From Connie and Mark Fournier:
From Connie and Mark Fournier:
Day 5 will be written up later, as writing it up may affect the trial…
Following up on Dr. Baglow’s ‘uncivil’ language regarding Kate McMillan, Mr. Frankel brought up Dr. Baglow’s testimony that he believes in being ‘uncivil towards the uncivil’. In my never-humble-opinion, this was a low point for Dr. Baglow….being shown to have been ‘uncivil’ to Kate McMillan even after she had been so ‘civil’ to him!
It was at this point that the judge noted that the level of sarcasm on the blog posts she had read was incredibly high…and she questioned Dr. Baglow if all the blogs were like this. He explained that no, not all were – for example, some of the anthropological blogs he frequents, even though they address controversial topics, they maintain an academic level of discourse.
Then we got into the Godwin’s Law…the discussion was predictable, as was the redirect regarding it.
Following that bit, Mr. Frankel went on to demonstrate that Dr. Baglow did not object to much more reputation-damaging statements than the impugned words, such as being called ‘a shill for Hezbollah’ and ‘traitor’. Dr. Baglow’s response to all this was ‘context’…as in, had it been in ‘different context’, he would have taken legal action against them, too.
Next Mr. Frankel concentrated on the difference between Dr. Baglow’s blog posts and his editorial pieces for the National Post (having convinced an editor by the name of Kelly McParland (sp?) that having a leftist’s POV would enrich the publication).
It seemed quite clear to me what he Mr. Frankel was doing (if, indeed, he was doing what I think he was doing): he was demonstrating that the submission process to a newspaper – even an editorial – is much different than a blog post or comment for a blog post.
It also seemed to me that Dr. Baglow also saw where this was going and was doing his best to avoid going there…like saying that ‘he knew how an op-ed ought to differ from a blog post so there was no need for anyone else to make changes to it’ and so on.
Yet, Mr. Frankel got Dr. Baglow to admit that the comments to his blog were not read by him until after they had been posted – in other words, he had no ‘editorial control’ over the comments posted on his site – while the op-ed pieces he submitted to National Post were not only groomed by himself to adhere to a different standard than a blog post would, but that they had to be vetted by the editor prior to publication.
To me – this is the key difference between the blogosphere/discussion forums and actual online publications: the ‘newspapers’, even in their online versions, have editorial control of what they publish because they read and OK everything PRIOR to publication, while blog comments and discussion forum posts/comments are NOT read/vetted by the administration prior to publication. Indeed, in the case of a discussion forum with some 10,000 users (like, say, Free Dominion), vetting all posts/comments by the administrators would not only be physically impossible, but leaving everything in a vetting cue would prevent the ‘online conversations’ which define the very nature of debate on discussion forums.
Therefore, it is (and I am extrapolating where I think this argument was going) it is ridiculous to hold people who have not seen a comment/post to the same standard of responsibility for it as those who have read and vetted it.
The next bit of time was taken up with discussing one of Dr. Baglow’s least favourite politicians… Vic Toews.
Frankly, I did not really grasp the significance of all this – except to unmask the visceral hate Dr. Baglow has the capacity for. I really did not understand how this bit impacted on the matter in hand…except that Dr. Baglow’s hate-on for this politician resulted in him posting some nasty stuff about him – stuff one might argue was more slanderous than ‘the impugned words’…. As in, it demonstrated Dr. Baglow had both written and published more ‘libel-worthy’ things about Vic Toews than had ever been posted anywhere about him self.
Dr. Baglow’s not entirely convincing response was that had he been called on it, he would have cowered in a corner and backed down with a generous apology. (I am paraphrasing somewhat…but I found the answer to be less than convincing because Dr. Baglow would not look up while he spoke until almost the end and then hurriedly added that, of course, he would only do it for statements he thought were truly potentially defamatory – and that then he’d re-phrase them but, of course, he would not take down and apologize for frivolous claims…)
I know I am going over this in a LOT of detail – but, I do think that the CCLA’s participation as ‘a friend of the court’ in this matter is very, very important. The outcome of this case will, after all, determine the freedoms all of us enjoy (or not) on the internet!!!
