triv33 alrerted me to this the other day (thank you, honeybunches!), and I thought it was worthy of serious progressive attention. Some of you may remember RogerShuler? He was a dynamic and polarizing figure on Daily Kos while he was here (it seems he is bojo), and some of his articles on Don Siegelman remain the best thing since sliced bread. (I don't know what the hell that even means, but you get what I'm saying.) Roger has been an investigative reporter, focusing specifically on Alabama Republican cronyism, for many years.
Regardless of your personal feelings about Mr. Shuler, I think we can all agree that Roger is a dogged, relentless journalist with some serious skillz. When he uses his powers for good, Roger is straight-up awesome. No doubt about it.
So it pains me to say that Mr. Shuler is now in jail, and the specifics of his case are extremely ugly and very disturbing:
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- In a case troubling to free speech advocates, an Alabama journalist who blogged about allegations of a sordid affair between a powerful Republican scion and a lobbyist has been arrested and now sits in jail on contempt charges.
A judge has taken the extraordinary steps of not only sealing the file in the case, but ordering that the blogger's posts be removed from the Internet.
I'm sorry. Wtf was that last part again?!
I can't hear you over the sound of all the bullshit piling up.
Jesus Christ riding shotgun in a Paul Walker/Vin Diesel movie, of course it only gets worse from there. From the above article:
His wife, Carol Shuler, told WhoWhatWhy that he was beaten and Maced by deputies who cornered him in his garage. His booking photo from the Shelby County Jail shows his left eye swollen shut.
Talk about unfreakingcool! My heart goes out to both Roger and Carol for what their family is being unfairly and egregiously dragged through right now. I would like to see a thorough investigation done with regards to Roger's alleged beating, but this is Alabama we are talking about after all, and I don't see that happening until I become a teabagger.
Which will be, ya know, never.
As you can imagine, the GOP asshole machine has been working overtime writing about Roger, and you can find any and all disgusting articles by a simple Google search. There are many people who seriously hate this dude, and I don't begrudge them that, but the manner in which Mr. Shuler was arrested, as well as the fact that the judge sealed the file and wanted to remove some shit from the internet, is pretty disconcerting.
My Spidey senses are tingling. Plus, whatever, blah blah first amendment blah.
It appears to me as if the judge in Roger's case is, err -- how shall I say this? -- in direct conflict with Mr. Shuler's case. That's the best way I can word it without looking like an asshole, but you do the math:
Roger Shuler, the Birmingham-area blogger known as Legal Schnauzer, was beaten and arrested one week ago today by Shelby County Sheriffs deputies. They were acting on a warrant for failure to appear before a special, secret kangaroo court appointed by Judge Roy Moore of Ten Commandments infamy at the behest of Rob Riley.
Uhm. Mr. Shuler wrote about Rob Riley. Extensively. Rob Riley sued Roger and Carol Shuler for defamation, as a matter of fact. And, even if Roger was in the wrong for writing about Riley after he was ordered not to (which he may well have been - depends on your point of view), that does not exactly give the cops and the courts carte blanche to beat the crap out of someone.
There is an excellent article about Roger's arrest at ThinkProgress, and there is a bevvy of links here.
I've had brief contact with Mr. Shuler's wife, Carol, and they would appreciate any dough you can send their way (the PayPal link is on the right hand side).
I'm really sick as fuck that our Constitution is getting eroded more and more, day by day. It's not OK, guys, and Dubya may have started all this crap, but we can finish it, goddamnit!