from having access to events — both through being blocked from participation and through threats of violence directed at such journalists?

  16. There is two interesting issues at stake here — first, what can we as individuals ever expect to do in public that will remain private? Why would people allegedly engaged in torching a police car ever expect that their actions were protected in any way? If there were witnesses to their actions (human or machine, as in the case of a camera), why wouldn’t the arsonists expect that these witnesses would give the government this evidence? So folks that think that the government should have the right to see this evidence, since it was in a public place, are making a reasonable point.

    However, this misses the sticky issue of how the evidence was collected. If a recording of an event is being made and the person doing the recording is representing him or herself in the crowd as a journalist, he or she might be left alone by the perpetrators — but if we come to expect that any recording (or observation for that matter) by a journalist is an open record for the government to peruse, will this prevent journalists from having access to events — both through being blocked from participation and through threats of violence directed at such journalists?

  17. The case is “a slam dunk for the government,” the judge said at the end of a 2 1/2 – hour hearing. Noting that the events Wolf photographed took place in public and involved no confidential sources, Alsup said there was a “legitimate need for law enforcement to have direct images of who was doing what to that police car.”

    “Every person, from the president of the United States down to you and me, has to give information to the grand jury if the grand jury wants it,” Alsup said.

    that’s the key part of the article. This isn’t some abuse of government power. There’s no reason he shouldn’t turn over the evidence. There’s nothing confidential here.

  18. The case is “a slam dunk for the government,” the judge said at the end of a 2 1/2 – hour hearing. Noting that the events Wolf photographed took place in public and involved no confidential sources, Alsup said there was a “legitimate need for law enforcement to have direct images of who was doing what to that police car.”

    “Every person, from the president of the United States down to you and me, has to give information to the grand jury if the grand jury wants it,” Alsup said.

    that’s the key part of the article. This isn’t some abuse of government power. There’s no reason he shouldn’t turn over the evidence. There’s nothing confidential here.

  19. Ridiculous.

    If he was protecting an anonymous source then I’d back him all the way, but he’s not. This isn’t some leak about a new Apple product, he’s withholding footage may allow the police to track down persons who have committed a crime. Let’s say it again – A Crime.

    The only difference between burning a police car and beating someone up is the magnitude of the offence. As with any citizen of a law-abiding society he has a public duty to aid the police in their enquiries, and journalist or not if it takes a court to force him to comply with those duties then so be it.

    Frankly the whole thing seems like an attention getting exercise.

    A.

  20. Ridiculous.

    If he was protecting an anonymous source then I’d back him all the way, but he’s not. This isn’t some leak about a new Apple product, he’s withholding footage may allow the police to track down persons who have committed a crime. Let’s say it again – A Crime.

    The only difference between burning a police car and beating someone up is the magnitude of the offence. As with any citizen of a law-abiding society he has a public duty to aid the police in their enquiries, and journalist or not if it takes a court to force him to comply with those duties then so be it.

    Frankly the whole thing seems like an attention getting exercise.

    A.

  21. So, Ted, then I guess the govt should never have used any of the footage of the 9/11 disasters to gather evidence?

  22. So, Ted, then I guess the govt should never have used any of the footage of the 9/11 disasters to gather evidence?

  23. I would have to concur with Robert about one thing…”scary powers”. I am supposed to be in LA right now to cover the X Games for a Canadian rally website and magazine. I had all my camera gear with me and told them straight up that what I was going for (I even had assignment letters from the Canadian publications). They ordered me inside, and did – get this – a GOOGLE search on me. They found a post I did on the rally website that was a reprint of a team’s press release. They started making faulty assumptions that I was working for that Canadian team, and because it was sponsored by a US company, that I was technically going to the US to work for a US company. WHAAAAT? A) I’m not working for that team, and B) a sponsor of a company I “work” for has no bearing on me…I have no relationship with this US company.

    Anyways, the agent locked onto the assumption that I was working for the team, wouldn’t change his mind, held me in custody for 6 hours, and alternately threatened to bar me from the US for life or send me to jail to wait for a hearing. For what? Taking some damn photos of a sport event? I’m sorry, but some “authorities” in the states have way too much power.

  24. I would have to concur with Robert about one thing…”scary powers”. I am supposed to be in LA right now to cover the X Games for a Canadian rally website and magazine. I had all my camera gear with me and told them straight up that what I was going for (I even had assignment letters from the Canadian publications). They ordered me inside, and did – get this – a GOOGLE search on me. They found a post I did on the rally website that was a reprint of a team’s press release. They started making faulty assumptions that I was working for that Canadian team, and because it was sponsored by a US company, that I was technically going to the US to work for a US company. WHAAAAT? A) I’m not working for that team, and B) a sponsor of a company I “work” for has no bearing on me…I have no relationship with this US company.

    Anyways, the agent locked onto the assumption that I was working for the team, wouldn’t change his mind, held me in custody for 6 hours, and alternately threatened to bar me from the US for life or send me to jail to wait for a hearing. For what? Taking some damn photos of a sport event? I’m sorry, but some “authorities” in the states have way too much power.

  25. >What does he risk losing by providing this evidence?

    I don’t know. But it is his private property. Is the government allowed to just break into your home looking for evidence of a crime? They don’t even know he HAS evidence. Only that he MIGHT have evidence.

    And how do you know that a confidential source that he was interviewing for a story isn’t on the tape? We don’t know why he doesn’t want to hand over the tapes. Just that he doesn’t want to.

  26. >What does he risk losing by providing this evidence?

    I don’t know. But it is his private property. Is the government allowed to just break into your home looking for evidence of a crime? They don’t even know he HAS evidence. Only that he MIGHT have evidence.

    And how do you know that a confidential source that he was interviewing for a story isn’t on the tape? We don’t know why he doesn’t want to hand over the tapes. Just that he doesn’t want to.

  27. Because the judge said as much. And this is hardly breaking in to any one’s home. A lawful request for the evidence was made and he’s refusing. That’s fine, now he pays the consequences for that decision.

  28. Because the judge said as much. And this is hardly breaking in to any one’s home. A lawful request for the evidence was made and he’s refusing. That’s fine, now he pays the consequences for that decision.

  29. Come on, this is ridiculous. The guy videotaped something in public – that didn’t involve confidential sources – and now he’s in jail because he refuses to turn over the evidence.

    He deserves it. What an idiot.

    In the end, this is what’s going to happen:
    * He’ll serve time in jail.
    * He’ll appeal and spend $15,000 and lose – and lose badly.
    * He’ll end up handing over the tapes.

    Matt

  30. Come on, this is ridiculous. The guy videotaped something in public – that didn’t involve confidential sources – and now he’s in jail because he refuses to turn over the evidence.

    He deserves it. What an idiot.

    In the end, this is what’s going to happen:
    * He’ll serve time in jail.
    * He’ll appeal and spend $15,000 and lose – and lose badly.
    * He’ll end up handing over the tapes.

    Matt

  31. Come on, Robert.

    There’s a simple reason why he’s not helping the police: he thinks he’s a rebel and he’s fighting “The Man”. Look at his blog page. Its all “yeah, right, and then the fascist police came along and arrested us, yeah, right on, fight the power!”. Most people grow out of it when they are about 15.

    The fact is, there was an alledged crime and, because he can’t be seen by his indymedia-reading, mask-wearing cohorts to be helping the police, he’s ended up being locked away by the “fascist regime, maaaan”. Cry me a river. Oh, and Robert, please don’t chastise someone for suggesting a police car being burnt out is so little in comparison to a beating, and then turn around and say that asking for video tapes for a crime investigation is equivilant to a house being broken into.

    Interestingly, the report mentioned the judge noted it “involved no confidential sources”. That means, it was a consideration in the judge’s decision. As in, if it did, it could well have affected the judgement. Him giving over the tapes is hardly the first stepping stone towards the end of journalism.

  32. Come on, Robert.

    There’s a simple reason why he’s not helping the police: he thinks he’s a rebel and he’s fighting “The Man”. Look at his blog page. Its all “yeah, right, and then the fascist police came along and arrested us, yeah, right on, fight the power!”. Most people grow out of it when they are about 15.

    The fact is, there was an alledged crime and, because he can’t be seen by his indymedia-reading, mask-wearing cohorts to be helping the police, he’s ended up being locked away by the “fascist regime, maaaan”. Cry me a river. Oh, and Robert, please don’t chastise someone for suggesting a police car being burnt out is so little in comparison to a beating, and then turn around and say that asking for video tapes for a crime investigation is equivilant to a house being broken into.

    Interestingly, the report mentioned the judge noted it “involved no confidential sources”. That means, it was a consideration in the judge’s decision. As in, if it did, it could well have affected the judgement. Him giving over the tapes is hardly the first stepping stone towards the end of journalism.

  33. Warwick – you have no “right” of entry to the US. Whatever their reasons, they were entitled to bar you. You have no cause to whine, and your situation is irrelevant to the matter at hand.

    If the tapes have “other material” on them, he could have discussed that with the Judge, and made an arrangement to release only the pertinent parts.

    As it goes, he’s obstructing an investigation, and is borderline an accessory after the fact. Screw him.

  34. Warwick – you have no “right” of entry to the US. Whatever their reasons, they were entitled to bar you. You have no cause to whine, and your situation is irrelevant to the matter at hand.

    If the tapes have “other material” on them, he could have discussed that with the Judge, and made an arrangement to release only the pertinent parts.

    As it goes, he’s obstructing an investigation, and is borderline an accessory after the fact. Screw him.

  35. I’m heartened by the fact that everything I was coming to say has been said. Josh is clearly in the wrong, and deserves to be locked up if he wishes to continue being so.

  36. I’m heartened by the fact that everything I was coming to say has been said. Josh is clearly in the wrong, and deserves to be locked up if he wishes to continue being so.

  37. Good grief, Scoble. Did you major in hyperbole (look it up!)? What SOURCE would he be protecting? Brother!!! your argument is pathetic! And as far as I’m concerned any source he would be protecting that was complicit in a crime committed against police officers deserves anything the govt. can throw at him.

    Would you please provide ANY evidence that “the govt” did anything beyond requesting he turn over the tape? Where the hell did you get “breaking in” from?

    Sure, I guess it COULD HAPPEN. But, as Wayne Cambell said: “It might happen, tsshyeah, right, and monkeys might fly out of my butt.”

  38. Good grief, Scoble. Did you major in hyperbole (look it up!)? What SOURCE would he be protecting? Brother!!! your argument is pathetic! And as far as I’m concerned any source he would be protecting that was complicit in a crime committed against police officers deserves anything the govt. can throw at him.

    Would you please provide ANY evidence that “the govt” did anything beyond requesting he turn over the tape? Where the hell did you get “breaking in” from?

    Sure, I guess it COULD HAPPEN. But, as Wayne Cambell said: “It might happen, tsshyeah, right, and monkeys might fly out of my butt.”

  39. Normally I am very supportive of a journalist’s rights to protect sources – in this case, there are no sources – just random people vandalizing things. Who is being protected? Not even the Journalistic Integrity, in this case – there isn’t any. There is no presumed “expectation of privacy” when you are burning police cars on a public street. This one just doesn’t pass the smell test.

    Fight the fights worth fighting – this one is, in my opinion, like the judge said – a “slam dunk”.

    And you bet you ass if it wasn’t a police car being burned, but MY car, I would certainly expect that I could use any evidence available to find the jackasses who burned it – what are they supposedly being protected FROM? The right to abuse other people’s property? No way. The tape should have been given over quickly, willingly, and with the integrity of a citizen doing the “right thing”. This isn’t a case of hiding the identities of people that may disagree with their governement — this is a case of crooks – vandals – and they should be punished, not protected.

  40. Normally I am very supportive of a journalist’s rights to protect sources – in this case, there are no sources – just random people vandalizing things. Who is being protected? Not even the Journalistic Integrity, in this case – there isn’t any. There is no presumed “expectation of privacy” when you are burning police cars on a public street. This one just doesn’t pass the smell test.

    Fight the fights worth fighting – this one is, in my opinion, like the judge said – a “slam dunk”.

    And you bet you ass if it wasn’t a police car being burned, but MY car, I would certainly expect that I could use any evidence available to find the jackasses who burned it – what are they supposedly being protected FROM? The right to abuse other people’s property? No way. The tape should have been given over quickly, willingly, and with the integrity of a citizen doing the “right thing”. This isn’t a case of hiding the identities of people that may disagree with their governement — this is a case of crooks – vandals – and they should be punished, not protected.

  41. Is the government allowed to just break into your home looking for evidence of a crime?

    Um, yes –with something called a court order, or a warrant. Ever heard of that? Since the court is ordering it: say it with me Robert –[it's a] COURT ORDER.

    You should’ve been a defense lawyer instead of a geek.

  42. Is the government allowed to just break into your home looking for evidence of a crime?

    Um, yes –with something called a court order, or a warrant. Ever heard of that? Since the court is ordering it: say it with me Robert –[it's a] COURT ORDER.

    You should’ve been a defense lawyer instead of a geek.

  43. Robert – time to step up here and admit it on this one – you made a mistake. We all do it. But there isn’t any way that you can legally or morally justify NOT turning over the tape in this case.

    You perhaps didn’t read things closely enough, and got dragged into this argument on false assumptions on your part. Or you saw “Videoblogger” and it hit too close to your heart and your emotions took over.

    In any case, your position is not defensible here. You are just wrong, and so is the fundamental argument for not providing the tapes. This is not “Big Government” stepping on the little guy’s rights – this is OUR Government enforcing OUR laws so that OUR rights are collectively protected.

  44. Robert – time to step up here and admit it on this one – you made a mistake. We all do it. But there isn’t any way that you can legally or morally justify NOT turning over the tape in this case.

    You perhaps didn’t read things closely enough, and got dragged into this argument on false assumptions on your part. Or you saw “Videoblogger” and it hit too close to your heart and your emotions took over.

    In any case, your position is not defensible here. You are just wrong, and so is the fundamental argument for not providing the tapes. This is not “Big Government” stepping on the little guy’s rights – this is OUR Government enforcing OUR laws so that OUR rights are collectively protected.

  45. I believe Josh is concerned about the rest of his “tape” which covered an “anarchists” parade. He’s less concerned about the car.

    My concern about this case is the “federalizing” of the event due to components of the car having been paid from by the Federal government.

    What about our highway system. Is a speeding case on I90 suddenly allowed to take on Federal status? Could OJ’s famous run from LA Police have been considered a Federal matter because our Federal monies help pave the highway system? The police visit your apartment for a loud music complaint from your neighbors. Could that be Federalized because the electrical and phone services that feed your home were all built up by the Federal Government?

    Doesn’t it scare any of you that this issue was, essentially, removed from the San Francisco system? The Federal government couldn’t give a damn about the SFPD cruiser. They want to see who attended the parade Josh covered.

  46. I believe Josh is concerned about the rest of his “tape” which covered an “anarchists” parade. He’s less concerned about the car.

    My concern about this case is the “federalizing” of the event due to components of the car having been paid from by the Federal government.

    What about our highway system. Is a speeding case on I90 suddenly allowed to take on Federal status? Could OJ’s famous run from LA Police have been considered a Federal matter because our Federal monies help pave the highway system? The police visit your apartment for a loud music complaint from your neighbors. Could that be Federalized because the electrical and phone services that feed your home were all built up by the Federal Government?

    Doesn’t it scare any of you that this issue was, essentially, removed from the San Francisco system? The Federal government couldn’t give a damn about the SFPD cruiser. They want to see who attended the parade Josh covered.

