The Death of TKC


This post is worth $2.5 million.

Not to the blogger who wrote it, but to Kevin Padrick of Obsidian Finance Group LLC. He’s the gentleman blogger Crystal Cox apparently defamed.

Indeed, he sued for defamation and won.

The entire ruling is worth reading, and not just because the similarities between Ms. Cox’s circumstances and tkc‘s; the U.S. District Court’s opinion set a precedent that may well stand…at least untill the Supremes rule otherwise.

If indeed they do rule otherwise.

Here’s a salient quote from Judge Marco A. Hernandez:

. . . although defendant is a self-proclaimed “investigative blogger” and defines herself as “media,” the record fails to show that she is affiliated with any newspaper, magazine, periodical, book, pamphlet, news service, wire service, news or feature syndicate, broadcast station or network, or cable television system. Thus, she is not entitled to the protections of the law

Interestingly, Oregon has a media shield law. However, it appears to have been written before the advent of bloggers as Hernandez ruled Ms. Cox does not come under its protection.

Missouri is one of 10 states that do not have media shield laws. The other states are Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia,and Wyoming.

Ms. Cox has contacted the EFF to assist with her case; one assumes she will appeal.

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Given the above facts WNBTv speculates that tkc will lose his current legal imbroglio with Louis Wright. It might also be safely assumed – given tkc’s legendary status as his mother’s permanent houseguest- that any financial renumeration above $1000 imposed by the court would be outside of tkc’s ability to pay, much less a judgement in the millions.

Perhaps, lest someone’s prediction come true, tkc should settle? And maybe, just maybe, Hearne should rethink his coverage of local media deaths? Time will tell.

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DECEMBER 8th UPDATE: The AP picked up the story last night and it’s getting play everywhere. Links below:

AP, The Register, Blogworld, Mashable, Digital Trends et alis. Even the Star ran with the AP story late in the day

11 thoughts on “The Death of TKC”

    1. Not teasing, big guy. Given this ruling, and the circumstances around tkc’s case (not that I’ve read any of the filings; I’ve just had a few people share information…), there’s no way tkc wins.

      As previously noted, Missouri doesn’t have a media shield law. And even if it did, from what my sources tell me, what sparked the lawsuit was not coverage of an incident, per se; it was tkc just being tkc. Moreover, from my (admittedly limited) perusals of other states’ media shield laws, most are designed to protect journalists from prosecution for failing to reveal sources in criminal investigations. Simply does not apply here…again, assuming such a law existed in Missouri.

      No, tkc doesn’t have a leg to stand on. I won’t be surprised if the whole matter is quietly settled before the rescheduled case management conference on January 11th.

      1. First, I know you’re not “teasing”. I was joking with my response.

        Second, this is just as I suspected and expected, I have to say. When you print things like “he took X,000.00 dollars illegally” or any such claim and it’s unsubstantiated, you’re asking for trouble, period. It defames that person, whomever he or she is. You just can’t do it. And as long as Louie Wright (that’s the guy, right?) copied what was written, it doesn’t look good.

        That said, I swear I don’t wish Tony or anyone else ill at all. I just wish he’d tone it down (no slang pun intended) and lose the sexism and hyperbole. It isn’t going to happen but hey, we can dream.

        He’s going to need a great attorney and fantastic luck.

        And even then…

        1. And as long as Louie Wright (that’s the guy, right?) copied what was written, it doesn’t look good.

          Hell, if had been me that was defam’d/libel’d/smear’d/etc’d, I would have copied the whole freaking site down to my HDD, searched and copied Google’s cache of the post, then called my family and friends and had them do the same…

          But that’s just me.

          ; ‘ )

    1. Thats what the ‘case management conference’ is for – to see IF the dispute can be settled out of court.

      Granted, winning a big cash judgement (say…$2.5 mil?) sounds good, but perhaps ‘settling’ for less money (say…$255K) would – at least in this case – have the same effect: in neither instance could T come up with the cash (based on his own legendary lack finanaces), so either award (courtroom based or judge’s chambers directed) busts him out. Louis wins.

      In addition, Louis will probably want some hughly public and repetitive mea culpa’ing from T over a period of time; sometimes that’s more easily worked out behind closed doors….

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