The next bit struck a little bit close to home for the CCLA: supporting freedom of speech was being criticized as ‘enabling’ hate speech….
Yet, Mr. Frankel was able to turn it inside out and, after he got Dr. Baglow to admit that supporting free speech – even for neo-Nazis (as per some people’s definitions) could be perceived (and was repeatedly labelled as such by his ideological comrades, as well as Dr. Baglow himself) as ‘support for neo-Nazis’ (or other such ‘hate’ groups), then support for Omar Khadr and his ilk could, reasonably, be seen as ‘supporting’ – or, at least ‘giving aid and support/comfort’ to the Islamists/Taliban that Omar Khadr was working with. What’s good for the goose…
It was very well done and it revealed clearly demonstrated the ‘if one, then the other’ bit here. I fully expect it to come out in Mr. Frankel’s closing argument.
I suspect this highlights the ‘important’ bits of Mr. Frankel’s cross examination. I know, my write-up is verbose, but it took surprisingly little time – just over an hour!
The court took a little (less than an hour) break at this point. And, so shall I – leaving the rest for another post!
I have as yet to write up day 5…as it was a little complicated and I would hate to get it wrong…let it suffice to say that the day started out with Mark Fournier’s lawyer, Ms. Kulaszka, cross examining Dr. Baglow – and it was in continuing this cross examination that the trial resumed today.
Oh, what a tangled web this lawsuit has become!!!
So many threads, on numerous blogs, intersecting, backtracking, re-posting of threads between blogs (with the necessarily resulting divergent discussions) – it’s messy, messy, messy, messy!
And the acerbic language, colourful metaphors, hyper-hyperbolies!!!
And by colourful, I do mean mostly brown…as in, Nazi brown…
But, let me narrate the day from the beginning:
The court was scheduled to resume at 9:30, so I set out nice and early so as not to miss a second of it! By 9 am, I was whipping down the Quensway towards downtown, traffic fast and smooth, despite the warm rain. The radio was droning on about one thing or another when I heard a report that Ottawa is the 3rd most traffic congested city in Canada (third only to Toronto and Vancouver) and 5th most congested city in North America. As the disembodied voice in my dashboard went over the details, the traffic on the Queensway slowed down to a crawl!
How lucky for me that I was nearly at my exit – Metcalf St.!!!
I reached my short little off-ramp. I was quite happy – as, in the past, it had taken me between 7 and 12 (worst traffic imaginable) minutes to get to the City Hall, where the ample parking is practically under the Courthouse. So, was going to be early! YES!!!
At this point, the reporter chose to point out that the most traffic congested time period on Ottawa is – wait for it – Tuesday mornings!!!
(Of course, today WAS Tuesday morning…)
Well….if this were in a movie or a novel, I would have called it ‘calculated’ and ‘overdone’ and ‘not realistic’. But – and I still have a hard time believing this – the tiny little distance to travel down the short little Metcalf St. offramp took me 20+ minutes to travel!!!
As I finally made it to Elgin St. (just a few short blocks to go up to the courthouse), I realized it was dug up with construction……and very, very s l o w….
At last, I pull up to the City Hall parking entrance, just south of the Elgin St. courthouse, and I pull in….and, for the first time in my memory (and I have gone to quite a few of these court hearings by now), the lot was FULL!!! The parking attendant who turned me away told me I needed to go to the Laurier Street parking lot. So, I went.
Of course, the Laurier Street parking lot was also full. But, pulling out of that entrance, I got stuck going onto the Laurier Street bridge – and the unholy mess of traffic at Ottawa University. THAT is a mess at ANY day and time – and much more so on the dreaded Tuesday morning Ottawa ‘worst traffic congestion’.
Oh – did I mention that every one of the streets there is under construction?
And – there were tour buses with high school trippers stopping everywhere, spilling their charges in all directions….
Eventually, I managed to fight my way to the just-waking-up Market, then back downtown… and now I got turned down by four different ‘always a cert’ paring lots before I finally found a place to rest my teenager-transport-vehicle…
…and I RAN to the courthouse. Let me warn you – this is a precarious process at best and I would not be surprised if there were reports of earthquakes in the area as a result….
