Vote In The Second Annual Popehat "Censorious Asshat of the Year" Poll

Effluvia

It's time for Popehat's Second Annual "Censorious Asshat of the Year" poll.

The rules of eligibility are arbitrary and capricious, but here are a few: (1) it has to be someone we've written about, (2) it has to be someone whose censorious behavior has a certain spark that elevates it above the mundane, and (3) it can't involve someone I represented, or for that matter anyone currently threatening to report me to the U.N. for hate crimes or whatever.

Here, in reverse chronological order, are the candidates.

Robert Alistair McAlpine, Baron McAlpine of West Green, who reacted to a false and vile news report by threatening not only the network that issued the report, but people who who merely repeated it on Twitter. In Aggravation: Had his attorneys issue Maoist self-criticism forms and suggest that anyone who mentioned the story should fill them out. In Mitigation: Was genuinely wronged by incompetent BBC reporting.

Matthew Overstreet of Casey Movers, who immolated his company's brand with foolish defamation threats against a bad Yelp review. In Aggravation: expressly bragged about dragging someone to a distant court. In Mitigation: He's obscure, pitiful, and has largely retreated.

Craig Brittain of "Is Anybody Down?", who used a frivolous and barely coherent DMCA notice to try to censor Popehat posts about his vile fraud scheme. In Aggravation: A thoroughly despicable fraudster and purveyor of involuntary porn designed to abuse and humiliate. In Mitigation: None.

The Reading University Student Union and its leaders Kara Swift, Kath Davey, Richard Silcock, and Ceri Jones, for pursuing disciplinary proceedings against a student group for displaying a pineapple named Mohammed, on the grounds it caused offense. Sorry, "Offence." In Aggravation: Betraying a proud heritage, contributing substantively to the decline of Western Civilization in favor of an imagined right not to be offended. In Mitigation: They very likely have never been taught any better.

Attorney Charles Carreon, who in an ongoing saga this year sent a bumptious and frivolous defamation threat to a popular webcomic, and when met with ridicule and satire, retaliated with frivolous federal litigation seeking to interfere with a charitable campaign that offended him. Also threatened a blogger for satirizing him and wrote to that blogger's employer. In Aggravation: Purports to be an internet lawyer and a defender of freedom, despite having no apparent grasp of the internet and an abiding hatred of freedom. In Mitigation: It's rubble-bouncing at this point, and his asshattery resulted in major donations to good causes.

Larry Bodine of Lawyers.com, who reported lawyers to Twitter for spamming when they used a marketing hashtag to comment on a vapid legal marketing event. In Aggravation: He and his ilk are making the legal profession, no bed of roses to begin with, measurably more awful. In Mitigation: It seems as if this was a passing fancy between feckless eructations of marketing-gibberish rather than a long-term thing.

The University of California's Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion, which issued a broad-based recommendation for patently unconstitutional campus hate speech laws, addressing the First Amendment issues with an imperial hand-wave: “The Team recognizes that changes to UC hate speech policies may result in legal challenge, but offer [sic] that UC accept the challenge.” In Aggravation: By example, teaching university students to be stupider and more censorious. In Mitigation: Irrelevant, even for a university advisory committee.

John Rocker, brought in to WorldNetDaily to add gravitas, who offered a nearly perfect articulation of the ridiculous viewpoint that criticizing someone is a form of censorship, a long-standing Popehat bugaboo. In Aggravation: He's being a dick about people being a dick about people being a dick, and the recursion is giving me a headache. In Mitigation: Who?

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, for threatening — albeit briefly — to bar Chick-Fil-A from Boston because its owners have regrettable views on gays and gay marriage. In Aggravation: Overtly threatened abuse of government power. In Mitigation: A born politician, he doesn't mean anything he says, and likely lacks the ability to govern his words or actions.

Sinclair Community College President Steven L. Johnson, for explaining that protesters at his state-run school are prohibited from using protest signs because of 9/11 and Virginia Tech. In Aggravation: Invoking the name of honored dead to suggest Americans should cower at the prospect of misspelled and poorly thought-out signs about Veganism and capitalist pigs or something. In Mitigation: After prolonged exposure to the academic environment, incapable of thinking like a normal person.

The Olympic Establishment, for pestering and insulting knitters and policing the pronouncements of publicans, purportedly in an effort to wring every last drop of lucre out of human athletic achievement. In Aggravation: Don't mess with fries, fuckers. In Mitigation: If we'd turn the damn TV off and stop buying the geegaws, they'd stop.

Raanan Katz, who is remarkably photogenic if you find Jabba the Hutt alluring, embarked on a legal campaign against people publishing his picture and writing about him, including saying that pointing to the alleged defamatory blogs might itself be defamation and arguing that representing people he's suing is itself actionable. In Aggravation: He thinks his money ought to make him immune to criticism. In Mitigation: He seems really quite sensitive. There should be some kind of program for that.

Berkeley Chief of Police Michael K. Meehan, who disagreed with a story written about his department, and so sent a police officer to the home of the journalist at 12:45 a.m. to ask that it be changed. In Aggravation: That's some straight-up stone-cold thuggery. In Mitigation: the article apparently hurt his feelings; it's possible that in Berkeley that's against the law.

Brett Kimberlin, a convicted perjurer and bomber who abused the justice system by seeking and obtaining "peace orders" prohibiting blogger Aaron Walker from writing about him, a legal atrocity that was only overturned with great effort. In Aggravation: Kimberlin engaged in a campaign of bombing terror, wounded a man so badly that he later took his own life, laughed off the judgment against him for years, and now thinks that the law should prevent people from writing about him. In Mitigation: Nothing. Not a damn thing. Nothing at all. Except this. Maybe.

The Lincolnshire Police, who threatened John Richards with arrest if he did not take down a letter-sized piece of paper in his window bearing the slogan "religions are fairy stories for adults." Because feelings! In Aggravation: Part of the vanguard of the sad decline of a great culture. In Mitigation: Would no doubt have been extremely polite and gentle in arresting Mr. Richards for that mean piece of paper.

