The First Amendment Protects Satire And Rhetoric! lol j/k

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113 Responses

  1. Trent says:

    Does Carter have pro-bono defense counsel? I believe this is a supreme over reach by the authorities and Justin should have qualified first amendment defense including if applicable a civil suit against the authorities.

  2. Roscoe says:

    Yes, but if it saves just one life . . .

  3. Grifter says:

    What's odd to me is that we've yet to see screen grabs from his defenders. I'm sure this is an egregious overstep, but we've just descriptions of the words; I haven't found a source that actually SHOWS us the words, in the context they were presented. I am also curious why this spilled over onto Facebook; is that game a facebook game? I don't believe it is, though I haven't played it myself.

    If not, isn't it then unreasonable for someone reading his comment to know the context? (in which case it wouldn't be dishonest to show it divorced from context).

    My lack of faith in the government's ability to govern itself accordingly means that I lean Carter's way, and am assuming that this is, indeed, ridiculous and stupid and a miscarriage of justice. However, I want to see more of the actual details. (And of course the bond and his treatment have been ridiculous, but that's pretty obvious to anyone).

  4. Vauthil says:

    (Hi, long-time lurker here. Thanks for posting about this one.)

    Yes, even in the so-called "best case scenario", even if the stars are aligned and this guy gets let out, even if by some miraculous chance he is permitted to vigorously pursue his rights and gets a nice big payout (haha, yeah right), he's already lost. And no matter who "wins" this in court, we've all lost by virtue of it having even gone this far in the first place.

    And all the well-dressed well-fed and never prison-manhandled bureaucrats who made this possible will go home at night and sleep well, knowing they did it "for the children". They might even have already given themselves congratulatory backpats for it. And then they'll just keep on doing it. It's for our own good, after all.

    In a system where payouts for malfeaseance come from the public coffers and where the Inquisition enjoys immunity from real consequence for their inquisitorial ways, where's the incentive for them to stop and consider what they're doing? Maybe once upon a time it came from public excoriation, but in this era of 24/7 news and 45 second attention spans is that really going to cut it anymore?

    But now we approach the question you asked. And it's a dangerous one to ask. After all, as we've learned already, the Inquisition is watching. For your good and their own.

  5. JP says:

    Texas new motto is becoming "THINK OF THE CHILDREN…*"

    *"…when designing the next prison."

  6. AlphaCentauri says:

    Doctors-in-training tend to practice procedures on each other or sign up to be victims experimental subjects in clinical studies, in part to have some first-hand experience of the tests and procedures they will be inflicting on their patients. Maybe prosecutors, judges and police officers should experience some time in maximum security prison before assuming their duties.

  7. jilocain says:

    Actually it's worse than that.

    If you've get the chance, check out a recent Techdirt article on the subject ( )

    It appears that a D.C. Police Officer Christopher Picciano wrote threats against Ms Obama, a specific person, about going on a killing spree, about climbing up a tall building with a rifle. He was 'just joking' of course.

    Here's a man who could possibly do what he joked about, he's in DC, he has access to weapons, and he's presumably been trained in using them.

    What do you think happened to him? Jail, beaten, $500,000 bail, nah. Suspended without pay for about a month.

    Surreptitious and widespread surveillance, check.
    Secret courts and secret laws, check.
    Wildly overzealous application and prosecution, check.
    Different laws for different classes, check.
    Indeterminate detention and torture, check.

    Hmmm, I don't want to sound like some tin foil wearing nut, but just how are we different than, I don't know; Soviet Russia, Communist China, Cold war East Germany, North Korea? Just about every messed up country throughout history?

    As far as I can tell, it's just that most of the citizens here haven't caught on to that fact yet.

    How Carter's being treated unfortunately isn't an abnormality, it's just another sign of the disease.

  8. Kevin says:

    But wait a second here… If I recall correctly the discussion from the discrimination thread, I thought it had been established that state authority is NOT backed by violence, that that's just something wacky right wing extremists believe! I thought we had all agreed that state authority is actually backed by the "social contract" or "will of the people" or something like that…. definitely NOT violence… right?

    So clearly these stories must all be fabricated.

  9. Conster says:

    "is it morally justified to use violence against the state actors who did that to Justin Carter?"
    I'll put this as diplomatically as I can in this situation: Justin Carter no more deserves to be put in jail than the people who put him there deserve to have their jaws and hands broken for doing so. Fortunately, I live in Europe and have no passport, so there is 0 chance of me posing a danger to any of them.