Finally – I was there!!!
I found my way to Courtroom #37 – a really big one (where, if I remember correctly, the jury selection usually takes place).
I burst in, pen and paper in hand (so as to make as little noise/disruption as possible) and saw that ‘we’ were still waiting for the judge to enter!!!
It may have been well after 10 am, but I still got there before the judge!!! I just had time to note that Beth Trudeau from the Language Equality folks and a companion were there supporting the Fourniers, as well and the charming Aubrey and his lovely wife (in a pretty floral-print top with an elegant cross-mid-riff detail and flattering tan pants).
Connie Fournier looked very sophisticated in a smart, yet feminine, tan blazer topping an elegant, layered, reddish-brown, abstract-floral patterned chiffon skirt with a matching reddish-brown blouse and a silvery necklace, all polished off with nice black pumps.
The charismatic Mark Fournier wore a grey herringbone blazer, black pants/shoes, striped shirt and a tie – and his deep eyes shone as intensely as ever!
In contrast, Dr. Baglow wore an open-necked blue shirt under his elegant black suit, accessorized with a chunky watch, a lapel-pin and his signature riding boots (which were clean and shined!) It is really too bad Dr. Baglow is on the wrong (from my free-speecher-absolutist point of view) side of this lawsuit – he is very charming and an excellent conversationalist! (And very good looking to boot! …no pun intended – just saw it when proof-reading…)
Courtroom #37 is big – really, really big. It is the largest courtroom I have ever been in.
There is not one big table for the lawyers/participants, but two, layered behind each other.
On the right, there is a jury box – on the left, there is a plexi-glass ‘penalty box’-like thingy from which I imagine very dangerous criminal suspects would be able to watch their court proceedings. Quite somber….
In addition, the acoustics in the room are a bit freaky. Everyone speaking has to speak into a microphone and the words are piped in through hidden speakers…except that all the mikes are on at all times, and pick up ‘everything’. So, throughout the day, I kept looking over my shoulder as it sounded as if someone ‘just behind me’ were breathing loudly – even though there was nobody there! Yes, trick of technology – but still creepy…
Madam Justice Polowin breezed in just a few minutes after I caught my breath and settled into a position where I could see Dr. Baglow’s face when testifying….his face is indeed very expressive of the emotions he is experiencing and/or projecting….after all, he IS an experienced Labour negotiator and I, as an Aspie, lack even average ability to judge facial expressions. Still, I did not want to miss a bit!!!
Without all of the documents and threads in front of me, it was a little difficult to follow all that was said. But, I will try my best.
The morning started with some procedural arguments – par for the course, as I’ve learned. It seems Connie wanted to include some new documents, but, not being able to prove that they were so hidden that she could not have found them earlier (despite her having said some were too recent to have been included in earlier findings), they got ruled inadmissible. It seems to my layman’s eye that there is a huge chasm between what is the truth of the matter and what is admissible in court. Undoubtedly, thinking the courts were there to find the truth of a matter demonstrates my lack of sophistication. My apologies…
Once the procedural stuff was dealt with (Madam Justice Polowin seemed much more strident than before), Ms. Kulaszka, Mark Fournier’s lawyer, started things off. She covered some of the same ground as before, which helped me catch up on where it was we had ‘left off’. In a case like this, chopped up by scheduling pressures, continuity is important!!!
A few times, the judge lectured Ms. K. on ‘stuff’.
A few times, Mr. Burnett, Dr. Baglow’s lawyer, objected to some things.
Aside: Mr. Burnett affects the same patronizing drawl that so infuriates me when the current Ottawa Mayor, Jim Watson, employs it. Pretending to sound ‘reasonable’ while uttering the worst kind of jibberish (Mr. Watson,, that is…) I don’t know what it is about that manner of speech that rubs me so raw, but, it does and it makes me feel so looked-down-upon and denigrated, I have to consciously use self-control not to burst out in protest!!!! Oh, and during today’s proceedings (and during breaks), Mr. Burnett changed up his nervous tick from scratching the inside of his left ear with the arm of his glasses to scratching of the inside of his right ear with it….