The Legislatures of Arizona and Connecticut, both of which toyed with trend-humping, foolish, overbroad, and badly drafted "cyberbullying" legislation in an effort to prevent people from being mean on the internet. In Aggravation: They took oaths of office to uphold the Constitution. In Mitigation: Nobody expects them to keep those oaths.

Here is the poll. One vote only. The poll closes midnight on the 31st.

[poll id="4"]

 

Last 5 posts by Ken White

104 Comments

98 Comments

  1. Adam Steinbaugh  •  Dec 26, 2012 @2:40 pm

    I suspect Carreon will carry the day on this one, but Craig Brittain's chutzpah in claiming copyright doesn't apply to him while DMCA-ing embarrassing public records wins my vote.

  2. Steve  •  Dec 26, 2012 @2:44 pm

    +1 for "feckless eructations".

  3. John Ammon  •  Dec 26, 2012 @2:46 pm

    I also suspect Carreon, given that he's the single-highest reason for an increase in popcorn consumption this year ;)

  4. PLW  •  Dec 26, 2012 @2:53 pm

    Police at journalists' doors after midnight. I don't think it gets more censorious than that until they start burning books and smashing presses.

  5. Marc J. Randazza  •  Dec 26, 2012 @3:01 pm

    Craig Brittain is an asshat, but I think it is eminently unfair to call him a "censorious asshat."

    Carreon may have had censorious intentions, but he was completely, miserably, impotently ineffective. So, a vote for him is really not fair either. I mean, if you want to just vote on intent, this list doesn't even rate.

  6. Xenocles  •  Dec 26, 2012 @3:01 pm

    I vote for Mumbles.

  7. Valerie  •  Dec 26, 2012 @3:04 pm

    It has to be Carreon for involving the illuminai + Al Capp and suing everyone under the sun with a loony assist from his bat shit crazy wife. Then dodged service in the most craven way possible. His censorious asshatery knows know bounds. Plus, for God's sakes people, he wrote a song about it – with a video. And his wife illustrated the whole misadventure with a nutso psudo-buddhist picture of the Oatmeal being eaten inside out by monsters (or something like that). If the Carreons do not win this, there is no justice in this world. They have worked so hard…

  8. Marc J. Randazza  •  Dec 26, 2012 @3:06 pm

    but, Valerie, all of that is asshattery — but not censorious asshattery.

  9. John David Galt  •  Dec 26, 2012 @3:07 pm

    I thought about writing in Michael Mann for his suit against Mark Steyn and the National Review — but unlike most of these cases, Mann will likely get his just deserts when the case goes to trial.

  10. Jack B.  •  Dec 26, 2012 @3:11 pm

    The competition is tough this year what with Charles Carreon and Craig Brittain, but I had to go with Brett Kimberlin.

  11. Andrew Roth  •  Dec 26, 2012 @3:24 pm

    FYI, Ken, the Boston mayor's name is Menino, not Marino. The same typo appears in the linked post from the time of the Chick-Fil-A imbroglio, so I'm guessing that autocorrect is to blame.

  12. repsac3  •  Dec 26, 2012 @3:25 pm

    I was all prepared to predict Carreon would win, (though I'm personally voting "Baron McAlpine," because even talking about suing somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 British Twitter users takes a whole lot of asshattery, censorious and otherwise), but seeing that first trackback and what I suspect it'll likely lead to amongst a certain group of bloggers, I'm changing my prediction to Kimberlin, FTW. (…and I'm intentionally not voting that particular way myself on purpose–in protest–because I have to draw the dang line somewhere…and because I truly do think potentially suing the 10,000 Brit Twits really is worse.)

  13. Roho  •  Dec 26, 2012 @3:27 pm

    With no desire to nitpick, but great desire for effective Googling by voters wishing to enhance their knowledgement, our illustrious and censurious mayor is Thomas Menino, not Marino.

    As a bonus pro-tip to searchers; you may get more hits if you search for "Mumbles Menino".

  14. Ken  •  Dec 26, 2012 @3:31 pm

    Thanks. Fixed.

  15. Turk  •  Dec 26, 2012 @3:33 pm

    I object.

    One vote?! One measly vote from this delightful selection of asshatery?

    I strenuously object. There. I said it. I feel better.

    Does anyone really expect cretins like Brittain or Kimberlain to have sanity?

    Those who engaged in a one-off screw-up aren't as bad as those that persist.

    Lawyers should be held to higher standard. Carreon deserves it.

  16. Bearman Cartoons  •  Dec 26, 2012 @3:36 pm

    Charles in charge simply because it was others writing about you writing about it that led me here.

  17. Patrick  •  Dec 26, 2012 @3:49 pm

    At present Kimberlin is winning, narrowly, over Carreon. A good choice.

    Personally I believe Menino and Raanan Katz should be fighting it out for 1 and 2.

  18. Xenocles  •  Dec 26, 2012 @4:11 pm

    I see Menino's mitigating factors as aggravating ones – pandering might be common but it's hardly an excuse.

  19. Jerryskids  •  Dec 26, 2012 @4:25 pm

    Isn't there a categorical difference between a government agent attempting to silence someone and a private citizen asking a government agent to silence someone? Having a cop (or mayor or college administrator) at your door telling you to shut up is something different than having a lawyer threatening to send a cop to your door. (I didn't say being threatened by a cop rather than a lawyer was worse, mind you, just different.)

    I voted for Katz on the grounds that somebody that can afford that many lawyers is certainly able to afford one decent lawyer who could explain, in technical legal terminology, the meaning of 'aggravated censorious asshattery'.

  20. John Ammon  •  Dec 26, 2012 @4:29 pm

    @Jerryskids – On the contrary, someone with that much money can afford to cherry pick the lawyers who will do whatever he says regardless of any scruples they may have once had.

  21. Zubon  •  Dec 26, 2012 @4:47 pm

    It's a strong pool of candidates, and it's a shame they cannot all win, but I am swayed by the point about sending a man with a gun to your house in the dead of the night.