  10. Violence, you say? Reminds of those old GI Joe PSA's that left out the teeth of the argument. They'd always end in "and knowing is half the battle". Well, sure, but the other half of the battle is violence. It's a battle, after all.

    All seriousness aside, I had mixed feelings when I saw the headline here this morning. I've been following it in other sources, including Masnick's analysis of the cop. I suspected Ken's opinion and further research would elevate it way up above the current general despair level to the point of actual real fear. It did.

    As someone whose personal history almost certainly earns a big "analyze this guy by hand" flag at the NSA, the last several months of hot government-on-citizen action have left me feeling a bit less than safe or free. I just hope they don't shoot my dog when they come after my encrypted volumes or World of Tanks game client reversing notes.

  11. Vauthil says:

    Grifter, it was following a League of Legends (LoL) match. Not a Facebook game at all, but it's essentially replaced Counter-Strike as the most raving maniacal den of filthy language and bad manners. Regular lurid imprecations on the sexual proclivities and competence of your maternal unit are the norm rather than the exception. If mere villainous language counts as villainy, Mos Eisley has nothing on that game's community.

    The context may have mattered for the reporter's end if we're being charitable (as to why it spilled over to Facebook, I don't know that it amazes anybody that the norm approaches in blurring the lines between all our online community shoeboxes, but speaking personally I don't compartmentalize them that well and often "cross the streams" such that half or more of my friends list doesn't get the context). But given the bounds of investigative authority, prosecutorial discretion, and magisterial oversight already applied, does that excuse all that happened following it? I'm going to opine with a "hell no".

    The best explanation (I can't really call it an excuse) I can offer is that career bureaucrats (which I'll, for the purposes of this discussion, assume the Forces of Inquisition at work here are since the odds are in my favor here) are generally technophobic. After all, efficient new technologies might replace the need for the bureaucrats themselves. Even so, apparently not a single person in this process thus far apparently knows or has thought about:
    - What "lol j/k" means.
    - How to use Google to find out.
    - How to critically think enough to go "er duh nothing shows he has the means to commit this maybe we should back off".
    - How to critically think enough to go "er duh hyperbolic nerdrage is hyperbolic nerdrage" (Like the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, hyperbolic nerdrage enhances your superpowers, if by superpowers you mean "olfactory and verbal offensiveness").

    But it's all a-okay. We're followin' procedure here, nothing to see, you can trust us because it's by the book. Bureaucracy 101.

  12. Kevin says:

    @Michael Donnelly: Protip: If you want to stay safe from the police, just be sure to carry a puppy with you at all times to offer as a blood sacrifice to appease the LEO gods in the event of any trouble.

  13. ZarroTsu says:

    At what age does a "child" stop being a "child"? If the acts of the individual are childish, such as the above, are they considered a "child"? Is it considered unlikely or blasphemous to assume a "child" could off their own race, and as such they are to be tried as an "adult" for their allegations?

    If a child of the age of ten or so made the same facebook post and was also called upon by a heart-condition-addled (Which I say as an assumption, since most women I've met, being Canadian myself, aren't fucking retarded) Canadian woman, would they too be prosecuted, or would charges be dropped because they, as a "child", would infringe upon our "morals" to defend "children"? If the child then proceeded to follow-through with his ignored threats, how then would the prosecutors and media react?

    I'd personally only consider someone an adult if they're relied upon by others for support, whether morally or financially (or both). These would require maturity and (usually) not being a screaming idiot.

    It's evident that, so long as it's in defense of people's morally stupid interests, most people would disagree with this idea.

  14. Grifter says:


    The point, though, is that without a direct reference to the reason for the joke, a casual observer wouldn't know it was referring to the game.

    It would be like if I got into an argument at drunk baseball and someone called me crazy, so I put up a sign on my house saying "Yup, I'm crazy, gonna [do a bad thing]". Even if the authorities discovered the whole context, wouldn't their point here be (regardless of its validity), that the people who SAW this didn't know the context, and felt threatened?

  15. En Passant says:

    Conster wrote Jul 11, 2013 @10:07 am:

    Fortunately, I live in Europe and have no passport, so there is 0 chance of me posing a danger to any of them.

