Blogger Johnny Northside's $60,000 sanction gets review

  • Article by: ABBY SIMONS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 23, 2012 - 9:41 PM

A lawyer for Johnny Northside said the post told the truth. An attorney for Jerry Moore said it sought his firing.

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swmnguyMay. 23, 12 9:33 PM

I'm not a fan of John Hoff. In this case, however, he's in the right. If there's any liability here, it's on the U of M. Mr. Moore worked for the U. The U fired Mr. Moore. Whether or not Mr. Hoff was hoping the U would fire Mr. Moore, the U had to take the action or not. It's their responsibility to fire him, just as it was to hire him.

I think the original ruling was in error. Mr. Hoff does more harm than good to the causes he supports, by his antics and generally obnoxious demeanor. Having read his blog for years, it seems to me there are many people who could reasonably sue him successfully. Mr. Moore is not one of them. I'd think Mr. Moore would have sued the U. I'm guessing there is a reason he hasn't done that; perhaps having to do with the fact that what Mr. Hoff said about Mr. Moore is true.

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boboboboMay. 23, 12 9:59 PM

Accept in the case of libel, people have the right to lobby for dismissal of Any Person that holds a position which is funded by taxpayers. They don't even need a reason.

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boboboboMay. 23, 1210:03 PM

Except. Sorry...typo.

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patasticMay. 23, 1210:38 PM

I don't get it. So citizens can't lobby for the removal of employees of publicly funded institutions?---The first amendment not only covers freedom of speech, but also prevents the government from "prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances."---He had a grievance (The guy his tax money was paying for was involved in fraud) and petitioned for a governmental redress of that grievance.

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kremer333May. 24, 12 6:49 AM

What am I missing here? Someone publishes a truth, and then adds commentary to that truth. A third party decides to act on his commentary and somehow he is legally responsible for that third party's decision?

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asmithe2May. 24, 12 7:55 AM

Have we all forgotten Watergate? That was a couple of guys writing stuff with the expressed purpose of exposing a person in power who was wrongfully hired and unfit for office. If what Johnny Northside wrote was accurate, and it appears it was, then what is the difference? Is it because he is a blogger and not a newspaper? We need MORE fact-based blogs. I worry that this will have a chilling effect on people willing to report on stuff like this that the MSM is refusing to cover.

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Mister_EMay. 24, 12 9:03 AM

Hoff's speech was constitutionally protected on multiple grounds: freedom of speech, freedom of the press (a citizen blogger is also "press")et al. I'm no lawyer, but I wonder why the judge didn't dismiss this case outright? This ruling suggests that anyone who writes publicly that a public employee should be fired for truthful causes could be sued.

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thunderMay. 24, 12 9:07 AM

The main issue on this case is not Free Speech. It was based on Malicious Intent.

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mydearwatsonMay. 24, 1211:07 AM

As one of John Hoff’s victims I can testify that being the subject of one of his blog posts is an unnerving experience that left me shaking and nauseous and my family fearful. There is a huge difference between unbiased reporting, and online harassment. John Hoff doesn’t merely report the truth. He embellishes what he considers truth with insults, insinuations, unproved accusations, and ‘intel’ he gets from “confidential sources” who he refuses to name. Once John Hoff has selected you as the subject of a blog post he will stalk, harass, threaten, intimidate, and retaliate against you. His ultimate goal is to assassinate your character and leave an online record intended to haunt you for the rest of your life (he has written this in his blog). In a State that has given so much attention to bullying prevention, and anti-bullying programs in the schools and in the social media, I find in absurd that someone can use the First Amendment as an excuse to harass, intimidate, and retaliate against someone he doesn’t like. No matter how you look at this case, John Hoff is a bully. If the Court of Appeals does anything but affirm the Jury and the District Court Judge’s decisions, it will give every bully the right to harass, threaten, and intimidate their victims and hide behind the First Amendment. The United States Constitution is supposed to protect the rights of the majority, and the majority has the right to be free from bullies like John Hoff.

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absent_carloMay. 25, 1211:40 AM

There should be more people out there like John Hoff. All he does is uncover and expose slumlords/absentee landlords, drug-dealers, NOMI criminal elements, corruption, parking-lots that have become trash-dumps, etc. It's a blog and we look like fools to the whole nation for not throwing this case out before it began.

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