One of the bits that Ms. K.’s cross examination focused on had to do with the IP address of Ms. Mew.
In the past, Dr. Bagow had testified (if I recall correctly) that he is technically not savvy and does not even really know the implications of what an IP address is – he had his IT expert, Mr. Bow, to handle all that. Yet, under Ms. K.’s cross examination, Dr. Baglow testified that he thought it was difficult to believe that ‘everybody’ (especially Connie F.) would not know that HE was Ms. Mew as the IP address of his email would have been the same as that of Ms. Mew’s post’s IP address….
It came out during the cross examination that Connie F. was using gmail, which does not include the header info that contains the IP address – as Dr. Baglow explained – but he had assumed she could easily get it, somehow. It was precisely because gmail does not show the IP address in the header that Jay Currie’s involvement in identifying Dr, Baglow as BOTH Dr. Dawg and Ms. Mew became necessary… If I may say so myself, it seemed that between his testimony in March that he was not really sure how that whole IP thing worked, and today’s very specific testimony how IP address info could be ‘easily’ gleaned and used, Dr. Baglow seems to have acquired a very large amount of IT information in a very short time!!!
What is more, he presumes Connie F. would have been able to use the knowledge he claims now but denied in March to have found his identity out years ago…which, according to him, demonstrates he was not hiding who he was while posting as Ms. Mew. At least, that is how it sounded to my untrained, ignorant ears: i.e. my opinion only, not fact and never to be mistaken for fact.
If anyone would like to email me their own eye-witness (or participant) version of these events, I’ll be happy to publish it as an update on this post, in order to be fair and comprehensive and as objective and informative as possible. After all, the more points of view there are, the better you, the reader, will be informed!!!
Ms. Kulaszka had finished her cross examination of Dr. Baglow at approximately 11:05 am.
Connie Fournierwas the next one to cross examine Dr. Baglow.
The questioning went back and forth, wither and hither. Yet, the first part of Connie’s testimony focused on the technical aspects of the case. It was detailed and technical and very, very specific…..it was only after the break that we got to the ‘political’ stuff’
What follows is not the back and forth of the questioning, but, rather, my highly imperfect conclusions as to what was shown by her questioning. And, I will not limit it by technical/political, when what….just what my highly imperfect observations lead me to conclude.
There was much of going over the ‘same old ground’ – Haloscan, Echo, Disqus, transfer of comments, platforms, tech experts, difficulties, etc.
Still, it seemed to me that Connie established that while Dr. Baglow and Mr. Bow claimed the comments from ‘the old site’ (before Dr. Dawg migrated it to Mr. Bow’s server and newer technology/movable type) were still visible as of March 2011, even though Dr. Baglow and Mr. Bow claim to be ‘shocked, I tell you’ that these comments did not disappear in November 2010.
In my very imperfect understanding, Dr. Baglow and Mr. Bow claim that all comments from the ‘old Dr. Dawg’ site were lost, because Dr Dawg did not update his Haloscan comments to Echo protocol when Echo bought Haloscan….and then the old protocol comments could not be migrated to Disqus because there were no drivers to go from Haloscan to Disqus without the intermediate step…so, all these comments were stored on a server in a file, but could no longer be accessed via the internet.
When Connie F. was working on her defense in this case, she claims the comments were fully visible not just till November 2010, but until late March Early April 2011 – and just went ‘poof’ when she was using them.
All the disclosure materials submitted to Dr Baglow and his lawyer, they requested communication from March/April 2011 when the comments actually disappeared from the web: however, only communication from November 2010 had been supplied to them by the plaintiff.
Dr, Baglow maintained that he believed the comments had disappeared in November 2010, which is why he provided emails from then – and that he thought the defendants were just too stupid to have realized the proper time frame, so he provided them with what they needed (in his mind), not what they were actually asking for.