    Nope. Factual impossibility is no defense. Only legal impossibility is a defense. And Texas might have an applicable long-arm statute to extradite you.

    You should specify the jaw and hand breaking to be contingent upon their criminal conviction for aggravated first degree asshattery with intent to lollygag.

  16. Lizard says:

    An inability to understand obvious contextual cues is a sign of mental illness, and could indicate a person is a danger to themselves and others, as the saying goes. The unnamed Canadian woman (whom I hope will be named, shamed, and sued to death), the judge, and the cop all ought to be held for observation for 72 hours, just in case.

    You know. For the sake of the children.

    When I started my kickstarter a bit over a month ago (done and funded now, yay!), I got spam from the usual bottom-feeding subhuman wretches that prowl the internet, who would "help me get lots of likes" for the low, low, cost of just about the total I was asking for in the first place. I posted something to the effect of "I wish someone would KS an app that would let me reach through the screen, grab these pieces of filth, drag them partially out of the screen, and then smash their heads over and over into my desk until bits of brain goo and blood went flying everywhere."

    Should the cops have been called? I mean, to prevent me using a nonexistent app to perform physics-defying murders?

    I also threatened, just last week, to invent a time machine so that I could go back in time and kill Alexander Graham Bell (right after Hitler — got to kill Hitler first, it's the law. At least, shove him in a closet.). Should the cops have been called on that one, too? It's unlikely I might invent a time machine, but given the damage I could do to the entire universe if I managed, surely, better safe than sorry, right?

    (For those wondering why: I hate phone calls. The damn phone rang SEVEN TIMES that day. I had work to do, and every time I got "in the zone", the phone rang. No, I can't turn off the ringer, because my wife and her mother live with me, and the calls are usually for them.)

  17. JW says:

    Whose fault is this? My fault. Your fault. Our fault.

    I'll accept fault insomuch as I haven't *taken a FLAMETHROWER to this place.* I'll accept a small amount of fault, in that I don't do more than agitate on forums with like-minded people any longer. I've grown tired of the statist mentality and their inability to see over that very tall box they've placed themselves in. I've lost the desire to try to teach pigs to sing.

    I wasn't always this way. In my youth, I was loud, opinionated and never shied away from an argument. I'd take any fight that came my way. But, not any more. I don't even talk politics with people any longer. I just don't care enough to do so. The status-quo made this smoking turd of a system and they can deal with the consequences.

    I'm fucking tired. I'm tired of the stale and shallow thinking from the majority of people who are fat and happy with their 1" deep perspective of the system, lacking any real insight, who won't brook any criticism of the state or its actions or encouraging private action over public without them reducing the ideas to a simple Manichean proposition of "if you don't want the state to do it, then you must not want it."

    Those people I used to argue with still harbor the same beliefs 25 years later. Maybe that was my failure to make persuasive arguments or just the natural urge for people to cement in common beliefs and refuse uncomfortable introspection. They're still Marxists, socialists and conservatives, only older. Although, one Marxist did finally admit to me recently that I was right 25 years ago, in that feeling any sympathy for the Nazis in Das Boot was the wrong reaction.

    OK, so maybe I made a little difference.

  18. Vauthil says:

    Point taken Grifter, but isn't this why Facebook has the "Reply" and "Send Message" buttons? Are we now so infantile and deprived of social faculties as to be unable to talk to people before calling the authorities? Is it in fact that difficult to go "um, what?" or "honey, maybe you should consider nixing that post because people might misunderstand".

    An example I once presented when discussing a related topic with some forum admins: a former co-worker of mine once confided on Facebook that her head was pounding and she was just like to take a gun to her own head and shoot herself to end the pain.

    Is the correct response in that situation then:
    1) Panic, call the police and say that so-and-so is threatening imminent self-harm (which, by the way, pro-tip: calling the police is about the worst thing you can do if you're actually worried about a real suicide attempt, police don't have any training on it and generally make it worse in the long term if not the short)
    2) Reply to co-worker's post and go "c'mon, take a and it'll be better in a few hours"
    3) Send a Private Message and go "Um, maybe you wanna dial down the histrionics since your kids can read this?"

    If #1 is what occurs to you to do first, congratulations, you're in lockstep with that pearl-clutcher.

