Crystal Cox: Not A Free Speech Advocate
First of all, remember what I said before: the most important thing you need to know about "blogger" and "investigative journalist" Crystal Cox is that she is the sort of person who will retaliate against a critic by registering a domain in the name of the critic's three-year-old daughter as part of a campaign against him.
But there's something else you should know, too: Crystal Cox is not a sincere supporter of free speech. Crystal Cox is not a defender of the First Amendment. Crystal Cox supports free speech for Crystal Cox, but for her own critics, Crystal Cox is a vigorous (if mostly incoherent) advocate for broad and unprincipled censorship.
This should not surprise us. As I mentioned before, free speech cases often involve defending vile speech by repugnant people. Nearly as often, those repugnant people are no respecters of the rights of anyone else. Do you think the Nazis who marched at Skokie, if they had their way, would uphold the free speech rights of the religious and ethnic minorities who protested them? Do you imagine that Fred Phelps' church, given its choice, would permit the blasphemous and idolatrous freedoms it rails against?
No. We extend constitutional rights to people who, given the opportunity, would not extend the same rights to us. That's how we roll.
Crystal Cox is no different. Eugene Volokh and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are appealing the judgment against her to vindicate (through however flawed a vessel) important free speech issues. But just because Crystal Cox wants free speech for herself, that doesn't mean she supports it for others. In fact, she consistently takes the stance that criticism of her is unlawful and will be met with lawsuits and complaints to state and federal authorities.
Take, for instance, her cross-complaint in the Oregon defamation suit against her. She sued a vast array of people, including all the attorneys in the law firm representing the plaintiff suing her, as well as miscellaneous government entities:
For Complalint against Counter Defendants David Aman, Esq Personally and Professionally, Tonkon Torp Law Firm and all partners, associates and of counsel in their professional and individual capacities, Obsidian Finance LLC and any/all affiliates, Kevin Padrick Esq. officially, professionally and personally, David Brown Esq. professionally and personally, Ewan Rose Esq. officially, professionally and personally, Patrick Flaherty Esq., Bend Oregon District Attorney Office officially, professionally and personally capacities, Deschutes County, Stephanie DeYoung, CPA StudebakerDeYoung CPA PC -Stephanie Studebaker LLP , Mark Neuman, Lane Lyons, Brian Stevens, Tim Larkin, Summit Accomodators Inc. and any and all affiliates, Sean Boushie, Lincoln County Montana District Attorney Bernie Cassidy, P. Stephen Lamont, CEO of iViewit Technologies Inc, Robin Clute Personally and Professionally, and John and Jane Does.
In her Cross-complaint, Crystal Cox asserts that all of these people have engaged in a conspiracy to harass and defame her — by suing her for defamation. Crystal Cox can say whatever she wants about you, but if you say "Crystal Cox defamed me," well, that's illegal:
Plaintif has harmed my Oregon Real Estate Brokerage License by filing a frivolous lawsuit and defaming me among potential real estate clients as I am a licensed real estate broker in the state of oregon.
Writing scores of deranged sites blasting strangers through oddly capitalized screeds is fine when Crystal Cox does it, but if anyone puts up a site that criticizes her, that's a "hate blog" and it's actionable:
Counter Defendant Bernie Cassidy aided and abetted Counter Defendant Sean Boushie to continue on hate blogs, and hate groups, and in conspiracy against counter plaintiff.
Registering domain names incorporating the names of enemies and accusing them of crimes is swell when Crystal Cox does it, but if you try to convince others that she's evil, well, that's actionable too:
Stephen Lamont defamed me in sending emails to all iViewit shareholders to join a hate group against me. This group was and is ran by Sean Boushie of Montana, who claims to this day to be working with David Aman of Tonkon Torp and Kevin Padrick of Obisidian Finance to harm my and financially ruin me.
This pattern repeated in Crystal Cox's motion to exclude a witness. (This witness, a hapless fellow who apparently earned Cox's ire by writing a letter to the editor she didn't like, obtained a restraining order against her; she accused him of a raft of offenses and tried to get a restraining order against him, but was rejected by the court.) Once again, the motion shows Crystal's freakishly narcissistic view of free expression: Crystal Cox can accuse everyone she wants of anything she likes and say any terrible thing about them, but if someone criticizes her in vivid terms, that's "extreme hate, harassment and intimidation" justifying excluding them as a witness.
Finally, consider Crystal Cox's response to the recent attention to her behavior by blogs including this one, not to mention stories at Forbes and the New York Times. Writers, including me, have presented Crystal Cox's own words, her own domain registrations, her own emails, and her own court documents, asked readers to evaluate them, and asserted that they show that Crystal Cox is an evil person who has engaged in what appears to be a campaign of extortion. Crystal Cox crows about her own supposed right to attack strangers on the internet without evidence or reason (or diction, or grammar, or a grasp of reality.) Does she extend that same right to her critics? Of course not. Here's how she plans to respond to her critics:
And now Kashmir Hill of Forbes, David Carr of the New York Times, Marc Randazza, Kenneth P. White of Popehat.com, Tracy Coenen, Randazza Legal Group, have launched a campaign to set up a Blogger for Extortion when I was not accused of Extortion in an Criminal Complaint, nor was I on trial for extortion and now this Lynch Mob has put me under Extreme Duress and ALL will be named in my Federal Hate Crime Filing, Criminal Complaint, Judicial Complaint, FBI Complaint, Attorney General Complaint, Bar Complaint and Department of Justice Complaint.
Crystal Cox is no free speech defender. Crystal Cox is no First Amendment advocate. Crystal Cox is merely that familiar, universally scorned and loathed figure of the playground — the bully who can dish it out, but can't take it.
Every time you think of her, remember: Crystal Cox is someone who will register a domain in the name of the three-year-old daughter of her critic as part of a campaign against him.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Follow-Up: U.C. Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks Gets Free Speech Right This Time - September 12th, 2014
- The Quality of Mercy Is Not Strained, But It May Have A Litmus Test - September 11th, 2014
- [Rerun from 2011] Ten Things I Want My Kids To Learn From 9/11 - September 11th, 2014
- Yale Might Want To Look Into Some Sort of Basic Civic Literacy Course - September 10th, 2014
- U.C. Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks Gets Free Speech Very Wrong - September 6th, 2014