Here’s the Blognet episode that first ran five years ago today.
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NARRATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
MUSIC: Up, then under …
NARRATOR: You’re a Detective Sergeant. You’re assigned to Internet Detail. An infamous anti-First-Amendment activist has filed suit against a group of bloggers claiming that he is the victim of harassment. Your job … help get the facts.
MUSIC: Up then under …
ANNOUNCER: Blognet … the documented drama of an actual case. For the next few minutes, in cooperation with the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Department, you will travel step by step on the side of the good guys through an actual case transcribed from official files. From beginning to end, from crime to punishment, Blognet is the story of the good guys in action.
MUSIC: Up and out.
SOUND: Footsteps in hallway.
FRIDAY: It was Tuesday, September 15th. It was hot and cloudy in Westminster. We were working the day watch out of Internet Detail. My partner’s Liz Smith. The Boss is Twitter Town Sheriff W. J. J. Hoge. My name’s Friday. It was 12:29 pm when I returned to Room S-140, Internet Detail.
SOUND: Door opens. Footsteps across room.
SMITH: You’re back early. Did they have the crab soup today?
SOUND: Chair pulled out. Bags and mail dropped on the table.
FRIDAY: No. I got you cream of broccoli instead. I grabbed the mail too.
SOUND: Paper bag rustling.
SMITH: Mmmm. That’s OK. Thanks.
FRIDAY: Uh, huh. I’m gonna flip through the mail real quick before I eat … uh, huh … uh, huh … yeah … oh, this one’s interesting.
SOUND: Envelope being opened.
SMITH: Whatcha got?
FRIDAY: One of the lawyers has forwarded Timberland’s amended complaint in that case against all those bloggers.
SMITH: Yeah, it was due right about now.
FRIDAY: It’ll be interesting to see how he manages to deal with all the deficiencies the judge pointed out in his original complaint.
SMITH: Anything obviously wrong?
FRIDAY: Umm … yeah. He’s still including defendants who were dismissed with prejudice in the caption.
SMITH: I’ll bet that it simply parrots the first complaint.
FRIDAY: Maybe, but that wouldn’t be the best way to register his complaint.
FRIDAY: The first complaint wouldn’t work if you put four million volts through it. It’s definitely an ex-parrot.
MUSIC: Stinger and under.
FRIDAY: Because, we didn’t have a specific court date setting a deadline, Timberland’s amended complaint was not a high priority item initially. It took a few days before it worked its way up to the top of the job queue.
Monday, September 21st.
SMITH: I just finished reading through that amended complaint for Timberland. It’s a real piece of work.
FRIDAY: Well, the comparison might have been easier if he’d provided a redlined version of the original complaint like he was supposed to.
SMITH: That’s for sure. Still, it a helluva mess.
FRIDAY: How’s that?
SMITH: I got a copy of the transcript where the judge details what’s wrong with his first complaint and compared that with what Timberland turned in.
FRIDAY: He missed some stuff?
SMITH: He missed almost everything. Here, look through the paragraphs describing the parties.
SOUND: Pages being flipped.
FRIDAY: Uh, huh.
SMITH: See anything missing?
FRIDAY: Oh, yeah. The Sheriff is one of the defendants, and he’s not listed here …
SOUND: Pages being flipped.
FRIDAY: … but he’s listed in the caption.
SMITH: Right, and according to the transcript, the judge specially told him to fix that.
SMITH: (Fading out) It goes downhill from there. Look on the next …
FRIDAY: There were leads to run down based on the new material in the amended complaint. Liz and I worked on the file and had our report ready just before Thanksgiving.
Wednesday, November 25th. 3:57 pm.
SMITH: OK, Joe. My desk is clear. It’s good that we get Thanksgiving off this year.
FRIDAY: Yeah. I’m going to spend the day with my brother and his family.
SMITH: We’re not going anyplace this year. I’m hoping for a quiet family day with … hold it. Something just popped up on the Timberland docket.
FRIDAY: What now?
SMITH: Remember that one of the defendants pulled the trigger on the expedited hearing requirement in the anti-SLAPP law?
FRIDAY: Uh, huh.
SMITH: The court has set a hearing for December 8th.
FRIDAY: Well, I guess we can be thankful we’ve got the report done.
NARRATOR: On Tuesday, December 8th, a hearing was held in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County on the expedited hearing on motions to dismiss and for summary judgment. In a moment, the result of that hearing.
ANNOUNCER: Are you a loyal supporter of Team Lickspittle? While there’s a lot of neat stuff to spend your money on at The Hogewash Store, sometimes you have to buy something useful. When that happens, feel free to hit the Tip Jar.
NARRATOR: On Tuesday, December 8th, a hearing was held in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County on the expedited hearing on motions to dismiss and for summary judgment. After hearing oral arguments on the motions, the court took the matter under advisement. On Tuesday, January 12th, the court granted both motions finding that Timberland had failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted and that most of his suit was barred by the doctrine of res judicata as well.
MUSIC: Theme up and under.
ANNOUNCER: You have just heard Blognet, a series of authentic cases from official files. Technical advice comes from the office of the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Department.
MUSIC: Theme up to music out.
ANNOUNCER: Blognet is a work of fiction. Anyone who thinks it’s about him should read Proverbs 28:1.
This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.
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“Timberland failed” is a complete sentence. Other sentences may not be completed until 2030.