  47. Robert, you lost some credibility in my book by taking this stance on this case. As numerous other commenters have pointed out, he’s not protecting a source, this is nothing but a grandstanding act which you seem to have bought hook, line, and sinker. This isn’t some covert undercover cop seizing things on a whim… proper procedures were followed to obtain a subpeona, and he’s refusing. You can’t pick and choose when you want to follow the law.

  48. Robert, you lost some credibility in my book by taking this stance on this case. As numerous other commenters have pointed out, he’s not protecting a source, this is nothing but a grandstanding act which you seem to have bought hook, line, and sinker. This isn’t some covert undercover cop seizing things on a whim… proper procedures were followed to obtain a subpeona, and he’s refusing. You can’t pick and choose when you want to follow the law.

  49. Geller, you’re making as much of stretch as Robert is with his “govt breaking down your door” scare tactic. The might be fun to argue in moot court, but this is actual court. To answer your question, it doesn’t scare me one bit. I can’t believe the number of black helicopters you and Scoble think you are seeing.

    So, lemme see if I have this straight. It’s okay to ban prayer in school and in other public facilities because they receive federal funding, but it’s not okay to apply the federal funding argument to other areas of the law? Just trying to understand when and where one can and can’t use the federal funding argument. I’m sure I can come up with other examples where federal funding is used to support someone pet cause.

  50. Geller, you’re making as much of stretch as Robert is with his “govt breaking down your door” scare tactic. The might be fun to argue in moot court, but this is actual court. To answer your question, it doesn’t scare me one bit. I can’t believe the number of black helicopters you and Scoble think you are seeing.

    So, lemme see if I have this straight. It’s okay to ban prayer in school and in other public facilities because they receive federal funding, but it’s not okay to apply the federal funding argument to other areas of the law? Just trying to understand when and where one can and can’t use the federal funding argument. I’m sure I can come up with other examples where federal funding is used to support someone pet cause.

  51. Im surprised at the certainty most of the commenters have in this case. To act as if there aren’t some justified questions in this case is a little scary. Says a lot about where we are in this country. Are we reading the same article?
    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/08/01/MNGVQK97AK4.DTL

    First, why is this a Federal case for a local crime?

    “Prosecutors contend that burning a police car is a federal crime because the San Francisco Police Department receives federal funds. Wolf and his lawyers accuse the government of manipulating the case to sidestep California’s shield law, which allows journalists to withhold unpublished material and confidential sources from prosecutors. There is no federal shield law, and the state law does not apply in federal court.”

    And second, Josh’s lawyer tried to get the tapes screened privately so he could determine if there was something relevant. The judge refused.

    Locally, the worry is that the FEDERAL government is trying to make sure they can ask for people’s videotapes of public events to bascially keep databases of people who attend these political protests.

    You think this is paranoid?
    Look at the times we live in.

  52. Im surprised at the certainty most of the commenters have in this case. To act as if there aren’t some justified questions in this case is a little scary. Says a lot about where we are in this country. Are we reading the same article?
    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/08/01/MNGVQK97AK4.DTL

    First, why is this a Federal case for a local crime?

    “Prosecutors contend that burning a police car is a federal crime because the San Francisco Police Department receives federal funds. Wolf and his lawyers accuse the government of manipulating the case to sidestep California’s shield law, which allows journalists to withhold unpublished material and confidential sources from prosecutors. There is no federal shield law, and the state law does not apply in federal court.”

    And second, Josh’s lawyer tried to get the tapes screened privately so he could determine if there was something relevant. The judge refused.

    Locally, the worry is that the FEDERAL government is trying to make sure they can ask for people’s videotapes of public events to bascially keep databases of people who attend these political protests.

    You think this is paranoid?
    Look at the times we live in.

  53. At least thanks to you and other bloggers who are paying attention, Josh has a chance of getting public support. Unfortunately there are no legal rights for anyone under the “lawyer-paying” income level anymore. If a blogger steps out of line, the corporate PR department simply cues the news to tell a “scary blogger” story. That way no pro bono lawyer will touch them, and your supposed political representatives won’t get involved because no one’s making phone calls on your behalf. In fact, if corporate PR makes you look like a villain, your political representatives can probably be easily swayed to help suppress your rights so they can get a shiny photo op at the expense of their vulnerable constituent.

    If you’re forced to represent yourself in court, the team of lawyers on the other side of the table can just lie about you with no inhibition whatsoever. In fact, in California, there’s something called a “tentative ruling” that allows the judge to get out of reading what you have to say if he doesn’t feel like it.

    You can read about my story here:
    http://corphq.livejournal.com/60599.html

    Because many of the problems I encountered seem systemic, I’m willing to bet that people are being deprived of their Constitutional rights every day simply because those with power can get away with it, and the media seems to think it’s their job to make sure the public won’t defend the rights of the individual. They simply have more of an interest in making corporations and important government figures happy. There’s absolutely no one there to defend the rights of poor, uninfluential people.

  54. At least thanks to you and other bloggers who are paying attention, Josh has a chance of getting public support. Unfortunately there are no legal rights for anyone under the “lawyer-paying” income level anymore. If a blogger steps out of line, the corporate PR department simply cues the news to tell a “scary blogger” story. That way no pro bono lawyer will touch them, and your supposed political representatives won’t get involved because no one’s making phone calls on your behalf. In fact, if corporate PR makes you look like a villain, your political representatives can probably be easily swayed to help suppress your rights so they can get a shiny photo op at the expense of their vulnerable constituent.

    If you’re forced to represent yourself in court, the team of lawyers on the other side of the table can just lie about you with no inhibition whatsoever. In fact, in California, there’s something called a “tentative ruling” that allows the judge to get out of reading what you have to say if he doesn’t feel like it.

    You can read about my story here:
    http://corphq.livejournal.com/60599.html

    Because many of the problems I encountered seem systemic, I’m willing to bet that people are being deprived of their Constitutional rights every day simply because those with power can get away with it, and the media seems to think it’s their job to make sure the public won’t defend the rights of the individual. They simply have more of an interest in making corporations and important government figures happy. There’s absolutely no one there to defend the rights of poor, uninfluential people.

  55. off topic – look how broken comments are. This should be threaded…

    anyway in response to #11 which was a response to my #8 — the point I was making was not that media should keep their video tapes private or that governments shouldn’t use information that has already been made public, as you imply with the 9/11 exmaple. But rather that journalists shouldn’t be compelled to make their video tapes public.

    As David Geller points out in comment #25 – maybe the federal government actually wants to see the “anarchists” who attended the page and the issue of the police cruiser is merely a red herring. Perhaps Josh attended the parade as a journalist and the marchers didn’t attack him, chase him off, forbid him from filming because they trusted that as a journalist he would be reporting on the event, not reporting on their identities to the government.

    It is worthwhile to revisit history here for a moment (with thanks to “A History of News” by Mitchell Stephens):

    On August 16, 1819 one of the first “journalists” as we would now recognize him stood on the stage at Saint Peter’s Field in Manchester observing perhaps fifty thousand English men and women who had gathered there peacefully in support of parliamentary reform. John Tyas, the reporter, was allowed to be present and observe the events because the organizers recognized that he was an independent observer – a reporter for the Times of London. When the government moved in on the crowd with sabers and injured approximately 420 people and killed perhaps a dozen, John Tyas was able to provide an independent account that reached the rest of the nation and the world.

    “Peterloo,” as the tragic event became known, may have been an important turning point in bringing change to the British system of government — Our western democracies rely upon freedom of speech to both raise dissenting questions about our government’s policies and practices, and to protect that right to dissent by reporting to the public what happens to people when they raise their voices in protest.

    The problem with the Josh case is that it directly infringes on this second part of freedom of speech — the ability to report on dissent. By giving the government carte blanche to sieze a reporter’s notes, recordings, or compel him/her to testify we create an environment in which reporters are afraid to be present at such events — both because they fear the governments long hand reaching for them and because of the fears of the people involved in dissent — they may not want journalists to be present if they see these journalists as extensions of the government’s law enforcement activities.

    What are the alternatives that the Federal Government may have for prosecuting their case regarding the SFPD cruiser? Has every avenue other than seizing Josh’s video been exhausted?

    Here is another question — How much more than the cost of the cruiser has the Federal government already spent prosecuting this case? Does that say something about why they really want the video? I agree with Geller. This is not about a police cruiser. It is about the government pursuing dissidents. Check out the ACLU’s latest report on our governments activities spying on American’s legal political activities: http://aclunc.org/surveillance_report/

  56. off topic – look how broken comments are. This should be threaded…

    anyway in response to #11 which was a response to my #8 — the point I was making was not that media should keep their video tapes private or that governments shouldn’t use information that has already been made public, as you imply with the 9/11 exmaple. But rather that journalists shouldn’t be compelled to make their video tapes public.

    As David Geller points out in comment #25 – maybe the federal government actually wants to see the “anarchists” who attended the page and the issue of the police cruiser is merely a red herring. Perhaps Josh attended the parade as a journalist and the marchers didn’t attack him, chase him off, forbid him from filming because they trusted that as a journalist he would be reporting on the event, not reporting on their identities to the government.

    It is worthwhile to revisit history here for a moment (with thanks to “A History of News” by Mitchell Stephens):

    On August 16, 1819 one of the first “journalists” as we would now recognize him stood on the stage at Saint Peter’s Field in Manchester observing perhaps fifty thousand English men and women who had gathered there peacefully in support of parliamentary reform. John Tyas, the reporter, was allowed to be present and observe the events because the organizers recognized that he was an independent observer – a reporter for the Times of London. When the government moved in on the crowd with sabers and injured approximately 420 people and killed perhaps a dozen, John Tyas was able to provide an independent account that reached the rest of the nation and the world.

    “Peterloo,” as the tragic event became known, may have been an important turning point in bringing change to the British system of government — Our western democracies rely upon freedom of speech to both raise dissenting questions about our government’s policies and practices, and to protect that right to dissent by reporting to the public what happens to people when they raise their voices in protest.

    The problem with the Josh case is that it directly infringes on this second part of freedom of speech — the ability to report on dissent. By giving the government carte blanche to sieze a reporter’s notes, recordings, or compel him/her to testify we create an environment in which reporters are afraid to be present at such events — both because they fear the governments long hand reaching for them and because of the fears of the people involved in dissent — they may not want journalists to be present if they see these journalists as extensions of the government’s law enforcement activities.

    What are the alternatives that the Federal Government may have for prosecuting their case regarding the SFPD cruiser? Has every avenue other than seizing Josh’s video been exhausted?

    Here is another question — How much more than the cost of the cruiser has the Federal government already spent prosecuting this case? Does that say something about why they really want the video? I agree with Geller. This is not about a police cruiser. It is about the government pursuing dissidents. Check out the ACLU’s latest report on our governments activities spying on American’s legal political activities: http://aclunc.org/surveillance_report/

  57. I think we are ignoring a huge point here. Is this guy a journalist, or a blogger? There is a HUGE difference you know. Blogs are not the news. I know a lot of bloggers like to think that they are, but they are not. They are weblogs that journal opinions.

    Blogging requires absolutely zero qualification.

    Do press laws somehow cover blogging now too? If this is the case, then where does it stop, because any idiot can have a blog? A child can have a blog. Are children also protected by this law?

    Bottomline –this guy needs to just grow up, and be a law abiding citizen like the rest of us. He needs to stop acting like a self absorbed dork.

    If I saw someone commit arson to a police car, I would call the police. But that’s just the type of person I am –a good person, and a law abiding citizen, who happens to contribute something positive to society.

    How is Josh helping anyone? This is such a joke!

    Robert, the government is not out to get you. The police is not your enemy. The FBI is under oath to protect you.

    Robert are you an anarchist sympathizer like Josh? Wow dude, you’re cool –not!

    There is no conspiracy here. The Man is not following you. The government is concerned with prosecuting crime.

    No rights are being violated here, except the rights of a police department, and a prosecutor, to prosecute a case in the court of law.

    You act like this is Cuba or something!

  58. I think we are ignoring a huge point here. Is this guy a journalist, or a blogger? There is a HUGE difference you know. Blogs are not the news. I know a lot of bloggers like to think that they are, but they are not. They are weblogs that journal opinions.

    Blogging requires absolutely zero qualification.

    Do press laws somehow cover blogging now too? If this is the case, then where does it stop, because any idiot can have a blog? A child can have a blog. Are children also protected by this law?

    Bottomline –this guy needs to just grow up, and be a law abiding citizen like the rest of us. He needs to stop acting like a self absorbed dork.

    If I saw someone commit arson to a police car, I would call the police. But that’s just the type of person I am –a good person, and a law abiding citizen, who happens to contribute something positive to society.

    How is Josh helping anyone? This is such a joke!

    Robert, the government is not out to get you. The police is not your enemy. The FBI is under oath to protect you.

    Robert are you an anarchist sympathizer like Josh? Wow dude, you’re cool –not!

    There is no conspiracy here. The Man is not following you. The government is concerned with prosecuting crime.

    No rights are being violated here, except the rights of a police department, and a prosecutor, to prosecute a case in the court of law.

    You act like this is Cuba or something!

  59. Brent from Comment 33.
    you have very strong feelings obviously:
    http://tinyurl.com/mqfmo
    Your very clear about how innocent Mel Gibson is.

    Courts are here to allow Josh’s issues to be worked out. Let’s not just call Josh a “self absorbed dork”.

    And yes, of course, a blogging can be journalism. Are you serious with this question? What is this 1998? This is one of the issues of the court case.

  60. Brent from Comment 33.
    you have very strong feelings obviously:
    http://tinyurl.com/mqfmo
    Your very clear about how innocent Mel Gibson is.

    Courts are here to allow Josh’s issues to be worked out. Let’s not just call Josh a “self absorbed dork”.

    And yes, of course, a blogging can be journalism. Are you serious with this question? What is this 1998? This is one of the issues of the court case.

  61. Let’s not just call Josh a “self absorbed dork”.

    Granted. I have seen your blog, and I am glad to include you as well.

    Blogging can be journalism if the blogger is a journalist. Do you consider yourself a journalist? If you have a video camera, and a vlog (a video weblog for those of you who don’t know), are you automatically considered a journalist, therefore press laws apply to you, and you are above testimony in a criminal case?

    Grow up. San Francisco is still under the jurisdiction of Federal law. I’m sure that the rest of us wouldn’t have much of a problem cutting all of the federal funding for you, since you don’t appreciate it a bit, anyway. or if you do, you sure have a funny way of showing it –you know like not helping the authorities prosecute an arson on a police department’s property. The police are there for you. Are you aware of this?

    I never said Mel Gibson is guilty or innocent, he has. I repeated only what he said, and added that if it is genuine, then I am willing to forgive his mistake. I too used to be an alcoholic, and I was arrested once for belligerent behavior. Everybody makes mistakes. Admitting this is what matters. That is totally different and irrelevant from what we’re talking about here. But thanks for the link ;).

    I am serious with the question, because if this is the case that bloggers are considered journalists, then what are the boundaries of the law, in terms of whom we are speaking of? Is every blogger considered a journalist? If so, then this law applies to everyone who has a blog? Doesn’t everyone have a blog? That would mean that most of the population is the press! That really does not make practical sense, and will never fly in the court system.

    Who is saying that this is one of the issues of the case? The judge? I doubt it. If this blogger is considered a journalist, then I want the same protection that he has. I also want to be considered a journalist. Can I also be considered an author?

    This is such a crock. And no, I don’t feel that strongly about it. I couldn’t really give a crap. People can do what they want. However, when I see crap, I confront it. I’m that type of person.