  22. Clayton  •  Dec 26, 2012 @5:38 pm

    I question the math in use by the poll software:

    Matthew Overstreet of Casey Movers (0%, 1 Votes)
    |
    John Rocker (3%, 0 Votes)
    |||

  23. Monitor  •  Dec 26, 2012 @5:40 pm

    I went with Kimberlin. Mainly because it was the story about him on sites like Allergic 2 Bull and Patterico's Pontifications that lead me to this site.

    That and the fact that I have been following it pretty closely since May 2012

  24. Ken  •  Dec 26, 2012 @5:46 pm

    I'm sorry, Clayton, but this is Popehat.

    There is no math.

  25. Hal 10000  •  Dec 26, 2012 @5:50 pm

    I think you might need a runoff. It was hard for me to narrow down my choices because, in a way, they're all fucking losers.

  26. AlphaCentauri  •  Dec 26, 2012 @6:15 pm

    Is the decision this difficult every year? It's hard to believe all that happened in one year.

  27. En Passant  •  Dec 26, 2012 @6:19 pm

    Zubon wrote Dec 26, 2012 @4:47 pm:

    It's a strong pool of candidates, and it's a shame they cannot all win, but I am swayed by the point about sending a man with a gun to your house in the dead of the night.

    Objection! Assumes facts not in evidence. Invites unconstitutional gender based inferences about police officer fitness for duty. Calls for institutional sexism. And, uh, mostly just gives me an excuse to comment.

    Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan ordered the department's Public Information Officer, Sgt. Mary Kusmiss to go to Bay Area News Group reporter Doug Oakley's door at 12:45 a.m. according to the original article.

    Asshattery mitigated by egalitarian gender-neutral execution of the scheme? Or aggravated by placing a woman whose job was public relations in danger of public crucifixion by printing press for following orders?

    I report. You decide.

  28. John O.  •  Dec 26, 2012 @6:21 pm

    Being an Arizonan who takes great pride in my state, I absolutely feel terrible when the state officials do not take their medication and go all bat-shit insane crazy. I had no choice but to single them out for this.

  29. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 26, 2012 @6:58 pm

    Because of personal ties to the issue, I went with Kimberlin. He and his crew of barely-literate psychopaths have flung their nets of censorious bullshit far and wide, and influence a great number of things…

    For fuck, kids, search for what Neal Rauhauser wrote about the Nadia Naffe thing, and then go find her lawyer's complaint. The similarities will astonish you.

    So yeah, Kimberlin all the way.

    But after him, it would have to be the states of Arizona and Connecticut and then Mumbles Menino…

  30. Nyarlathotep  •  Dec 26, 2012 @7:06 pm

    I voted for the Berkely Police chief, because he compounded his censorious asshattery by abusing his position as chief of police. To me that makes an already bad thing intolerably bad.

  31. wgering  •  Dec 26, 2012 @7:36 pm

    Craig Brittain. There are few things that I find more reprehensible than taking advantage of women.

    Dishonorable Mentions: All the educational institutions, for perpetuating the notion that people have a right not to be offended or insulted.

  32. wgering  •  Dec 26, 2012 @7:40 pm

    Meehan certainly wins the gold in Police Thuggery though. This city drives me fucking crazy.

  33. nlp  •  Dec 26, 2012 @7:51 pm

    Living near, but not in, Boston, I've noticed that people pay little attention to anything Menino says. He opens his mouth, words (or something resembling words) fall out, and everyone keeps right on doing whatever it was they were doing. Null effect. (I also note that he's been in and out of the hospital lately, so if you're planning to present the award in person, it could be difficult).

    My problem with voting for Kimberlin is that I consider him evil, which is a step beyond Censorious Asshat. I think my choice is between Carreon and Meehan.

  34. Wilhelm Arcturus  •  Dec 26, 2012 @7:55 pm

    Personally, I have to lay aside all of those who have no real mandate to protect anybody's rights. Charles Carreon was a championship level chump, but that might just be his job… or hobby… or whatever.

    Public officials though, they are elected, or appointed, on the idea that they might know better. Certainly it is part of their oath and job description. That carries more weight for me in the CAHOTY poll.

  35. John Lewis  •  Dec 26, 2012 @8:54 pm

    We have to have either Michael Steele or Mr. Speeeeekar up there for the RNC Power Grab…

  36. Dustin  •  Dec 26, 2012 @10:58 pm

    Wow. There sure are a lot of jerks out there.

  37. Larie  •  Dec 27, 2012 @12:00 am

    They're all awful, but Meehan's awfulness reaches beyond mere censorious asshatness and almost into the rarified air of people one can Godwin and still not be overreacting.

    Unless I'm missing something, everyone else here, rotten as they are, are on this list for threatening civil legal action, which is to say, threats to the (financial) property of people whose opinions they don't like. Not that those aren't terrible enough, and capable of ruining a person's life and emotional/mental health… but sending a cop to someone's door at 1 am is an implied threat to that person's immediate physical safety and/or freedom, backed by the force of the government.

  38. Black Betty  •  Dec 27, 2012 @1:35 am

    I went with Brett Kimberlin. He hasn't just attempted to pervert and subvert the 1st Amendment. He's a convicted domestic terrorist. He's a convicted narcotics trafficker. He's a convicted perjurer. He was suspected of committing murder in Indiana and was found responsible for the subsequent death of one of his bombing victims (a Viet Nam Vet). He was reportedly suspected of the abuse of a minor child there as well. He was also reported to have been charged with domestic abuse in the state that he now resides.

    His insulting "support" of the military would be laughable if it weren't so sickening, considering that he spent 17 years in prison for the very same acts that are now getting my military brothers and sisters killed and maimed. So while all of the people on that list deserve to be nominated, Kimberlin deserves a special place in annuls asshattery.

