Josh Wolf’s acceptance, from jail

Josh Wolf is the videoblogger who is in jail for refusing to hand over his videotapes to the Grand Jury. He won several awards tonight and didn’t get a chance to give an acceptance speech. So, his mom transcribed this and sent it to us, which I’m running here in full:

It seems like mere moments ago that I was here in this
venue for blogger con. I remember telling my story
about how the federal government was trying to send me
to prison for refusing to turn over my unpublished
material and testify in front of a grand jury for
asserting that I am a journalist, and for refusing to
be an agent for the government by providing
intelligence to aid in an anarchist witch hunt. Some
were shocked by my story, others were not surprised
that the government would go to such lengths, and
still others maintained disbelief, preferring to think
of me as the boy who cried wolf, rather than opening
themselves up to the idea that their government would
do such a thing.
That weekend at vlogger con was one of the best in my
life. It was euphoric getting to hang out and party
with so many stellar individuals, and I am
disheartened that I can only join you in sprit to
tonight. I’ve always heard that the best par t of
award shows are the after parties and I’m sure that it
will be a rocking good time. I’ll be there for the
next one.
Thanks for the awards guys. It feels good to know that
I’ve been able to stir up a bit of controversy in the
blogosphere and I’m touched by being awarded best male
blogger
I’d like to thank everyone who has blogged or vlogged
about my situation, whether you are in agreement with
what I’m doing or not, and I’d also like to thank
everyone who has supported me throughout this
endeavor, whether its through sending me books or
letters, donating money to my legal fund or helping
out with my blog, wiki or the various projects I’ve
been involved with.
Thank you all and have fun tonight I’ll be out soon
enough

Comments

  1. Josh rocks. Simply, he is standing up for his rights so you don’t have to. There’s solving a crime and there’s solving a crime while shitting on the Constitution. One of them is criminal.

  2. Josh rocks. Simply, he is standing up for his rights so you don’t have to. There’s solving a crime and there’s solving a crime while shitting on the Constitution. One of them is criminal.

  3. That’s really kind of you Robert to make people aware of Josh’s award win as well asw his predicament. All to often in this tech/software bubble I see that money drives a lot of heated discourse but so little about the fight that people like Josh are fighting for keeping the freedoms of speech that have been sadly diminished and removed in recent years. Habeas Corpus being one that doesn’t mean a lot to Silicon valley but sure would if this was the Wiemar Republic we were potentially facing. Which indeed we may be.

  4. That’s really kind of you Robert to make people aware of Josh’s award win as well asw his predicament. All to often in this tech/software bubble I see that money drives a lot of heated discourse but so little about the fight that people like Josh are fighting for keeping the freedoms of speech that have been sadly diminished and removed in recent years. Habeas Corpus being one that doesn’t mean a lot to Silicon valley but sure would if this was the Wiemar Republic we were potentially facing. Which indeed we may be.

  5. (my original comment was sarcasm)

    He’s not a reporter protecting a source. He’s someone who happened to videotape a crime on the street. There’s a huge difference.

    I wonder if the person who got assaulted was a blogger instead of a cop if the responses would be different?

    I sure hope if I ever got assaulted (and it was caught on video) that people would cooperate to prosecute the criminal, rather than the bullshit that’s surrounding this case.

  6. (my original comment was sarcasm)

    He’s not a reporter protecting a source. He’s someone who happened to videotape a crime on the street. There’s a huge difference.

    I wonder if the person who got assaulted was a blogger instead of a cop if the responses would be different?

    I sure hope if I ever got assaulted (and it was caught on video) that people would cooperate to prosecute the criminal, rather than the bullshit that’s surrounding this case.

  7. Aaron: You’ve got your facts wrong.

    1. Josh is a freelance reporter protecting unpublished material which is covered by the California Shield Law.

    2. Josh has said numerous times that he did not capture the police car vandalism or the assault on the officer. He has offered to show it to the judge whom declined.

  8. Aaron: You’ve got your facts wrong.

    1. Josh is a freelance reporter protecting unpublished material which is covered by the California Shield Law.

    2. Josh has said numerous times that he did not capture the police car vandalism or the assault on the officer. He has offered to show it to the judge whom declined.

  9. @7. What’s hard to believe? He’s being jailed for defyng FEDERAL court order. (Federal trumps state every time). There is no federal shield law.

    @9. Er…um.. actually that’s not accurate. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (a very liberal court, BTW) dismissed Wolf’s supposed credentials. The court said Wolf wouldn’t qualify for protection under California’s shield law because he wasn’t employed by a newspaper, magazine or wire service. Now, we can debate all we want the “new media” situation where anyone that has a keyboard can pawn themselves off as a journalist, but at the end of the day if you want to use CA shield laws it’s the courts you have to convince, and Wolf apparently failed to do that.

    Wolf’s “stand” is about as weak as these things get. He would have SOME sympathy from me if he was protecting some confidential source..but he’s not. He’s just being a moron.

    Finally, hard to go against precedent see: Brandenburg v Hayes 408 US 665. To wit:

    “The First Amendment does not relieve a newspaper reporter of the obligation that all citizens have to respond to a grand jury subpoena and answer questions relevant to a criminal investigation, and therefore the Amendment does not afford him a constitutional testimonial privilege for an agreement he makes to conceal facts relevant to a grand jury’s investigation of a crime or to conceal the criminal conduct of his source or evidence thereof”

    If you want to defend Wolf, at least do it from a legal position, not a position of paranoia.