The ‘killing blow’ came from Connie when, after she established (beyond a reasonable doubt, not just by the preponderance of the evidence, as required in a civil suit) that only Dr. Dawg (Dr. Baglow) and Mr. Bow had admin access to the site and Dr. Dawg’s email at this time – yet ‘someone’ had posted a ‘test comment’ from Dr. Dawg’s gmail account onto that site that is time-stamped in April 2011!!!
Dr. Baglow had no idea how THAT could possibly happen – he is, after all, technologically ignorant…..
Yet, when he testified about this, his gaze was lowered and he would not meet anyone’s eyes until after he had finished his claim of ignorance. I do not pretend to know what ht means, being really bad at interpreting facial expressions – I am just offering he physical observation for your own conclusions.
There was a lot more Connie questioned Dr. Baglow about, but, this seemed to me to be the most important point. Not only because Dr. Baglow avoided eye contact, but also because Mr Burnett, his lawyer, exhibited a huge amount of nervous ticks and affected frequent ‘deep sighing’ during this bit of cross examination. Just from that, this one seemed to be ‘a biggie’, in my never-humble-opinion.
As Connie had finished her cross examination of Dr Baglow earlier than expected, the judge thought it would be a good idea to finish the cross examination (by the CCLA lawyer) today, then start the defense’s case tomorrow. However, as Mr. Smith had been told that this portion of the trial would only be the cross and the defense’s case would not start till September, and since he ought to be there for all the defense as something Mark Fournier might testify to might end up being exculpatory for Mr. Smith, he needs to be there for the full defense bit….so they could not start it tomorrow.
There was a lot of wrangling, back and forth, and so on….
It seems 5 days in September may be insufficient to finish the case.
Plus the Judge is demanding an ‘expert witness’ that all sides agree to….which the CCLA lawyer will try to find, though finding someone with a PhD in ‘blogging’ willing to testify may be difficult.
Yet, that is exactly where the things ended today.
I look forward to seeing what tomorrow may bring!!!
From an email from Connie:
While I am not an anarchist, I do find that listening to their points of view is, at times, thought-provoking.
Disclosure: It may be important to note my past experience with PSAC, that very powerful and ruthless public sector union, of which Dr. Baglow testified he had been the Executive Vice President of.
When, decades ago, I was a wee little teenager, shortly after we came to Canada, my mom got a job where she was forced to become a member of PSAC. Back then, there was a lot of tension created by this most militant union. Once, just before a strike, my mom naively said she opposed the strike – within earshot of a union thug. We started getting phone calls at all times of day and night. My mom got threats that were not even thinly veiled. Once, a caller told her where I went to school, the times I walk there and back and the exact route I walk…
My mother was so frightened that she took a leave of absence until after the strike….and this event had, for ever, opened my eyes to the way labour unions in Canada function and ‘get things done’.
Thursday, day 4 of the trial, started with a bit of excitement.
Being a ‘morning person’ (that is, I hardly ever go to sleep until after I’ve said ‘hello’ to the morning), I find it difficult to actually be places at an uncivilized hour, like, say, 9:30 am. So, I missed the original action, but it had caused such a buzz and so much comment, I was soon filled-in on the situation. Like I reported earlier, witnesses were not allowed to hear each other’s testimony, nor was anyone allowed to tell them about it. Thus, as I left the court yesterday, Dr. Baglow was pacing expectantly outside of the courtroom, not being allowed to know what Mr. Bow’s testimony and cross examination brought out.
While surfing the net in the evening, Dr. Baglow accidentally encountered a blog which reported on day 3 in court – and thus Mr. Bow’s testimony!!!
How very, very unfortunate that out of the hundreds of thousands, nay, millions of blogs in the blogosphere, Dr. Baglow accidentally landed on the one and only blog in the world where the forbidden information was published…
Of course, being a moral and upright ex-union boss, as soon as he realized what he was reading, Dr. Baglow logged off right away.
There were only 2 observers in the courtroom who were blogging about the case, and I didn’t write up day 3 until yesterday, so we can narrow down pretty easily which was the blog in question. However, the court clerk and stenographer did not know that and the court clerk was sending daggers out of her eyes in my direction all morning.
