Patterico's Pontifications


Justin Timberlake Latest (Attempted) SWATting Victim

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:13 pm


Justin Timberlake is the latest victim in a string of “swatting” calls that have targeted celebrity homes this past week.

Police were called to the singer’s Hollywood Hills residence in the 3100 block of Torreyson Place Friday afternoon after a caller claimed strangers entered the house and two shots were fired.

Authorities later confirmed the incident to be a false report.

I call it an attempted SWATting because nobody was home.

That’s three SWATting crimes in three days. Perhaps law enforcement will start to prioritize fighting these things. Or perhaps not. Who knows?

As has quickly become traditional, here is an incomplete roll call of SWATtings: Justin Timberlake; Rihanna; Sean Combs; Chris Brown; Tom Cruise; Paris Hilton; Clint Eastwood; Brian Krebs; the Jenners and Kardashians; Justin Bieber; Miley Cyrus; Ashton Kutcher; Simon Cowell; Aaron Walker; Erick Erickson; Mike Stack; and me.

Remember, though: only celebrities count.

That’s the Big Media Way.

The Upside of Supporting Obama

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am

It keeps you safe from the zombies.

Jobs Report Awful

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am

88,000 added. Wretched.

Radio DJs Suspended, Face Possible Felony Charges for Warning of Possible Dihydrogen Monoxide in Water Supply

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:46 am

Another entry from the legal thuggery department, from Overlawyered. Two radio DJs told their audience on Monday that there was “dihydrogen monoxide” coming out of local residents’ taps. They have now been suspended indefinitely and could be facing felony charges.

“My understanding is it is a felony to call in a false water quality issue,” Diane Holm, a public information officer for Lee County, said, due to the potential of such a false report to affect a large segment of Southwest Florida’s population.

Holm added that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection had been asked to check into the hoax.

The thing is, Monday was April Fool’s Day. And “dihydrogen monoxide” is water.

The headline that they “face possible felony charges” is probably hyperbole. No actual prosecutor would file charges for this, I suspect. (But man it would make for some fun blogging if they did!)

As for the suspension:

Tony Renda, general manager at the Bonita Springs country music station, said he immediately pulled Val St. John and Scott Fish off the air when he heard about the April Fools’ Day joke they had been playing on their 5 to 9 a.m. morning show and then started having the joke recanted and an apology aired during station breaks.

. . . .

Renda, also vice president of Pittsburgh, Pa., based Renda Broadcasting, said the suspension is indefinite for now. “We take this very seriously. We take our FCC license very seriously,” he said.

Ah, yes, the ever present threat of government taking away one’s ability to speak for idiotic reasons. It is always good to keep Big Brother in mind. Well played, Mr. Renda. Truly you stand for America today.

P.S. I should note that the story itself is dated April 1 as well. Please, please let the story about the suspension be an April Fool’s joke as well. That would be kind of meta, huh?

David P. Metzger: Crusader for Justice, or Humorless Legal Thug?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:24 am

Ken from Popehat has an amusing yet irritating tale of a man being unmercifully hounded for a seemingly appropriate request with a humorous ending. In a nutshell, a fellow named Colin Purrington saw an organization (the Consortium for Plant Biotechnology Research) using language that he says originated with him. He wrote the Consortium asking them to stop, and added this “humorous coda” (in Ken’s words) to his email:

If you can cover the shipping charges, I would be grateful if you [would] send me the head of the person who did this.


In response, attorney David P. Metzger sent Purrington an email, which said that the Consortium for Plant Biotechnology Research had had a copyright on this material since 2005! (One minor problem: Purrington’s language was from 2001, as a cursory Internet search would easily reveal). Ken explains the content of the letter:

The upshot of the letter was that the Consortium had copyrighted the language in question in 2005, and that unless Colin took it down from his website, he would be facing a lawsuit, statutory damages of up to $150,000, court costs, and attorney fees — Arnold & Porter-sized attorney fees.

Oh, but it gets better. Attorney Metzger also claimed that the “humorous coda” above was an actual physical threat:

Finally, I wish to express CPBR’s concern with your statement in the Purrington E-mail: “I would be grateful if you to send me (sic) the head of the person who did this.” This language was interpreted by CPBR’s staff as a physical threat against their personal safety. Should you make any further similar threats, CPBR staff will have no choice but to contact authorities to protect themselves.

And you wonder why people hate lawyers.

Ken says he has contacted Mr. Metzger for a response. After all, maybe the Consortium is really in the right. And maybe they actually thought Purrington’s funny ending paragraph was a threat. Maybe Congress and the President really care about our fiscal debacle and will pass a serious plan to fix it this year. (I bypassed the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy for an even more absurd example.)

But it sure looks like another episode of Lawyers Behaving Thuggishly.

What ought to happen, in my constitutionally protected opinion, is that people everywhere should write about this, and make fun of Metzger publicly for what certainly seems to be overbearing and humorless behavior. If the mockery is widespread enough, perhaps the client, upset at the embarrassment Metzger has brought them, will call for Metzger’s head on a platter.

P.S. I am sending Metzger a link to this post. He is welcome to respond. I hope I get a humorless email in response filled with absurd baseless legal threats. If I do, I’ll be certain to publish it here.

P.P.S. My email:

Mr. Metzger:

I would be interested in any response to this post.

David P. Metzger: Crusader for Justice, or Humorless Legal Thug?

My readers would likely appreciate it if you could make your response threatening and humorless.

Patrick Frey

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