Shocker: Criminal Web Links!
Aliens take over government! Soviets control U.S. weather! Ancient Mayan temple has Sandisk flash drive!
If you’ve ever been to a supermarket, you’ve seen these and other ludicrous mile-high headlines blaring from the newsstands.
Here’s another impossible headline that might issue from the pen of any zany, unscrupulous tabloid fabulist: BLOGGER TREATED AS CRIMINAL FOR POSTING WEB LINK TO CITY AGENCY!
Not a concoction, I’m afraid. The city of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, did indeed harass a blogger named Jennifer Reisinger for linking to the website of the city police department. No alleged libel, alleged copyright violation, or other alleged crime. Ms. Reisinger and her lawyer believe the threat was retaliation for her role in trying to recall the Sheboygan mayor, Juan Perez.
Intimidated by the unprecedented cease-and-desist order she received from the city attorney, Reisinger at first removed the link. But then, after being threatened with a criminal investigation for her dastardly providing of information, she hired a lawyer. The lawyer advised her to restore the Web link, which she did. The mayor’s office dropped its threat, but Reisinger is suing anyway.
Mayor Perez and his henchmen deserve to be stomped in court — if only to pre-empt similar stupidity and contempt for First Amendment rights by other vindictive politicians.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.