  39. Guns  •  Dec 27, 2012 @2:12 am

    As I stumbled upon this blog during the Oatmeal story, I don't know much of the asshats who came before Carreon. My top three (and apparently others' as well) would include Carreon, Craig Brittain and Brett Kimberlin (whom I know of pretty much only because the links to bloggers on the left are listed alphabetically). But which one should take the top spot… Let's see:

    Carreon: both "censorious" and "asshat" are terms that fit him to a tee. However, the way that story eventually played out has left him with such a comically inept image that it is hard to vote for him when there are so many truly vile individuals to choose from. He doesn't get my vote because frankly he doesn't deserve to win anything at this point.

    Kimberlin: truly evil, obviously. Also likely insane, it would seem to me. However, his use and abuse of free speech and censorship seem such small facets of his vile character, in comparison to the other things he did. He would certainly win many asshatcompetions, but I'm not certain this one should be among them. Given the spirit and subject of this blog, I would more likely vote for Judge C.J. Vaughey. Anyone can attempt to be a censorious asshat and think to get away with it, but judges should set them straight, not enable them.

    Brittain: I despise everything about him. Every single thing. The absolutely disgusting site, the horrible scam he built around it, the ridiculous threats to people calling him out on his scam… He's pretty light (and quite inept) on the "censorious" thing, yes, but the sheer amount of absolutely vile asshattery more than compensates for that, in my opinion.

    In the end, I voted for Craig Britain. But it was a really close toss-up between him and Kimberlin.

  40. Matthew Cline  •  Dec 27, 2012 @3:44 am

    Police at journalists' doors after midnight. I don't think it gets more censorious than that until they start burning books and smashing presses.

    While that's high in magnitude, it's just so… plain. It doesn't have the chutzpah or twisting of logic into pretzels that the other entries do.

  41. Tarrou  •  Dec 27, 2012 @7:38 am

    Lot of worthy and worse people than my vote, but I had to go for the Pineapple Police. You just don't get better than that. An absolutely perfect illustration of the endgame of multiculturalism!

  42. En Passant  •  Dec 27, 2012 @8:51 am

    Matthew Cline wrote Dec 27, 2012 @3:44 am:

    While that's high in magnitude, it's just so… plain. It doesn't have the chutzpah or twisting of logic into pretzels that the other entries do.

    Paging the spirit of Hanna Arendt, to the courtesy telephone, please.

  43. Fernando Poo (@deadvole)  •  Dec 27, 2012 @9:19 am

    So difficult

  44. Selquest  •  Dec 27, 2012 @9:27 am

    Carreon tried to halt an effort to raise money for curing cancer because he didn't like that he was insulted by it. Not sure it gets more censorious asshat than "I'm butthurt, so I'm ON THE SIDE OF CANCER!".

  45. Andrew Roth  •  Dec 27, 2012 @9:55 am

    It was a hard choice, but after entirely too much deliberation I finally cast my vote for that worthy English dark horse, the Lincolnshire Police, which, incidentally, I solemnly invite to kiss my Yankee ass. Even if its fairy-tale "enforcement" of the "law" wreaked less havoc than the rampages of some of the private actors on the ballot, the precedent it set was exceptionally ominous because it acted not as a known outlaw, but in an official police capacity.

    Even Chief Meehan couldn't compete with the Lincolnshire Police for sheer degraded pathos. At least Meehan lashed out because he was upset by a political dispute that he took personally; the Lincolnshire Police, by contrast, debased themselves dispassionately as a matter of principled servility before an unconscionable law. The Lincolnshire case was also aggravated by its being the official work of an entire police agency, not the semiofficial work of one rogue cop doing the bidding of another to assuage his butthurt. It's a deeper sort of rot than can be inferred for Berkeley based on the evidence presented.

    Brett Kimberlin is also a worthy candidate, but it would be unfortunate to name him without an honorable mention of his enabler, Judge Vaughey. I second what Guns said about these two.

    Voting for Charles Carreon or Craig Brittain at this point is almost as trite as voting for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney in a real election.

  46. SassQueen  •  Dec 27, 2012 @12:44 pm

    Went with the douchy police chief, since he has power to cause immediate and potentially life-threatening danger by sending someone with a gun to my house – well, he would if I lived in Berkeley I guess. If not for him, though, it would have been a tie between Brittain and Kimberlin.

  47. princessartemis  •  Dec 27, 2012 @12:47 pm

    My vote is cast for Meehan with the Lincolnshire police making it so I had to just pick one since I had only one vote. There are many asshats in attendance, but only a few which have the institutional power to rise to real censure. Menino gets a dishonorable mention.

  48. Joe Pullen  •  Dec 27, 2012 @2:49 pm

    Well I’m going to need to mull over this list for a day or two.
    I agree with Marc and Andrew – I think Craig Brittain was pretty ineffective in suppressing what’s being said about him. He’s made a few half ass threats to me as well but he’s been unable to really do anything from a censorship standpoint. If we were talking invasion of privacy it would be a different story and I’m not sure his trials and tribulations are over just yet. Also, I’m not entirely convinced Carreon isn’t completely nutter. Plus the handbook on how to defeat Carreon at his game is essentially public so I don’t really view him a serious ongoing threat.

    My top three picks would be:

    Brett Kimberlin – continues to use extreme measures to silence his critics. Most importantly, he killed someone – really that says it all. However his sidekick Rauhauser should be included as well.

    Michael Meehan – any time someone in a position of authority (especially the police) uses the police to squash speech they go to the head of the line. Personally though at 12:45pm I wouldn’t have answered the damn door.

    Raanan Katz – I view him as an ongoing threat since he has the money and apparently the intent to continue push his agenda of suing anyone that dares cause him butt hurt.

    The Lincolnshire police also get the once over for the same reason as Meehan. However they’re Brits so technically not governed by the provisions of our First Amendment. Still, they should know better.

  49. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 27, 2012 @3:47 pm

    I still think it should be Kimberlin, due to he and his crew's skill at confusing the issues brought before the court. Using a pile of bullshit that would dwarf Everest, he causes courts to think that what they are looking at is a political argument, not thuggery.