  19. S.BEAM says:

    Next time I'm playing an online game and recieve a death threat, I'm going to report them as a threat to the local police. lol j/k

  20. Erroll-Flynn says:

    "But wait a second here… If I recall correctly the discussion from the discrimination thread, I thought it had been established that state authority is NOT backed by violence, that that's just something wacky right wing extremists believe!"

    That wasn't our position and you know it. That's a straw man, and you've made it answer a different question from what was being discussed there.

  21. Matthew says:

    I honestly cannot understand how this young man is still in jail, and how these charges still stand. Even if you take an incredibly narrow view of the First Amendment, it would seem this speech is clearly protected.

    As an online gamer myself, these comments seem rather tame, and no reasonable person would ever be put in fear over comments made in a game like LoL. Hell, it is part of the culture there to just say the most ridiculous, offensive shit possible once you start to lose (I am more familiar with MOBAs other than LoL).

  22. Quiet Lurcker says:

    @Grifter -

    I don't think it matters. The statute under which this young man was charged, calls for the person being accused of 1) making a threat with 2) the intention of causing another person (in this case an official of some sort) to act or not act in a certain way, because that official was afraid of something happening, in such way that it 3) interferes with the operation of some facility, activity, what-have-you. [I'm reciting the basics, there's far more refined language, to which I invite your attention.] By implication, the information would have to be specific (including an act, a place, or a time at the very least), and to get to the attention of someone in position to take notice and do something about it. This young fellow was posting on an open forum on the internet. There was nothing specific in what he posted; in fact, it looks (at least to me) like the lyrics of a rap or heavy metal song. It unless he knew or at least suspected there were people in authority who would see it, the information was not going to someone who could act on it.

    How, then does his activity fall under the criminal statute?

  23. Lizard says:

    I honestly cannot understand how this young man is still in jail, and how these charges still stand. Even if you take an incredibly narrow view of the First Amendment, it would seem this speech is clearly protected.

    My speculation: They (the judge, the arresting officers) probably knew they were screwed shortly after the arrest. The instant the charges were dismissed, everyone involved would be sued so hard you'd need a time machine to file all the relevant paperwork. (They can borrow mine once I'm done with AG Bell.) So they are keeping the kid in jail until the parents are desperate enough to agree to not file such a lawsuit. In essence, I believe they are holding him hostage to cover their own asses. The other explanation — that they genuinely believe he's a threat — requires a degree of stupidity so extreme it's hard to imagine they have enough neurons to walk and breathe at the same time.

    When the lawsuit comes, I suspect we'll see the cops try to charge the Canadian twit with "misrepresenting" the case to the police, if that's even a thing, and if there's laws in America that reach into the frozen North, or otherwise try to say "We were misinformed by that evil Canadian! Sue her, not us!"

  24. Clark says:

    One of the many things that enrages me about government is the blind eye it turns to prison rape.

    Here's hoping that the kid hasn't been raped one or more times, and hasn't caught HIV or some other bug.

    Let's remember that there's no such thing as "the government" – there are just individuals who commit actions and claim that they do it with the blessing of their invisible sky-father "the state".

    To which I reply:


  25. Clark says:


    They (the judge, the arresting officers) probably knew they were screwed shortly after the arrest. The instant the charges were dismissed, everyone involved would be sued so hard

    They've all got immunity.

    And even if they didn't, it so hard to win against the government that one really shouldn't even bother.

  26. perlhaqr says:

    Yeah, Kevin. That wasn't what they said. They agreed that state authority was backed with violence. They just don't think it's relevant to the discussion.

  27. Merissa says:

    This makes me pretty concerned, as I live in Texas, do a lot of online gaming and social networking, and have an extremely warped sense of humor.

  28. A.G. Pym says:

    If online game trash-talk is a threat at the beyond-the-screen remove of a net forum, how then should the general conduct of a real-time, meatspace activity involving crudity and similar trash-talk-for-fun be considered? I'm particularly thinking of games of "Cards Against Humanity" here.

  29. Grifter says:


    Oh, I agree. I'm just saying that's their logic, which is why the context isn't as important as some are making it out, though I wish we had screencaps.

    "Some guy on a game just called me crazy. Yeah, I'm real crazy, ima [do bad thing], lol."
    "I'm crazy, ima [do bad thing]"

    @Quiet Lurcker:

    I'm not defending their overall actions. Just the contextual bit. It does, indeed, seem absurd for them to pursue this, overall.