    I, as well as the majority of the rest of the responders here, seem to think I make a pretty valid point, whereas you and Robert do not.

    We are talking about a young man who videotaped a riot which included the arson of a police vehicle, and he refuses to help the prosecution of this crime, therefore is (deservedly) being held in contempt of court, for his own crime –obstruction of justice!

    Why must you defend the actions of criminals?

    If someone burned your car, wouldn’t you want the arsonist prosecuted, and if someone taped it, wouldn’t you demand that it be used as evidence?

    Um, isn’t it the victim of the arson, who should be protected here? The press seems to be only concerned with it’s own rights, but not with the rights of law-abiding citizens.

  62. Let’s not just call Josh a “self absorbed dork”.

    Granted. I have seen your blog, and I am glad to include you as well.

    Blogging can be journalism if the blogger is a journalist. Do you consider yourself a journalist? If you have a video camera, and a vlog (a video weblog for those of you who don’t know), are you automatically considered a journalist, therefore press laws apply to you, and you are above testimony in a criminal case?

    Grow up. San Francisco is still under the jurisdiction of Federal law. I’m sure that the rest of us wouldn’t have much of a problem cutting all of the federal funding for you, since you don’t appreciate it a bit, anyway. or if you do, you sure have a funny way of showing it –you know like not helping the authorities prosecute an arson on a police department’s property. The police are there for you. Are you aware of this?

    I never said Mel Gibson is guilty or innocent, he has. I repeated only what he said, and added that if it is genuine, then I am willing to forgive his mistake. I too used to be an alcoholic, and I was arrested once for belligerent behavior. Everybody makes mistakes. Admitting this is what matters. That is totally different and irrelevant from what we’re talking about here. But thanks for the link ;).

    I am serious with the question, because if this is the case that bloggers are considered journalists, then what are the boundaries of the law, in terms of whom we are speaking of? Is every blogger considered a journalist? If so, then this law applies to everyone who has a blog? Doesn’t everyone have a blog? That would mean that most of the population is the press! That really does not make practical sense, and will never fly in the court system.

    Who is saying that this is one of the issues of the case? The judge? I doubt it. If this blogger is considered a journalist, then I want the same protection that he has. I also want to be considered a journalist. Can I also be considered an author?

    This is such a crock. And no, I don’t feel that strongly about it. I couldn’t really give a crap. People can do what they want. However, when I see crap, I confront it. I’m that type of person.

    I, as well as the majority of the rest of the responders here, seem to think I make a pretty valid point, whereas you and Robert do not.

    We are talking about a young man who videotaped a riot which included the arson of a police vehicle, and he refuses to help the prosecution of this crime, therefore is (deservedly) being held in contempt of court, for his own crime –obstruction of justice!

    Why must you defend the actions of criminals?

    If someone burned your car, wouldn’t you want the arsonist prosecuted, and if someone taped it, wouldn’t you demand that it be used as evidence?

    Um, isn’t it the victim of the arson, who should be protected here? The press seems to be only concerned with it’s own rights, but not with the rights of law-abiding citizens.

  63. [...] Tonight, something amazing happened. I was browsing the internet, looking for something to do (as I don’t really want to go to bed). Popped onto WordPress.com, read some of the top posts, then moved onto the top blogs.. Nothing that great. Then, I saw this post on the infamous Scobelizer. A video blogger has been jailed for not handing over some footage of a demonstration. The story looked more interesting than a fetus in a man’s stomach, so I checked it out. The post linked to the video blogger’s website – Josh Wolf’s site, and that’s when I essentially jumped in surprise. He’s using Red is Nice. Now, it’s not shocking that someone liked it enough to use it – what shocked me is that I actually found a site that used it. Sure, I can just look at my linkbacks through Technorati, but it really isn’t the same. It’s hard to explain, but seeing it without expecting it is just so much more.. real. I really shouldn’t be that surprised – I mean, I’ve got almost 500 linkbacks and I’ve seen tons of blogs with Red is Nice (some of them I’d have rather not seen – yes, I’m refering to those horrible porno ones) but it’s still really nice. I wonder if this has affected my pagerank any. Posted by Andre Deminiac Filed in Red is Nice [...]

  64. Hand it over. If he was taping illegal acts then selling them to New Stations, and posting them on websites, he is making a profit. Why doesn’t every criminal get a camera and tape crimes, sell the exclusive footage to News organizations, then wrap themselves in some law to protect themselves? His conduct was participatory, he should face the music.

  65. Hand it over. If he was taping illegal acts then selling them to New Stations, and posting them on websites, he is making a profit. Why doesn’t every criminal get a camera and tape crimes, sell the exclusive footage to News organizations, then wrap themselves in some law to protect themselves? His conduct was participatory, he should face the music.

  66. [...] A friend of Robert Scoble’s, Josh Wolf, was apparently jailed for withholding evidence (video) of a burning of San Francisco PD car from the Feds. I’m really shocked to see Scoble using phrases like ‘the government has scary powers and is using them’ when it comes to something like this. I’m 110% for journalists being able to shield their ’sources’, but come’on, give me a break, shooting video of people committing a crime IN PUBLIC is hardly a ’source’. Robert, if Josh shot a video of someone committing a crime in private would you have posted the same way? I believe, either way, this is simply ‘withholding evidence’, and while I’m no lawyer I’d also guess that by withholding the evidence he could actually be charged with something a bit more serious than contempt. There is no justice in protecting criminals. [...]

  67. [...] A friend of Robert Scoble’s, Josh Wolf, was apparently jailed for withholding evidence (video) of a burning of San Francisco PD car from the Feds. I’m really shocked to see Scoble using phrases like ‘the government has scary powers and is using them’ when it comes to something like this. I’m 110% for journalists being able to shield their ’sources’, but come’on, give me a break, shooting video of people committing a crime IN PUBLIC is hardly a ’source’. Robert, if Josh shot a video of someone committing a crime in private would you have posted the same way? I believe, either way, this is simply ‘withholding evidence’, and while I’m no lawyer I’d also guess that by withholding the evidence he could actually be charged with something a bit more serious than contempt. There is no justice in protecting criminals. [...]

  68. Brent from Comment #35.
    It difficult to take any of your comments seriously because you’re so condescending. You’re starting to show yourself as a right-wing wing nut.

    You do expose some very good points:
    “Blogging can be journalism if the blogger is a journalist.”
    so who is a journalist? Only someone who works for a “journalist company”?

    “The police are there for you. Are you aware of this?”
    Sure. Police are people like us. Most of them are good. BUT have you seen the video that Josh recorded?
    http://tinyurl.com/rzj94
    Towards the end you see a supposedly Federal Marshal, gun drawn, with a laser guide, yelling “Leave or you’re going to be fucking blasted”.
    Your kind of black and white thinking is exactly what has put our country in these dire times. Yes, police are good, but some can be bad.

    “I never said Mel Gibson is guilty or innocent, he has. I repeated only what he said, and added that if it is genuine, then I am willing to forgive his mistake.”
    I just brought up your Mel Gibson blog post because I think it’s ironic how quickly sympathetic you are to an influential man who was caught drunk driving and hurling racial slurs and then got his PR team to do damage control….but you are so quick to condemn a young man who was simply a witness at a public event. You’re making it obvious that your poltics are apriority for you.

    “Is every blogger considered a journalist? If so, then this law applies to everyone who has a blog? Doesn’t everyone have a blog? That would mean that most of the population is the press!”
    This is the greatest series of questions that need answering. Now that everyone can pick up a camera and record events and distribute to the world…shouldn’t we have rights? Other than being paid, how are we different? Coming from the news BUSINESS, I agree that professional journalism is supposed to have integrity and ethics…but in this world of infotainment, we have all seen too many examples of weak, biased reporting and compromised editing to put professional journalists in some special category.
    Regular people blogging have really added to our public discourse and we do need rights.

    “If this blogger is considered a journalist, then I want the same protection that he has. I also want to be considered a journalist. Can I also be considered an author?”
    Answers: Good, you should want the same rights. And yes, you can be considered an author.

    “This is such a crock. And no, I don’t feel that strongly about it. I couldn’t really give a crap. People can do what they want. However, when I see crap, I confront it. I’m that type of person.”
    Come on, you do feel strongly about this issue which is why you keep coming back for more. You do it because you’re a blogger and want to engage in a conversation and want your voice heard. This is why blogging is so cool. We can also both see each other’s sites to get context.

    “We are talking about a young man who videotaped a riot which included the arson of a police vehicle, and he refuses to help the prosecution of this crime, therefore is (deservedly) being held in contempt of court, for his own crime –obstruction of justice!
    Why must you defend the actions of criminals?”

    No one is defending criminals. Josh is a young man who recorded a public event. He says he does not have any video of the car burning and has offerd the judge(who has refused) to privately scan the tapes. Josh simply doesnt want to hand over his tapes to the authorities so they could use it to make lists of marchers. You don’t think this happens?
    http://tinyurl.com/qeabg
    We’re at a point in this debate, and in this country, when the facts are too clear. Now it’s just whether you want to accept the realites or not.

    “The press seems to be only concerned with it’s own rights, but not with the rights of law-abiding citizens.”
    Yes Brent, this is the whole point. The press and BLOGGERS are law biding citizens. We cannot have a country where everyone is being thrown in jail for documenting events. I’m sure you feel safe with your beliefs now, but what happens when a different administration takes power and suddenly your ideas are no longer “correct”. Do you want harassment based on what you write or videotape?

    This is an objective question that needs to be answered seriously. Court decisions set precedent which can be very powerful in deciding future cases.

  69. Brent from Comment #35.
    It difficult to take any of your comments seriously because you’re so condescending. You’re starting to show yourself as a right-wing wing nut.

    You do expose some very good points:
    “Blogging can be journalism if the blogger is a journalist.”
    so who is a journalist? Only someone who works for a “journalist company”?

    “The police are there for you. Are you aware of this?”
    Sure. Police are people like us. Most of them are good. BUT have you seen the video that Josh recorded?
    http://tinyurl.com/rzj94
    Towards the end you see a supposedly Federal Marshal, gun drawn, with a laser guide, yelling “Leave or you’re going to be fucking blasted”.
    Your kind of black and white thinking is exactly what has put our country in these dire times. Yes, police are good, but some can be bad.

    “I never said Mel Gibson is guilty or innocent, he has. I repeated only what he said, and added that if it is genuine, then I am willing to forgive his mistake.”
    I just brought up your Mel Gibson blog post because I think it’s ironic how quickly sympathetic you are to an influential man who was caught drunk driving and hurling racial slurs and then got his PR team to do damage control….but you are so quick to condemn a young man who was simply a witness at a public event. You’re making it obvious that your poltics are apriority for you.

    “Is every blogger considered a journalist? If so, then this law applies to everyone who has a blog? Doesn’t everyone have a blog? That would mean that most of the population is the press!”
    This is the greatest series of questions that need answering. Now that everyone can pick up a camera and record events and distribute to the world…shouldn’t we have rights? Other than being paid, how are we different? Coming from the news BUSINESS, I agree that professional journalism is supposed to have integrity and ethics…but in this world of infotainment, we have all seen too many examples of weak, biased reporting and compromised editing to put professional journalists in some special category.
    Regular people blogging have really added to our public discourse and we do need rights.

    “If this blogger is considered a journalist, then I want the same protection that he has. I also want to be considered a journalist. Can I also be considered an author?”
    Answers: Good, you should want the same rights. And yes, you can be considered an author.

    “This is such a crock. And no, I don’t feel that strongly about it. I couldn’t really give a crap. People can do what they want. However, when I see crap, I confront it. I’m that type of person.”
    Come on, you do feel strongly about this issue which is why you keep coming back for more. You do it because you’re a blogger and want to engage in a conversation and want your voice heard. This is why blogging is so cool. We can also both see each other’s sites to get context.

    “We are talking about a young man who videotaped a riot which included the arson of a police vehicle, and he refuses to help the prosecution of this crime, therefore is (deservedly) being held in contempt of court, for his own crime –obstruction of justice!
    Why must you defend the actions of criminals?”

    No one is defending criminals. Josh is a young man who recorded a public event. He says he does not have any video of the car burning and has offerd the judge(who has refused) to privately scan the tapes. Josh simply doesnt want to hand over his tapes to the authorities so they could use it to make lists of marchers. You don’t think this happens?
    http://tinyurl.com/qeabg
    We’re at a point in this debate, and in this country, when the facts are too clear. Now it’s just whether you want to accept the realites or not.

    “The press seems to be only concerned with it’s own rights, but not with the rights of law-abiding citizens.”
    Yes Brent, this is the whole point. The press and BLOGGERS are law biding citizens. We cannot have a country where everyone is being thrown in jail for documenting events. I’m sure you feel safe with your beliefs now, but what happens when a different administration takes power and suddenly your ideas are no longer “correct”. Do you want harassment based on what you write or videotape?

    This is an objective question that needs to be answered seriously. Court decisions set precedent which can be very powerful in deciding future cases.

  70. then wrap themselves in some law to protect themselves?

    Apparently the State law does protect him. I’m assuming California enacted the shield law for a reason. (But it’s California, so, you know, the reason might have involved alignment of chakras.)

    The Federal law doesn’t protect him, which is apparently why it became a Federal case.

    I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. So far all I have dug up is U.S.C. &#167 666, which seems to imply that if you steal from an organization that takes more than $10,000 from the Federal Government, and the value of the loss exceeds $5,000, it’s now magically a Federal Case.

    I’m assuming the cop car cost more than $5,000.

    – BEGIN JOKE –
    So, I suppose today’s tip for anarchists is that their looting, pillaging, raping and burning must cause a monetary loss of $4,999.99 or less, or the FBI will come after you. Remember, kids: always get the Blue Book value of a cruiser before you torch it.
    – END JOKE –

    Caveat: My legal training is limited to having watched The Paper Chase and several People’s Court episodes.

  71. then wrap themselves in some law to protect themselves?

    Apparently the State law does protect him. I’m assuming California enacted the shield law for a reason. (But it’s California, so, you know, the reason might have involved alignment of chakras.)

    The Federal law doesn’t protect him, which is apparently why it became a Federal case.

    I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. So far all I have dug up is U.S.C. &#167 666, which seems to imply that if you steal from an organization that takes more than $10,000 from the Federal Government, and the value of the loss exceeds $5,000, it’s now magically a Federal Case.

    I’m assuming the cop car cost more than $5,000.

    – BEGIN JOKE –
    So, I suppose today’s tip for anarchists is that their looting, pillaging, raping and burning must cause a monetary loss of $4,999.99 or less, or the FBI will come after you. Remember, kids: always get the Blue Book value of a cruiser before you torch it.
    – END JOKE –

    Caveat: My legal training is limited to having watched The Paper Chase and several People’s Court episodes.

  72. Like others I have problem with bloggers suddenly saying they are “journalists”. I think this Josh dude is simply in it for the publicity. I’m sure he’s quickly moving up the “A list” rankings now. (But, as Seinfeld said “I’m not sure how official any of these rankings really are”)

    To be sure the Federal Govt’s reach is much farther than the Constitution intended. But again, no one seems to have a problem with the Federal Govt wanting to protect them when it comes to religious beliefs they disagree with, providing them craded to grave care with other people’s money for example. But when the Fed Govt wants to step in to prosecute a crime, we now have a problem? Talk about hypocricy.

    Look out!!! Another black helicopter flying over head!