    I long for a judge who can work through all the bullshit and see what is going on. So long as the cases are on the East Coast, I don't see that happening.

  50. John-David  •  Dec 27, 2012 @5:01 pm

    It seems to me the best vote is for someone in government, just because they have the most power behind their censoriousness asshatery. That's why Meehan gets my vote.

  51. Paul Alan Levy  •  Dec 27, 2012 @5:02 pm

    Because I am involved in one of the cases here, I am not going to vote, but I am going to propose something that you might or might not weigh in mitigation of Brett Kimberlin's peace order nonsense — Walker's response was also ridiculous. Walker filed his own lawsuit against Kimberlin, http://www.citizen.org/documents/Walker-v-Kimberlin-Amended-Complaint.pdf, and then commenced to use the pendency of the litigation to subpoena an anonymous blogger who had written extensively about that controversy. http://www.citizen.org/documents/Walker-v-Kimberlin-subpoena.pdf. Kimberlin reached out to me about the subpoena and eventually put the blogger in touch with me; I contacted Walker's counsel, a very unimpressive fellow named Dan Backer, and warned him what would ensue if he pursued the subpoena. Walker's lawyer blustered about going forward, but it is not clear that he was pursuing the subpoena, and in the meantime his lawsuit against Kimberlin was dismissed. http://www.citizen.org/documents/Walker-v-Kimberlin-Dismissal.pdf Two wrongs don't make a right, but the wrongfulness of Walker's subsequent litigation maybe makes his suffering at Kimberlin's hands a bit less worthy of your annual award.

    Disclosure: nearly 25 years ago, I represented Kimberlin in a free speech matter — an FOIA request to get to the bottom of the reasons why the Bureau of Prisons put Kimberlin in solitary confinement at a time when reporters suddenly wanted to talk to him about his claim to have sold dope to then-Vice-Presidential-candidate Dan Quayle.

  52. Jon  •  Dec 27, 2012 @5:30 pm

    What does the first place winner receive, an all expenses paid trip to snort Ken's taint? Second place foots the bill…

    Voted for Kimberlin…Carreon is a douche, and Craig is vile, but Kimberlin seems to be okay with endangering peoples lives in pursuit of his censorious schemes and that kicks it up a notch in my book.

  53. Rich Rostrom  •  Dec 27, 2012 @6:09 pm

    Brittain and Kimberlin are scum, but primarily for other and graver reasons.

    Macalpine: The BBC smeared him, and then a lynch mob of twitterers piled on. Rocker: a private citizen with no power. The Olympic Committee: greedy, not censorious. Lincolnshire Police: following policies decreed by the British government, who are really responsible.

    The others, in ascending infamy:

    Overstreet: small.

    Carreon: small and crazy – though he did pose a legal-costs threat to some of his targets.

    Mayor Menino: one cheap shot for some of his constituents.

    Legislatures of Arizona and Connecticut: should know better, but probably don't even see it or intend it as "censorious".

    Reading University Student Union: any university should know better, but it was a one-off by students.

    Sinclair Community College President Steven L. Johnson: any university should know better, but it was stupidity by an adminstrator at a bottom-tier institution.

    Now we get to the real meat.

    Raanan Katz: billionaire being an aggressive bully. Extra points for injured arrogance and personal targeting.

    Chief Meehan: police official grossly abusing his dangerous powers.

    U of California's Advisory Council: any university should know better, and this was a standing rule enacted by a top-level body including senior faculty and administrators and prestigious outsiders, at what is supposed to be one of the best university systems in the world.

    Congratulations U.C.!

  54. Lucy  •  Dec 27, 2012 @7:03 pm

    Kimberlin seems like an obvious choice, but he's just a sociopath. Laws and rights don't apply to him. More speech will never fix it.

    Carreon holds a special place in my heart for bringing me to Popehat. I echo the sentiments that he is too lame to win anything. He can only hurt himself.

    The choice is between Brittain and Meehan for me. Too close to make the vote without thinking a little more.

    It's been an interesting year.

  55. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 27, 2012 @7:11 pm

    and in the meantime his lawsuit against Kimberlin was dismissed.

    While the judge ignored the fact that Kimberlin violated court orders to not share around what he got in discovery.

    As I said, we apparently need to have a lawsuit involving Kimberlin handled away from the East Coast before a competent judge can be found.

    an FOIA request to get to the bottom of the reasons why the Bureau of Prisons put Kimberlin in solitary confinement at a time when reporters suddenly wanted to talk to him about his claim to have sold dope to then-Vice-Presidential-candidate Dan Quayle.

    Did the reason have anything to do with death threats he was sending to people who had been involved in his prosecution for multiple felonies?

  56. max  •  Dec 27, 2012 @8:58 pm

    I just cannot decide. Next year could you please split it into categories to make it easier, I'm thinking academic, government, lawyers?

  57. Dustin  •  Dec 27, 2012 @9:12 pm

    Mr Levy describes Breitbart Unmasked as "an anonymous blogger who had written extensively about that controversy." He's also written about the family of Kimberlin critics and posted pictures of homes. He's posted photos taken illegally in court. So Mr Levy's description is not adequate. That's not really writing about the controversy. That's harassment of Kimberlin's critics, apparently intended to make them fear for their friends and family.

    He did, of course, want to know about illegal behavior done to further the attempts to silence Kimberlin's critics. I don't see how this 'mitigates' in Kimberlin's favor in any way. Of course, several folks I've discussed this with think BU was actually Kimberlin himself, which is probably also important to understanding the subpoena.

    I hope Mr Levy doesn't think that any response to thugs is somehow equivalent to thuggery. Obviously suing someone for filing false charges against you (to silence you) is a lot different morally from the false charge filing.

    Make no mistake, Mr Levy, that man you claim you represented, Brett Kimberlin, is a horrible man. There is no moral parity between him and almost anyone else you will ever meet. Kimberlin set bombs and had parole revoked for his actions to avoid a court's ruling of liability for Carl Delong's death. He attempted to frame an innocent man. He even managed to get an innocent man denied his freedom of speech, explicitly, which Popehat appropriately deems a legal atrocity.