  30. Lizard says:

    @Clark: They have personal immunity, but it still looks bad, I hope, if they can be pointed to as the cause of a huge settlement that defunds the local playground or something. And if the local Judge is elected, "Don't re-elect Judge Doofus, he cost us 50 million bucks!" ought to be a decent campaign slogan.

    Though, your point about the difficulty of suing Uncle Sam using the Uncle Sam Brand Legal System, A Wholly Owned Subsidiary Of Uncle Sam, is quite well taken.

  31. Kevin says:

    @perlhaqr: it's possible I may have been engaging in a bit of hyperbolic exaggeration. Sue me. The point still stands.

    They basically acknowledged that state authority is technically backed by violence, but only in a very abstract, theoretical way, which virtually NEVER actually comes into play in real life, and is therefore just a distraction which should be factored out of the ethical analysis of government action. The kinds of cases mentioned in this post pretty much put the lie to that assertion.

  32. Luke G says:

    For what it's worth, blogger Jack Marshall over at Ethics Alarms is proposing an effort to blanket social media with the "offensive" quote in question, both as a show of solidarity and to show that words are just that, words. More info at the post, here: (Prays to the link gods)

  33. Peter says:

    Good news! an anonymous donor ponied up the $500k and he's now out on bail.

  34. machintelligence says:

    The other explanation — that they genuinely believe he's a threat — requires a degree of stupidity so extreme it's hard to imagine they have enough neurons to walk and breathe at the same time.

    The neurons involved with breathing and walking are not the same ones used for higher cognitive functions. And remember we are talking about Texas bureaucrats and elected officials here…

  35. lelnet says:

    My fault. Your fault. Our fault.

    Only to the extent that we haven't yet actively done anything to stop it.

    The part of "we" that is Ken White, criminal defense attorney, is emphatically not to blame for this. The part that's Ken White, civil liberties activist, even less so.

    I bear more blame than you do, I suppose, because I've done way less than you have. But unfortunately, most of the folks that'll be reached here are already more or less on our side. It's the ones who think that invoking "for the children" ends the argument that are the real problem.

  36. En Passant says:

    Now that an anonymous donor has contributed bail to Mr. Carter, how about some more anonymous donors to fund an ongoing local publicity campaign?

    A few full page ads in local papers, and spots on local radio and TV could simply state the facts of the case, name the officials responsible, and urge people to remember this at election time. Then run them frequently, right up to the next election.

    That would be money well spent. Of course the jackass officials responsible for this outrage would probably also arrest and charge the advertisement funders for "terrorist threats". Official butthurt is like that.

  37. Personanongrata says:

    For leveraging the full coercive power of the state in order to destroy the life a young manyDistrict Judge Jack Robison, District Attorney Jennifer Tharp and New Braunfels Police Lt. John Wells (etal) are awarded the title(s) of:

    Cretinous turd stains on the underpants of humanity.

  38. a_random_guy says:

    I am really glad to see that this case made Popehat. I don't know if this is a case of (a) deliberate prosecutorial overreach or (b) utter cluelessness. It doesn't matter. The authorities have attacked a family and a clearly innocent young man.

    This case leaves me almost speechless – there is so much wrong with it, and nothing at all right. To name a few, in no particular order:

    - Even if the police the prosecutor are this stupid, surely a judge should be held to higher standards?

    - "He made the comments, and it is an offense" First amendment. Even without context there is no credible threat here.

    - Why is violence tolerated in jails? If this teen were beaten on the street, he could press charges. Why do the authorities casually look the other way when it happens in jail?

    - On the subject of violence: Since the authorities do tolerate it, why are they not criminally liable?

    - Where are the hungry lawyers? If there was ever a slam-dunk case for a lucrative civil suit, this is surely it.

    - Why does this happen in Texas? That's my state, damn it, I expect better.

    Lastly, to answer Ken's final question: It depends who you ask. When the government officials fail their duties this egregiously, I would consider vigilante justice entirely justified. Prosecution thereof should fail to jury nullification.

    Unfortunately, the world we live in has become too timid. Texas parents ought to be up in arms – armed as Texans are – and setting things right with a raid on the jail. Instead, most are entirely unaware of this case, and the others are just glad that it isn't their kid…yet…

  39. ZarroTsu says:

    Remember kiddies, nobody will remember the government treatment or half-million bail. They'll remember that a kid on facebook said something stupid and got arrested.