I think the court clerk must have a very difficult and frustrating job. While I have never heard any of the other court clerks in the cases I have observed so far complain about their job, this one was more articulate. She kept explaining to anyone within earshot just how much more difficult they were making her job. And everything in the courtroom seemed designed to annoy her – from the way the chairs were arranged to the fact that some people left the courtroom through the left side of the door instead of using the right side only. Poor woman – so much responsibility and so many unnecessary obstacles were being hurled into her path.
And now this!
“Now I have to worry about being on some BLOG!!!’ she lamented at one point, as she shot me a particularly venomous look.
It must be a difficult job, indeed!
But, back to the substance of the trial. I am not quoting directly, but rather expressing my imperfect understanding of the testimony and cross examination. Timelines may be jumbled and at some points, I may put specific bits of testimony and cross examination together, to maintain the narrative.
As I came in, the blogger Jay Currie was under discussion. (Note – the linkie is to his new blog, which I quite like. The discussion here is about his old blog, which Dr. Baglow says was quite good, but I myself hardly ever went there as I simply did not like the format and feel of it.)
Jay Currie’s old blog was a bit of a cross-roads where a lot of unlike-minded people went to for ‘verbal fencing’ – not because they actually expected to convince anyone of the rightness of their point, but simply to bicker. Personally, I detest bickering, so I hardly ever went there and never took part in the pointless bickering. This was not the case for Dr. Dawg (Dr. Baglow’s online persona), nor for Peter O’Donnel, the other persona of Roger Smith.
At some point in time, Dr. Dawg had a private email conversation with Jay Currie, which he had subsequently learned was shared with Mark Fournier’s lawyer, Barbara Kulaszka. Dr. Baglow was deeply hurt and very disappointed by this breech of trust and invasion of privacy. Poor Dr.Baglow…
It is my guess that the emails referred to here were the ones which definitely established the identity of Ms. Mew as a handle of Dr. Baglow. Dr. Baglow insisted that everyone knew he was Ms. Mew as the nickname was an obvious play on ‘Dr. Dawg’. However, I suspect ‘everyone knew’ would not be a good enough identification for the courts….and nor would using Ms. Mew’s IP address, as numerous courts have ruled that an IP address cannot be used to identify a person.
Anyhow, at this particular time, Dr. Baglow testified, the online sparring in the comments between himself and Jay Currie had gone on for quite some time. Dr. Baglow was upset to find out that the offensive materials (those 7 little words, and, in my never-humble-opinion, had the article used been ‘a’ instead of ‘the’, we could not be here, in court – so, listen to all us Grammar-nazis out there, it may help you avoid a lawsuit!) would not be taken down and he was very, very hurt and angry.
The discussion now moved to something that had been written, but I could not see as the exhibits are not available to the spectators, but it was understood by the Fourniers as a threat to use the courts to bankrupt them – and thus was said to have demonstrated malice on the part of Dr. Baglow. If I am not mistaken, it was something like that when this was all done, he, Dr. Baglow, would get Roger Smith’s harpsichord and play it in Mark and Connie’s house, which he will have won in the lawsuit. Or something like that. The Fourniers and Roger Smith took this to be a threat of lawfare – where the process is as much of a punishment as any potential outcome (and something which spreads ‘libel chill’ throughout the blogosphere) but Dr. Baglow testified that this was just a bit of ‘bravado’ and ‘nothing to pay serious attention to’.
As a matter of fact, there were quite a lot of instances where Dr. Baglow was ‘displaying bravado’ or just writing words in frustration at having such an injustice committed against his person, and any words uttered in such a state of mind, no matter how derogatory or sexually degrading (those would be the ones directed at Connie Fournier, the lone female participant in this farce of a trial – and the one for whom Dr. Dawg’s vilest of insults were reserved), were not any evidence of malice or bad will, but just a symptom of frustration. Had the Fourniers been good little unwashed plebs, and done everything the intellectual Dr. Baglow demanded, they would not have brought such malicious invective on themselves!!! At times, I think Dr. Baglow felt quite hurt that the Fourniers, Connie in particular, had forced him to use such uncivilized language…
Please note, I am paraphrasing and getting the ‘gist’ of the testimony as I understood it, not quoting Dr. Baglow directly….and I am using the word ‘malicious’ in the colloquial, not the legal sense of the word as I have no legal training. And I am applying the word ‘malicious’ t the words used, not to D. Baglow. Just thought I ought to clarify that here, so nobody would be misled.