    Either he or his ally, posting as Breitbart Unmasked, posted photos of the homes and family of critics of Kimberlin in order to silence speech. You amazingly think this mitigates in Kimberlin's favor, but those who have dealt with the harassment think it shows Kimberlin and his few associates to be thugs.

  58. Dustin  •  Dec 27, 2012 @9:13 pm

    "He did, of course, want to know" refers to Aaron. I chopped off a paragraph and this became unclear.

  59. JW  •  Dec 27, 2012 @9:40 pm

    It's Kimberlin all the way. I'll explain.

    While all of these people involved here are pious shitheads, many are simple issues of bonheadedness or a poor understanding of speech rights. These can typically be corrected with a non-trivial effort, but still have a chance of rehabilitation and education.

    Kimberlin is just plain, fucking malicious. He's a mean thug, a deranged, violent and partisan thug and in any sane world, traits that would be cause enough to rate between cockroach and cockroach dung in terms of worth and seriousness.

  60. Analee  •  Dec 27, 2012 @9:48 pm

    I voted for Kimberlin. Brittain's a close second, only because we don't know if he's driven anyone to suicide yet. Special place in taint-snorting hell for both of them.

    I couldn't vote for Carreon. His failure at being the "Big Lawyer Man on the Interwebs" just made me laugh too hard AND got me into Popehat. I should send him a thank-you note and have a process server deliver it. What could POSSIBLY go wrong? :D

  61. SPQR  •  Dec 27, 2012 @10:23 pm

    There isn't a word to describe the amount of dishonesty that Levy above reaches, in characterizing Walker's use of some of Kimberlin's own tactics against him thereby mitigating Kimberlin's original thuggery.

    That's some weapons grade misrepresentation there.

  62. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 27, 2012 @10:43 pm

    Make no mistake, Mr Levy, that man you claim you represented, Brett Kimberlin, is a horrible man

    That does not, however, change the fact that Kiberlin was still entitled to legal assistance. It is a sad fact that the most horrible of people are often the most in need of legal services.

    How I've gotten by for so long on such a light bill is surprising to all, but none more so than myself.

  63. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 27, 2012 @10:50 pm

    OK, I've fought it off long enough…[No. No you haven't.]

    Two wrongs don't make a right, but the wrongfulness of Walker's subsequent litigation maybe makes his suffering at Kimberlin's hands a bit less worthy of your annual award.

    [Direct insult deleted], Mr Levy.

    Kimberlin cost the guy his job. Cost his wife HER job.

    Oh yeah, he also almost got them killed what the fucking SWAT team showed up at their place after someone called 9-1-1 claiming to be Aaron, and that he'd just murdered his wife.

    And if you ACTUALLY believe those SWATtings weren't connected to Kimberlin, I really have no words to describe how stupid I think you are. I really hope that isn't the case.

    It was AFTER these events, and AFTER Aaron had been subjected to the tender ministrations of the most ignorant fucking judge this country has ever had, and AFTER his free-speech was imperiled due to that same ignorant bumble-fuck of a judge's legal stupidity, only THEN did Aaron file suit against Kimberlin. And again I would point out that your poor, put-upon former client took items from discovery and after being explicitly ordered not to by the court then shared them with several people.

    I won't even mention the questionable financials of teh "non-profit" groups he runs, though how anyone could justify 80K in rent for his 501(c)3's office space which happened to be THE BASEMENT OF HIS MOTHER'S HOUSE is quite beyond me.

    [Stop it. Now.]

  64. John Ammon  •  Dec 27, 2012 @11:42 pm

    I will point out that we're voting for "Censorious Asshat of the Year" not "Most Horrible Evil Human Being of the Year"…

    People seem to be forgetting that.

  65. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 27, 2012 @11:52 pm

    I'm sorry, John. I guess the chances of getting SWATted for speaking out against Kimberlin isn't speech-chilling enough for you.

    I can see how lengthy, moronic litigation where the guy suing you is going Pro-Se so he's largely without costs while YOU need to spend thousands of dollars just doesn't trip your trigger.

    Do let me know what does it for you…

  66. John Ammon  •  Dec 28, 2012 @12:19 am

    Scott, I wasn't replying to you specifically, take a few deep breaths and relax.

    I'm just trying to keep the poll as on-topic as possible, since people seem to be confusing "censorious" with "evil". No one is disputing that many of the people on the list are considered vile, despicable, humans, but that's not what the poll is about, it's about which one is more censorious ;)

  67. Patrick  •  Dec 28, 2012 @5:25 am

    It's a two word topic John, and "asshat" is just as important as "censorious."

  68. Lucy  •  Dec 28, 2012 @5:53 am

    Kimberlin has a little… chin.

    If asshat is just as important, I may have to vote for him after all.

    I wish I could vote 3 times. There are so many good choices.

  69. Nicholas Weaver  •  Dec 28, 2012 @6:18 am

    Carreon may possibly receive an even more prestigious award, a large bill for ducking service and then refusing to pay the cost of service.

  70. Ken  •  Dec 28, 2012 @8:13 am

    Keep it civil to each other.

  71. Lucy  •  Dec 28, 2012 @8:33 am

    Thank you for the update on Charles. It was pointed out twice in detail where he lacked sound reasoning. I think there has been plenty of opportunity, but twice is a start.

  72. Dustin  •  Dec 28, 2012 @8:36 am

    "That does not, however, change the fact that Kiberlin was still entitled to legal assistance. It is a sad fact that the most horrible of people are often the most in need of legal services."

    That is true, Scott, and I do not wish to say that Kimberlin's lawyer is a horrible man. Horrible men must have legal representation, or at least the right to representation, if our system of justice is to be a legitimate one.

  73. Dustin  •  Dec 28, 2012 @8:38 am

    " since people seem to be confusing "censorious" with "evil"."

    I take the point. But ruthlessness to silence people is both.

