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 Post subject: Trickiest first amendment issue?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 3:16 am 
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Bernie Ward, KGO's late evening radio host has plead not guilty to the child porn charges that have been leveled against him by the feds. He claims he was researching a book and has asserted his first amendment rights to do so.

Can you pick a trickier issue with which to asset your first amendment rights?

Assuming Bernie is truthful in his purpose, how does his lawyers defend his first amendment right? Child porn possession and distribution has criminal penalties attached to it.

Interestingly, the Supreme Court had been hearing a case about child porn and the 1st amendment right called US v. Williams.

The Williams case is actually grosser.
Quote:
In 2004, federal agents caught Michael Williams in the act of attempting to exchange pornographic images of children online. In an Internet chat room, Williams boasted that he had "hard core" pictures of himself engaged in sex acts with his four-year-old daughter. He also told an undercover federal agent that he was willing to trade the photos for pictures depicting other children in provocative poses.

Despite his claims, Williams did not in fact have pornographic photographs of his daughter. Nevertheless, Williams was prosecuted under a federal law that outlaws the pandering of child pornography.
...

Yes, Williams did not distribute, and Ward is said to have. But can the courts claim some sort of vilifiable offense if indeed Bernie was in possession and had distributed the material for non-pornographer reasons?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:20 pm 
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The journalistic angle is not new. Counterpunch looks at a couple of other journalists dinged similarly --
* Larry Mathews.
* Kurt Eichenwald.

Counter Punch talks about --
[url=http://www.counterpunch.org/nathan12102007.html]
The Curious Indictment of Bernie Ward -- The Perils of Journalism and Child Porn[/url]
Quote:
December 10, 2007 | By DEBBIE NATHAN

Bernie Ward, a San Francisco-based liberal talk show host, was indicted late last week on federal child pornography charges. His is the second such indictment brought against a media figure who then claimed he had the porn merely to do research and reporting. Meanwhile, a third journalist, a former New York Times reporter who engaged in similar behavior, has not been indicted. The inconsistency suggests that the government chooses whom to go after and whom to leave alone. And it makes clear that the media needs a First Amendment exemption or license allowing reporters to examine child pornography legally.
...
Ward’s case is strikingly similar to that of Larry Mathews, a media figure who faced child porn charges in the late 1990s. Mathews was a Washington DC-area radio reporter in his late 50s. He had won press awards and was known for covering social issues, including the problem of internet child porn. When arrested, he said he had acquired illegal material because he was impersonating a pedophile in order to do another story.

The government countered that Mathews had no notes or story assignment from a media outlet. The ACLU, National Public Radio, and other press and First Amendment organizations spoke out for him and filed supporting legal briefs. But an appellate court later ruled that journalists have no right to acquire or distribute child pornography while doing research. Mathews was convicted and served several months in a halfway house.
...

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:02 pm 
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Another California First Amendment Issue arises:

http://www.ahrc.com/new/index.php/src/n ... ia/id/4395

CALIFORNIA COURT ORDERS SILENCING OF HOMEOWNER VOICE: Freedom of Speech and the Housing Financial Crisis

Channel Zero, since you live in CA, what is your viewpoint on this?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:54 am 
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Catherine, I've never heard of the AHRC, but it does sound fishy what the judge ordered. But realize, what you're quoting comes from their web site.

I thought at first what might be happening is a "parking" issue. But it sounds like the judge is taking issue with the operation of the web site.

I found this as an apposing view AHRC Exposed.

Supposedly, the owners of the web site were found to have committed fraud.

The AHRC was also considered to be a "VEXATIOUS LITIGANT". A wikipedia definition seems to be descriptive of the term.

So, it sounds like the issue about AHRC is more than just about operating their web site, but, in a sense, how they conduct their business.

*** *** ***

On a side note, related to the original topic, Bernie has a blog, if he doesn't have job to keep his political observation skills sharp.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 12:35 pm 
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Bernie changed his defense and plead guilty not too long ago.

Law.com published an article on the subject of child porn and quoted the lawyer for Bernie:

Quote:
Ex-KGO radio host Bernie Ward attempted to mount a First Amendment challenge, arguing he had child pornography in connection with a book project. But his lawyer, Doron Weinberg, ultimately aborted that defense, and Ward intends to plead guilty.

While Weinberg would not discuss Ward's case because sentencing is still pending, in general, he said the law is strict.

"Because intent, knowledge and purpose have no room, no place in the litigation of these cases," Weinberg said, "and the case revolves simply or completely on the physical reality of these images, there's not a lot a lawyer can do on behalf of the client."

That's why a clear thinking person would have just stayed away from playing around with that crap on the web.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:58 pm 
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This letter appeared in a newspaper in WNC:

Quote:
Time to restore our constitutional order

June 30 may be remembered in history as the day Americans began, in earnest, the moral and solemn process of holding their government accountable to the Constitution– under threat of withdrawal of allegiance, support and tax money.

About 1,200 American citizens started the process of exercising a profound, but little-known, 800-year-old right first articulated in the Magna Carta by formally serving a “Legal Notice and Demand”

for redress of grievances upon the president, the attorney general and every member of Congress at their local district offices.

Incredibly, academic research since 1986 makes clear the right to petition for redress is not a redundant statement of the First Amendment. It is, in fact, the individual exercise of popular sovereignty.

Here’s what the founders, sitting as the first Congress, wrote:

“If money is wanted by rulers who have in any manner oppressed the people, they may retain it until their grievances are redressed, and thus peaceably procure relief, without trusting to despised petitions or disturbing the public tranquility.”

Journals of the Continental Congress, 1:105-113 demanding an official response within forty (40) days, the notice includes seven (7) petitions for redress of grievances regarding substantial violations of our Constitution including the war, money, privacy, arms and tax clauses.

If liberty and constitutional order are to survive peacefully, it is imperative that the people learn about and exercise the unalienable right of redress.

For details about the plan to restore constitutional order, visit www.givemeliberty.org/revolution
.




LINK

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