Aside: the kind of language that Dr. Baglow used was truly, truly ‘past colourful’. For example, he called a male blogger (not involved in this lawsuit) a ‘flaming …..’ where ‘…..’ is a word for female genitalia. Now, I don’t care how punny anyone thinks this may or may not be, but, using bits of female anatomy as an insult to hurl at another man: if THAT is not anti-woman hate-speech, I don’t know what is!!!
Dr. Baglow testified most vehemently that he does not approve of, indulge in or permit (on his blog) ‘Hate Speech’ of any kind. Whenever someone used the phrase ‘right to freedom of speech’, he made sure to insert the word ‘alleged’ before the word ‘right’ – with great emphasis.
His lawyer, Mr. Burnet, kept ‘fumbling’ the documents and getting the exhibits ‘mixed up’. And, at times, he kept ramming the left arm of his glasses into his left ear…. How exciting to witness such skillful courtroom theater!!!!
Another ‘current’ through this testimony was about likening Connie Fournier to Nazis. Perhaps not in name, but in imagery.
Dr. Baglow testified that he did not say Ms. Fournier was a Nazi, nor does he think that she is. But there were so many statements brought up during the testimony and the cross examination where Dr. Baglow used Nazi imagery that his professions seemed weak at best.
Then there was some testimony I could not follow, but it sounded as if Dr. Baglow were defending himself from accusations of having written that Judge Annis (the one that ruled that the ‘disputed words’ were not capable of being defamatory) – among other judges – was ‘in the pocket of the conservatives’… Please, do take care that I am stating, flat out, that I did not understand heads or tails of this bit of testimony – just that this is what it sounded like was happening. Mr. Baglow, while admitting to writing the words, denied most vehemently that this was their implication.
Then Dr. Baglow referred to 2 different studies – again, I had no reference, this was all in the documents I had no access to – that ‘proved’ one or another of his statements/positions. But, the judge stared at Dr. Baglow and verbally spanked him by pointing out that she read those two things and they were nothing like ‘scholarly studies’ but just the ravings of some inconsequential journalists. (Again, I am conveying my impressions of what happened, not the actual words uttered.)
Mr. Burnet asked Dr. Baglow if it is true that he wrote about a judge that he is guilty of statutory rape for having had sex with his baby sitter. Now, again, I did not have the documents in front of me, so my understanding is highly imperfect and I would love to be corrected, so that the record will be accurate. But, it seems that event though the babysitter was over the age of 16 (not statutory rape), the judge – as an employer of the baby sitter – was ‘an authority figure’ which Dr. Dawg thinks ‘bumps up’ the statutory rape thingy to 18, not 16. And, Dr. Baglow would appear to have been highly critical of this and he appears to have blogged his criticism. But, writing that ‘a man in position of authority’ was having sex with someone under the age of 18, as he asserted the judge had indeed done, this apparently did not imply, in any way, shape or form, that he was accusing that judge of statutory rape. And while I can respect his opinion and his original blogging thereof, I must admit I was disappointed in how he tried to walk this bit back…
The post by Dr. Dawg called ‘Off with his head’ – and referring to Prime Minister Harper – was also brought up, both during the testimony and the subsequent cross examination. While Dr. Baglow insisted this reference was satire, the fact that there actually was a real-life plot to behead our Prime Minister makes this assertion sound hollow, at best…rather, it would seem to (in my never-humble-opinion) a very thinly veiled sympathy and/or support for militant Islamist terrorists. OK, it was never openly stated in the testimony, but, it hung in the air like a miasma which all parties present pretend is not really there…silent, but palpable!!!
Then the issue of Fern Hill came up….
….I just realized I’m at over 2k words and we have not yet hit lunch!!!
Let me break here and start part 2 from the ‘Fern Hill’ bit.