  73. Like others I have problem with bloggers suddenly saying they are “journalists”. I think this Josh dude is simply in it for the publicity. I’m sure he’s quickly moving up the “A list” rankings now. (But, as Seinfeld said “I’m not sure how official any of these rankings really are”)

    To be sure the Federal Govt’s reach is much farther than the Constitution intended. But again, no one seems to have a problem with the Federal Govt wanting to protect them when it comes to religious beliefs they disagree with, providing them craded to grave care with other people’s money for example. But when the Fed Govt wants to step in to prosecute a crime, we now have a problem? Talk about hypocricy.

    Look out!!! Another black helicopter flying over head!

  74. Maybe this is just me, but I don’t see why he’s clinging so hard to the footage. He has no “sources” who provided information to him that he has to protect.

    When you go to interview a source you know that what will transpire there will possibly put that person in legal hot water. However, there’s a big difference between talking with a source about murdering someone and recording him doing it – releasing a tape with his face blotched out – then refusing to hand your footage over to the FBI when they want it.

    He should’ve handed over the tape in the first place.

  75. Maybe this is just me, but I don’t see why he’s clinging so hard to the footage. He has no “sources” who provided information to him that he has to protect.

    When you go to interview a source you know that what will transpire there will possibly put that person in legal hot water. However, there’s a big difference between talking with a source about murdering someone and recording him doing it – releasing a tape with his face blotched out – then refusing to hand your footage over to the FBI when they want it.

    He should’ve handed over the tape in the first place.

  76. Robert, your post is sensationalism at its best. Just like the teaser for the 11 o’clock news, you make it seem like his ONLY “crime” (willing to cede on usage of this word, but seems the best at the time) was to videotape a protest. Well, there was a little more to it than that. Those tapes can be used as evidence. Arson is NOT a minor offense, and I really don’t want people that think they can set fire to anything, especially something that I (we collectively) paid for. And, reverse this a little bit, and imagine an arsonist set fire to YOUR shiny new BMW. Horrible to conceive, and not certainly something I wish on anyone, but I certainly would want to make sure that if evidence existed to prosecute someone, I want that evidence to be used.

    And seriously, how are all of these bloggers suddenly calling themselves “journalists?” I’m not a defender of the typical journalist, and I think that sometimes a blogger DOES report the news better than some seasoned journalists, but that suddenly doesn’t mean that he IS a journalist. In comparison, if your doctors office employed people that were not formally a nurse, would you still go to that doctor, even though the doctor insists that the “nurse” is just as good as any other nurse? Why treat the field of journalism any different. Can you not major in the field of journalism? What gives a blogger the right to call themselves journalist when they are not?

  77. Robert, your post is sensationalism at its best. Just like the teaser for the 11 o’clock news, you make it seem like his ONLY “crime” (willing to cede on usage of this word, but seems the best at the time) was to videotape a protest. Well, there was a little more to it than that. Those tapes can be used as evidence. Arson is NOT a minor offense, and I really don’t want people that think they can set fire to anything, especially something that I (we collectively) paid for. And, reverse this a little bit, and imagine an arsonist set fire to YOUR shiny new BMW. Horrible to conceive, and not certainly something I wish on anyone, but I certainly would want to make sure that if evidence existed to prosecute someone, I want that evidence to be used.

    And seriously, how are all of these bloggers suddenly calling themselves “journalists?” I’m not a defender of the typical journalist, and I think that sometimes a blogger DOES report the news better than some seasoned journalists, but that suddenly doesn’t mean that he IS a journalist. In comparison, if your doctors office employed people that were not formally a nurse, would you still go to that doctor, even though the doctor insists that the “nurse” is just as good as any other nurse? Why treat the field of journalism any different. Can you not major in the field of journalism? What gives a blogger the right to call themselves journalist when they are not?

  78. T Man: that’s an interesting question. Yes, I believe that all bloggers have the same rights as paid journalists. This isn’t China, you know.

    And, if you were to burn my BMW I’d probably want to kill you. But, that wouldn’t make that action right. And it wouldn’t be allowable under law. We still do live under laws, right?

    The shield laws are important for journalists who try to do real work. I do view this as a slippery slope.

    If I have to worry about protecting the people I’m videotaping I just will do less videotaping.

    Just like if I am going to worry about lawsuits I’m going to tell you less about what I’m hearing Apple is announcing next week at its conferences.

  79. T Man: that’s an interesting question. Yes, I believe that all bloggers have the same rights as paid journalists. This isn’t China, you know.

    And, if you were to burn my BMW I’d probably want to kill you. But, that wouldn’t make that action right. And it wouldn’t be allowable under law. We still do live under laws, right?

    The shield laws are important for journalists who try to do real work. I do view this as a slippery slope.

    If I have to worry about protecting the people I’m videotaping I just will do less videotaping.

    Just like if I am going to worry about lawsuits I’m going to tell you less about what I’m hearing Apple is announcing next week at its conferences.

  80. LayZ: it depends what crimes you want persecuted and how many laws you’re willing to “bend” to get your way.

    I seem to remember a certain country in Europe who wanted certain crimes “persecuted” too.

    I promised my mom I’d stick up for the little guy: always.

    >You are just wrong, and so is the fundamental argument for not providing the tapes.

    If I’m wrong, I’d rather be on the side of the little guy rather than the government who has infinite resources to pound the little guy into the pavement.

  81. LayZ: it depends what crimes you want persecuted and how many laws you’re willing to “bend” to get your way.

    I seem to remember a certain country in Europe who wanted certain crimes “persecuted” too.

    I promised my mom I’d stick up for the little guy: always.

    >You are just wrong, and so is the fundamental argument for not providing the tapes.

    If I’m wrong, I’d rather be on the side of the little guy rather than the government who has infinite resources to pound the little guy into the pavement.

  82. So destroying police cars shouldn’t be prosecutable then. Gotcha. Likening that to Nazi Germany is just absolutely silly.

  83. So destroying police cars shouldn’t be prosecutable then. Gotcha. Likening that to Nazi Germany is just absolutely silly.

  84. For those commenters who are bringing up the tedious argument of “are bloggers journalists”…please check out this current post: http://tinyurl.com/ezc3u.

    The journalism vs blogging argument seems to me to be a way for you to ignore realities that people have put forward when it comes to police mining videotapes to create databases of people who attend protests.
    http://tinyurl.com/qeabg

  85. For those commenters who are bringing up the tedious argument of “are bloggers journalists”…please check out this current post: http://tinyurl.com/ezc3u.

    The journalism vs blogging argument seems to me to be a way for you to ignore realities that people have put forward when it comes to police mining videotapes to create databases of people who attend protests.
    http://tinyurl.com/qeabg

  86. Bill: >You want to be a journalist? Fine. Get a press pass.

    That demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the press. There is no licensing body. Who hands out press passes anyway? Yeah, you need them to get access to individual events, but not to “report” the news.

    Brad: there are bigger issues here than prosecuting a car arson. But, keep on believing this is just about that. Looking at life in a binary/simplistic way is often easier than thinking about the bigger issues involved here.

  87. Bill: >You want to be a journalist? Fine. Get a press pass.

    That demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the press. There is no licensing body. Who hands out press passes anyway? Yeah, you need them to get access to individual events, but not to “report” the news.

    Brad: there are bigger issues here than prosecuting a car arson. But, keep on believing this is just about that. Looking at life in a binary/simplistic way is often easier than thinking about the bigger issues involved here.

  88. If they had broken in and taken the tape you might have a point. But nothing here indicates that anything is being done improperly or outside of normal processes.

  89. If they had broken in and taken the tape you might have a point. But nothing here indicates that anything is being done improperly or outside of normal processes.

  90. Scoble, the minute you can get a press pass to cover the Super Bowl as a blogger, or get in the White House Press room (yea I know the Bush administration let some guy in that wrote positively for them), then I’ll buy your “bloggers are journalists” argument.

    And you keep in believing that the govt is out to get you and the boogeyman is hding under your bed. Jesus! The 60′s are OVER, dude!

  91. Scoble, the minute you can get a press pass to cover the Super Bowl as a blogger, or get in the White House Press room (yea I know the Bush administration let some guy in that wrote positively for them), then I’ll buy your “bloggers are journalists” argument.

    And you keep in believing that the govt is out to get you and the boogeyman is hding under your bed. Jesus! The 60′s are OVER, dude!

  92. And I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what “source” the “journalist” is protecting and how his future ability to “report the news” will be compromised by turning over his tapes.

    And Karim eloquently pointed out the Fed Govt’s authority to intervene in this case. What their “ulterior motives” might be is simply tin foil hat wearing paranioa that has no basis in fact.

  93. Hey Scoble, doesn’t the police also have a right to make an argument in court, with access to all available evidence?

    We still do live under laws, right?

  94. Hey Scoble, doesn’t the police also have a right to make an argument in court, with access to all available evidence?

    We still do live under laws, right?

  95. And I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what “source” the “journalist” is protecting and how his future ability to “report the news” will be compromised by turning over his tapes.

    And Karim eloquently pointed out the Fed Govt’s authority to intervene in this case. What their “ulterior motives” might be is simply tin foil hat wearing paranioa that has no basis in fact.

  96. Robert,

    I think Josh should do anything he wants to do as long as he understands the consequences. Unfortunately, based on reading his blog, he will just blame this incident on the evil government. I really get the feeling he is reveling in the attention. And you reacting to the fact he is a friend and videoblogger is just feeding it.

    Is he a journalist? Where do we draw the line today between somone who is a journalist and someone who just posted something on the internet? Does everyone now get the benefits and freedoms that the press get?

    If I write on a blog about a criminal event and that I have access to information about who was the responsible, can I know refuse to tell the police what I know because I am protecting my sources? Not a lawyer but this seems like a path to a huge problem.

    Your real concern shouldn’t be for Josh, your bigger concern should be about all the people you will probably not be able to influence and touch in the future now based on this post. You hit a nerve and as someone who is in the middle of the spectrum (or a binary/simplistic thinker) I have decided if your trend is in this direction that you are not on my reading list anymore. I read and see enough of this stuff on TV, I look to you for something different.

    I admire you for taking a stance and helping a friend, but I think that you need to think a bit more before being so passionate and reacting so quickly in the future to land mines like this one. Scary Powers really was a strong thing to say and I think you could have used a better pair of words to describe the situation. I bet if you would have opened up with a What do you Think? You could have helped Josh and not gotten so personally involved.

    I think your creditibility was hurt here. Something I think most bloggers forget when the post their comments. I am not saying don’t comment or participate, just understand the consequences. You cannot afford to lose touch with your audience.

    Of course I could be wrong and your audience is not me but Josh and what I just wrote was meaningless.

    Thanks,

    Mark

  97. Robert,

    I think Josh should do anything he wants to do as long as he understands the consequences. Unfortunately, based on reading his blog, he will just blame this incident on the evil government. I really get the feeling he is reveling in the attention. And you reacting to the fact he is a friend and videoblogger is just feeding it.

    Is he a journalist? Where do we draw the line today between somone who is a journalist and someone who just posted something on the internet? Does everyone now get the benefits and freedoms that the press get?

    If I write on a blog about a criminal event and that I have access to information about who was the responsible, can I know refuse to tell the police what I know because I am protecting my sources? Not a lawyer but this seems like a path to a huge problem.

    Your real concern shouldn’t be for Josh, your bigger concern should be about all the people you will probably not be able to influence and touch in the future now based on this post. You hit a nerve and as someone who is in the middle of the spectrum (or a binary/simplistic thinker) I have decided if your trend is in this direction that you are not on my reading list anymore. I read and see enough of this stuff on TV, I look to you for something different.

    I admire you for taking a stance and helping a friend, but I think that you need to think a bit more before being so passionate and reacting so quickly in the future to land mines like this one. Scary Powers really was a strong thing to say and I think you could have used a better pair of words to describe the situation. I bet if you would have opened up with a What do you Think? You could have helped Josh and not gotten so personally involved.

    I think your creditibility was hurt here. Something I think most bloggers forget when the post their comments. I am not saying don’t comment or participate, just understand the consequences. You cannot afford to lose touch with your audience.

    Of course I could be wrong and your audience is not me but Josh and what I just wrote was meaningless.

    Thanks,

    Mark

  98. Eddie’s post #2 on this list seems to have been overlooked/

    “The feds (which has no such sheild law) have decided to to make it a federal case because a city police car was allegedly burned and they claim since San Francisco gets some federal funding, that they have jurisdiction. Following that logic, just about anything can be a federal case!”

    Federal money flows into every nook an cranny of our lives in one way or another. Claiming they have jusrisdiction over anything they drop some change on means that State Laws are completly irrelevant… of course there have been other examples of this behavior in regard to California’s Medical Marijuana Laws..
    What about the 10th Ammendment?
    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    “The Tenth Amendment is sometimes cited as constitutional ground denying Congress the right to pass any law it sees fit. However, Congress has cited its authority under the Commerce Clause for the authority to pass laws in realms of human behavior not mentioned in the Constitution. If a particular activity affects interstate commerce in any way, they have argued, that Congress has the authority to regulate that activity.”

    Interstate Commerce?

    Also, this is not just about whether a “citizen journalist” is a real “journalist” or not because corporate reporters phone records are also unfire from the Feds.

  99. Eddie’s post #2 on this list seems to have been overlooked/

    “The feds (which has no such sheild law) have decided to to make it a federal case because a city police car was allegedly burned and they claim since San Francisco gets some federal funding, that they have jurisdiction. Following that logic, just about anything can be a federal case!”

    Federal money flows into every nook an cranny of our lives in one way or another. Claiming they have jusrisdiction over anything they drop some change on means that State Laws are completly irrelevant… of course there have been other examples of this behavior in regard to California’s Medical Marijuana Laws..
    What about the 10th Ammendment?
    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    “The Tenth Amendment is sometimes cited as constitutional ground denying Congress the right to pass any law it sees fit. However, Congress has cited its authority under the Commerce Clause for the authority to pass laws in realms of human behavior not mentioned in the Constitution. If a particular activity affects interstate commerce in any way, they have argued, that Congress has the authority to regulate that activity.”

    Interstate Commerce?

    Also, this is not just about whether a “citizen journalist” is a real “journalist” or not because corporate reporters phone records are also unfire from the Feds.

  100. It looks to me like this guy is trying to get legal precedence set for Bloggers, problem is, he’s dead wrong in this case. At least I hope that’s what he is doing otherwise he’s doing nothing more then protecting people who feel it’s justifiable to burn cars, and there is nothing honorable about that on any level. Somewhere in America’s legal history (if not from the start) justice took a back seat and in it’s place rules that were set up to protect innocent people became twisted to make shields and loopholes for criminals to walk through.

    It seems very few people care about what’s right and wrong anymore. I’m all for protecting our rights I think people (lawyers) give away our rights every day to win a lawsuit. Every time you turn around we give up another freedom in the name of security, what we are really doing is renouncing our need to be responsible and losing everything that goes with it, but that’s another rant for another day.

    I doubt he’s protecting someone, he would have destroyed the tapes if it was a friend or if it implicated himself in anyway. I think it’s a great way for him to make headlines in a way that (he believes) won’t harm his future. This guy is doing nothing more then costing taxpayers money, I for one think he like so many others are an embarrassment to society.

  101. It looks to me like this guy is trying to get legal precedence set for Bloggers, problem is, he’s dead wrong in this case. At least I hope that’s what he is doing otherwise he’s doing nothing more then protecting people who feel it’s justifiable to burn cars, and there is nothing honorable about that on any level. Somewhere in America’s legal history (if not from the start) justice took a back seat and in it’s place rules that were set up to protect innocent people became twisted to make shields and loopholes for criminals to walk through.