  10. @7. What’s hard to believe? He’s being jailed for defyng FEDERAL court order. (Federal trumps state every time). There is no federal shield law.

    @9. Er…um.. actually that’s not accurate. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (a very liberal court, BTW) dismissed Wolf’s supposed credentials. The court said Wolf wouldn’t qualify for protection under California’s shield law because he wasn’t employed by a newspaper, magazine or wire service. Now, we can debate all we want the “new media” situation where anyone that has a keyboard can pawn themselves off as a journalist, but at the end of the day if you want to use CA shield laws it’s the courts you have to convince, and Wolf apparently failed to do that.

    Wolf’s “stand” is about as weak as these things get. He would have SOME sympathy from me if he was protecting some confidential source..but he’s not. He’s just being a moron.

    Finally, hard to go against precedent see: Brandenburg v Hayes 408 US 665. To wit:

    “The First Amendment does not relieve a newspaper reporter of the obligation that all citizens have to respond to a grand jury subpoena and answer questions relevant to a criminal investigation, and therefore the Amendment does not afford him a constitutional testimonial privilege for an agreement he makes to conceal facts relevant to a grand jury’s investigation of a crime or to conceal the criminal conduct of his source or evidence thereof”

    If you want to defend Wolf, at least do it from a legal position, not a position of paranoia.

  11. LayZ: You’ve got it right, but no matter how many times somebody brings up the truth of Josh’s situation, you’ll get shot down here at Robert’s blog. You see, it’s a vlogger being attacked, so he needs to be protected, no matter how much spinning of constitutional protection and federal and state law needs to be done. After all, “the man” is clearly making an all-out assault on bloggers, right?

    Get ready though. If these comments continue, two things are bound to happen: we’ll get declarations of an impending Orwellian future and comparisons to nazi germany. It’s happened here before ;)

    More on topic. The thing I wonder about this whole situation is if he won based on his situation or the quality of his vlogging. Either way doesn’t really matter though as the amount of people who have heard of the Vloggies is quite small. And the number of people who actually care is even smaller.

  12. LayZ: You’ve got it right, but no matter how many times somebody brings up the truth of Josh’s situation, you’ll get shot down here at Robert’s blog. You see, it’s a vlogger being attacked, so he needs to be protected, no matter how much spinning of constitutional protection and federal and state law needs to be done. After all, “the man” is clearly making an all-out assault on bloggers, right?

    Get ready though. If these comments continue, two things are bound to happen: we’ll get declarations of an impending Orwellian future and comparisons to nazi germany. It’s happened here before ;)

    More on topic. The thing I wonder about this whole situation is if he won based on his situation or the quality of his vlogging. Either way doesn’t really matter though as the amount of people who have heard of the Vloggies is quite small. And the number of people who actually care is even smaller.

  13. P.S. I don’t actually feel very strongly about this. I just think it’s silly how worked up people get over this situation, so I feel somebody should be playing devil’s advocate here. I’m an online journalist and have dealth with many various legal issues before and I don’t feel my rights being stripped away in any way from this case.

  14. P.S. I don’t actually feel very strongly about this. I just think it’s silly how worked up people get over this situation, so I feel somebody should be playing devil’s advocate here. I’m an online journalist and have dealth with many various legal issues before and I don’t feel my rights being stripped away in any way from this case.

  15. @12. Yea, I know. It’s surprising how facts seem to go ignored in situations like this. Wolf is going against a number of precedent rulings in this case. This is not creepign nazism or anything of the sort. In fact, these laws were desiged to get at the truth when a crime has been committed or a suspected crime has been committed. At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want? The truth?

  16. @12. Yea, I know. It’s surprising how facts seem to go ignored in situations like this. Wolf is going against a number of precedent rulings in this case. This is not creepign nazism or anything of the sort. In fact, these laws were desiged to get at the truth when a crime has been committed or a suspected crime has been committed. At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want? The truth?

  17. [...] In any case, Josh’s big day came and went with no Josh, but with a letter written from prison and read out on the podium, and here it is, although Robert Scoble had it first. It seems like mere moments ago that I was here in this venue for blogger con. I remember telling my story about how the federal government was trying to send me to prison for refusing to turn over my unpublished material and testify in front of a grand jury for asserting that I am a journalist, and for refusing to be an agent for the government by providing intelligence to aid in an anarchist witch hunt. Some were shocked by my story, others were not surprised that the government would go to such lengths, and still others maintained disbelief, preferring to think of me as the boy who cried wolf, rather than opening themselves up to the idea that their government would do such a thing. [...]

  18. The US government is getting less original these days. Jail? really? In the old days they would just let him go, stick a tail on him, and get the info they needed without all this bullshit. People care too much about the constitution of the USA. Is just a piece of paper written by uptight white men.

  19. The US government is getting less original these days. Jail? really? In the old days they would just let him go, stick a tail on him, and get the info they needed without all this bullshit. People care too much about the constitution of the USA. Is just a piece of paper written by uptight white men.