SOUND: MODEM CONNECTING FADES UP TO FULL MIKE—SINGLE SHOT—RICHOCHET
MUSIC: UP AND UNDER—RECORDED—CUT 1
ANNOUNCER: (VOICE OVER MUSIC) Around Twitter Town and in the territory of the net—there’s just one way to handle the harassers and the stalkers—and that’s with an Internet Sheriff and the smell of “BLOGSMOKE”!
MUSIC: THEME HITS: FULL BROAD SWEEP AND UNDER—RECORDED—CUT 2
ANNOUNCER: “BLOGSMOKE” starring W. J. J. Hoge. The story of the trolling that moved into the young Internet—and the story of a man who moved against it. (MUSIC: OUT)
JOHN: I’m that man, John Hoge, Internet Sheriff—the first man they look for and the last they want to meet. It’s a chancy job—and it makes a man watchful … and a little lonely.
MUSIC: MAIN TITLE—RECORDED—CUT 3
JUDGE: (FADING UP) It is so ordered. Mr. Hoge, you can pick up your copy in the Clerk’s Office upstairs. Mr. Kim, have your client wait here, and a deputy will serve him after Mr. Hoge has left the courthouse.
ZOA AND KIM: (TOGETHER) Thank you, your honor.
JOHN: And so a peace order was issued against The Grouch. He wasn’t supposed to contact me by any means, attempt to contact me, or harass me for the next six months. Now the only means of contact or harassment shown to the judge had been messages via Twitter, so that had to be one of the things was meant by contact or harassment. The judge ruled just after noon. Here’s what happened that very evening.
THE GROUCH: (THROUGH A SMALL SPEAKER) 6:23 pm. #wjjhoge Die in a fire.
JOHN: The clever Grouch thought he’d found a workaround for @mentions. By using a hashtag, he was talking about me instead of to me. But he couldn’t keep things straight forever.
THE GROUCH: (THROUGH A SMALL SPEAKER) July 7th, 9:44 pm. @exwife @wjjhoge @AaronWorthing @Kimberlinunmask @Patterico @rsmccain @Stranahan Let’s show this to our son. @sonsname
JOHN: An @mention … so I filed an Application for Statement of Charges for violation of the peace order.
MUSIC: SCENE BUMPER MUSIC—RECORDED—CUT 4
JOHN: Just as time was running out to file an appeal, The Grouch did so. At first, he filed with wrong court, but that eventually got sorted out. He also filed a motion with the Circuit Court seeking to modify the peace order. What he asked for was an exception that allowed him to continue harassment so long as he called what he was doing “journalism.”
THE GROUCH: (THROUGH A SMALL SPEAKER) The Peace Order violates the Americans with Disabilities Act by discriminating against Respondent, an American with advanced Parkinson’s disease, by limiting his employment and his ability to engage in therapeutic employment and activities. Respondent has the right under the Act to freely engage in his employment activities. In fact, the requires the Government to “accommodate” his disability. However, the Peace Order does just the opposite by restricting and limiting Respondents’s ability to work, earn a living, and engage in an activity that helps slow the progression of Parkinson’s.
JOHN: The court set a hearing date on the motion for the 16th of October.
THE BRAIN: Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?
PINKY: I think so, Brain … say, have you noticed that the Boss has Team Lickspittle mouse pads for sale at The Hogewash Store?
ANNOUNCER: That’s right, Pinky. A mouse pad is just some of the junk that a loyal supporter of Team Lickspittle can spend his money on—exclusively at The Hogewash Store. Drop by today and show your support for Team Lickspittle.
And now back to our story.
MUSIC: SCENE BUMPER MUSIC—RECORDED—CUT 5
JOHN: The Grouch also filed a motion with the Court of Appeals asking that the peace order be stayed pending his petition for appeal. The Court was unimpressed.
SENIOR JUDGE: (MALE VOICE—THROUGH SMALL SPEAKER) Upon consideration of the motion for stay pending appeal in the above entitled case, it is this 4th day of September, 2013, ORDERED, by the Court of Appeals of Maryland that the motion for stay be, and it is hereby, denied.
JOHN: And all along, The Grouch continued his harassment. There was a second Application for Statement of Charges filed. In all, by September, The Grouch was looking at 8 counts of the criminal offense of failure to comply with a peace order.
MUSIC: CLOSING TITLE UP AND UNDER—RECORDED—CUT 6
ANNOUNCER: (VOICE OVER MUSIC) Like many legal cases, this one has had its ups and downs—as we will see in the next episode of “BLOGSMOKE”!
MUSIC: SWELL AND CONTINUE TO MUSIC OUT
ANNOUNCER: The Legal Department wishes the following declaimer read: “‘BLOGSMOKE’ is a work of fiction. Anyone who feels it might be about him should read Proverbs 28:1.” This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.