    It seems very few people care about what’s right and wrong anymore. I’m all for protecting our rights I think people (lawyers) give away our rights every day to win a lawsuit. Every time you turn around we give up another freedom in the name of security, what we are really doing is renouncing our need to be responsible and losing everything that goes with it, but that’s another rant for another day.

    I doubt he’s protecting someone, he would have destroyed the tapes if it was a friend or if it implicated himself in anyway. I think it’s a great way for him to make headlines in a way that (he believes) won’t harm his future. This guy is doing nothing more then costing taxpayers money, I for one think he like so many others are an embarrassment to society.

  102. So many commenters here are so sure they know what is on that tape and are absolutely sure that there is nothing for Josh to protect. Has anyone outside of Josh even seen the full tapes? The bottom line is we DON’T KNOW what is on the rest of those tapes and for any of us, including the judge, to make an asumption about it’s contents is ridiculous. This IS about journalist integrity and it IS about jurisdiction. This kind of thing ABSOLUTELY has a chilling effect on newsgathering and does erode our notion of a free press.

  103. So many commenters here are so sure they know what is on that tape and are absolutely sure that there is nothing for Josh to protect. Has anyone outside of Josh even seen the full tapes? The bottom line is we DON’T KNOW what is on the rest of those tapes and for any of us, including the judge, to make an asumption about it’s contents is ridiculous. This IS about journalist integrity and it IS about jurisdiction. This kind of thing ABSOLUTELY has a chilling effect on newsgathering and does erode our notion of a free press.

  104. But Eddie, you are equating journalism with blogging.

    It’s a case of apples and oranges.

    Is a twelve year old girl with a blog, considered a journalist to you?

    Or, for a better example, is a young person with a blog and a camera, with otherwise, no other credentials whatsoever, considered a journalist to you?

    Where do we draw the line?

    Here’s an idea: how about those with a degree that specifies the credentials?

  105. But Eddie, you are equating journalism with blogging.

    It’s a case of apples and oranges.

    Is a twelve year old girl with a blog, considered a journalist to you?

    Or, for a better example, is a young person with a blog and a camera, with otherwise, no other credentials whatsoever, considered a journalist to you?

    Where do we draw the line?

    Here’s an idea: how about those with a degree that specifies the credentials?

  106. Brent: yes. She is a journalist too. Deal with it. I hate that you brought a kid into this, though, cause they don’t have adult rights so it’s not easy to answer your question here.

    So, let me restate your question: “is a college student who has a MySpace page a journalist?” Absolutely yes, is my answer.

    There is no credential for journalism. Deal with it.

    Stop being elitist. Or, do you feel the words “all men are created equal” only applies to certain people who have professional credentials?

    Now,

  107. Brent: yes. She is a journalist too. Deal with it. I hate that you brought a kid into this, though, cause they don’t have adult rights so it’s not easy to answer your question here.

    So, let me restate your question: “is a college student who has a MySpace page a journalist?” Absolutely yes, is my answer.

    There is no credential for journalism. Deal with it.

    Stop being elitist. Or, do you feel the words “all men are created equal” only applies to certain people who have professional credentials?

    Now,

  108. Sticking up for the little guy is great when the little guy is in the right. I see little honor in sticking up for the little guy when the little guy is wrong.
    As for the blogger v. journalist question I am all in favor of everyone having the same rights regardless of their income, wealth or what they do for a living. Giving secial privileges to bloggers, journalists or police acting as private citizens is all part of a slipery slope away from a democratic system.

  109. Sticking up for the little guy is great when the little guy is in the right. I see little honor in sticking up for the little guy when the little guy is wrong.
    As for the blogger v. journalist question I am all in favor of everyone having the same rights regardless of their income, wealth or what they do for a living. Giving secial privileges to bloggers, journalists or police acting as private citizens is all part of a slipery slope away from a democratic system.

  110. Brent, the thing is, people can do great journalistic work without having credentials. And they can do lousy work with credentials. Many newspaper reporters don’t have a journalism degree, and no one makes a fuss about it. There are no formal government or industry guidelines as to who is a journalist.

    Still, If you need some kind of institutional certification that he’s a journalist, he was labelled such in recent New York Times and SF Chronicle stories.

  111. Brent, the thing is, people can do great journalistic work without having credentials. And they can do lousy work with credentials. Many newspaper reporters don’t have a journalism degree, and no one makes a fuss about it. There are no formal government or industry guidelines as to who is a journalist.

    Still, If you need some kind of institutional certification that he’s a journalist, he was labelled such in recent New York Times and SF Chronicle stories.

  112. There is no credential for journalism. Deal with it.

    You have lost all credibility at this point. How can you possibly say this?

    Ever heard of journalism school? College?

    I guess that by this logic, anybody can be a self-appointed [place career here please].

    Stop being elitist. Or, do you feel the words “all men are created equal” only applies to certain people who have professional credentials?

    Scoble, you really lost it on that phrase. What does this have to do with all men are created equal? We’re talking about whom is protected by the law, in terms of the press not revealing a source, even when a crime has been committed.

    And I happen to be someone who also stands up for the little guy. I just happen to realize the difference between the little guy who is a good person, and the little guy who sees nothing wrong with covering up a felony.

    I underestimated your kookiness, I guess. I apologize for assuming that since you worked for a corporation like Microsoft, that your brain has the capacity to understand the difference in these matters. My bad.

  113. There is no credential for journalism. Deal with it.

    You have lost all credibility at this point. How can you possibly say this?

    Ever heard of journalism school? College?

    I guess that by this logic, anybody can be a self-appointed [place career here please].

    Stop being elitist. Or, do you feel the words “all men are created equal” only applies to certain people who have professional credentials?

    Scoble, you really lost it on that phrase. What does this have to do with all men are created equal? We’re talking about whom is protected by the law, in terms of the press not revealing a source, even when a crime has been committed.

    And I happen to be someone who also stands up for the little guy. I just happen to realize the difference between the little guy who is a good person, and the little guy who sees nothing wrong with covering up a felony.

    I underestimated your kookiness, I guess. I apologize for assuming that since you worked for a corporation like Microsoft, that your brain has the capacity to understand the difference in these matters. My bad.

  114. Alfred: really? I see GREAT honor in sticking up for the little guy and getting him his day in court, even if he’s guilty. It’s what our whole legal system is based on. And why we pay for public defenders and such.

    And, I’d rather be on the side of the little guy nine wrong times than be on the side of the big guy nine wrong times. The big guy can afford to be wrong. The little guy can’t.

  115. Alfred: really? I see GREAT honor in sticking up for the little guy and getting him his day in court, even if he’s guilty. It’s what our whole legal system is based on. And why we pay for public defenders and such.

    And, I’d rather be on the side of the little guy nine wrong times than be on the side of the big guy nine wrong times. The big guy can afford to be wrong. The little guy can’t.

  116. Brent: why do people who are losing the argument always fall into ad hominem arguments? Sigh.

    He’s not doing this cause he likes covering up a felony — he’s standing up for our rights to keep our tapes and notes to ourselves. Our disconnect on this point is huge. Have you seen the tape? Have you talked with Josh? How do you know he even has tape of a crime being committed? There are bigger issues here than that.

    I understand the issues very well. You’re willing to sell our rights down the river. Yes, we’re on separate sides here and the fact that you got personal with me demonstrates the lengths you’re willing to go.

  117. Brent: why do people who are losing the argument always fall into ad hominem arguments? Sigh.

    He’s not doing this cause he likes covering up a felony — he’s standing up for our rights to keep our tapes and notes to ourselves. Our disconnect on this point is huge. Have you seen the tape? Have you talked with Josh? How do you know he even has tape of a crime being committed? There are bigger issues here than that.

    I understand the issues very well. You’re willing to sell our rights down the river. Yes, we’re on separate sides here and the fact that you got personal with me demonstrates the lengths you’re willing to go.

  118. Brent: most of the journalists (especially the paid, professional kind) I know never went to journalism school. That isn’t a prerequisite for getting a job in the industry.

    I, however, DID go to J-school and it was very clear to me that there is no credential for being a journalist.

    Question: did you go to journalism school? If not, why should we listen to you tell anyone what a journalist is?

  119. Brent: most of the journalists (especially the paid, professional kind) I know never went to journalism school. That isn’t a prerequisite for getting a job in the industry.

    I, however, DID go to J-school and it was very clear to me that there is no credential for being a journalist.

    Question: did you go to journalism school? If not, why should we listen to you tell anyone what a journalist is?

  120. This isn’t China, you know.

    Of course somewhere in China, some blogger is probably reading this story, sipping his tea and thinking, “Man, in the United States, they’re throwing bloggers in jail for videotaping stuff in public. What a police state….” :-)

    But Eddie, you are equating journalism with blogging.

    Michael Yon’s blogging from Iraq is outstanding journalism.

    Which might explain why it’s been nominated for several Pulitzer Prizes and been reprinted in several newspapers.

    He hasn’t had any formal journalism training and he’s not a journalist.

    Brent, you raised a really good question: who is a journalist?

    However, the answer you propose in this case, credentialism, is completely wrong.

  121. This isn’t China, you know.

    Of course somewhere in China, some blogger is probably reading this story, sipping his tea and thinking, “Man, in the United States, they’re throwing bloggers in jail for videotaping stuff in public. What a police state….” :-)

    But Eddie, you are equating journalism with blogging.

    Michael Yon’s blogging from Iraq is outstanding journalism.

    Which might explain why it’s been nominated for several Pulitzer Prizes and been reprinted in several newspapers.

    He hasn’t had any formal journalism training and he’s not a journalist.

    Brent, you raised a really good question: who is a journalist?

    However, the answer you propose in this case, credentialism, is completely wrong.

  122. I’m not sure how this conversation got derailed into a discussion about whether or not the film was taken by a blogger, a journalist, or a fifth grader. What difference does that make to the core issue?

    Does the tape contain evidence of a felony? We don’t know. How do we find out? Someone looks at it – in this case the Federal Government is interested in looking at it.

    Is that bad? I know – it depends on what they are *really* looking for. Some people assume they are looking for something other than what they claim to be looking for – others think they are looking for exactly what they say they are (who torched the cruiser).

    In either case, the fundamental issue is the same to me – someone took a film that reportedly contains an act of more than “civil disobedience” – a cop car was burned. Not a case of someone burning a flag or spraying graffiti – this is a real offense.

    So if the film exists, and if it has evidence that could help arrest those responsible, then give the tape over. I don’t understand the argument, or how this can be considered a “little guy verse the government” issue. It’s an evidence issue.

    I wish Josh would/could jump in here and try and defend his actions, but I understand that he is probably shackled by his “legal defense team”. I think only he can clear this up, and in the absence of him doing so we must rely on the courts, and the legal system to do that. Gathering evidence is part of the process, and so far that’s the only thing I see the government to be looking for.

    Sure, you can make up nightmares about the government really using this entire story as a fabrication to get to Scoble, or your grandma, or whoever, but the truth is right now all we know is they want to see who torched the car. Not too damned complicated of a situation from my perspective…

  123. I’m not sure how this conversation got derailed into a discussion about whether or not the film was taken by a blogger, a journalist, or a fifth grader. What difference does that make to the core issue?

    Does the tape contain evidence of a felony? We don’t know. How do we find out? Someone looks at it – in this case the Federal Government is interested in looking at it.

    Is that bad? I know – it depends on what they are *really* looking for. Some people assume they are looking for something other than what they claim to be looking for – others think they are looking for exactly what they say they are (who torched the cruiser).

    In either case, the fundamental issue is the same to me – someone took a film that reportedly contains an act of more than “civil disobedience” – a cop car was burned. Not a case of someone burning a flag or spraying graffiti – this is a real offense.

    So if the film exists, and if it has evidence that could help arrest those responsible, then give the tape over. I don’t understand the argument, or how this can be considered a “little guy verse the government” issue. It’s an evidence issue.

    I wish Josh would/could jump in here and try and defend his actions, but I understand that he is probably shackled by his “legal defense team”. I think only he can clear this up, and in the absence of him doing so we must rely on the courts, and the legal system to do that. Gathering evidence is part of the process, and so far that’s the only thing I see the government to be looking for.

    Sure, you can make up nightmares about the government really using this entire story as a fabrication to get to Scoble, or your grandma, or whoever, but the truth is right now all we know is they want to see who torched the car. Not too damned complicated of a situation from my perspective…

  124. Comment 76:
    You finally are helping make the issue clear.
    The Federal government says they want the tapes to see if he recorded someone burning a SF police car.

    Josh Wolf says he did not record this event, and doesn’t want to hand over the tapes because he thinks the Federal Government will start taking names and disseminate this info local authorities who failed to get the tapes in court. If you think this is black helicopter paranoia, do the research: http://tinyurl.com/qeabg)

    Why is this important?
    Because Josh considers himself a journalist that has access to a certain community. If he handed over the tapes, he could lose credibility and access to that community.

    Josh’s lawyer has put forth a solution. Let the judge scan the tape in his chambers to determine if there is a person setting a car on fire. If yes, give up the tapes. If no, its all done.

    The judge refused to do this, put Josh in jail, and refused to give him bail.

  125. Comment 76:
    You finally are helping make the issue clear.
    The Federal government says they want the tapes to see if he recorded someone burning a SF police car.

    Josh Wolf says he did not record this event, and doesn’t want to hand over the tapes because he thinks the Federal Government will start taking names and disseminate this info local authorities who failed to get the tapes in court. If you think this is black helicopter paranoia, do the research: http://tinyurl.com/qeabg)

    Why is this important?
    Because Josh considers himself a journalist that has access to a certain community. If he handed over the tapes, he could lose credibility and access to that community.

    Josh’s lawyer has put forth a solution. Let the judge scan the tape in his chambers to determine if there is a person setting a car on fire. If yes, give up the tapes. If no, its all done.

    The judge refused to do this, put Josh in jail, and refused to give him bail.

  126. You are being ridiculous, Robert. I was a journalist for years and there was definitely a difference between my work and what Lil’ Josh is doing. Not that I really believe he is doing any reporting at all. No. The kid just latched on to ‘I’m a journalist’ as a pretext for not cooperating with law enforcement. If he was a real reporter, he would know that shield laws apply to confidential sources, not public events one witnesses.

    It does not help Lil’ Josh’s case that even for an ‘anarchist,’ he is a goofy looking kid. Goofy and arrogant simultaneously will not work in his favor.

  127. You are being ridiculous, Robert. I was a journalist for years and there was definitely a difference between my work and what Lil’ Josh is doing. Not that I really believe he is doing any reporting at all. No. The kid just latched on to ‘I’m a journalist’ as a pretext for not cooperating with law enforcement. If he was a real reporter, he would know that shield laws apply to confidential sources, not public events one witnesses.

    It does not help Lil’ Josh’s case that even for an ‘anarchist,’ he is a goofy looking kid. Goofy and arrogant simultaneously will not work in his favor.

  128. I wonder if some of the people who are harping about Josh not being a journalist have investigated the matter? Some of the video in question was run on a local television station (KRON). Johnny Goldstein wrote a comment on Jeff Jarvis’ blog as he actuall met Josh and thus knows his background. Goldstein writes:

    “Whatever the legal and moral questions here, I think it’s safe to say Josh can be designated a journalist. He’s just out of college, and while he was there he wrote for the student newspaper. Since graduating in addition to his blogging and vlogging, he has sold footage to MSM outlets and published articles for the Haight Ashbury Beat (yeah I hear you snickering, but it looks like a legit community paper). The SF Chronicle and the NY Times both label him a journalist in recent articles. Although there’s no official designation of who is a journo, by an reasonable standard, it seems to me Josh qualifies. It might be a tougher call if he was just a guy with a blog who wrote about what kind of cereal he had for breakfast, but that’s not what he is.”

