Almost exactly three years ago, we wrote about a ridiculous situation down in Louisiana, where the "Global Wildlife Center" was able to get a judge to issue an injunction
against an obviously satirical site that had written an obviously satirical article about "killer giraffes" and a "recent attack" at the Center. The article was poking fun at recent violent attacks at other zoos, normally involving animals like tigers and bears. It was amazing that a court issued the injunction, and thankfully, less than two weeks later, the injunction was removed
and GWC was told to pay the legal costs for the site. And that was the last that we had heard of the Global Wildlife Center... until now.
On Friday, the Center's President apparently threatened to sue lawyer Ken White, better known as Popehat
, defender of internet free speech. You see, Popehat had covered the original story
too, and for some reason, the President, Ken Matherne, isn't too happy about that (even though it's three years later). Perhaps it was this tidbit in Popehat's original post (which was actually quoted from a local news site):
In addition to filing this lawsuit, via email Global Wildlife Foundation president Ken Matherne threatened to file criminal charges, FCC charges, fraud charges, an IRS complaint, a governor’s office complaint, and a federal lawsuit against Brilleaux. Matherne’s email did not explain any basis for the additional threats.
If that gives you a sense of Matherne's grasp on basic legal concepts, and his willingness to assume that he can use all sorts of totally unrelated laws against people he doesn't like, well, you're just getting a tiny little sense of what Popehat went through on Friday. You kind of have to read the whole thread on Popehat to get the full effect, because each time you think "this can't possibly get more ridiculous," it does exactly that. Assuming Matherne really did send the emails in question, he would appear to have almost as much trouble with the English language as he does with the legal concepts he uses to threaten White. Here's a snippet from the first email:
My last case to decide the Apple vs Microsoft case. I am not joking – you can send this email to the judge and soon as I file suit. I will ask you as I asked that kid to take it down, if you think your malice to to our Foundation is free speech – let’s get real lawyers and hosted judges to find out! It scared teachers, parents and the general public. They were canceling trips, it was malicious, and the evidence given to court was a fraud. I did not say anything at the time. But, I think he would get dis-board by the falsified documents he presented to the judge. His father was a friend or I would have had he dis-board.
Everyone will see the truth of you and your boyfriends. You can print this – You do not have a clue what you did to damage my foundation I created for my daughter. And when you wake up in the morning – hoping you have kids- I want you to think about what you have done. Your site has done more damage than the issue and my guys think your damages will be worse the any free speech issue. And we are ready!
We are going to dp this all legal – get ready – I will have one of your partners, associates , friends , spouses, in dispositions for the at least the next 6 – 12 months. Minimum – 1 lawsuit lasted 12.7 years, the next only 6 . I have the means – so write me back or get ready. This again is no threat. Simply a promise. It is no longer about what the kid did – it is about what your company did! And I promise you we will win = you have damaged my daughters trust for at least 50 years. You are about to meet the best attorneys on the planet.
There's also a discussion about Matherne's belief that White is apparently a dope smoking drug fiend who is having sexual relations with the partners at his law firm (or maybe on Popehat, it's not clear). White, quite calmly, asks Matherne if there was anything specific in the original post that he felt was a false statement of fact, and offered to review such claims and "make adjustments to the post if appropriate." Matherne's response was to just demand that the original Popehat article was taken down "or believe I will do everything for my daughter that you would do for your children !"
And then it got wacky.
Just send me you attorney of record – you will not hurt my daughter – I do not care what it cost ! Ken It was a BS move – and I appreciate that you do that for the best of people – but you always know our kids are first – and I don't care how many $ it takes – my daughter will not live with this – so I will ask you one more time to pull this down – as a gentleman – or I will come to you! My airplane is only 10k an hour – have more cash & Gold in the bank than you can imagine – but if you hurt my daughter through this – my executives has all authority to go until all is done – I only have 1 daughter and it breaks her heart to see this! I would not do this to you or your family!
I really love this line: "My airplane is only 10k an hour – have more cash & Gold in the bank than you can imagine."
White points out, in response, that he is still waiting for any specific inaccuracies, and notes that he's willing to speak to any attorney representing Matherne -- to which Matherne initially sent a simple "Game on!" email, followed by this (not the full email, which has more where this came from):
Get your check book out – and unless you can buy every judge to the State Supreme Court – you will pay damages = not about freedom of speech –
Oh, And I will follow up with everything I said I would do. Ken White, You better have an attorney or get one .
Cannot wait to meet you – You are and I can “quote again” a piece of shit! You do a disservice to mankind. I hope the judge we come before understands what a parasite you are and does not want his kids or grandchildren to be exposed to someone like you!
And I do not care about are inaccuracies about was said or texted. You are wrong and you are libel. Again, I do not lose lawsuits, and I do not think to can pay off the judges!
If I'm reading this right, and I believe that I am, Matherne is not only threatening to take White to court under some ridiculous legal theories, but he is flat out admitting that he does "not care" about "inaccuracies." He also seems to be admitting throughout that he's doing this to tie White up in court. I would imagine that if this ever actually got to a court and wasn't thrown out immediately, these admissions would not help his case very much.
of "payday loans" spam links hidden on their page. Either they've been hacked or they're selling link spam. Maybe they should take care of that before issuing bogus legal threats trying to censor a lawyer known for vocally defending the First Amendment.