    However, I do feel like perhaps Kimberlin is the most notorious, and the stories of these other folks on the list may simply not be as well known. It really does sound like there are an awful lot of jerks out there.

  74. John Ammon  •  Dec 28, 2012 @9:29 am

    I'll take your point Patrick, and offer a counterpoint that "Asshats" are also not inherently evil :)

    But a good point none-the-less.

  75. Patrick  •  Dec 28, 2012 @9:40 am

    Absolutely. But the censor presently leading this poll leads it in large part because he is, in addition to being censorious, a Boss-Monster-Level asshat.

    If we created a game called Free Speech Warrior, in which the player fired Writs and Motions from his Briefcase to decapitate censorious monsters, Brett Kimberlin would be the bonus level.

  76. John Ammon  •  Dec 28, 2012 @9:49 am

    Hahaha, awesome mental image.

  77. anarchic_teapot  •  Dec 28, 2012 @5:27 pm

    I vote for the Olympic Committee, who tried to do a Lincolnshire Police nation, nay world-wide and forced me to get inkstains on my fingers for artistic purposes when they expressly forbade linking to their site in a "derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner".

  78. Rich Rostrom  •  Dec 28, 2012 @9:59 pm

    It's a two word topic…. and "asshat" is just as important as "censorious."

    Yabbut ISTM that "censorious" is the operant category.

    If we're looking for major asshats… there are professional swindlers who are sociopathic monsters. There are pimps who run brothels with enslaved teenage illegal aliens. There are people who make Kimberlin and Brittain look relatively harmless.

    But they aren't notably censorious.

    Kimberlin and Brittain are censorious, but it's a small part of their general villainy. (A trivial part, in Brittain's case.) It"s not the censoriousity that defines their asshattery.

    Also, "asshat" seems to me to suggest not evil but a combination of arrogance, ignorance, bullying, and abuse of power.

    Katz, Meehan, and U. Cal. exemplify these qualities – U. Cal. because more than anyone else on the list, they should know better.

  79. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 28, 2012 @10:22 pm

    There are people who make Kimberlin and Brittain look relatively harmless.M/blockquote>There are people who make a guy who set pipe bombs in public places in what many suspect was an attempt to distract from the muder of the grandmother of the underage girl he was reported to have been "grooming"? Someone who over-shadows a guy that was a large-scale pot-smuggler, and who was caught trying to copy federal IDs? A man who sent death threats to the judge and prosecutor on his case?

    Please, Name one fucking person alive today and breathing free air within the United States that is a greater monster than that.

  80. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 28, 2012 @10:22 pm

    There are people who make Kimberlin and Brittain look relatively harmless.

    There are people who make a guy who set pipe bombs in public places in what many suspect was an attempt to distract from the murder of the grandmother of the underage girl he was reported to have been "grooming"? Someone who over-shadows a guy that was a large-scale pot-smuggler, and who was caught trying to copy federal IDs? A man who sent death threats to the judge and prosecutor on his case?

    Please, Name one fucking person alive today and breathing free air within the United States that is a greater monster than that.

  81. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 28, 2012 @10:23 pm

    There. God damn tags…

  82. Black Betty  •  Dec 28, 2012 @11:07 pm

    Well Scott, there's Voldemort.

    Oh wait. He's British. Um…right, then. How about Piers Morgan? Shit. He's British too. And he's about to be deported. Give me a second. Uh…can they be a comic book character? And British?

  83. Anony Mouse  •  Dec 29, 2012 @1:07 am

    I was torn between Craig Brittain and Brett Kimberlin. I ended up voting for Brittain, but the more I think about it (I hadn't been thinking of the SWATing), I probably should have gone for Kimberlin. He's just a true monster.

  84. john mosley  •  Dec 29, 2012 @6:29 am

    had to go with kimberlin,not only is bk a murderer he is something worse,a murdering coward who uses law enforcement in an attempt to silence [kill] his critics,and in the case of aaron walker i firmly believe he wanted arron gunned down by a swat team to silence him,and in my opinion a murdering coward should win the asshat of the year award not some just sleazy lyin coward which the rest of the field are

  85. Captain Obvious  •  Dec 29, 2012 @8:50 am

    Well I was originally leaning towards Katz but might change my mind back to Craig Brittain. Why you might ask? Well today I recieved the following notice from YouTube regarding my parody video of Craig Brittain and Chance Trahan. Apparently they are angry that I am letting victims know about DMCA and copywrite laws that might aid them in having their pictures removed without having to pay the Takedown hammer aka Craig.

    Essentially the notice states I've violated their privacy. Yep you got that right the guys who invade the privacy of hundreds by posting their unauthorized naked pics are accusing ME of violating THEIR privacy. To which I would say they need to take their own advice – they say if you don't want naked pics out on the internet don't take them. I say if you don't want me to post what you write on the interet and make public, then don't post it – obvoiusly.

    Dear Captain Obvious,

    This is to notify you that we have received a privacy complaint from an individual regarding your content:

    ————————————————————-

    Video URLs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR68gCul148
    The information reported as violating privacy is at 0_24-2_37

    ————————————————————-

    We would like to give you an opportunity to review the content in question and remove any personal information that may be used to uniquely identify or contact the complainant.

    You have 48 hours to take action on the complaint. If you remove the alleged violation from the site within the 48 hours, the complaint filed will then be closed. If the potential privacy violation remains on the site after 48 hours, the complaint will be reviewed by the YouTube Team and may be removed pursuant to our Privacy Guidelines (http://www.youtube.com/t/privacy_guidelines). For content to be considered for removal, an individual must be uniquely identifiable by image, voice, full name, Social Security number, bank account number or contact information (e.g., home address, email address). Examples that would not violate our privacy guidelines include gamer tags, avatar names, and address information in which the individual is not named. We also take public interest, newsworthiness, and consent into account when determining if content should be removed for a privacy violation.

