Jailed Blogger Roger Shuler Makes The New York Times
It only took the “newspaper of record” over two months to report that muckraking, controversial Legal Schnauzer blogger Roger Shuler has been thrown in jail in a move that is, to say the least, legally questionable:
For over six years, Roger Shuler has hounded figures of the state legal and political establishment on his blog, Legal Schnauzer, a hothouse of furious but often fuzzily sourced allegations of deep corruption and wide-ranging conspiracy. Some of these allegations he has tested in court, having sued his neighbor, his neighbor’s lawyer, his former employer, the Police Department, the Sheriff’s Department, the Alabama State Bar and two county circuit judges, among others. Mostly, he has lost.
But even those who longed for his muzzling, and there are many, did not see it coming like this: with Mr. Shuler sitting in jail indefinitely, and now on the list of imprisoned journalists worldwide kept by the Committee to Protect Journalists. There, in the company of jailed reporters in China, Iran and Egypt, is Mr. Shuler, the only person on the list in the Western Hemisphere.
A former sports reporter and a former employee in a university’s publications department, Mr. Shuler, 57, was arrested in late October on a contempt charge in connection with a defamation lawsuit filed by the son of a former governor. The circumstances surrounding that arrest, including a judge’s order that many legal experts described as unconstitutional and behavior by Mr. Shuler that some of the same experts described as self-defeating posturing, have made for an exceptionally messy test of constitutional law.
At Legal Schnauzer, Roger Shuler’s wife Carol writes:
The article came after an almost three hour interview with Carol Shuler and an hour’s worth of four separate interviews with Roger Shuler via telephone from the Shelby County Jail, where he has been incarcerated since Oct. 23 due to a lawsuit filed by Republican political figure Rob Riley.
Shuler said the article is a major victory for his contention that there are no grounds for an order of civil contempt against him and resulting incarceration. Shuler noted that the article contains a number of glaring inaccuracies, but overall he said that he is pleased with the attention The New York Times has shined on the issue of terroristic threats against journalists and bloggers and those who support free speech.