    While the US Justice department pursues this case, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (the owners of the squad car in question) have passed a resolution SUPPORTING Josh.

    Furthermore, there is some question as to whether or not a squad car actually was torched — according to Reports Sans frontieres:

    “Wolf filmed the demonstrations in the Mission District of San Francisco in July 2005. He posted his footage on his website and it was aired by Kron TV, an independent news station. After circulating on the Internet, it was picked up by local affiliates of national TV networks.

    After seeing the published footage, assistant US attorney Jeffrey Finigan asked Wolf to hand over all of the unedited footage he had shot of the incident. The government assertion’s is that someone attempted to set a police car on fire. Wolf denied having any more detailed footage of the object of the investigation or witnessing the alleged incident. He insisted that he was anyway protected by a Californian shield law under which journalists have the right both to protect the confidentiality of their sources and to refuse to surrender unpublished material and notes.”

    Its good to do a little research before throwing around opinions about what happened, why, whats in the tapes, is Josh a journalist or not, are bloggers journalists… I find it strange to see the vitriol from people who clearly didn’t bother to look into the background of this issue.

  129. I wonder if some of the people who are harping about Josh not being a journalist have investigated the matter? Some of the video in question was run on a local television station (KRON). Johnny Goldstein wrote a comment on Jeff Jarvis’ blog as he actuall met Josh and thus knows his background. Goldstein writes:

    “Whatever the legal and moral questions here, I think it’s safe to say Josh can be designated a journalist. He’s just out of college, and while he was there he wrote for the student newspaper. Since graduating in addition to his blogging and vlogging, he has sold footage to MSM outlets and published articles for the Haight Ashbury Beat (yeah I hear you snickering, but it looks like a legit community paper). The SF Chronicle and the NY Times both label him a journalist in recent articles. Although there’s no official designation of who is a journo, by an reasonable standard, it seems to me Josh qualifies. It might be a tougher call if he was just a guy with a blog who wrote about what kind of cereal he had for breakfast, but that’s not what he is.”

    While the US Justice department pursues this case, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (the owners of the squad car in question) have passed a resolution SUPPORTING Josh.

    Furthermore, there is some question as to whether or not a squad car actually was torched — according to Reports Sans frontieres:

    “Wolf filmed the demonstrations in the Mission District of San Francisco in July 2005. He posted his footage on his website and it was aired by Kron TV, an independent news station. After circulating on the Internet, it was picked up by local affiliates of national TV networks.

    After seeing the published footage, assistant US attorney Jeffrey Finigan asked Wolf to hand over all of the unedited footage he had shot of the incident. The government assertion’s is that someone attempted to set a police car on fire. Wolf denied having any more detailed footage of the object of the investigation or witnessing the alleged incident. He insisted that he was anyway protected by a Californian shield law under which journalists have the right both to protect the confidentiality of their sources and to refuse to surrender unpublished material and notes.”

    Its good to do a little research before throwing around opinions about what happened, why, whats in the tapes, is Josh a journalist or not, are bloggers journalists… I find it strange to see the vitriol from people who clearly didn’t bother to look into the background of this issue.

  130. Do you really believe that every Mom, Pop and Teeny Bopper with a videocam or cellphone camera is a journalist, Ted? If anything, the fact that Wolf is willing to profit from footage he has shot, but not to support the societal goal of fair administration of justice, casts him an even more negative light. Kind of weird for an anarchist who hates big business and The Man, isn’t it? How can someone who is pocketing presidents from Rupert Murdoch claim to be against the system?

    I did look into the background of the situation. Josh is one of those shrill, shrieking ALF/ELF types in love with his own rhetoric. No legitimate press would print anything he writes because it is advocacy, not journalism. But, I’m sure he is popular at Indymedia. His mother, who has taken over his blog, is actually denying that a police car was set on fire during the demonstration. I guess a dodgy relationship with reality runs in the family.

    I am going to predict that if Lil’ Josh continues his histrionics he will become just as much a caricature as Tre Arrow.

  131. Do you really believe that every Mom, Pop and Teeny Bopper with a videocam or cellphone camera is a journalist, Ted? If anything, the fact that Wolf is willing to profit from footage he has shot, but not to support the societal goal of fair administration of justice, casts him an even more negative light. Kind of weird for an anarchist who hates big business and The Man, isn’t it? How can someone who is pocketing presidents from Rupert Murdoch claim to be against the system?

    I did look into the background of the situation. Josh is one of those shrill, shrieking ALF/ELF types in love with his own rhetoric. No legitimate press would print anything he writes because it is advocacy, not journalism. But, I’m sure he is popular at Indymedia. His mother, who has taken over his blog, is actually denying that a police car was set on fire during the demonstration. I guess a dodgy relationship with reality runs in the family.

    I am going to predict that if Lil’ Josh continues his histrionics he will become just as much a caricature as Tre Arrow.

  132. Again, until any and all random bloggers that want to can get press passes to major sporting events or the White House press room, by most anyone’s definition (except the Bizzaro world Scoble lives in) they are not journalists.

    And based on the comments above about how Josh as used his video, he’s nothing short of a hypocrite.

    And no one has made a compelling case, based on facts, for why the govt wants the unedited tapes beyond obtaining more evidence to prosecute those responsible for torching he police cruiser. Any theories beyond that is merely 60′s era paranoia of “the man”

    God, Scoble! Sometimes you sound just like Jerry Fletcher. I guess if you keep it up, ONE of your conspiracy theories will eventually stick. But, one would expect more rational thought and reasoning from someone of your purported background.

  133. Again, until any and all random bloggers that want to can get press passes to major sporting events or the White House press room, by most anyone’s definition (except the Bizzaro world Scoble lives in) they are not journalists.

    And based on the comments above about how Josh as used his video, he’s nothing short of a hypocrite.

    And no one has made a compelling case, based on facts, for why the govt wants the unedited tapes beyond obtaining more evidence to prosecute those responsible for torching he police cruiser. Any theories beyond that is merely 60′s era paranoia of “the man”

    God, Scoble! Sometimes you sound just like Jerry Fletcher. I guess if you keep it up, ONE of your conspiracy theories will eventually stick. But, one would expect more rational thought and reasoning from someone of your purported background.

  134. LayZ: there have been several bloggers who’ve gotten access to those types of things — and that kind of journalism is only .01% of what’s in your local newspaper, so that isn’t how we define journalism. Of course not everyone, but I’ve seen rafts of bloggers get into the political conventions and a few have gotten into the white house press room.

    From what Josh told me there isn’t any more footage of the cruiser being vandalized beyond what he’s already made available. So, what else do they want to see on those tapes?

  135. LayZ: there have been several bloggers who’ve gotten access to those types of things — and that kind of journalism is only .01% of what’s in your local newspaper, so that isn’t how we define journalism. Of course not everyone, but I’ve seen rafts of bloggers get into the political conventions and a few have gotten into the white house press room.

    From what Josh told me there isn’t any more footage of the cruiser being vandalized beyond what he’s already made available. So, what else do they want to see on those tapes?

  136. did you go to journalism school? If not, why should we listen to you tell anyone what a journalist is?

    No, I didn’t. However, I haven’t, nor will I ever, claim that because I have a blog, I am therefore, somehow automatically considered a “journalist“. Columnist, perhaps.

    If bloggers are considered journalists, then how do we determine from where is a reliable source for news? Anyone can have a blog. Does that mean that we should trust anyone with a blog, to tell the story, unbiased, unabridged, and with only the facts?

    When is the last time you have read a blog, like I have described above? Never! If it is the news, it is the news+the added perspective of opinion.

    I realize that columnists can be considered journalists. Take Bill O’Reilly for example. But I don’t go to Bill O’Reilly to get the news. And he happens to be a professional in a business. So is Dan Rather (for those who hate O’Reilly, and sometimes you can go to Rather for the news, except during election years).

    This is what separates blogs from the actual news, and what we in America [normally] define as journalism.

    It is someone who is hired by a reputable source, like a newspaper, a magazine, or a television/radio show. Even nowadays Internet shows.

    But this is totally different from someone’s self-proclamation, of all of a sudden, somehow being a journalist, just because they videotaped something which may be newsworthy.

    The simple fact is, the court and federal authorities have reason to believe that this guy witnessed a felony arson, and has documented proof of it, on his videotape.

    This guy can refuse to hand it over, all he wants, for all I care. But I don’t sympathize with someone who wouldn’t have automatically called the police after knowingly witnessed an arson, especially one to public property.

    I think it is fairly obvious, that this guy really wants to be a journalist, and is enjoying his little 15 minutes of fame in all of this. However, I think it is a bit embarrassing.

    Robert, you claim that a 12 yo girl can be considered a journalist. But isn’t this totally reckless when it comes to law? Where is the line drawn?

    Are we actually going to allow ourselves to become this careless with information?

    The press brings us the news every day. We trust that these people are telling the truth. We consider them reliable. This is because these people actually have to answer to someone. Yes, money talks, and B.S. walks.

    A blogger (as a journalist, as you put it), has nobody to answer to. Therefore he/she can get away with all types of wacky and outrageous, ridiculous things, and has to answer to nobody. There is nobody to fire he/she. And there are many, who are dull enough to believe anything, no matter how outrageous the subject matter may be.

    We have to draw the line somewhere.

    This is obviously a hot debate, that will undoubtedly, become the subject of public debate, far outside of this particular case.

    If this guy is a journalist fine. However, does this young man actually have the audience to be considered a journalist? Perhaps this is how we can measure whether or not a blogger can be considered a journalist. If he has a million readers, then obviously, he has the credibility to be considered a journalist. But if he is just picking up a camera, recording his life, or whatever he sees, uploading it to youtube, then adding a bit of commentary, to it, it is not journalism. There is another word for it: blogging! Or in his case vlogging (whatever). I will appropriately refer him to the television channel Current.

    And Robert, if I hurt your wittle feewings, I’m so sooorry. :(

    And dude, I’m kidding around with you. Please don’t take it seriously if I throw a little insult or a yo mamma joke your way. Lighten up, man. Have a sense of humor.

    You are an actual author. I consider you to be credible. I would probably even acknowledge you as a journalist, if that is what you intend to be portrayed as in your blog. If I really thought you were an idiot, I wouldn’t have subscribed to you to begin with, and would have never seen this post. In other words, let’s squash the beef, bro.

    That doesn’t mean that I agree with you though. I think that you are totally wrong about this.

    I believe very strongly in freedoms and liberties. I believe that the press should be able to write stories without fear. You may have gotten the wrong idea about me, since I happen to be a proud, flag-waving Patriot. There was a time, when people saw this as a good thing. The America that I know, love, and fight for, enjoys all of the liberties granted under the Constitution.

    I firmly believe in freedom of the press, and freedom of speech.

    I do not feel that this example falls into that category of freedom of the press, because 1) the guy isn’t the press, and 2) the court has given him an order to see the tape and he refuses to comply with a court order. I do not feel sorry for him, because he is not within the protection of the law, therefore, subject to be held in contempt of court for obstruction of justice –of a felony arson of public (taxpayer paid) property.

    He taped an anarchist march (riot), and didn’t even have the decency, as a citizen, to let the authorities know that he witnessed a crime.

    And to all of those who are trying to make this political, that is just, absurd!

    Like I said, when I see crap, I’m gonna say something. That is part of blogging (and perhaps journalism). Ah geez, now I’m a journalist!

    I think I may have the solution. Instead of jail, he ought to just have to sit in one of these for a day! ;)

  137. did you go to journalism school? If not, why should we listen to you tell anyone what a journalist is?

    No, I didn’t. However, I haven’t, nor will I ever, claim that because I have a blog, I am therefore, somehow automatically considered a “journalist“. Columnist, perhaps.

    If bloggers are considered journalists, then how do we determine from where is a reliable source for news? Anyone can have a blog. Does that mean that we should trust anyone with a blog, to tell the story, unbiased, unabridged, and with only the facts?

    When is the last time you have read a blog, like I have described above? Never! If it is the news, it is the news+the added perspective of opinion.

    I realize that columnists can be considered journalists. Take Bill O’Reilly for example. But I don’t go to Bill O’Reilly to get the news. And he happens to be a professional in a business. So is Dan Rather (for those who hate O’Reilly, and sometimes you can go to Rather for the news, except during election years).

    This is what separates blogs from the actual news, and what we in America [normally] define as journalism.

    It is someone who is hired by a reputable source, like a newspaper, a magazine, or a television/radio show. Even nowadays Internet shows.

    But this is totally different from someone’s self-proclamation, of all of a sudden, somehow being a journalist, just because they videotaped something which may be newsworthy.

    The simple fact is, the court and federal authorities have reason to believe that this guy witnessed a felony arson, and has documented proof of it, on his videotape.

    This guy can refuse to hand it over, all he wants, for all I care. But I don’t sympathize with someone who wouldn’t have automatically called the police after knowingly witnessed an arson, especially one to public property.

    I think it is fairly obvious, that this guy really wants to be a journalist, and is enjoying his little 15 minutes of fame in all of this. However, I think it is a bit embarrassing.

    Robert, you claim that a 12 yo girl can be considered a journalist. But isn’t this totally reckless when it comes to law? Where is the line drawn?

    Are we actually going to allow ourselves to become this careless with information?

    The press brings us the news every day. We trust that these people are telling the truth. We consider them reliable. This is because these people actually have to answer to someone. Yes, money talks, and B.S. walks.

    A blogger (as a journalist, as you put it), has nobody to answer to. Therefore he/she can get away with all types of wacky and outrageous, ridiculous things, and has to answer to nobody. There is nobody to fire he/she. And there are many, who are dull enough to believe anything, no matter how outrageous the subject matter may be.

    We have to draw the line somewhere.

    This is obviously a hot debate, that will undoubtedly, become the subject of public debate, far outside of this particular case.

    If this guy is a journalist fine. However, does this young man actually have the audience to be considered a journalist? Perhaps this is how we can measure whether or not a blogger can be considered a journalist. If he has a million readers, then obviously, he has the credibility to be considered a journalist. But if he is just picking up a camera, recording his life, or whatever he sees, uploading it to youtube, then adding a bit of commentary, to it, it is not journalism. There is another word for it: blogging! Or in his case vlogging (whatever). I will appropriately refer him to the television channel Current.

    And Robert, if I hurt your wittle feewings, I’m so sooorry. :(

    And dude, I’m kidding around with you. Please don’t take it seriously if I throw a little insult or a yo mamma joke your way. Lighten up, man. Have a sense of humor.

    You are an actual author. I consider you to be credible. I would probably even acknowledge you as a journalist, if that is what you intend to be portrayed as in your blog. If I really thought you were an idiot, I wouldn’t have subscribed to you to begin with, and would have never seen this post. In other words, let’s squash the beef, bro.

    That doesn’t mean that I agree with you though. I think that you are totally wrong about this.

    I believe very strongly in freedoms and liberties. I believe that the press should be able to write stories without fear. You may have gotten the wrong idea about me, since I happen to be a proud, flag-waving Patriot. There was a time, when people saw this as a good thing. The America that I know, love, and fight for, enjoys all of the liberties granted under the Constitution.

    I firmly believe in freedom of the press, and freedom of speech.

    I do not feel that this example falls into that category of freedom of the press, because 1) the guy isn’t the press, and 2) the court has given him an order to see the tape and he refuses to comply with a court order. I do not feel sorry for him, because he is not within the protection of the law, therefore, subject to be held in contempt of court for obstruction of justice –of a felony arson of public (taxpayer paid) property.

