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Jack Thompson not under investigation...yet

Filed under: Video Game Politics
Posted by Allison on October 21, 2005 11:50 AM
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We told you yesterday of an article from Ars Technica, titled "Anti-game activist Jack Thompson under investigation". The article reported a number of Penny-Arcade forum members had written the Florida Bar Association regarding Thompson's unlawyer-like behavior in reportedly contacting the Seattle police department and asking them to arrest the writers of Penny-Arcade. Thompson believes himself to be a victim of criminal harassment by the web comic writers, who, earlier this week, donated $10,000 in Thompson's name to the Entertainment Software Association Foundation (more).

Today, Gamespot has contacted the Florida Bar Association and discovered that, while two investigations concerning Thompson are currently underway, no new investigation has begun regarding these most recent events. The FBA confirms they've received many complaints this week, and would not rule out any future actions being taken because of the complaints.

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Thompson explained to Gamespot the two investigations stem from his actions against Howard Stern, whose show he claims to have removed from Miami airwaves.

Beyond Thompson's comments to Gamespot, Thompson has written an open letter to the FBA President, Alan Bookman, and the Governors of the Florida Bar. The letter, below, was distributed to many media outlets with the subject, "Targeting of Jack Thompson for Criminal Harassment by 'Gamers'".

Dear Mr. Bookman and All Governors of The Florida Bar:

As you know, eighteen years ago I commenced efforts against the entertainment industry's illegal distribution of adult entertainment to minors. That fledgling effort resulted in the first decency fines ever levied by the FCC.

The broadcasters struck back with Bar complaints. One happy result of that is that The Bar's insurance carrier had to pay me money damages for The Bar's having taken the bait offered by the SLAPP bar complainants. SLAPP is the acronym for 'strategic litigation against public participation.' Filing such a complaint violates certain federal civil rights statutes and state laws as well.

As you also know, the Philadelphia law firm of Blank Rome, which is lead lawyer and chief lobbyist registered in the US House of Representatives and in the US Senate for Take-Two Interactive, has chosen to use the SLAPP approach in our wrongful death case in Alabama by asking the Alabama state judge to kick me off that case because 1) I have been so effective in telling the American people about the reckless activity of their clients, Take-Two and Sony, through 60 Minutes and Reader's Digest that they can't now get a 'fair trial,' and 2) I have a 'colorful history' of pornographers filing SLAPP bar complaints against me, which indicates I am unfit to practice law.

Interesting logic, but remember: this is Blank Rome talking. Blank Rome has a very long history of 'opposition research' through partners such as 'Barbara Comstock,' who was called by the Washington Post a 'one-woman wrecking crew' for her brilliance in character assassination on behalf of her clients.

Blank Rome's Comstock is the US Congressman Dan Burton staffer who was doing his 'work' for him when he was clandestinely keeping a mistress on his federal payroll staff in violation of federal law.

Blank Rome also has been recently caught up in the scandal of securing Department of Homeland Security contracts for its clients allegedly because of its massive campaign contributions to former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, Bush-Cheney, and the RNC. This has been covered in the mainstream media. Blank Rome is clearly the most powerful law firm, right now, in America, because of its tight personal and financial relationships with Jeb and George Bush. Blank Rome likes to make stuff up to run over people who are in the way of their clients. Pretty standard stuff, really. But don't you love the fact that a bunch of 'family values' Republican loyalists to George Bush are representing Take-Two/Rockstar and fraudulently smearing a conservative Christian Republican who has got Rockstar on the run? But this is what the GOP has become: the lap dog for corporate America, the parents who provide the party's base be damned.

"I hear today, then, from the Internet-based 'enthusiast video game press' that 'gamers' are going to file or have filed new SLAPP Bar complaints against me. Here's why:

An outfit in Seattle called 'Think Geek' is marketing a t-shirt emblazoned across the front of which are the words 'I Hate Jack Thompson.' That kind of tells us where they are on the subject of me.

The parent company is an outfit called Penny Arcade. In the last several days, the folks at Think Geek provided, improperly, Penny Arcade with my email address, which had not been widely circulated (I had to get rid of the last one because of death threats and the like). Some idiot at Penny Arcade foolishly emailed me and told me, in effect, of the amusement that comes from going after me, and then he foolishly explained on the Penny Arcade site how they were going to do it.

Penny Arcade put out a 'news story' that was wholly false, and the purpose of it, of course, was to generate the sort of Internet-based gamers harassment of me that has caused me to coin the useful phrase 'pixelante.' Blank Rome is just a highly-paid pixelante. I was not getting this harassment at my new e-mail address until Penny Arcade did this.

The result of Penny Arcade's intentional targeting of me is that I almost immediately started receiving emailed and phoned death threats, many of them referencing Penny Arcade. Penny Arcade has every right to express their warped bizarre opinions, but they don't have the right to use the Internet to orchestrate criminal harassment of me, which is precisely what they did.

I asked to speak with their attorney, which I did yesterday, and this guy is a perfect fit with Penny Arcade, because his position is that this is all my fault.

"I have written the Police Chief in Seattle and asked that their department investigate this matter, as I believe this constitutes a criminal act by Penny Arcade. Penny Arcade has thus ramped up the harassment, and now there is a campaign among gamers to go to The Florida Bar to 'discipline' me for trying to protect myself and my family, as well as my right, under the First Amendment to try to get the video game industry to start acting like something other than a bunch of sociopaths.

I was on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 two nights ago because there is now a new game out in which pro footballers send prostitutes to the other team's players' hotel rooms. Quaint stuff. I think I have a right to complain about that, which CNN wanted me to do when they contacted me. Anderson Cooper was more negative about it than I was. I am making progress.

"But I especially appreciated the computer-generated call last night that said 'We are coming to get you, Mr. Thompson.' This is from the Penny Arcade faithful. That is precisely what Penny Arcade wanted, and I have received similar computer-generated calls threatening me.

I am quite certain that lawyer Daniel Horowitz would advise me to take such threats seriously, aren't you?

Several weeks ago some gamer idiot (sorry to be redundant) managed to email me thousands of death threats from a blast email service based in Ireland using the following email address: georgewbush@whitehouse.gov. The Secret Service shut that pixelante right down. It's probably too much to expect the Secret Service to shut Blank Rome down. That's a joke, by the way.

Now, let me be clear. Any Bar complaint coming from these morons arising out of the above incident is baseless and itself constitutes a violation of a specific federal civil rights statute.

If The Bar proceeds with any of these, it does so at its own peril. The Bar paid me once. I am certainly willing for it to pay me again, along with others.

Regards, Jack Thompson









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