    And at least 50% who remember it will ruin his life for it. Because they are stupid, stupid people.

  40. perlhaqr says:

    Kevin: You have mistaken my dry tone as actual chiding. I assure you, it was the position that "the violence inherent in the system" is irrelevant to the discussion is what I was taking umbrage with, not your comment calling them out. Or perhaps I have mistaken you simply returning my dry tone. :D

    Ironically, this is actually the sort of situation in which I would consider coercive violence of appropriate resort. Were the threat real, using violence to prevent a massacre at a school would be wholly correct.

  41. grouch says:

    Sue the county. When they took him in custody, they became responsible for his well-being. Sue the bastards for not keeping him safe during that custody.

    Forgotten inmate gets $15.5 million settlement from N.M. county

  42. perlhaqr says:

    Luke G: Chilling effects. They work. I actually am too afraid to participate in that.

  43. Robert White says:

    "Personal Immunity" is rater part of the problem I think. People who _can_ act with impunity _will_ act without consideration.

    That's a corollary of the power corrupts thing.

    Now, should one or all persons involved in the complaint, particularly the overly projective Theoretical Canadian Girlfriend™, all get together and try to determine which of them can most effectively remove their own head with a chainsaw; well I don't think we will be losing any great minds or fonts of reason and compassion in the exercise.

    In a rational world, anybody with the right to act under professional discretion should live under threat of culpability for their actions.

    I have a clearance of non-trivial grade. Every time I enter or leave a large number of circumstances, or engage in public speech, I am changing my exposure to criminal and civil penalties in accordance with the power and trust afforded me by the DOJ and each of several entities. My actual power to affect things and people is quite low and indirect.

    Why in the world should someone who can ruin lives with the stroke of a pen be shielded from the fallout of their own actions? It's ludicrous.

  44. Kevin says:

    @perlhaqr: Ah, well, I wish I could claim to be that clever, but actually your "dry tone" went completely over my head on the first reading. Oops.

  45. Mike T says:

    To hell with writing to officials. Write their bosses. In this case, Mayor Gale Pospisil.

  46. Quiet Lurcker says:

    @Grifter -

    I'm confused here, I must admit.

    If the law states that someone *has to* intend to cause disruption/fear/etc. (A person commits and offense…with intent to [emphasis mine] … accessed 7/11/13 @1630 hrs cdt), then doesn't it matter when, where, how, and to whom the 'threat' was communicated?

  47. Erroll-Flynn says:

    @Kevin and @perlhaqr:
    If you think my position embraces abuses of state power then you've seriously misread my argument. In fact I specifically lamented in one post the over-eagerness of agents of the state to resort to force. No where did I sanction such actions.

    The possibility of over-eager, stupid, callous, vicious enforcement by cops is separate from the policy they were attempting to enforce. That's an endemic problem in America that needs its own remedy.

    So I probably separate out issues into nice, neat compartments too much for your tastes, but if any discussion with you about anything, ever, ultimately descends into discussions about crappy cops and police brutality, I can say I agree with you on the brutality issue and that its not worth attempting to discuss anything else, full stop.

  48. Erroll-Flynn says:

    Looks like I'm not good with tags yet. Oh well.

  49. Colin says:

    That would be the same Judge Jack Robison who was reprimanded by the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct in this altercation, incidentally:

    His district covers several counties.

  50. Lucas says:

    Salon has very interesting excerpts from the book ""Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces".

  1. July 12, 2013

    [...] Los Angeles attorney Ken White notes on his fantastic blog Popehat, the affidavits for the search and arrest warrants (the affidavit is a sworn statement by an [...]

  2. July 12, 2013

    [...] Read the entire, excellent post here. [...]

  3. July 19, 2013

    [...] The First Amendment Protects Satire And Rhetoric! lol j/k [...]

  4. July 31, 2013

    [...] The news media, which should have an interest in protecting the same amendment that (theoretically, these days) protects them, gave some fleeting coverage to the story but quickly dropped it in favor of gushing over infant foreign monarchs, finding ways to vilify George Zimmerman and making bad Weiner puns. The blogosohere has been pretty silent too, with some notable exceptions. [...]