    He taped an anarchist march (riot), and didn’t even have the decency, as a citizen, to let the authorities know that he witnessed a crime.

    And to all of those who are trying to make this political, that is just, absurd!

    Like I said, when I see crap, I’m gonna say something. That is part of blogging (and perhaps journalism). Ah geez, now I’m a journalist!

    I think I may have the solution. Instead of jail, he ought to just have to sit in one of these for a day! ;)

  138. Many people are supporting Josh Wolf, the videoblogger who is in jail for contempt of a federal grand jury in San Francisco. . In Wolf’s case, his video outtakes just might have images of people the government can accuse of attacking a police car. Attacking a police car in rage at police beating demonstrators, who were protesting a war they believe is unjust. I think he is doing the right thing by refusing to go along with the federal grand jury.

    The grand jury is a secret proceeding where you sit in front of a panel of grand jurors (without a lawyer or public audience) and answer questions posed to you by a prosecutor. The grand jurors are usually retired people or others with a lot of free time—statistically likely to believe what the government says without much question. The grand jury proceeds by compelling a citizen to answer questions in their investigation of an alleged crime. The grand jury proceeding is not protected by constitutional rights of free speech or the right not to incriminate yourself. In a situation where your refusal is based
    on the possibility that your testimony might incriminate you, the grand jury can give you immunity from prosecution if you will name names. The grand jury insists you answer; if you refuse, the presiding judge can jail you–presumably until you do answer, or until the term of the grand jury expires. Grand juries usually have a term of about 18 months, and are often extended.

    In the current war atmosphere, many Arab and Muslim people (and the Earth First activists who liberate bunnies) have been jailed for contempt of the grand jury. Hundreds of people have been jailed by grand juries, and in most cases there is no way to contest
    the whole proceeding. Grand juries are frequently witch hunts going after whoever the present government wants to shut up. Being a citizen journalist is not really the shield we’d like to think it is. Any person–Judith Miller, for example– is grist for the apparatus.

    The Bush administration wants to suppress anti-war sentiment. They would like to brand all anti-war protesters as disloyal or criminal, and they look for ways to silence leaders and journalists and as many people as they can plausibly accuse of wrong-doing. Judith Miller might have been protecting the rights of journalists, but she was shielding government officials who were trying to smear their own former ambassador who blew the whistle on lies about Iraq WMDs. In Josh Wolf’s case, his video outtakes just might have images of people the government can accuse of attacking a police car. Wolf did not video the attack on the police car, he might have shots of crowds who later that day might have been part of the attack. Nobody knows, and in cases like this it is not just standing up to a principle to refuse to hand over his tapes. Even for people who support the war in Iraq, the issue is how far the government should go to shut up those who disagree with their policies. Saying no helps encourage others to say no to injustices when they happen.

    For this reason, people of all kinds have kind of come to consensus that the best strategy to fight this repressive proceeding is to refuse to testify. Refusing means the grand jury can’t use you to build their case. It means a sacrifice, but it helps protect others and helps build a movement against abuse of power. It’s not true that the government always wins. In many of the grand jury controversies, the mobilization of people to stand up and say “no” has stopped the witch hunt. That is what Josh Wolf is doing.

  139. Many people are supporting Josh Wolf, the videoblogger who is in jail for contempt of a federal grand jury in San Francisco. . In Wolf’s case, his video outtakes just might have images of people the government can accuse of attacking a police car. Attacking a police car in rage at police beating demonstrators, who were protesting a war they believe is unjust. I think he is doing the right thing by refusing to go along with the federal grand jury.

    The grand jury is a secret proceeding where you sit in front of a panel of grand jurors (without a lawyer or public audience) and answer questions posed to you by a prosecutor. The grand jurors are usually retired people or others with a lot of free time—statistically likely to believe what the government says without much question. The grand jury proceeds by compelling a citizen to answer questions in their investigation of an alleged crime. The grand jury proceeding is not protected by constitutional rights of free speech or the right not to incriminate yourself. In a situation where your refusal is based
    on the possibility that your testimony might incriminate you, the grand jury can give you immunity from prosecution if you will name names. The grand jury insists you answer; if you refuse, the presiding judge can jail you–presumably until you do answer, or until the term of the grand jury expires. Grand juries usually have a term of about 18 months, and are often extended.

    In the current war atmosphere, many Arab and Muslim people (and the Earth First activists who liberate bunnies) have been jailed for contempt of the grand jury. Hundreds of people have been jailed by grand juries, and in most cases there is no way to contest
    the whole proceeding. Grand juries are frequently witch hunts going after whoever the present government wants to shut up. Being a citizen journalist is not really the shield we’d like to think it is. Any person–Judith Miller, for example– is grist for the apparatus.

    The Bush administration wants to suppress anti-war sentiment. They would like to brand all anti-war protesters as disloyal or criminal, and they look for ways to silence leaders and journalists and as many people as they can plausibly accuse of wrong-doing. Judith Miller might have been protecting the rights of journalists, but she was shielding government officials who were trying to smear their own former ambassador who blew the whistle on lies about Iraq WMDs. In Josh Wolf’s case, his video outtakes just might have images of people the government can accuse of attacking a police car. Wolf did not video the attack on the police car, he might have shots of crowds who later that day might have been part of the attack. Nobody knows, and in cases like this it is not just standing up to a principle to refuse to hand over his tapes. Even for people who support the war in Iraq, the issue is how far the government should go to shut up those who disagree with their policies. Saying no helps encourage others to say no to injustices when they happen.

    For this reason, people of all kinds have kind of come to consensus that the best strategy to fight this repressive proceeding is to refuse to testify. Refusing means the grand jury can’t use you to build their case. It means a sacrifice, but it helps protect others and helps build a movement against abuse of power. It’s not true that the government always wins. In many of the grand jury controversies, the mobilization of people to stand up and say “no” has stopped the witch hunt. That is what Josh Wolf is doing.

  140. As others have said I do not believe that the real issue is whether Josh Wolf is right or whether he may be considered a journalist, but at which level of jurisdiction this should be dealt with. I am deeply concerned by this tendency of central governments/jurisdictions – be it in Washington DC, Brussels or Berne – to grasp more and more powers and end up finding ways to declare everything a federal (or here in the EU: a European) matter. This undermines the whole principle of subsidiarity, decentralization, separation of powers and limited government upon which the countries of the free world are supposed to be built. And – regarding comment #27 – yes, this is – alas – not the only case, and the left certainly has to take the lion’s share of the blame for this dangerous tendency, but this does not make it any better. I believe the American constitution is the best in the world and deserves to be taken seriously – the way it is misinterpreted today by the feds, Thomas Jefferson would turn in his grave. A European libertarian/small-government conservative (yes, we do exist ;-))

  141. As others have said I do not believe that the real issue is whether Josh Wolf is right or whether he may be considered a journalist, but at which level of jurisdiction this should be dealt with. I am deeply concerned by this tendency of central governments/jurisdictions – be it in Washington DC, Brussels or Berne – to grasp more and more powers and end up finding ways to declare everything a federal (or here in the EU: a European) matter. This undermines the whole principle of subsidiarity, decentralization, separation of powers and limited government upon which the countries of the free world are supposed to be built. And – regarding comment #27 – yes, this is – alas – not the only case, and the left certainly has to take the lion’s share of the blame for this dangerous tendency, but this does not make it any better. I believe the American constitution is the best in the world and deserves to be taken seriously – the way it is misinterpreted today by the feds, Thomas Jefferson would turn in his grave. A European libertarian/small-government conservative (yes, we do exist ;-))

  142. I love the spin…

    “refusing to turn over videotape of a San Francisco protest.”

    More like:

    “refusing to turn over videotape of people destroying a police car which is a federal crime.”

  143. I love the spin…

    “refusing to turn over videotape of a San Francisco protest.”

    More like:

    “refusing to turn over videotape of people destroying a police car which is a federal crime.”

  144. I think it comes down to a few simple facts:
    * the shield law is to cover confidential sources and information; and
    * the actions happened in public and therefore is not confidential.

    The fact that it is footage of a crime being committed is irrelevant since the shield laws would probably protect the breaking of other laws (think of a reporter doing an expose into drug dealing)… but getting the footage from a security camera in front of a gas station would be different.

    The interesting part will be to see where the 9th Circuit comes down on this. In the past, they’ve tended to side with the ever-encroaching power of the gov at any level they can.

  145. I think it comes down to a few simple facts:
    * the shield law is to cover confidential sources and information; and
    * the actions happened in public and therefore is not confidential.

    The fact that it is footage of a crime being committed is irrelevant since the shield laws would probably protect the breaking of other laws (think of a reporter doing an expose into drug dealing)… but getting the footage from a security camera in front of a gas station would be different.

    The interesting part will be to see where the 9th Circuit comes down on this. In the past, they’ve tended to side with the ever-encroaching power of the gov at any level they can.

  146. @85. Fred, you are another one jumping to paranoid conclusions for this specific case. You may THINK you no the motives of the govt, but you have no facts on which to base those opinions. Only your unwarranted paranoia about what “the administration” my think about protestors. As for what they are looking for, who’s to say they are not looking for the cops who you say allegedly beat protesters. Wouldn’t it be nice to have evidence of that as well? A crime is a crime. Let’s get the evidence of all the crimes. Seems Josh is not interested is that, but rather more interested in getting noteriety.

    And Scoble, I’d like the names of these bloggers you say have had access to the White House Press room. I mean, if you are going to throw me the likes of Michele Malkin or other columnist that also blog, then you haven’t met my criteria. I want examples of bloggers sitting in the basements of their parents homes eating their Doritos, drinking their Mountain Dews that have been able to get press passes to the Super Bowl, or The White House.

  147. @85. Fred, you are another one jumping to paranoid conclusions for this specific case. You may THINK you no the motives of the govt, but you have no facts on which to base those opinions. Only your unwarranted paranoia about what “the administration” my think about protestors. As for what they are looking for, who’s to say they are not looking for the cops who you say allegedly beat protesters. Wouldn’t it be nice to have evidence of that as well? A crime is a crime. Let’s get the evidence of all the crimes. Seems Josh is not interested is that, but rather more interested in getting noteriety.

    And Scoble, I’d like the names of these bloggers you say have had access to the White House Press room. I mean, if you are going to throw me the likes of Michele Malkin or other columnist that also blog, then you haven’t met my criteria. I want examples of bloggers sitting in the basements of their parents homes eating their Doritos, drinking their Mountain Dews that have been able to get press passes to the Super Bowl, or The White House.

  148. @90, You mean like removing “God” from the Pledge of Allegiance? Actually I would bet the Ninth Circuit court would side with the wannabe journalist given their history. If they can find a new law to make up in their ruling, they’ll go out of their way to do it.

  149. @90, You mean like removing “God” from the Pledge of Allegiance? Actually I would bet the Ninth Circuit court would side with the wannabe journalist given their history. If they can find a new law to make up in their ruling, they’ll go out of their way to do it.

  150. And by Josh saying what is NOT on the tape pretty makes his shield law defense moot now. He’s given the public hints of what the tapes contain. I thought he was trying to “maintain the confidentiality of… unpublished information obtained during ‘newsgathering’”? If they was the case, why did he tell you what was NOT on the tapes. Should he have said he couldn’t tell you what’s not on the tapes.

    Careful now. You now have evidence relevant to the case. Are you going to put on your “journalist” hat?

  151. And by Josh saying what is NOT on the tape pretty makes his shield law defense moot now. He’s given the public hints of what the tapes contain. I thought he was trying to “maintain the confidentiality of… unpublished information obtained during ‘newsgathering’”? If they was the case, why did he tell you what was NOT on the tapes. Should he have said he couldn’t tell you what’s not on the tapes.

    Careful now. You now have evidence relevant to the case. Are you going to put on your “journalist” hat?

  152. Comment 92:
    LayZ(a very ironic and appropriate name) is especially good at spinning this conversation.
    It’s classic neocon style. Lazy is tres Fox-xy.
    You and others belittle Scoble and try to shame him for having his opinions. What is this? 5th grade?

    The issue is not that Josh Wolf is protecting a confidential source. Josh is defending his right to not hand over unpublished notes.
    http://tinyurl.com/jja4p
    (please actually read the article)

    You keep saying he is hiding evidence of a crime.
    He says he does not have any recording of a crime.
    Josh has offered to let the judge view the tapes to see the truth…which the judge has refused to do.
    If the government is really interested in just seeing if there’s evidence of a crime…the solution is simple. Because the judge refuses to scan the tapes privately….it leaves open the question: what are the government’s true motives?

    You say that Josh and others are simply paranoid of the Government….that there is no proof that the government will use his personal video tapes other than to see if there’s a crime.
    Here is proof of Federal and local law enforcement agencies recently using videotapes to create databases of protesters.
    –http://tinyurl.com/fzwby
    –http://www.citybeat.com/2001-04-05/cover.shtml
    –http://tinyurl.com/73vx
    Please refute real evidence.

    LayZ, what we’re talking about is setting precedent.
    This court decision affects you as well.
    You make clear you disagree with Josh’s politics, so “fuck him”. (good thing you aren’t a judge)
    But what happens when there’s a change of administration that doesn’t agree with your poltics.
    And this new Administartion has proven to harass and monitor protestors who you support.
    You go to record a protest of your people….and then this opposing administration wants your tapes because of some crime they say happened. will you want to give them up? will these rights then matter to you?
    Be objective and stop spinning the argument.

  153. Comment 92:
    LayZ(a very ironic and appropriate name) is especially good at spinning this conversation.
    It’s classic neocon style. Lazy is tres Fox-xy.
    You and others belittle Scoble and try to shame him for having his opinions. What is this? 5th grade?

    The issue is not that Josh Wolf is protecting a confidential source. Josh is defending his right to not hand over unpublished notes.
    http://tinyurl.com/jja4p
    (please actually read the article)

    You keep saying he is hiding evidence of a crime.
    He says he does not have any recording of a crime.
    Josh has offered to let the judge view the tapes to see the truth…which the judge has refused to do.
    If the government is really interested in just seeing if there’s evidence of a crime…the solution is simple. Because the judge refuses to scan the tapes privately….it leaves open the question: what are the government’s true motives?

    You say that Josh and others are simply paranoid of the Government….that there is no proof that the government will use his personal video tapes other than to see if there’s a crime.
    Here is proof of Federal and local law enforcement agencies recently using videotapes to create databases of protesters.
    –http://tinyurl.com/fzwby
    –http://www.citybeat.com/2001-04-05/cover.shtml
    –http://tinyurl.com/73vx
    Please refute real evidence.

    LayZ, what we’re talking about is setting precedent.
    This court decision affects you as well.
    You make clear you disagree with Josh’s politics, so “fuck him”. (good thing you aren’t a judge)
    But what happens when there’s a change of administration that doesn’t agree with your poltics.
    And this new Administartion has proven to harass and monitor protestors who you support.
    You go to record a protest of your people….and then this opposing administration wants your tapes because of some crime they say happened. will you want to give them up? will these rights then matter to you?
    Be objective and stop spinning the argument.

  154. A new SF editorial sums up the argument clearly: http://tinyurl.com/hy87c

    “But the really ominous element of the government’s argument is the notion that a journalist can be compelled to turn over raw material — be it notes or video outtakes — at the government’s whim. If that standard can apply to Josh Wolf, it can be used against CNN, NBC, Fox News or any independent journalist who is conducting an investigation or trying to record a chaotic event. Journalists are not agents of the government.”