    If the alleged violation is located within the video itself, you may have to remove the video completely. If someone's full name or other personal information is listed within the title, description, or tags of your video, you can edit this by going to My Videos and clicking the Edit button on the reported video. Making a video private is not an appropriate method of editing, as the status can be changed from private to public at any time. Because they can be turned off at any time, annotations are also not considered an acceptable solution.

    We're committed to protecting our users and hope you understand the importance of respecting others' privacy. When uploading videos in the future, please remember not to post someone else's image or personal information without their consent. For more information, please review our Privacy Guidelines http://www.youtube.com/t/privacy_guidelines.

  86. Patterico  •  Dec 29, 2012 @11:28 am

    Mr. Levy,

    I understand you have done some good, public-spirited work for free speech and Ken likes you. Kudos for that.

    However.

    Regarding your representation of Breitbart Unmasked: I once wrote a post about that site and described the way it outed and intimidated a commenter of mine who had been critical of Brett Kimberlin:

    But I would just like to focus on a particular post that really got my attention. It is a Breitbart Unmasked post that delved into marriage and divorce records of a commenter of mine, complete with a picture of the commenter's house.

    They have taken the post down, but I have all the screenshots. Of course, I am not going to post them here. My commenter deserves some level of privacy. However, he has authorized me to publish this generalized account of the post designed to terrorize him. And yes, it was intended to terrorize. There can be no innocent explanation for what you're about to read.

    The post opens with a picture of my commenter and his full name. It details information about where he supposedly works. It continues with information about a petition he supposedly signed. It then goes on to post information about the commenter's marriage, the name of his wife, and links to divorce records. Then the post goes on to list the job title of the commenter's father as well as past cities in which the commenter's father has lived and worked.

    The post then has a picture, from Google Street View, of the commenter's home.

    Let me just say that again:

    Breitbart Unmasked posted a picture of the home of one of my commenters.

    A later tweet by Breitbart Unmasked stated (I am closely paraphrasing): "I wonder what [redacted] thinks about all this lol." The part I have redacted is the name of my commenter's father. It is an unusual name and Breitbart Unmasked was clearly throwing it out there as a threat.

    I just thought you might like to know that. The commenter that Breitbart Unmasked tried to intimidate has been a commenter in this very thread. He is a real person and a very real victim of Breitbart Unmasked.

    Your former client Brett Kimberlin is also a free speech enemy who outed Aaron and Seth Allen through frivolous litigation.

    Now, if someone wants to defend people on principle, wonderful. If you want to defend Breitbart Unmasked even though he is a thug, that is your right.

    But in your comment you seemed to draw larger conclusions about Aaron, and even about the culpability of Kimberlin (!) based on what you considered to be an anti-free-speech action by Aaron's lawyer. My question to you is: why don't those conclusions apply tenfold to the far greater thuggery of Breitbart Unmasked and Kimberlin himself?

    I still have the screenshots of pictures of my commenter's house from the Breitbart Unmasked web site whose anonymity you worked to protect. I still have the screenshots from when Breitbart Unmasked named that commenter's father.

    Let me know if you would like to see them.

  87. Scott Jacobs  •  Dec 29, 2012 @1:00 pm

    I just thought you might like to know that.

    He knows. He just doesn't care.

  88. Damian Penny  •  Dec 29, 2012 @3:32 pm
  89. Black Betty  •  Dec 29, 2012 @9:30 pm

    Ok, Captain Obvious…

    Now just to be clear, you are saying that under no circumstances should anyone copy that video and repost on YouTube over and over and over again (in a viral type fashion)? I just want to make sure that I understand you. And if someone were to have accidentally (totally unintentionally) already ripped that video and uploaded to their own account (or sent it to someone else), they should post it under a different title. Is that what you're telling us? I'm confused.

  90. Captain Obvious  •  Dec 29, 2012 @10:17 pm

    @blackbetty – somehow I think you're not confused at all '-) – obviously.

  91. Rob Crawford  •  Dec 30, 2012 @1:56 pm

    Why is McAlpine on the list? It's now "censorious" to demand people not libel you?

  92. John Ammon  •  Dec 31, 2012 @1:06 am

    @Rob Crawford – did you even read it before commenting?

    Specifically the part about the Mitigation. The argument is that he shouldn't be trying to silence people who casually mentioned an article on twitter. They have every right to post links to articles, even if the articles are false, the onus is on the writer of the article and the publisher, not the public who disseminates it.

  93. Sammy Finkelman  •  Dec 31, 2012 @10:20 am

    Brett Kimberlin is not an asshat – he’s much worse than an asshat, so I am writing in Judge Cornelius J. Vaughey of Maryland.

  94. Sammy Finkelman  •  Dec 31, 2012 @10:22 am

    Or I would have if you hadn't cloed the poll already. I thouyght it closed at midnight, tonight.

  95. AlphaCentauri  •  Dec 31, 2012 @11:20 am

    Congratulations to the Popehatters (Popehattians? Popemilleners?) for topping 2000 votes on that poll.

  96. Dreampod  •  Jan 1, 2013 @11:37 pm

    I'm surprised Mr. Katz didn't take more of the vote. There is something uniquely censorious and fundamentally undermining the legal foundations about threatening legal action for representing a client.

  97. Joe Pullen  •  Jan 2, 2013 @5:40 am

    @Dreampod – I agree and that is why I ultimately voted for Katz

  98. Patterico  •  Jan 2, 2013 @11:24 am

    "I'm surprised Mr. Katz didn't take more of the vote. There is something uniquely censorious and fundamentally undermining the legal foundations about threatening legal action for representing a client."

    Indeed. Of course, Kimberlin did that too. He threatened a bar complaint against Aaron Walker's lawyer — a lawyer arranged through the Popehat signal! — for representing him. And, of course, he initially outed and harassed Aaron because Aaron himself was providing free legal advice to a defendant in a frivolous lawsuit filed by Kimberlin against Seth Allen.

    So feel comfortable with the outcome. The behavior you decry is well represented by the winner. Indeed, most of the censorious crap Kimberlin has pulled didn't make it into the short description given in the post.

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