    This should matter to anyone of us reguardless of your political persuasion. (i thought the right wingers loved less government control?)

  155. A new SF editorial sums up the argument clearly: http://tinyurl.com/hy87c

    “But the really ominous element of the government’s argument is the notion that a journalist can be compelled to turn over raw material — be it notes or video outtakes — at the government’s whim. If that standard can apply to Josh Wolf, it can be used against CNN, NBC, Fox News or any independent journalist who is conducting an investigation or trying to record a chaotic event. Journalists are not agents of the government.”

    This should matter to anyone of us reguardless of your political persuasion. (i thought the right wingers loved less government control?)

  156. @93.And I hope any self respecting journalist that had evidence of a crime being committed would turn over that evidence without having to be compelled to do so.

    For the record, I’m not going to lose any sleep over your paranoid theories.

  157. @93.And I hope any self respecting journalist that had evidence of a crime being committed would turn over that evidence without having to be compelled to do so.

    For the record, I’m not going to lose any sleep over your paranoid theories.

  158. “For the record, I’m not going to lose any sleep over your paranoid theories.”

    Ladies and Gentlemen, LayZ has just left the building.
    Real conversation, evidence, and reality become too much.

  159. “For the record, I’m not going to lose any sleep over your paranoid theories.”

    Ladies and Gentlemen, LayZ has just left the building.
    Real conversation, evidence, and reality become too much.

  160. Jay, the editorial you cited ignores the established criteria for shield laws, i.e., being a journalist, having a source, information that is confidential. Since none of those criteria apply in Lil’ Josh’s case, as I’ve said several times, he hasn’t a leg to stand on legally. A spectator at public event has no right to withhold information from a grand jury.

  161. Jay, the editorial you cited ignores the established criteria for shield laws, i.e., being a journalist, having a source, information that is confidential. Since none of those criteria apply in Lil’ Josh’s case, as I’ve said several times, he hasn’t a leg to stand on legally. A spectator at public event has no right to withhold information from a grand jury.

  162. Podesta, you are mistaken in the case of the California Shield law. Under this law, the state cannot compell handing over of unpublished notes or media from a journalist. It’s not required that he be protecting confidential sources or information. It covers the following unpublished information (I copied this from hefirstamendment.org/shieldlaw.html)

    * Specific information obtained during newsgathering but not disclosed to the public
    * Includes “all notes, outlines, photographs, tapes or other data of whatever sort”
    * Includes newsgatherer’s eyewitness observations in a public place
    * Applies even if published information was based upon or related to unpublished intormation

    As to whether Josh should be considered a journalist, he has contributed to a couple of newspapers and sold
    his footage to news programs, including some of the footage in question. The law includes freelancers, so
    under it, he’s covered….if the jurisdiction is the state of California.

    It’s true that Josh is currently being
    held in contempt by a federal court, and there is no federal shield law, but there is a lot of debate as to whether the feds should have juridiction here.

    So whether Josh “Has a leg to stand on legally” depends on whether the Feds remain successful in asserting their jurisdiction.

  163. Podesta, you are mistaken in the case of the California Shield law. Under this law, the state cannot compell handing over of unpublished notes or media from a journalist. It’s not required that he be protecting confidential sources or information. It covers the following unpublished information (I copied this from hefirstamendment.org/shieldlaw.html)

    * Specific information obtained during newsgathering but not disclosed to the public
    * Includes “all notes, outlines, photographs, tapes or other data of whatever sort”
    * Includes newsgatherer’s eyewitness observations in a public place
    * Applies even if published information was based upon or related to unpublished intormation

    As to whether Josh should be considered a journalist, he has contributed to a couple of newspapers and sold
    his footage to news programs, including some of the footage in question. The law includes freelancers, so
    under it, he’s covered….if the jurisdiction is the state of California.

    It’s true that Josh is currently being
    held in contempt by a federal court, and there is no federal shield law, but there is a lot of debate as to whether the feds should have juridiction here.

    So whether Josh “Has a leg to stand on legally” depends on whether the Feds remain successful in asserting their jurisdiction.

  164. It was amazing to see, as I read through all these comments, just how many people are so ready and willing to give up their rights and freedoms. The checks and balances that helped to make this great country the place that it is. If things keep going the way they have the past few years, I see us headed for police state rule. Some of the very things we use to fight against. It is pitiful to see in their comments, their weakness to stand up for the rights to keep these checks and balances. To be so ready to bow down to what ever the current government demands, with out questioning anything.

    If some of these weak minded characters, with the inability to look at history and into the future, don’t start waking up, they will be paying more than just money for high gas prices. My grandchildren, children, me, my brothers and father, and many more of my relatives and ancestors served in our armed forces, many loosing their lives, that we might protect our country and the rights our forefathers had the insight to set up for us in this new great country, with the help of the LORD. That we would not have the persacution they fled from in the old world and like still exists in a lot of the lands across the seas.

    I extend a virtual hand of congrats and my hat is off to you….. Robert Scoble, Eddie Codel, Warwick, David Geller, Ted Shelton, Fred Eggan, Christian Flury, Jay Dedman, and Jonny Goldstein. In these years of trying times it gives me hope, to see people like you with the spirit of our forefathers standing up and fighting for this great country and our constitutional rights. Please keep this tourch lighted and pass it on so that we the people of the United States of America will not be oppressed, and governed and ruled with the iron hand that so many of the other countries are.

  165. It was amazing to see, as I read through all these comments, just how many people are so ready and willing to give up their rights and freedoms. The checks and balances that helped to make this great country the place that it is. If things keep going the way they have the past few years, I see us headed for police state rule. Some of the very things we use to fight against. It is pitiful to see in their comments, their weakness to stand up for the rights to keep these checks and balances. To be so ready to bow down to what ever the current government demands, with out questioning anything.

    If some of these weak minded characters, with the inability to look at history and into the future, don’t start waking up, they will be paying more than just money for high gas prices. My grandchildren, children, me, my brothers and father, and many more of my relatives and ancestors served in our armed forces, many loosing their lives, that we might protect our country and the rights our forefathers had the insight to set up for us in this new great country, with the help of the LORD. That we would not have the persacution they fled from in the old world and like still exists in a lot of the lands across the seas.

    I extend a virtual hand of congrats and my hat is off to you….. Robert Scoble, Eddie Codel, Warwick, David Geller, Ted Shelton, Fred Eggan, Christian Flury, Jay Dedman, and Jonny Goldstein. In these years of trying times it gives me hope, to see people like you with the spirit of our forefathers standing up and fighting for this great country and our constitutional rights. Please keep this tourch lighted and pass it on so that we the people of the United States of America will not be oppressed, and governed and ruled with the iron hand that so many of the other countries are.

  166. As much regard as I have for the “blogosphere”, we have to remember that *anyone* can create a website and blog in a matter of minutes (not *good* blog or website, admittedly). If being a blogger is the sole qualification for being a “journalist” and *every* “journalist’s” sources are to be protected, our system of criminal justice will grind to a halt pretty quickly. If SFPD gets Federal funding, I helped pay for that police car and I want the perps busted and busted hard. I have very high regard for our rights and freedoms, and they have no relationship to masked thugs riot and burn. “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.”

  167. As much regard as I have for the “blogosphere”, we have to remember that *anyone* can create a website and blog in a matter of minutes (not *good* blog or website, admittedly). If being a blogger is the sole qualification for being a “journalist” and *every* “journalist’s” sources are to be protected, our system of criminal justice will grind to a halt pretty quickly. If SFPD gets Federal funding, I helped pay for that police car and I want the perps busted and busted hard. I have very high regard for our rights and freedoms, and they have no relationship to masked thugs riot and burn. “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.”

  168. Jay, here is the California shield law:

    http://www.ppagla.org/documents/mediaguide/04shield.html

    It is more heavily oriented toward members of the press than most.

    The core problems are:

    1) Lil’ Josh was acting as a spectator,

    2) He was more than willing to profit by selling some of the same material he is now claiming is confidential, and

    3) In a balancing test, the right of a grand jury to discover information trumps that of a would-be ‘journalist’ to keep information secret.

    As I said before, I was a journalist before going to law school. I’ve given considerable thought to the issues involved.

    You are, of course, free to spend time and money helping some wealthy, spoiled white kid throw a very public temper tantrum. I prefer to give my sympathy, time and money to the disadvantaged.

  169. Jay, here is the California shield law:

    http://www.ppagla.org/documents/mediaguide/04shield.html

    It is more heavily oriented toward members of the press than most.

    The core problems are:

    1) Lil’ Josh was acting as a spectator,

    2) He was more than willing to profit by selling some of the same material he is now claiming is confidential, and

    3) In a balancing test, the right of a grand jury to discover information trumps that of a would-be ‘journalist’ to keep information secret.

    As I said before, I was a journalist before going to law school. I’ve given considerable thought to the issues involved.

    You are, of course, free to spend time and money helping some wealthy, spoiled white kid throw a very public temper tantrum. I prefer to give my sympathy, time and money to the disadvantaged.

  170. 1) Lil’ Josh was acting as a spectator,

    isnt this what a journalist does? youll never win the “what is a jounalist” argument. Its a person gathering information. If you do research, Josh works for a TV station and is very much a journalist.

    2) He was more than willing to profit by selling some of the same material he is now claiming is confidential, and

    again if you did research, you would know the details of the story. He posted the video to his own blog, and THEN saw the video on local news. So he sent them a bill to teach local TV stations they cant just take people’s work without compensation.

    3) In a balancing test, the right of a grand jury to discover information trumps that of a would-be ‘journalist’ to keep information secret.

    again, Josh has offered to let the Judge see the tapes and realize he does not have video of the attempted burning of a cop car (it did NOT burn down). The judge refuses…and you still refuse to discuss this fact.

    4)As I said before, I was a journalist before going to law school. I’ve given considerable thought to the issues involved.
    You are, of course, free to spend time and money helping some wealthy, spoiled white kid throw a very public temper tantrum. I prefer to give my sympathy, time and money to the disadvantaged.

    You continue to prove that you really haven’t invested time in learning the facts this particular case. Your own politics blind you to the facts. I’d love to get a link to your blog do we could figure out your world. Instead you are simply “Podesta”.

  171. 1) Lil’ Josh was acting as a spectator,

    isnt this what a journalist does? youll never win the “what is a jounalist” argument. Its a person gathering information. If you do research, Josh works for a TV station and is very much a journalist.

    2) He was more than willing to profit by selling some of the same material he is now claiming is confidential, and

    again if you did research, you would know the details of the story. He posted the video to his own blog, and THEN saw the video on local news. So he sent them a bill to teach local TV stations they cant just take people’s work without compensation.

    3) In a balancing test, the right of a grand jury to discover information trumps that of a would-be ‘journalist’ to keep information secret.

    again, Josh has offered to let the Judge see the tapes and realize he does not have video of the attempted burning of a cop car (it did NOT burn down). The judge refuses…and you still refuse to discuss this fact.

    4)As I said before, I was a journalist before going to law school. I’ve given considerable thought to the issues involved.
    You are, of course, free to spend time and money helping some wealthy, spoiled white kid throw a very public temper tantrum. I prefer to give my sympathy, time and money to the disadvantaged.

    You continue to prove that you really haven’t invested time in learning the facts this particular case. Your own politics blind you to the facts. I’d love to get a link to your blog do we could figure out your world. Instead you are simply “Podesta”.

  172. and here i was thinking that the san francisco tech scene was just one big upper-class whites-only pat-ourselves-on-the-back-for-whatever-fest, and come to find out that some dude is actually taking on the gubment instead of selling out. holy cow. it’s unbelievable.

    now what would *really* throw me for a loop is if the 18,000 cooler-than-thou san francisco bloggers/vbloggers/mashers/geekers actually threw a fundraiser party for this dude.

    redeem yourselves, Capitalists!

    but seriously, though, why did this dude have to all go gettin arrested and all that stuff? i mean, doesn’t he know i have a serious bandcamp or crapcamp or something or other to attend to this weekend? sheesh. some people are so inconsiderate.

  173. and here i was thinking that the san francisco tech scene was just one big upper-class whites-only pat-ourselves-on-the-back-for-whatever-fest, and come to find out that some dude is actually taking on the gubment instead of selling out. holy cow. it’s unbelievable.

    now what would *really* throw me for a loop is if the 18,000 cooler-than-thou san francisco bloggers/vbloggers/mashers/geekers actually threw a fundraiser party for this dude.

    redeem yourselves, Capitalists!

    but seriously, though, why did this dude have to all go gettin arrested and all that stuff? i mean, doesn’t he know i have a serious bandcamp or crapcamp or something or other to attend to this weekend? sheesh. some people are so inconsiderate.

  174. p.s. for all you freaks doing the government-worship thing, have a listen to what real cops really do for a living – terrorize people:

    Bad Cop, No Donut!
    http://www.badcopnodonut.fm/

    Y’all need to get a little perspective. Just because you’ve always done everything you’ve always been told doesn’t mean we all have or should have to. Somebody has to stand up for democracy. It sure as heck ain’t gonna be you fascist IRS lovers.

  175. p.s. for all you freaks doing the government-worship thing, have a listen to what real cops really do for a living – terrorize people:

    Bad Cop, No Donut!
    http://www.badcopnodonut.fm/

    Y’all need to get a little perspective. Just because you’ve always done everything you’ve always been told doesn’t mean we all have or should have to. Somebody has to stand up for democracy. It sure as heck ain’t gonna be you fascist IRS lovers.

  176. “Towards the end you see a supposedly Federal Marshal, gun drawn, with a laser guide, yelling ‘Leave or you’re going to be fucking blasted’.”

    a taser. not a gun. he was threatening to “blast” the rioter with a non-lethal device.

    what isn’t shown in the video is the situation prior to the federal agent and others rushed to the scene, wherein the officer was alone on the ground restraining a suspect while a knot of riotters gathered and attacked the officer with something which looked like a 2×4.

    you should be more honest.

  177. “Towards the end you see a supposedly Federal Marshal, gun drawn, with a laser guide, yelling ‘Leave or you’re going to be fucking blasted’.”

    a taser. not a gun. he was threatening to “blast” the rioter with a non-lethal device.

    what isn’t shown in the video is the situation prior to the federal agent and others rushed to the scene, wherein the officer was alone on the ground restraining a suspect while a knot of riotters gathered and attacked the officer with something which looked like a 2×4.

    you should be more honest.

  178. your right, you do not possess the right to defy a lawful subpoena, so it is not possible for you to give it away.

  179. your right, you do not possess the right to defy a lawful subpoena, so it is not possible for you to give it away.

  180. Hi, I was just released from prison this morning. I’m out on bail. I’m exhausted and don’t have the energy to really dive into the issues brought up in this thread, but I do want to point out that it would’ve been virtually impossible to enter the conversation from my cell. I had no computer access while I was in jail, and wasn’t even aware of this debate; so I think it’s unfari to criticize me for not entering the conversation to defent myself.

    I’m honored that Scoble’s post sparked such a fiery debate, and I look forward to engaging in an intelligent dialogue in the coming days and weeks.

  181. Hi, I was just released from prison this morning. I’m out on bail. I’m exhausted and don’t have the energy to really dive into the issues brought up in this thread, but I do want to point out that it would’ve been virtually impossible to enter the conversation from my cell. I had no computer access while I was in jail, and wasn’t even aware of this debate; so I think it’s unfari to criticize me for not entering the conversation to defent myself.

    I’m honored that Scoble’s post sparked such a fiery debate, and I look forward to engaging in an intelligent dialogue in the coming days and weeks.